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WKNC Adds HD Radio

Expands its offerings to commemorate 50th anniversary

Student Media IT Manager Doug Flowers (left) and Will Patnaud program WKNC’s new HD transmitter from Nautel. Photo by Patrick Neal.

WKNC(FM), North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., announced it has added an HD Radio signal. It was on the air effective Oct. 9, which is also the station’s 50th anniversary; WKNC switched from an AM to FM radio station on that date in 1966; it airs on 88.1.

The station chose a Nautel GV15 for the project.

“We’ve grown enormously in the past 50 years and chose that date to highlight the transformation of the station from a carrier current station built in someone’s dorm in Watauga Hall to a 25,000 Watt operation which, in terms of wattage and coverage pattern is one of the top 1 largest student-run radio stations in the nation,” said Jamie Lynn Gilbert, associate director of NC State Student Media.

According to the release, WKNC began the process of adding HD Radio in 2008, but the project was stalled due to budget constraints. When the need for a new transmitter became evident, Gilbert knew it was time to upgrade to digital. Capitol Broadcasting Chief Engineer Will Patnaud served as the consulting engineer for the project.

WKNC General Manager Emily Ehling feels that the addition of HD Radio makes WKNC “ahead of the curve.” The station eventually plans to multicast but is not yet ready to do so, the release says.