WKDI seeks funds to go FM

By Tammy Sholer

An estimated $180,000 is needed before WKDI-FM would be able to transfer to a regular FM frequency rather than being solely a cable station.

About $189,000 would go toward starting fees, which include an operating license, a transmitter, an antenna and cables, said Marna Coldwater, WKDI’s program director.

Jon Dalton, vice president for Student Affairs, said the large sum of money needed to cover initial costs for transfering the station to an on-air FM station is a problem.

WKDI representatives are working with the Office of Student Affairs and the Student Association so they can find funds for the starting costs, Coldwater said.

One consideration is having a one-time student fee which would pay the starting costs, she said. The price per student has not been determined yet, Coldwater said.

There would be a referundum to see if students supported the extra fee or not, Coldwater said. Dalton said, “It is not appropriate at this time to have a referendum because we have not fully explored all possible funding.” Dalton said he is trying to find other means to attain the needed funds.

Dalton said, “As a representative of the university, it is not my role to take a position on the issue.”

SA President Jim Fischer said, “I have not seen a definite proposal yet, and the SA Senate has not taken a stance on the issue.”

Before WKDI would be able to change from cable to an FM frequency, the station would need approval from the SA because it is SA-funded, Fischer said.

Fischer went on to say, “I think it is a good idea to get WKDI on the air (because) students would have another radio station.” Coldwater said the transfer would benefit students because instead of reaching about 1,000 listeners they would be able to reach about 50,000 and that increase would bring a lot of attention to the university.

Presently, the station can be heard only by residence hall residents and others with cable television.

The station’s goals would remain the same as well as the station’s format, Coldwater said. They would receive a non-commercial license, which prohibits WKDI from selling commercial time, she said. The station would generate about the same amount of revenue as it does now, which is not very much, Dalton said.

Because WKDI does not generate much revenue, it depends on student fees to operate the station, Dalton said. The amount, about $42,800 per year, still would be requested by the station even if they go on-air, he said.