Feb 28, 2018
Humboldt State University’s new Spanish-language public radio programming is expanding its reach to most of the North Coast.
On March 1, KHSU programming for the nonprofit radio network, Radio Bilingüe, moved from 95.5 FM (KHSQ)—a 100-watt station—to 103.3 FM (KHSM), a more than 3,000-watt station which carried the BBC. The move is temporary as Radio Bilingüe awaits federal approval for its future home on 107.7.
Until then, listeners can tune in to the BBC on 90.1 FM (KHSF, Ferndale) and then 107.7 FM starting in April.
With the power increase, Radio Bilingüe’s Spanish-language public affairs and music programming can now be heard from Smith River and Crescent City in Del Norte County to Southern Humboldt County.
Founded in 1976, the nonprofit radio network based in Fresno, California, reaches listeners across the United States, Puerto Rico, and parts of Mexico. Programming provides not only a vital service for the region’s growing Spanish-speaking communities but also a learning experience.
HSU students are producing local Spanish-language programming for the new service, covering topics important to the HSU community, such as DACA, immigration reform, environmental education, food security, sexual harassment, and local bilingual education efforts.
“As additional federal approvals come through for upgrades to our signals, we will cover the North Coast with both formats, which are unique for our region, and play an important role in keeping the community informed,” says Jessica Eden, KHSU’s Radio Bilingüe program director.
Eden, also the main programmer for HSU’s BBC stations, says KHSU saw the station switch as a chance to expand support Radio Bilingüe’s offerings to local listeners.
“Because KHSU’s English-language programming is so well-established as a media leader, we decided that focusing additional resources on our new Spanish-language programming was necessary to establish it as a community institution,” she says.
The initial purchase of the Radio Bilingüe station license was made entirely from grants from the California Endowment, the Irvine Foundation, the Smullen Foundation, the St. Joseph Foundation, and the Humboldt Area Foundation. Eden and other KHSU staff members will provide help to community members and students who want to learn to provide programming. Additional foundation grants and community donations will underwrite the new station.
KHSU is part of Humboldt State University’s six-station community-supported, non-commercial public radio network, licensed to and located on the campus of HSU in Arcata, California. We broadcast a diverse mix of programs to a population of about 135,000 people throughout Northwest California and Southwest Oregon.
Ratings data show KHSU’s weekly listenership and the time listeners spend with us provide Northcoast residents and visitors more than 12 million listener-hours of information and entertainment per year.