KTRU Lives On

Popular student-run Rice radio station plans return, but it won't be KTRU

Student-run Rice radio station plans FM return, but it won't be KTRU

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Although the station has continued broadcasting on HD radio and online, KTRU plans to return to an FM frequency by the end of 2015. Courtesy of The Adventures of Physics Girl

For those who mourned the loss of KTRU, Rice University's popular student-run radio station, you can look forward to its return to the FM dial in the near future.

On Monday, the Federal Communications Commission approved the construction of a low-power FM broadcast station at Rice, one which will have an approximate broadcast radius of around 5 miles from the university, according to an announcement posted on the station's website by station manager Sal Tijerina.

 Showcasing everything from old school blues and avant-garde jazz to experimental noise and black metal, the station also shows a strong appreciation for local artists. 

Founded in 1967, the station is highly regarded for its eclectic programming and focuses on noncommercial music. Showcasing everything from old school blues and avant-garde jazz to experimental noise and black metal, the station also shows a strong appreciation for local artists, with whom they have a unique open-door policy.

In 2010, university officials announced plans to sell the station's FM frequency, broadcast tower and license to the University of Houston for $9.5 million, outraging Rice students and the station's fans alike. In spite of many protests, the sale was approved by UH's Board of Regents in August 2010 and KTRU broadcasted its final FM transmission in April 2011.  Since then, KTRU has continued broadcasting on KPFT's HD frequencies 90.1-2 FM and is also available online through iHeartRadio and TuneIn.

Nearly four years after its last FM transmission, the station it set to be resurrected on broadcast frequency 96.1, formerly home to country station KDOL, which also broadcasts on 105.5 FM. Construction of the station's transmitter — planned to sit atop Rice Stadium — will be funded using the proceeds of the 2010 sale.

The station expects to be broadcasting by the end of 2015, Tijerina wrote, although the call letters have yet to be determined as KTRU is currently licensed to a noncommercial station in La Harpe, Kansas.