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Strong Storm Knocks Down Arkansas Radio Tower

KPBA(FM)’s 151-ft tower is out of commission for the foreseeable future

Major storms have caused headaches for Jefferson County’s PB Radio LLC. According to Deltaplex News, the tempest took out the radio tower for KPBA(FM) “99.3 The Beat” on April 12. The station is currently still off the air. 

Prior to this weekend’s destruction, the Pine Bluff, Ark., tower stood at 151 feet above ground level and 361 feet above sea level, according to Radio Locator. The station is licensed for an effective radiated power of 6000 Watts and a non-directional antenna. 

Under normal operation, this tower also relays the signals for KTPB(FM), KTRN(FM) and KDPX(FM), and engineers are working to adjust the STLs. 

All four affected stations are licensed to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s Bluff City Radio (co-owned with Paul Coates). However, Bluff City Radio entered into a local management agreement for all four stations with PB Radio LLC in April 2018, according to reporting from The Pine Bluff Commercial

The article also noted that PB Radio is owned by Mike and Alpha Horne; Alpha Horne died in March 2019. Prior to this investment, The Commercial says Mike Horne served as the acting manager for the stations, and before that Horne owned radio stations elsewhere in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas, and also had served as the chief operating officer for the Crain Media Group.

[From 2019: Arkansas Plans New Local SBE Chapter]

As of Thursday morning, April 16, the insurance adjuster had visited the tower site, and General Manager Greg Horne confirmed in a phone call with Radio World that a tower crew would be coming out later in the week. When asked about a timeline for getting the station back on the air, Horne said, “We’re working as fast as we can” but that there is nothing concrete to report.

KTRN is now on the air, broadcasting news and weather updates, as well as other programming.