By Tim Leeds
The equipment has been ordered for KNMC and the university radio station plans to have live broadcasts starting with the fall semester.
"We hope to be on the air the first week of school," Trygve "Spike" Magelssen said. "We just wanted to provide a college radio station."
Magelssen, general manager for the student radio station at Montana State University-Northern, said the station has been receiving equipment to bring it up to date, with more still on the way. He said they are also completing some paperwork with the Federal Communications Commission.
The college station had been rebroadcasting the signal from Yellowstone Public Radio out of the Joseph S. Sample studio at Montana State University-Billings for the past several years. YPR installed its own translator in Havre last fall, opening the airwaves for a local signal.
Magelssen said they have quite a few students from the college interested in being disc jockeys for the station, and about six people outside of the university are also interested. He said they want to provide an alternative to top 40 music, with selections such as new world music, alternative music, jazz, harmonica blues, and other music people would be interested in broadcasting.
Magelssen said the schedule for the broadcast hasn't been decided yet. He said they will probably have computer-scheduled broadcasting to use when there is no live signal, as well as live broadcasts he hopes will include live talk shows, interviews on campus and information on events at the university.
Magelssen said he has been working for about three years now to bring local broadcasts back, and after Northern hired Robert Bentz as information technology services director they have been moving forward on the project. Bentz is also the chairman of the radio advisory board at Northern. Bentz said the only role of the advisory board will be to make sure the station isn't breaking any rules.
"What we're trying to do is give a tool or resource for the students to use, something to do as an activity," he said.
Magelssen said the student senate at Northern approved $10,000 for the purchase of new equipment, and they have found $7,000 from other sources.
A proposed $10 student fee for the radio station has been moved to the Board of Regents' July agenda for approval. Magelssen said Northern students voted in favor of the proposed fee in two separate votes, with a 68 percent approval.
He said the station is also looking for other sources of money.
Magelssen said the community has provided a lot of help to get the station going again. He said KXEI radio station in Havre has donated equipment and furniture. Don Herman, the AT&T technical advisor, has been helping them, and Creative Leisure has been giving them merchandise to donate to listeners on the air.
He said they have quite a few students involved in the station right now. Bruce Patera is the program director, James Hayward is the music director and Carissa Tielking is the business manager. He said there are about 17 other students involved in other positions.
Anyone wanting more information about the station, wishing to be involved in it or with information about grants and funding or service providers can call Magelssen at 265-9064 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.