From Atlanta, New Orleans' WWNO Back On Air - Radio World

From Atlanta, New Orleans' WWNO Back On Air

From Atlanta, New Orleans' WWNO Back On Air
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University of New Orleans station WWNO(FM) is back on the air, programming from the studios of Georgia Public Radio in Atlanta. WWNO is using its own transmitter and tower just outside New Orleans. The Class C1 station is operating at 15 kW.
The station had been knocked off the air by Katrina. It was about to turn on HD Radio and had planned to multicast a supplemental channel when the storm hit.
CPB provided an emergency $20,000 grant; non-commercial program providers NPR, PRI and APR are temporarily waiving program costs, said Chuck Miller, station GM.
Miller noted the challenges of getting a non-profit station back on the air while its staff was scattered all over the country, its studios on the campus were flooded and inaccessible and its transmitter was disabled.
The staff evacuated the area Aug. 28, as Katrina approached. During the storm, the WWNO transmitter facility lost nearly 200 feet of transmission line. Limited physical access and a lack of power hampered restoration of service.
Relocated in Atlanta, Miller began looking for equipment to rebuild. Greg Scherring of CPB suggested a satellite downlink to restore programming, according to Miller, who approached Georgia Public Broadcasting about using a radio studio and delivery of the signal via a PBS uplink from Atlanta to New Orleans. GPR officials agreed to let WWNO use a studio until the station can return to the UNO campus.
WWNO Chief Engineer Robert Carroll was able to reach the crippled transmitter site on the West Bank of the New Orleans area with enough equipment and supplies to repair the facility and bring it up to operation, according to the station.
Miller said American Public Media offered a transmitter and engineering support, a CPB representative offered two transmitters from Alaska, and more than 15 stations offered temporary employment, housing, clothing, food and transportation to the displaced WWNO staff.

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