KHSS 100.7 FM Catholic Radio News
On December 7, 2016, KHSS will celebrate 19 years of sanctifying the airwaves over Walla Walla and the Tri-Cities with the truth of the Catholic Faith. It was at 5AM on that date in 1997 that the opening hymn of the Mass filled the KHSS 100.7 FM airwaves. Our Sundays-only broadcasts eventually expanded to 18 hours each Sunday, and then to 24. But it would take nearly four years before we would be blessed with the courage to expand to the other six days of the week.
A big dose of that courage came from Immaculate Heart Radio (IHR), a Catholic broadcasting group with radio stations in California and Nevada. In 2001, IHR sent a fundraising letter to their listeners requesting donations to IHR for the specific purpose of helping Catholic Radio take root in Walla Walla and the Tri-Cities via the airwaves of KHSS 100.7. And IHR’s listeners responded by generously donating $24,000 to KHSS over a one-year period beginning in September, 2001.
IHR’s financial assistance made it possible for us to begin sharing the Catholic Faith 24/7, and we’ve been doing so ever since. There are other groups in the northwest who wish to bring Catholic radio to their communities. All they need is a little help, and a lot of courage. Ever since IHR helped us in 2001, we at KHSS have looked for opportunities to help other groups to bring Catholic Radio to their towns by offering them our expertise and, with your help, our financial assistance. Over the past few years, several opportunities have arisen, and some have already resulted in the birth of new stations!
LOW-POWER FM (LPFM)
In the Fall of 2013, we worked with Bishops Cupich and Cary of the Spokane and Baker dioceses to help organizations within their dioceses file for LPFM licenses. We knew from our own experience that there are two main obstacles that can impede progress for Catholic Radio: 1) money to get started and 2) fear of the unknown. And so we offered to remove both obstacles for Bishops Cupich and Cary: 1) We would pay all engineering, legal and filing fees for any Catholic parish or school in the Spokane or Baker dioceses interested in filing for an LPFM license; and 2) We would donate our time and experience by serving as intermediary between the applicants and the various people involved in the application process (the Catholic Radio Association, broadcast-engineering consultants, FCC attorneys, and the FCC itself).
Nearly 100 different organizations from around the country filed LPFM applications in the Fall of 2013. Eight of them were groups we worked with in the Spokane. Baker and Yakima dioceses. All eight of the applicants we assisted were successful in obtaining licenses from the FCC. Once built and on the air, some of these radio stations will bring English Catholic Radio to areas for the first time; other radio stations will bring Spanish Catholic Radio to areas already covered by the English Catholic programming provided by KHSS 100.7 FM. Licenses were granted by the FCC to the following communities/groups:
LPFM signals are much smaller than KHSS 100.7 FM. Whereas the KHSS signal has a diameter of roughly 200 miles, the typical LPFM signal will have a diameter of 5 to 7 miles. Areas with nearby hills (such as Walla Walla and Lewiston/Clarkston) allow for much larger LPFM signals. All in all, the eight LPFM signals we are helping with will bring Catholic radio to over 300,000 people who do not have Catholic Radio available to them today in their native tongue.
Our plans for the next year are to assist in getting the remaining two new LPFM signals built and on the air, and to help each of the groups learn the day-to-day tasks involved in keeping a radio station on the air. Including the engineering/legal/filings fees we have already paid for, and the equipment costs required to build LPFM radio stations, this LPFM project will end up costing us approximately $60,000. This is a tremendous opportunity for you to help us help others just as IHR’s Catholic-radio listeners in California/Nevada did for you, our listeners, more than ten years ago. God’s grace flowed in abundance to us through the generosity of IHR listeners; may His grace flow through your generosity to Holy Spirit Sanctifier Catholic Radio, and through us to other communities through our assistance to them in making Catholic radio a reality.