Tuesday, July 3, 2007

New Studios for Red River Radio

There was an interesting article in The Times the other day, “Public radio network outgrowing facilities.” Read it quick before you have to pay to see it.

Essentially, it boils down to, as the article states, “KDAQ has outgrown its current location at LSUS, and needs to move into a new facility in the next three years, according to station manager Kermit Poling.”

This is completely true and accurate. KDAQ, the flagship of Red River Radio, is consigned to hovels on the LSUS campus. It’s disgraceful and shameful. In fact, the university is just plain lucky no one has gotten seriously ill from working there or that the buildings haven’t been blown away by a bad storm.

Kermit goes on to mention that the station has plans for a new studio that will cost about $3 million, which he is trying to raise through federal and matching grants.

This plan was bandied about before I left Red River Radio, and I saw the artist’s conception of the new studio. It was very nice but not extravagant, and it would serve Red River Radio well for many decades.

It seems, though, that little progress has been made towards fruition since I left. So I’m going to say this yet again: LSUS should pay the lion’s share in funding the new studio.

Every time you tune in to Red River Radio, you hear that KDAQ is a community-supported service of LSUS. They are very proud to provide public radio to such a large area. For decades, Red River Radio has helped LSUS achieve a positive image throughout the region.

Yet the university has kept the network based in tin shacks all this time.

It’s time for some reciprocation. After all the benefit Red River Radio has provided LSUS, coming up with at least half the construction cost can easily be viewed as both a reward for that service and as an investment in continued service. It just seems fair to me.

What can you do? Write the chancellor and tell him your thoughts! Surprisingly, he has yet to make a public comment on the situation.

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