Southeast Public Radio

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

It has been calling itself Southeast Public Radio, but an expansion of its coverage area will truly make KRCU, 90.9 FM, a station that serves much of Southeast Missouri.

The public radio station affiliated with Southeast Missouri State University will soon be able to reach 100,000 people in the region with the addition of a radio tower near Farmington, Mo.

In March 2002, the station moved its radio tower to a location north of Cape Girardeau and extended its antenna height, expanding its coverage area into Sikeston and Ste. Genevieve.

The second tower means that the radio station can be picked up from Farmington, Park Hills and nearby areas to the north as well as down to New Madrid County in the south. But to hear KRCU in the expanded locations, listeners will have to tune to KSEF, 88.9 FM.

The project is still in the early stages, with bids for construction still to come in. Work could begin in late June or early July, and KSEF is slated to go on air in the fall.

The project is funded through a $220,000 matching grant KRCU received from a U.S. Department of Commerce program that promotes the development of public broadcasting through matching grants. The station pays only 25 percent of the costs associated with the expansion under the federal grant program.

Public radio stations provide news, educational and informational programming and classical music. KRCU's station management knew that a coverage gap existed in the Farmington area where radio listeners weren't able to get a good public radio station signal.

Plans for the radio station's expansion came in the late 1990s and were supported by a study that showed areas of the country that were without a public radio station. With the additional tower and expansion of KRCU, there shouldn't be any gaps in public radio coverage throughout Southeast Missouri.

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