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Posted July 22, 2015

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APS Celebrates Opening of New KANW Radio Studios

Station was first FM station in NM, beginning operations in 1949

Michael Brasher, KANW manager, welcomes guests to opening of new station building.

[Albuquerque, N.M.] – Albuquerque Public Schools celebrated the grand opening of new studios for the district’s public radio station KANW 89.1 FM this morning.

    The district recently completed a $712,500 remodeling and expansion of the station’s studios, which have been located at 2020 Coal Ave. SE since 1969. A second story was added and the station now totals 3,447 square feet.

    This morning’s grand opening festivities also included music performances by Al Hurricane and Al Hurricane Jr., as well as refreshments and tours of the newly remodeled studios.

    “The additional space will provide us more room to offer classes, and the equipment upgrades will go a long way to making sure the station is able to provide services to the community for many years to come,” said Michael Brasher, who has been the general manager at the station since 1975.

    Brasher said the classroom space also will be used for conducting on-air pledge drives and special broadcasts such as KANW’s award-winning election night coverage. The expanded music store will allow the station to offer more products. “It’s easier to get to as well,” Brasher said.

    He noted that during construction the station moved equipment to temporary facilities without any interruption to its broadcasts. Brasher thanked station listeners and donors who contributed more than $61,000 to pay for equipment upgrades and installation.

    APS Superintendent Dr. Luis Valentino said the equipment upgrades were especially important so that the station can continue to provide Spanish-language programming, as well as music, entertainment and educational programs to central New Mexico.

    “KANW is a jewel for the district and the state,” Valentino said.

    National Public Radio President and CEO Jarl Mohn also sent a letter to the station congratulating them on their new space.

    “The expanded facility truly reflects KANW’s character as a local institution worthy of community support,” Mohn wrote in his letter to Brasher. “Congratulations on the completion of this important milestone.”

    The station’s roots go back to 1949 when then-Supt. John Milne was granted a license by the Federal Communications Commission to operate an FM station to serve the needs of APS and its students. It opened in studios on the third floor of the old Albuquerque High building on Central Avenue, where it operated until its move to its current location in 1969.

    With the move in 1969, the station increased its transmission power and moved its transmitter to the top of Sandia Crest, so that it could serve a wider audience. In 1983, another power increase was approved by the FCC and today it operates at the maximum legal power.

    New Mexico music programming was added to the station line up in 1973 and today provides a venue for many New Mexico artists to perform and be heard.

    KANW became affiliated with Public Radio International in 1995 and a full member of the National Public Radio network in 1999. Through these affiliations, KANW offers programs like Morning Edition, Fresh Air and Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.

    KANW also operates two other stations out of the facility, KNLK-FM of Santa Rosa and KIDS-FM of Grants.

   

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