Station may move to new frequency |

Station may move to new frequency

Western Nevada County’s only commercial FM station could be moving to a new frequency as early as next month.

The Federal Communications Commission has granted Nevada County Broadcasters, owners of KNCO-FM, 94.3, a frequency change that will allow the continuation of local ownership.

It will also let the station move to a different position on the FM dial, said Bob Breck, chief executive and general manager of Nevada County Broadcasters.

The move to 94.1 megahertz will allow the station, currently marketed as Star 94.3, to remain in local hands. It also lets First Broadcasting, Inc. pursue the expansion of the 94.3 frequency of a radio station it owns in Jackson (Amador County). The firm purchased the station in October from the local group.

The purchase was made in part because the stronger Jackson station’s signal often interfered with the Grass Valley frequency, Breck and First Broadcasting representatives said.

Breck said the change, announced to the staff Thursday, was unexpected.

“We went into the sale already accepting the fact that we wouldn’t have a local FM station here,” said Breck, who expressed an interest in staying in the local market when the sale was initially announced.

“It’s great,” Breck said of his group’s retention of the radio station and thus, the programming and staff at the FM station.

“The station will have the same programming and the same people. It’s a win-win situation for us,” Breck said.

Nevada County Broadcasters also owns KNCO-AM 830.

First Broadcasting is a Dallas-based communications company founded 10 years ago by Ron Unkefer, who developed the Good Guys chain of electronics stores. He agreed in October to purchase KNCO-FM from Nevada County Broadcasters for $3 million.

As a result of the switch in frequencies, the cost of the transaction between First Broadcasting and Nevada County Broadcasters was reduced, Breck said.

Disc jockeys on the FM side will be airing announcements of the frequency change soon, he said.

The stations have been locally owned since KNCO-AM went on the air in 1978. The FM station began in 1982.

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