CSU-Pueblo's KTSC 89.5 Rebuilds

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Colorado State University - Pueblo combines media efforts, building a new media facility.

Master control at the CSU-Pueblo Buell Communications Center.

Master control at the CSU-Pueblo Buell Communications Center.

KTSC 89.5 recently celebrated its 40th year of operation serving southern Colorado. Within a four-decade span the station has transformed from a 10W experiment into a Pueblo radio staple. Listeners over the years have enjoyed a multitude of programming alterations.

If you dialed up 89.5 in the 1970s, you would have heard an eclectic combination of jazz, rock, classical and blues. The 1980s added an emphasis on contemporary artists and the station's first trials with public affairs, news, sports, and talk content. During the 1990s, KTSC-FM had success reaching audience members with AOR, modern rock and CHR. By the end of the decade the station had adopted the moniker "Rev 89, the Revolution," and earned the #2 rank in the market with a 7.7 12+ AQH share. In January of 2002 Rev flipped formats to rhythmic/CHR and ratings pushed even higher, they were the #1 rated station in Pueblo two years in a row earning a double-digit 12+ AQH share during the spring of 2003.

The Rev 89 main studio is built around an Arrakis ARC-15.

The Rev 89 main studio is built aroun#d an Arrakis ARC-15.

By 2004 the station had started to prepare for a major overhaul in studios, production space, and transmission. The Mass Communications Department and Center for New Media (MCCNM) at Colorado State University – Pueblo, which owns and operates KTSC-FM, had also begun the sketching process to consolidate the emphasis areas of the major under one roof. Department Chair Jennifer Mullen says, "It became increasingly difficult to provide quality curriculum with faculty, courses, and media labs spread between two buildings at opposite ends of the campus; today's convergent media environment requires integration and we knew the answer was to move the department into the public television station. We have partnered with public television for 30 years anyway, and the move would solidify that relationship, as well as provide a real environment of media integration. The move would energized the students at KTSC-FM who would now be the focal point in the foyer of the building, and no longer relegated to old offices in an outdated facility."

This would ultimately mean moving the department's student media labs, which included the FM, a magazine and an online newspaper across campus. The plan also called for relocating the offices of seven professors, creating a new iMac lab with 22 stations, and building a server/network independent from campus fiber connections that could support the needs of MCCNM students, faculty and staff.

The power upgrade

In 1997, the KTSC-FM relicense application hiccupped on a question about ERP compliance, so the department felt compelled to replace the station's transmitter and antenna that had been in service for more than 20 years. The antenna was a Phelps Dodge CFM-LP-4. With the relicense process starting in the fall of 2004, the majority of the year was spent securing funding for and installing a Harris Z5FM 5kW solid-state FM transmitter equipped with the Harris Superciter FM exciter and the ERI LPX-6C-HW low-power circularly polarized FM antenna with 1/2-wavelength spacing.

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