By Tim Leeds
Yellowstone Public Radio (YPR) will soon be starting its own transmission in Havre at 91.7 FM, leaving the programming of KNMC up to the university.
Randall Rocks, engineer for Yellowstone Public Radio, said they are waiting for some equipment, but expect to have a new translator up and running by the end of the month.
Rocks said they will lease space from a tower owned by AT&T Broadband, formerly TCI Cablevision of Montana.
Rocks said they knew that sooner or later people from Montana State University-Northern, the owner and licenser of KNMC, would want to start having their own local programming. He said YPR's move to starting their own translator was in anticipation to that. He said they applied to the Federal Communications Commission last winter for permission to set up the translator, and have now received that permission.
Trygve "Spike" Magelssen, student representative for KNMC's advisory board, said they were planning to negotiate with YPR to get some local access at the station, but YPR's decision was something of a surprise.
"We're in a state of flux," Magelssen said.
He said they are now in the process of deciding what new equipment they will need, setting up an oversight structure for advisors to regulate what goes on the air, and researching what is needed for compliance with Federal Communications Commission regulations. Magelssen said that, hopefully, they will have their equipment picked out by the end of October.
Magelssen said the students have voted to support the radio station with an additional fee.