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HISD Radio

This, from the inbox, sounds very cool:

K12RADIOHOUSTON: HISD’s NEW SCHOOL OF THOUGHT

The nation’s first custom radio station created for a major school district

(Houston, Texas) No radio tower or transmitter necessary! The Houston Independent School District (HISD) begins live Internet streaming of K12RadioHouston in July of 2010 in preparation for students returning to class in the fall. The station’s 24/7 custom programming opens a new door to welcome parents, staff and the extended family of HISD. Listeners will enjoy a wide range of music while hearing about the many facets of Texas’ largest, and the nation’s 7th largest school district.

Streaming radio stations over the Internet have come a long way. The latest research shows that 60 million Americans listen to Internet radio every week. K12RadioHouston is an example of new online programming that is built around a strong common interest. With more than 200,000 students and 30,000 employees, K12RadioHouston is relevant to nearly a million area residents.

HISD has tapped Houston’s RFC Media to design and produce its new custom radio station. “The move to online sources of music and entertainment is exploding, so why not build a station around a community that shares a common interest, like the education of our children,” said RFC Co-Founder and Houston radio veteran Pat Fant.

First, the music has to be right, and that’s where RFC’s President and Chief Programmer – Cruze – comes in with true music variety not routinely found on ordinary radio. “Our roots go very deep in the cross-cultural and genre-specific categories that will help keep K12RadioHouston balanced and tuned for long periods of listening and entertainment. This is our specialty and there is no substitute for it, “said Cruze.

“We’ll embed news items of interest around the music to spotlight the District’s exceptional students, teachers and too often unnoticed accomplishments. Did you know HISD even has a program for students to earn a pilot’s license? A student may be licensed to fly a plane before they can drive a car,” Fant added.

Sponsor support of K12RadioHouston will be a new source of revenue to the school District. RFC Media will be seeking sponsor support from area business leaders for the nation’s first full-time custom radio station created for a major school district. To maximize the value for sponsors, the station will be easily accessed across the mobile digital networks with a custom iPhone application that enables one-touch listening anywhere to K12RadioHouston.

Channel 11, KHOU-TV is the television partner for K12RadioHouston. Listeners will access the station through a link on www.KHOU.com as well as through the District’s own website at www.hisd.org. “KHOU is proud to be the exclusive media partner for K12RadioHouston. We understand the role that education plays not only in our children’s future, but in the future of this great city. That’s why we are excited to help provide this innovative and family-oriented content to our community,” said KHOU’s President & General Manager Susan McEldoon.

HISD’s Chief District Relations Officer Lee Vela said, “This gives our schools a place to spotlight school events, and it’s a great opportunity for HISD students who are preparing for media careers to produce radio programming. The communications magnet students at Jack Yates High School are a good example.”

I had a lot of questions about this, and was fortunate to get a chance to sit down with Pat Fant and throw all of those questions at him. Here’s what he said to me.

Download the MP3 file

I’m looking forward to seeing how this all comes together. It’s a great idea, and I hope it’s a big success.

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