Close to 40 local residents came down to KSJDs new digs Wednesday night to wave and look through the windows as the radio station went live for the first time at its new location.
The KSJD radio station moved its physical offices to downtown Cortez, but its location on the radio dial is remaining the same at 91.5 in Cortez and 96.3 in Mancos.
KSJD moved from broadcasting at Southwest Colorado Community College to the old Historic Basin and Industrial Bank Building at Main and Market streets.
Jeff Pope, executive director of the radio station, said the new location will create a hub of community activity.
He said it took four years from the time the historic building was purchased to transform it into a radio station.
Pope said the big benefit to the new location is its visibility because people will now see them, and they will be able to see them too.
As an example, the broadcasting booth has a huge window that looks out onto Market Street.
We are a media organization and we want to tell people whats going on, he said. Now, we can share with what is going on with people.
He said the old location at the college was nice, but many local residents heard them broadcasting but had no idea where they were broadcasting from. He added that even the people who knew they were broadcasting from the college had difficulty in finding them there.
We would say the address on the air, but a lot of folks did not know where we were located, he said.
Pope said the move was not an easy one moving a radio stations location was quite complicated.
He said it took three days to move over and set up the office equipment and 10 weeks to move over and set up the technology equipment.
Being more visible to the public is a perfect fit for a community-based radio station, he added.
Coming over to this building made sense, Pope said. We are excited to be here and sad to be away from the vibrant life at the college.
Pope said the station has made big strides in the last eight years and added the old bank building became available in 2007 and the Community Radio Project, which owns three stations including KSJD, took it to its board of directors about wanting to move to Cortez.
The Community Radio Project began negotiating with Chuck and M.B McAfee, the owners of the building, and was given a good price.
Pope reiterated that the new location in downtown Cortez will benefit both the station and the community.
We are getting good feedback, he said. We went from a very small building to a more visible location.
Recording life experiences
Included in the radio station is the bank vault that will be used by local residents to tape mementos such as grandmas life and experiences. Residents will leave the vault/recording studio with a compact disc they recorded. Pope said the station would keep a copy if requested by the resident.
The radio station still strives to have 50 percent local content whether that be local music or public affairs, Pope said. He added the other 50 percent will be national broadcasts, including National Public Radio.
Pope stressed the stations bread and butter is local news and happenings in the community.
We are the only local source for the agriculture daily report, he said. The report airs at 7:59 a.m. every day.
He said the station had to move its signal and will be moving over its satellite dish which will be a big project.
Pope added it is a testament to the community and radio group that it now has a visible location in the downtown area, has raised $1.2 million in fundraising, has three radio licenses with 50 volunteers and a paid staff of five that operates on a $300,000 budget.
Michael Maresh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org