KOOP, the Texas community FM that always seems to have a smoky black cloud over it, is back on the air, taking donations and restoring damaged studios after the Jan. 5 fire that knocked it off the air.
It was the station’s third fire in two years.
CMJ carried an AP report quoting President Andrew Dickens saying, “We are kind of worried that people will look at us like a bunch of idiots. This is really just one of those out-of-the-blue situations. Who the hell would have thought somebody would have snapped?”
AP reported that the fire caused $300,000 worth of damage and that a 24-year-old volunteer host was charged with setting it after changes had been made to his playlist. A fire department trained dog reportedly sniffed gasoline used on studio equipment.
Entercom donated station space to get KOOP back on the air after 19 days.
The studios are at 3823 Airport Blvd. in Austin. The previous fires were accidental.