WKDI’s channel switch might require $180,000

By Matt James

If WKDI’s new frequency application is approved by the Federal Communications Commission, as much as $180,000 might be needed to complete the switch from cable to over-the-air broadcasting, said Mike Lazar, WKDI faculty adviser.

Lazar, also general manager at WNIU, said the one-time set-up fee would depend on the price of certain equipment, such as a transmitting tower, transmitter, antenna, microwave and a transmitter remote control.

“The exact price for the equipment depends on what kind of deals we can find,” Lazar said.

Lazar said WKDI also might need to hire an engineer to assist with technical work.

The $180,000 price tag also would include operations that are undertaken on a daily basis at WKDI, he said.

Although the exact amount will not be known until all equipment is purchased, Lazar said that a one-time student charge might be necessary.

Student Association President Jim Fischer said a $20,000 proposal to fund WKDI’s station change was made last year. The proposal was dumped when WKDI found it could not share WNIU’s transmitting tower because of wattage problems, Fischer said.

Fischer said the SA would try to finance WKDI’s move as little as possible, but that money would have to come out of students’ pockets.

“If we go ahead with a referendum, we won’t make a decision without the support of a significant amount of student input,” Fischer said.

Lazar said he has proposed to Jon Dalton, vice president for student affairs, that WNIU move from its current location at Kishwaukee Hall by late 1988 or early 1989. He said WNIU could move into the former Palmer music building on First Street.

“WKDI has a real space problem right now and, if WNIU does move out, I hope WKDI can take over their facilities,” Lazar said.

Since Kishwaukee Hall is university-owned, money would be spent only for minor remodeling, such as new carpeting, he said.