PULLMAN– Northwest Public Radio, the public broadcasting service of Washington State University,received approval from the Federal Communications Commission for a new public radio station in Lewis County. The station’s FM signal will also serve portions of Thurston, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties.

The call letters of the new station will be KSWS. It will broadcast a 1,000-watt signal at 88.9 FM from a transmitter which will be located near Chehalis and Centralia. The station will not have local studios.

KSWS will broadcast Northwest Public Radio’s “NPR News” schedule, a service that includes programs such as “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered,” “Fresh Air,” “Talk of the Nation” and “A Prairie Home Companion.” Because KSWS will be built with a new digital technology known as HD, it will also have multicasting capabilities. As a result, those with new HD Radios will also be able to hear Northwest Public Radio’s “NPR and Classical Music” service, which includes an extensive schedule of classical music.

The total cost of the project is approximatly $227,000. A federal grant from the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program will pay approximatly 75 percent of the constructions costs. Another $57,000 will be needed before construction can commence and is expected to be raised through donations from within the station’s service area. The station is expected to become operational by 2008 or early 2009.

Northwest Public Radio is a network of 13 stations based on the WSU campus in Pullman.