Rice radio on KPFT now

Rice University’s student-run radio station KTRU celebrated Valentine’s Day with its first broadcast on KPFT’s 90.1-HD2 FM channel at 9:01 a.m.

Rice University and the Pacifica Foundation recently announced an agreement that allows KTRU to broadcast on KPFT’s 90.1 high-definition (HD2) channel.

"As we face the prospect of transitioning off of FM, the KTRU student management believes that maintaining a terrestrial radio presence is critical,” said Kevin Bush, a junior at Rice who will become KTRU’s new station manager this spring. “Allowing listeners to hear KTRU over the 
airwaves is essential to staying relevant to the Rice and Houston communities.”

He noted that providing exposure to local artists is a core part of KTRU’s mission.

HD RadioTM technology, developed by iBiquity Digital, enables AM and FM radio stations to broadcast their programs digitally, which produces cleaner sound for the listener. It also allows a station to offer multiple channels to the public without obtaining a new FCC license. 

Listeners must have an HD radio receiver to access the programming, but no subscription is required. KTRU will be giving away 90 HD radio receivers as part of the promotion for its new format; listeners must tune in to win.

KTRU staff worked with KPFT general manager Duane Bradley and Rice officials to explore the possibility of using an HD channel. The discussions resulted in a seven-year lease of the KPFT 90.1 HD2 channel by Rice for use by KTRU.

In addition to 90.1-HD2 FM, KTRU currently broadcasts on 91.7 FM and online at ktru.org. Rice reached agreement to sell the frequency, broadcast tower and license to the University of Houston last year for use by Houston public radio station KUHF. The sale is before the Federal 
Communications Commission for approval.

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