KFTN 92.7 radio off the air; transmitter CPU cause outage

Mary Corkery, Of The Talon staff

The school’s radio station, KFTN 92.7 has not been able to do their regular live broadcasts, but the radio staff has still found ways to produce shows.

The student run station has been unable to do any of their usual live shows because of a broken transmitter. After the snow storm that hit in early February, the staff adviser Clay Zigler said he returned and found that their signal had significantly weakened. 

“When we came back to school that Monday, that’s when I fully noticed there was something wrong with the transmitter. Normally, we put out 89 watts. We were only putting out about six,” Zigler said.

For the last month, Zigler said the staff’s inability to broadcast has been a frustrating obstacle, especially since there is only one other high school radio station in the state. 

“It’s aggravating because we want to be on the air. There’s only two high school radio stations in Missouri, and unfortunately, we’re off the air right now because of a technical glitch,” Zigler said. 

The station has four main talk shows that they broadcast regularly: Sports Talk, After Hours, Guys in the Garage, and Girls Next Door. KFTN’s station manager senior Sam Stimpson said that because of the broken transmitter, the staff has had to shift its focus from these shows to more music-based ones, both for practice and to be played once the transmitter is repaired.

“We always do weekly live shows, but we haven’t been able to do those because they’re not going on the air. So right now in class, we’re focusing more on music shows and some things we can play on air when we get the transmitter back. That music show we’re working on right now is called Deep Cuts,” Stimpson said.

The staff has been working on other music shows besides Deep Cuts, which focuses on overlooked songs from overlooked artists. One example is The Time Machine, where the staff introduces listeners to music from different time periods. Sophomore Ali Sandler said that she enjoys making these pre-recorded broadcasts because they’re less stressful and more guided.

“The practice shows that aren’t on live are definitely a lot easier because I can get more relaxed with it. You’re not on the spot on air, and [Zigler] can help a lot more,” Sandler said.

Most of the staff, including Stimpson, did not have much knowledge about music shows such as these before, but Stimpson said the broken transmitter has pushed them to learn. 

“I haven’t done Deep Cuts before. This is my first time, so I’m kind of learning. Everybody’s kind of learning the process of what goes on,” Stimpson said