KRCU/KSEF Hoping to Preserve Classical Music in St. Louis Area

Photo of the KRCU microphone

KRCU Public Radio at Southeast plans to increase the power and upgrade the antenna in 2010 at its repeater station, KSEF, in Farmington, Mo.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Nov. 3, 2009 – KRCU Public Radio at Southeast Missouri State University is hoping to fill the coming void in classical music programming in the St. Louis area in 2010 with a power increase and antenna upgrade at its repeater station KSEF in Farmington, Mo.

“KRCU will provide a better signal to the Farmington/Park Hills (Mo.) area and we are hopeful for more signal concentration in South County and Metropolitan St. Louis,” said Dan Woods, general manager of KRCU.  “Since a good portion of KRCU’s schedule is classical music, we are hopeful that listeners in metro St. Louis will enjoy our programming, since classical music will be harder to find on the radio dial in St. Louis.”

KRCU filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Sept. 30 to change the city of license of its repeater station from Farmington to Ste. Genevieve, Mo.  Changing the city of license will not involve moving any equipment and is simply an FCC filing matter, Woods said.  In addition, the application KRCU filed seeks to increase its power output from 9,500 watts to 20,000 watts, which will require the installation of a new, more robust antenna system.  KRCU is hopeful the FCC will act on the application by the end of the year.  Pending FCC approval of these changes, KRCU hopes to have the upgrades completed by May to meet FCC guidelines.

“We looked into doing this increase several years ago to maximize the output potential of KRCU,” said Woods.   “When our Farmington repeater station initially went on the air in May 2006, we were unable to increase our power due to potential interference from a station in Perryville that was going to be built.  In 2007, we noticed that the station was never constructed, and we took the opportunity to file for an increase in power at that time.”

The increase in signal will help improve KRCU’s coverage along I-55.  Initial coverage estimates show KRCU’s signal at 88.9 FM should reach Perryville, along I-55, and reach into south St. Louis County. 

While preliminary estimates indicate that the signal will be strongest in Farmington/Park Hills and extend into South County (as well as large parts of the Metro East region), it may well be accessible to listeners in other areas of the city and county. “Several factors impact reception for listeners,” Woods said. “The type of antenna being used to receive the signal, the surrounding terrain and the elevation of the listener’s receiver all play a role in reception of any signal.”

He says he is hoping KRCU’s programming will help fill the void expected to be left in St. Louis after the sale of KFUO, also known as “Classic 99.”

KRCU is a non-commercial public radio station which operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.  KRCU provides public radio programming to more than 1.5 million people in the Southeast Missouri region including the communities of Cape Girardeau, Sikeston, Perryville, Marble Hill, Farmington, Park Hills, and Bonne Terre and south St. Louis County.

KRCU is an NPR (National Public Radio) member station and also broadcasts American Public Media and Public Radio International programs, as well as classical, jazz and indie rock formats. The station features classical music programming every weekday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Among its offerings is “Performance Today,” which features live concerts by famous artists in concert halls around the globe and from the American Public Media studios as well as interviews, news and features.  In addition, the station offers symphony broadcasts including the Chicago Symphony and the New York Philharmonic weekday evenings between 8-10 p.m., and airs classical music overnight.

KRCU relies on listener financial support to cover the cost of programming. Member support and underwriting make up approximately 30 percent of the budget. Southeast Missouri State University and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are the other two largest supporters of the station.