5/28/88-The music plays on for student-run KNHC

VICTOR STREDICKE May 28, 1988 – The student-run radio station KNHC has won the right to continue, licensed to the Seattle School District. The station is usually referred to as “C-89,” for its dial position, 89.5 mHz.
This apparently caps a five-year battle with another radio group seeking the frequency.

Gregg Neilson, C-89 general manager, said he had received word from Washington, D.C., that the station’s license had been renewed.

Details of the decision and the written report of an administrative-law judge will be received soon, he said.

A share-time proposal by the Jack Straw Foundation, previously licensee of KRAB, was dismissed, and license application was also, Neilson said. After selling the KRAB frequency to a commercial broadcaster, Jack Straw had been seeking a place in the crowded educational band of the FM dial – from 88 to 92 megaHertz.

At one point, the school district had cut hours of the station.

The Jack Straw board sought to share the frequency, but as a menacing legal maneuver, had also “cross-filed” – asking the FCC to let it have complete control of the frequency.

An administrative-law judge pondered the issues for more than a year and a half. Issues included definition of the term educational broadcasting, hours on the air, and concerns about program diversity.

As part of the school district’s vocational-education program, C-89 provides a basic broadcast day of new contemporary music, “dance music” and R&B.

The KRAB formula, based on its 20 years on a commercial frequency, would have included ethnic programs, community-based discussions and a variety of programs.

For KNHC, the decision means more visibility in the marketplace. A 24-hour broadcast day will begin sometime in June.

Neilson said a van will be used for more remote broadcasts and appearances at summer festivals and parades.

One of the first such uses will be at a volleyball tournament in July.

Jack Straw, meanwhile, had also been an applicant for a new educational frequency in Everett. After this decision, the board may well push ahead KSER, on 90.7 mHz. This will be a limited-range station, however, not as powerful as KNHC and not likely to reach many Seattle listeners.

The Jack Straw board developed a production studio on Jackson Street, in Seattle, but had pared its administrative staff through the nonbroadcast years. Kathy Cain, a board member, said Everett studio and transmitter sites are being sought.

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Author: Victor Stredicke

Former radio columnist for the Seattle Times (1964-1989). --- View other articles by Victor Stredicke

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