Pomona's Radio Station KSPC 88.7 FM Debuts New Antenna
At 1:50 p.m. on Thursday afternoon (7/5/12), KSPC Radio’s signal reach suddenly improved as the station switched from one of the oldest radio antennas in the region to brand new equipment on a tower in Padua Hills.
KSPC 88.7 FM, known for its wide variety of radio programs, with an emphasis on new and unheard artists, is now broadcasting from an antenna and transmitter that are mounted at 2221 feet. The old tower was located on the Pomona College campus adjacent to Seaver Theatre.
It’s an exciting moment for the station founded in 1956. The process to move the equipment began in 2008 with an application for a new broadcast license to the FCC, keeping the 88.7 FM frequency. “If we hadn’t applied to change KSPC’s existing transmission location,” explained Erica Tyron, KSPC’s station manager, "we might have lost the opportunity to ever move—new stations would have boxed KSPC’s signal in to limited locations.”
Replacing the equipment and moving it to the higher elevation immediately improved the strength of the signal, says Tyron, increasing the broadcast penetration within the licensed area (approximately a 35-mile radius from Claremont); improving the signal reach for areas like Covina, El Monte, San Bernardino and Riverside; diminishing interference with the signal; and resulting in fewer drops of the signal.
The noncommercial station provides a wide range of programming with underground music making up the largest chunk of the station’s schedule. Among the most popular shows based on listener response to ticket giveaways and requests, may be the station’s weekend specialty shows and the reggae shows. But the eclectic programming also includes electronic, classical, blues, soundtracks and a three-hour polka show on Saturday mornings. One of its longest running shows, “Forward Into the Past,” features music of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s as well as radio drama and comedy. The host Randy Brian (nee Randy Skretvedt) began broadcasting on the station in 1982.
Starting this week is KSPC’s 2012 summer concert series cosponsored by Rhino Records in Claremont. The concerts, which are held at the record store (235 Yale Avenue), begin July 10 and continue every other Tuesday until August 21. This year, KSPC and Rhino present Keychain on July 10, Franklin Bruno (KSPC alum and Pomona class of ’90) on July 24, author Sam McPheeters on August 7 and the local band Wild Reeds on August 21. All shows begin at 8 p.m and are free and open to the public.
To pull all of this off, KSPC relies on an average of 150 volunteers and 23 part-time student managers during the school year and approximately 60 volunteers and two full time student managers during the summer. Volunteers serve in a wide variety of roles ranging from DJs, newscasters, sportscasters, music reviewers, producers and talk show hosts, to writers, graphic designers, promotions assistants, concert bookers and event planners.
For more information on KSPC, visit their website at www.kspc.org.