College plans FM station
Vento estimates the process will take approximately two years.
Vento and Henderson have recently applied for a National Telecommunications Information Administration grant to offset the cost of the building.
The project started late last year, when Vento began trying to start a web-casting station for the college, but said he soon saw the opportunity to go for a full-fledged station and jumped at the chance.
He said he was introduced to Henderson, who was interested in the prospect, and the whole thing started to come together.
Henderson, who still holds a full-time job at High Desert State Prison, has helped immensely in getting the project off the ground, said Vento.
“Keith has a passion for radio, and worked at UC Davis for many years. This is something that he is doing because he loves radio,” said Vento.
Vento said there was only one non-commercial education channel left in Susanville when the duo began the venture, and he and Henderson acquired the channel soon after applying.
The new college radio station will officially be KJLC 90.9.
Vento said the new station will provide programming, media access, educational programs and services, including scientific, historical, social science and humane studies, adult education, distance learning and general interest programs.
He also noted the significance the station will have for journalism students, who in the future will be able to broaden skills and experience from print journalism to broadcast journalism.
Vento said once the station is up and running, he is going to look into acquiring National Public Radio shows such as “Wait Wait, don’t tell me,” “A Prairie Home Companion,” and Radio Times.” He said in order to have these national syndicated programs run, the college must first access the cost.
There is an NPR station at the University of Nevada, Reno, but Vento said sharing programming is not possible.
“I would love to partner with KUNR and share programming, but that would mean they would have to own the station, and if that were the case, we would lose the local flavor that we want,” said Vento.
He said he would like to have the station represent the whole of Lassen County, including the Rancheria, with a native talk show to highlight some of the interesting stories and oral traditions behind the native populations of Susanville.
He would also like to feature local artist profiles and interviews, as well as a storytelling hour to showcase some of the local history of the area.
Vento said he would like the station to broadcast an eclectic mix of music, educational programming, talk radio, and news.
“Eventually, we would like to develop a mix of NPR shows and local programming. We are going to be looking to the community for ideas about what people would want to hear, and also for fund raising for the station itself” said Vento.
He said a date for a public information forum and meeting is to be determined.
“We are in the very early stages of the station, but it is an exciting start,” said Vento.
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