The Manager's Desk: 30 Years of Changes

Mar 26, 2013

General Manager of KGOU, Karen Holp, stands next to the new KROU broadcast antenna before it was hoisted to its 600' height on a new tower.
Credit Patrick Roberts, KGOU Chief Engineer

This is from the Manager’s Desk.

A lot has changed since KGOU became a public radio service in 1983. I joined KGOU as General Manager in 1988, so I’ve seen a lot of those changes.

KGOU started out as just one station serving about one and a half counties with just 3,000 watts of power.  Now KGOU operates at 6,000 watts, and has an additional 6 transmitters serving all or parts of 20 counties. Expanding service is difficult because it requires FCC approval and money to buy new transmitters and antennas.  Many folks help fund these various expansion projects!

In the early days, there was neither “the internet” nor web pages, and now KGOU hosts a modern digital news and streaming web service.  And if you load the KGOU web page on your smart phone or tablet, you can choose a mobile view and an app (application) that will automatically bring up the mobile view of the web page.  From this mobile view, you can read the latest Oklahoma news and streaming the audio service – meaning you can listen to KGOU from your smart phone or tablet.  New technologies!

Over the many years, we’ve had NPR folks visit to talk, broadcast two national shows from the OU campus (“Whad’Ya Know?” and “TOTN Science Friday”) and more. We’ve added new programs, survived the ending of other programs, built transmitters, moved transmitters, replaced major equipment, and adopted new technologies. I remember the days in 1997 learning to program a computer-based automation system that broadcasts the programs and local announcements from a computer file. KGOU built new studios in 2006 that expanded our local production capacity.  We started the StateImpact Oklahoma project in 2011, in cooperation with the other public radio and television stations in Oklahoma.

The important point here is that none of this would have been possible without listener and webpage reader support.  We at KGOU used your support wisely, but you gave the support in the first place.

I have a lot of memories of my 25 years of the 30 years KGOU has been a public radio station.  We would like to know your memories of KGOU during the past 30 years. Call 325-1129 and share your public radio experience with us.

Thanks! From the Manager’s Desk, I’m Karen Holp.