KRCU Public Radio at Southeast Missouri State University plans to expand its service region to include Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and the surrounding area following action today by the University’s Board of Regents.
In closed session, the Board approved acquiring the FCC license and equipment from KBIY 91.3 FM in Van Buren, Missouri. The plan is to then lease tower space and move the station to Ellsinore, Missouri in order to expand broadcasting beyond Van Buren to Butler County.
The addition of KBIY 91.3 FM will expand National Public Radio (NPR) coverage to the southern portions of the University’s service region, an area currently without access to public radio, said Trudy Lee, interim vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.
The station will initially reach over 47,000 people with the potential for future expansion to reach nearly 80,000.
“The expansion will give Southeast a voice in the area to promote the University and to keep it top of mind for students, parents, alumni and businesses,” Lee said.
An anonymous donor has committed to covering the initial costs of this project and the first two years of operating expenses, she said. Annual operating costs for KBIY will be covered through corporate underwriting, individual donations and a possible Rural Service Grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The purchase of KBIY is subject to approval by the FCC.
Southeast currently owns and operates two stations, KRCU 90.9 FM in Cape Girardeau, serving Cape Girardeau, Sikeston and Perryville, Missouri, and KSEF 88.9 FM in Farmington, serving Farmington, Ste. Genevieve, Fredericktown and South County St. Louis, Missouri. When combined, KRCU, KSEF and KBIY will provide public radio coverage to most of the University’s service region.
KRCU will celebrate 30 years as an NPR member station in 2020. The station provides broadcasting, digital editing, production and news gathering experiences to Southeast students.