Shady Cove radio is on the air

SHADY COVE — The city's first official broadcast day began with a few clicks on a computer keyboard Tuesday, as city officials powered up a brand new radio station.

Granted a license by the Federal Communications Commission, KSHD-LP, a low-power radio station owned and operated by the city, will broadcast 24 hours a day with 100 watts of power on a frequency of 99.1 FM.

"It's great to have it finally going," said City Administrator Elise Smurzynski. "We've been on-air testing the station for the past few weeks, but we've really been trying to get it going since 2001. We just didn't have the staff or the money to make things happen before."

She said she wanted to thank the traveling public for making the radio station a reality.

"Most of the funds came from our visitors," said Smurzynski. "They pay the transient occupancy tax and chip in by supporting our local raft rental businesses."

She said that a portion of that money has always been dedicated to promoting Shady Cove and attempts to bring tourists into town.

"It's a way of giving back to our business community," she said, "In addition to brochures, the city's Web site and local events, the radio station will be another way to keep things fresh."

Smurzynski said that the station would also help the community by providing valuable information to residents and tourists.

"You can program the station to automatically trigger to a specific event," she said. "We now have the emergency alert software that lets you connect to ODOT, or the weather and also allows you to break into programming, should you have a regional situation like a fire, or a car wreck, or some other emergency."

She said the station will be playing a mixture of non-copyrighted music, spanning the '50s through the late '70s, including classical, country, and rock until a programming schedule can be worked out. There will even be some logging tunes.

"At this point we're just trying to get the system organized," she said. "In the future we hope to open it up, so that if folks have events or information that benefits the community, there will be a way for them to get it out. That certainly is the goal."

Although the station can be heard clearly in most parts of town, low power radio stations are intentionally engineered to serve a small area, so the signal disappears quickly beyond the city limits. Cheryl Holthusen, a Shady Cove resident, had heard about the station but was surprised to find out that it was actually playing music.

"I thought it was only for emergencies," she said, "so I haven't heard it yet. I usually listen to another station, but I guess I'll give it a try."

The Federal Communications Commission will not allow commercial advertising, but Smurzynski said that future financing might come from businesses and individuals who sponsor programs or segments of the broadcast day, much like the arrangements that fund many public broadcasting stations.

"It took a lot of hardworking people to get 'Shady Radio' on the air," said Smurzynski. "From Konrad Herling of the FCC in Washington, D. C., through the pastors at Trail Christian Fellowship, our contractors, our council, city employees and so many, many more. They all made everything come together quickly and seamlessly."

Bill Miller is a Southern Oregon freelance writer. Reach him at

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