With New Letters and Numbers, KTRU Will Return to the Airwaves from High Atop Rice Stadium

Rice Stadium, Rice University, Houston

According to the manager of banished-from-FM KTRU, a new low-power transmitter for the student-run radio station is to be constructed on top of Rice Stadium — now that the FCC has granted permission to the university to return to the airwaves. The new surprise announcement heralds a return to broadcast radio for the student-run organization after several years of internet-and-app exile. Amid protests from students and alumni, Rice University’s administration sold off the radio station’s broadcasting capabilities — including its 50,000-watt transmitter in Humble — to the University of Houston in 2010.


But KTRU’s new FM station will be different. The transmitter will be restricted to a maximum effective radiated power of 41 watts, allowing the station’s signal to reach a radius of about 5 miles around the campus. When broadcasting begins near the end of this year, it’ll be found at a new frequency, 96.1 — UH’s KUHA has been broadcasting on 91.7, KTRU’s old frequency, since April 2011. The station will also likely have to change its name. As the Houston Press’s Chris Gray notes, the FCC granted the call letters KTRU in 2011 to a gospel radio station in La Harpe, Kansas.

Photo: Bill McCurdy


Not Humble

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