WEKU returns to full power ahead of 50th anniversary, membership drive

RICHMOND, Ky. — WEKU radio, broadcasting locally in Richmond at 88.9 FM, is broadcasting at full power for the first time in nearly four years after an upgrade to its transmitter. WEKU is now broadcasting with 50,000 watts of power, and covers most of central, northern and eastern Kentucky.

The NPR member station at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond began broadcasting at full power at all of its nine stations in February. In 2015, the WEKH 90.9 FM transmitter in Hazard was destroyed after a major storm. It took two years to replace that transmitter with the help of insurance funds. At the time WEKH returned to full power, the main 88.9 transmitter for WEKU failed and was relegated to low power (2,500 watts), degrading the signal for Frankfort, Lexington and Richmond.

Upon his hire last year as general manager, Mike Savage, a 25 year public radio veteran, was able to quickly secure funding from the business community, along with a commitment from the university to purchase a new transmitter for 88.9 FM. WEKU is again able to serve a majority of central and eastern Kentucky with public radio content at full power.

“I am proud of this accomplishment that restores public radio service to nearly half of Kentucky. Listeners across the Bluegrass count on WEKU for fact-based news and thoughtful analysis. It’s great to be back at full power,” Savage said.

“We’re happy to be back at full power in order to bring the best of WEKU to our service region and beyond,” said Doug Cornett, assistant vice president of Communications and Brand Management. “The partnership to bring WEKU back to full power is a win-win for our listeners and our station.”

The power upgrade comes just in time for the 50th anniversary of the station. WEKU is celebrating this year and is holding its spring membership drive from March 22-29. Listeners can sign up as new members at weku.fm/drive or by calling 800-621-8890.

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