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February 6, 2009

KEDM 90.3 returns to air as digital upgrades continue

Local Public Broadcasting station KEDM 90.3 FM, housed at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, returned to air at 6 p.m. Thursday, following several days of outage in preparation for the conversion to an all-digital format.

“We are gratified to hear from the many people who have missed us while we have been gone and appreciate the patience exhibited,” said Joel Willer, ULM Director of University Broadcasting.

The station will again be off air for a very brief time today, while the contractor installs a small part. The new transmitter and related equipment will be installed in the coming weeks and the station may experience some additional short outages, according to Willer.

The conversion enables listeners with digital “HD Radio” receivers to hear KEDM programming with crystal clear, CD quality sound.

Unlike television’s conversion to digital transmission, digital radio stations will maintain the old analog broadcasts. KEDM plans to later make additional channels of programming available over the digital signal, to supplement the station’s current programming fare, said Willer.

The transition to digital broadcasting is the result of a successful year-long fundraising campaign, during which KEDM volunteers raised approximately $57,000 from local donors to match $100,000 secured by the Louisiana legislative delegation and a total of $134,500 in two federal grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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