Press "Enter" to skip to content

FCC grants license for Salida Community Radio

Brief by Central Staff

Media – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

It appears that Salida will be getting a low-power community FM radio station. Local organizers received a construction permit from the Federal Communications Commission dated Jan. 11, and they have 18 months from then to get their station built and on the air.

Nationally, only 500 licenses were issued and there were thousands of applicants, according to Eric Sampson, who serves on the board of Tenderfoot Transmitting, the non-profit group who will hold the license.

It will broadcast at 106.9 mHz at 100 watts, a strength that should provide Salida and environs with a strong signal.

The call letters will be KHEN-LP — the HEN providing a symbolic connection to the informal and unlicensed Free Range Radio which sporadically emerged on Salida radios. The LP is for “low power,” and it starts with K because it’s an American station west of the Mississippi. Those east of the river start with W, with one exception — WACO in Waco, Texas.

As for programming, “this will be community radio,” Sampson said, “so it will be volunteers doing things they want to do on the air.” It won’t carry National Public Radio programming. “That costs quite a bit of money,” he explained, “and besides, this area is already served by two NPR repeaters” (KRCC from Colorado Springs, and KUNC from Greeley).

Busy times loom for the board and volunteers. “The construction permit is just a start. We’ll need to draw up a business plan and buy equipment, and set up a studio — we want it to be in downtown Salida — and raise money,” Sampson said.

Those interested in helping can write to Tenderfoot Transmitting, P.O. Box 596, Salida CO 81201, or email to There’s also a meeting for interested people at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, at Bongo Billy’s Salida CafĂ©,