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April 23, 2009

KEDM celebrates birthday, launches new service

Today marks the 18th birthday of Northeast Louisiana's public radio station, KEDM, 90.3 FM, and the station is marking the anniversary with the official launch of its new digital HD Radio™ service.

The station, with studios located on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, first went on the air on April 23, 1991.

“It is exciting to be able to mark KEDM’s move into adulthood with the introduction of this tremendous technological advance,” said Joel Willer, ULM Director of University Broadcasting.

Before the advent of KEDM, the Northeast Louisiana region was the largest geographic region nationwide without public radio service.

Now, listeners with high definition compatible receivers may enjoy the improved, CD-quality sound of KEDM’s digital signal. KEDM is the first radio station in northeast Louisiana to make the conversion, although nearly 2,000 stations nationwide using the technology, including stations in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Lafayette, Alexandria, and Hammond.

Although radio stations converting to digital broadcasting will continue to provide traditional analog transmissions in tandem with HD Radio, listeners must have new HD Radio compatible receivers to hear the increased fidelity provided by this next generation broadcast technology.

Several retailers and online outlets, and a total of 13 automotive brands, now offer or have announced intentions to offer HD Radio receivers as either standard or optional equipment.

In February, KEDM announced the success of a yearlong fundraising campaign, the first capital campaign since KEDM went on the air. During the campaign volunteers raised local funds to match state appropriations and a federal grant to make this project possible. Chairman Whitty Hood, of Ouachita Independent Bank, led the KEDM Digital Campaign Cabinet.

Just two weeks ago KEDM also completed a separate technology project, an increase of the station’s transmission power from 87.1 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts. That change added approximately 21,000 new potential listeners to the KEDM coverage area.

Listeners first reported improved reception following the initial stage of this second project, the February replacement of the station’s antenna.

KEDM next plans to add two new channels of programming to its HD Radio signal, providing local listeners with access to a wider variety of music, news and information content, according to KEDM Director of Development Susan Allain.

These additional multicast channels are federally funded and will be introduced one at a time before October 2009.

For more information about the upgrades, contact Allain at 318-342-5557 or

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