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McNeese hopes to have radio station on air next year

Last Modified: Thursday, April 25, 2013 7:00 PM

By John Guidroz / American Press

McNeese State University’s noncommercial, community-run radio station could be on the air sometime early next year, Candace Townsend, the school’s public information and communications director, said Thursday.

The station — KBYS-FM (88.5) — will broadcast across the street from the university at the old One Hour Martinizing building, 4120 Ryan St. Funding for the station will come through fundraising, donors and grants, she said.

“For the coverage area, we’re looking at Lake Charles and going into some parts of Sulphur, Moss Bluff and as far east as Iowa,” Townsend said.

She said the station will be run by students and volunteers within the community. She said students have already paid for some of the station’s equipment.

“They want to be a part of the volunteer staff to build the radio station from the ground up,” she said. “We will be able to do unique programming that currently isn’t being done and give our students an opportunity to participate. They can do news writing or get involved in the business side of running a station.”

Townsend said music and other programming have not yet been determined. In addition to music, she said the station may include some talk radio segments. “That’s still all very much in the planning stages,” she said.

Townsend said the station will also be used to improve communication during crises. “It will be one more tool in our crisis communication tool box,” she said.

Townsend said the university will hold contests within the next several months to determine the station’s logo and slogan. She said input from students and the community will be considered.

She said there are three options being considered to place the radio tower.

Townsend said officials would like the station to be on the air around the same time the university begins its 75th anniversary celebration activities in January.

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