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KKPT Springs Into Action After FM Antenna Is Struck by Lightning

The Little Rock, Ark., radio station is working towards a full recovery by Sept. 1

This story has been updated. New information on KKPT’s recovery can be found at the bottom. 

KKPT, a Class C FM station in Little Rock, Ark., is moving quickly to get back to full service after its main broadcast antenna system was struck by lightning.
Photo of part of KKPT's FM broadcast antenna, badly damaged by an apparent lightning strike

Mike Kennedy, program director for KKPT, said lightning hit the ERI eight-bay antenna during a severe thunderstorm on July 30. Kennedy said the 36-year-old antenna was 1,000 feet up on leased tower space. The station’s transmission facilities are part of the Shinall Mountain antenna farm on the western edge of Little Rock.

Since being struck at the end of July, KKPT/The Point 94.1 has been on a backup transmitter, tower and six-bay antenna while a new antenna is custom-made.

Kennedy said the station has ordered another ERI eight-bay antenna. An Oklahoma-based tower crew from Precision Communications is expected around Aug. 25 to rig the tower, take down the old antenna and install the new.

“All of that will take 5–7 days, weather permitting,” said Kennedy. “If everything goes as planned, we will be back at 100% power by Sept. 1.”

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The classic rock station, owned by Signal Media of Arkansas, is licensed for 100 kW ERP at about 1,600 feet and has an auxiliary license for 8.7 kW at approximately 820 feet.

On the backup transmitter, Kennedy said KKPT still covers all of the Little Rock metro area, which includes Pulaski, Saline, Lonoke and Faulkner counties.

“We’ve been telling listeners outside that area that if they have trouble hearing us, they can stream from, get our Alexa skill and listen with an Amazon device or get our free app for iPhone or Android.”

Update 9/13: As of Sept. 12, KKPT’s new antenna has been installed and the station is back to full power, operating at 100 kW. When asked about the initial Sept. 1 recovery goal, Kennedy said a combination of holidays and sporadic rain caused minor installation delays.


KKPT’s new ERI eight-bay antenna