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KILR acquires new FM frequency to broadcast AM programming

By Staff | Apr 6, 2017

Ever have trouble listening to KILR’s AM station 1070 in the evening and night time?

Receiving that programming will become easier as the local radio station adds an FM frequency to broadcast its AM programming this week.

The AM programming will continue on 1070, but will also be broadcast at 97.3 on the FM dial.

“We’re excited about it,” said Roger Jacobson, owner of Jacobson Broadcasting company. “It’s an investment in the community.”

Jacobson said KILR AM’s radio station is currently required to power down to 48 watts at night.

With many of the Estherville Lincoln Central sports broadcasts occurring in the evening, some people may have trouble accessing the AM station. They will still have the option of listening on AM/1070 or on kilrradio.com. This will also help listeners who enjoy the AM station’s talk-radio broadcasts.

With the AM programming now also broadcasting on 97.3 at 250 watts, the FM station will have a range of approximately 25 miles.

Jacobson explained that FM frequency is by line of site, so the taller the tower, the further it goes. AM frequency goes through both air and ground.

KILR’s main station, 95.9 FM’s antenna, is located at the top of the station’s 354-foot tower. The 97.3 frequency was installed 280 feet on the north tower.

Jacobson said the Federal Communications Commission and National Association of Broadcasters have been seeking ways to help make AM stations more viable.

“It has to do with interference in the atmosphere,” he said.

The FCC came up with the idea of allowing AM stations could buy an FM translator frequency within 250 miles and move it.

When the 97.3 frequency, which came out of Glencoe, Minn., became available, Jacobson took advantage of the opportunity and purchased the frequency for $44,000. He then filed with the FCC to move that frequency to Estherville.

Last May, Jacobson Broadcasting was awarded a $3,500 “Grow With Us” grant (Emmet County Local Option Sales Tax monies), which was used to help with this project.