PULLMAN, Wash. — Northwest Public Radio’s new Omak station, KQWS 90.1 FM, began broadcasting on Jan. 6.
“Our engineers have worked out a variety of technical difficulties, and we are now on the air consistently,” said Warren Wright, radio station manager, Northwest Public Radio.
The new public radio station will serve the Okanogan Valley and southern British Columbia, including Omak, Okanogan, Tonasket, Pentictin and Oliver. The station’s 3,000 watt transmitter is located near Tonasket on Aeneas Mountain.
Northwest Public Radio is licensed to Washington State University and operates twelve stations in Washington and Idaho broadcasting classical music and in-depth news and information.
Wright said the station will offer listeners a format which NWPR calls “News & Views.” The service specializes in news, public affairs and cultural programs. Almost all of the programming is nationally syndicated, with much of it produced by National Public Radio (NPR), including the shows Talk of the Nation, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and Whad’Ya Know with Michael Feldman. It also offers As It Happens, produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and a variety of programming produced by Public Radio International (PRI).
The “News & Views” programming on KQWS will cover a wide range of topics, including award-winning coverage of Northwest news. Wright describes the format as covering “current affairs, education, the arts and humanities.” Topics covered include science, technology, health, politics, religion, literature, the environment, public policy and values. KQWS will be simulcasting the programming of KWSU, NWPR’s flagship station in Pullman, KWWS in Walla Walla and KLWS in Moses Lake.
“We’re pleased to bring public radio to many people in Okanogan County for the first time,” said Wright. “Residents in the northern part of the county in particular will now be able to hear Car Talk and Morning Edition, programs that have come to be identified with the best in public radio. We hope to be an important part of our listeners’ lives for many years to come.”
The construction of KQWS was made possible by a federal grant from the National Telecommunications Information Agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Local funds are still necessary to meet the match obligation of the grant. “We hope that once people begin listening to the station, they will be eager to support it financially,” said Wright.
Anyone interested in a free copy of the KQWS program schedule or who would like to make a donation to help fund the station can call Northwest Public Radio at 800/842-8991. Listeners may contact NWPR by e-mail at nwpr@wsu.edu or at the toll-free number to report reception in your area.