Montana Public Radio listeners in the northwest part of the state had to reach for their radio dial last week when the local frequency changed.
Prior to the change MPR was broadcast throughout the valley on 89.9 FM. Now listeners in the Kalispell area will need to tune into 91.7 FM, while those further north will have to steer the dial to 90.1 FM. Station manager William Marcus said the change was made so that MPR’s content could reach a wider audience.
“It’s part of our ongoing upgrading program to expand service,” Marcus said.
To get their content into the airwaves, MPR used a translator on the top of Big Mountain and a much more powerful transmitter in Kalispell. Marcus said that the two were switched to allow the more powerful radio transmitter to take advantage of the elevation on Big Mountain.
“People should get better coverage in Whitefish and Columbia Falls,” Marcus said, adding that the mountainous terrain of the area has always impeded the signal.
The move also aided in the creation of a new station in Libby, 90.5 FM, and Polson, 89.5 FM, which will open in August. Marcus said that the change was made to provide better service to the area and that the station would like to hear from listeners if the signal is better or worse.
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