A worker helps to align a section of the new radio tower. The tower is 195 feet tall and is being built in one of the highest areas in Missouri.
(view larger photo of the new tower)
Feb. 7, 2006 – A 195-foot radio tower for the new KSEF 88.9 FM, “SouthEast in Farmington,” went up today on Simms Mountain.
KSEF, which is expected to go on the air in March, will be a repeater station for KRCU 90.9 FM, Southeast Missouri State University’s Public Radio station. KSEF will expand KRCU’s reach in the Farmington and Park Hills, Mo., area. Simms Mountain, the site on which the radio tower will be constructed over the next couple of weeks, is one of the highest points in the state of Missouri, with an elevation of 1,450 feet.
KRCU, located on the Southeast campus in Cape Girardeau, will provide its signal to Farmington via T1 line, where the signal will be then be rebroadcast. KSEF will be a 9,500-watt station and will be heard in Farmington, Fredericktown, Potosi, Festus, southern St. Louis County and part of Ste. Genevieve County, said Dan Woods, KRCU general manager.
KSEF will boost the listenership of Southeast Public Radio to 1.9 million, he said.
“The addition of KSEF 88.9 FM will allow Southeast Public Radio to provide our programming to an additional 1.5 million people in the University’s northern service region. The station’s signal will extend north from Fredericktown to St. Louis South County,” Woods said. “The coverage area will be substantial. We are very excited to offer our unique programming to a new audience.”
University officials and St. Francois County commissioners signed an agreement in late 2003 for Southeast to lease land from the county to build a transmitter building and new 195-foot radio tower on Simms Mountain, a point seven miles south of Park Hills. In exchange, the University is allowing the county to put equipment on the tower to expand its 911 emergency communication capability for fire and police.
With the addition of the new repeater station, KRCU and KSEF will cover the entire I-55 corridor from the southern part of St. Louis County to New Madrid, Mo., in the Bootheel.
“We are pleased that this project will provide a Southeast Public Radio presence in the northern part of our service region and allow riders on I-55 to listen to KRCU programming from St. Louis to well south of Cape Girardeau,” Woods said. “We look forward to providing our informative and entertaining programming in the near future in the Farmington area.”
He says KRCU is committed to making KSEF a successful extension of its current station operations.
Plans call for KRCU and St. Francois County to share a generator in the new transmitter building on Simms Mountain.
In September 2002, Southeast received a Public Telecommunications Facilities Program grant of $220,568 to fund construction of the station. Total estimated cost of the project is $380,568. The grant requires $160,000 in matching funds from the University, which is being financed through forward funding by the Office of the Provost and repaid over 10 years by underwriting and fund raising.