Holy Hot Damn Yes: KTRU Back on Yr Radio, Next Friday (So Celebrate Next Thursday!)

10245325_684253124966455_401710327167594406_nHoly shit, y’all. Okay, so I’d heard the rumors that this was happening for a few months now, but I was afraid to take ’em to heart and potentially be let down. And yet, it’s actually happened: KTRU, long the only radio station I would listen to in this here city and a place where I myself used to DJ many moons ago, will be back on the FM radio waves as of next Friday, October 2nd.

It’s been four(!) long years since Rice University — my own alma mater — sold the station’s broadcast license, frequency, and transmitter for $9.5 million to the University of Houston, which is now itself trying to sell the license after classical station KUHA floundered badly [insert sarcastic laughter here].

The long-revered Rice Radio station lingered on via Internet radio and an HD radio channel kindly donated by KPFT (which the KTRU folks will reportedly be giving back, BTW, although the online broadcast will continue), but it just hasn’t been the same. Needless to say, I’m happy beyond words to see my favorite radio station back on real-live (non-HD) radio.

Granted, the broadcast range won’t be nearly what it used to be — basically, if you live in a five-mile radius or so of the antenna perched on top of Rice Stadium, you’ll be able to pick up the station, which means that anybody who lives outside of 610 is likely screwed. Sadly, that includes me, but dammit, I’m still going to try to pick it up, because I’m likely to snap and hurt somebody if I have to choose between Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran, and not a damn thing else for much longer.

Still, though, this is a good, good, good thing. KTRU was and is one of the best, most fervent promoters of independent music in this city, both local and non-local, and it being relegated to online and HD radio was akin to sticking the station in a closet and forgetting about it. My hat is off to the folks who’ve made this happen — it’s been a long slog for a lot of people, I know, and there’s been a lot of work that’s gone into turning this particular pipedream into a reality. Y’all are my personal heroes, seriously.

Oh, and the (re-)launch is timed to coincide with College Radio Day, which I had no idea was a thing but which sounds very cool. The newly back-on-air KTRU will be pulling a 24-hour radio marathon…which, if I recall correctly, is how KTRU at least used to operate all the time anyway (is KTRU not 24-hour any more?). Not sure how this’ll be different, but hey, non-stop KTRU awesomeness is never a bad thing.

And hey, since this is such a blast of good news, why not celebrate? That’s exactly what the station folks are doing: they’re officially kicking this thing off on Thursday, October 1st, with a free, open-to-all concert featuring ex-Houstonian folk-country guy Robert Ellis, roots-pop dudes Buxton, and shiny-sharp tropical-popsters Deep Cuts, all three of whom are seriously great live. It’s at 8PM at the Grand Hall of the Rice Memorial Center (aka the Student Center).

Get on out there and celebrate, and if you live within or near the Loop, get ready to fire up your radio once again.

Post by . This entry was posted on Friday, September 25th, 2015. Filed under Posts.

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