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KTRU joins forces with KPFT

KTRU will broadcast over the air again, just from a different spot on the dial.

[Rice University] said Saturday that KTRU will broadcast over a digital channel assigned to radio station KPFT, beginning Feb. 14.

“We’re excited,” said Joey Yang, KTRU station manager and a junior at Rice. “We think HD radio is going to be a viable option for us.”

The deal was reached with the Pacifica Foundation, which owns KPFT, and appears to resolve one of the most contentious issues that arose after Rice agreed to sell the KTRU tower and license to the University of Houston for $9.5 million.

[…]

KTRU’s programming — featuring student and volunteer disc jockeys, playing an eclectic mix of music – will be available through KPFT’s HD2 channel, as well as over the Internet and, for now, its 91.7 FM frequency.

[Rice President David] Leebron said the overlap will give KTRU more time to promote the HD channel and Internet broadcast.

[…]

Yang said KTRU will expand its focus on local music, “music being made in and around Houston.”

KPFT General Manager Duane Bradley said that fits with Pacifica’s mission of “exposing unexposed artists.

“We look at a lot of what Rice does as an extension of our mission.”

KPFT will continue to broadcast at 90.1 FM and its HD1 channel. It currently has news and other programming on the HD2 channel but will move that to a third high-definition channel, Bradley said.

Here’s the press release from KPFT. All things considered, I think that’s about as good an outcome as one could hope for. KTRU and KPFT were the two most like-minded stations on the radio to begin with, so this kind of partnership should be a good fit. Plus, UH will provide some paid internships for Rice students for the first three year. It won’t satisfy everyone, as Leebron said, and the way Rice went about selling the station was still crappy, but it’s an acceptable ending. Kudos to all for getting it done.

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