July 13, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dean Kallenbach
(firstname.lastname@example.org) or 715-214-8498
Ideas 88.3 WHWC Returns to Full Power
Wisconsin Public Radio’s Ideas Network station 88.3 WHWC/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 24-Hour WPR Classical station 88.3-2HD are back on the air at full power following more than two weeks of low power operation and outright outages due to the installation of a new antenna on the station’s tower near Wheeler in Dunn County.
The project which replaced a 16-year-old antenna was originally expected to last about five days, but was slowed considerably by high winds and extreme heat, according to Steve Bauder, the regional technical manager for the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board.
“Our tower crew was dealing with the heat as well as it could,” Bauder said, “but we had winds up on the tower consistently approaching 50 miles per hour for several days. There were times we just had to wait for the winds to back off before sending the crew up.”
The project included the addition of de-icers for the antenna, which should improve the station’s reliability in the winter.
“In the past,” Bauder said, “the classical HD station would have to go off the air, and Ideas 88.3 would have to reduce power when ice formed on the tower. The de-icers should make that much less likely to be a problem.”
Dean Kallenbach, WPR’s regional manager for western Wisconsin, said Bauder and ECB engineers Pete McLean and Mike Mueller did an excellent job moving the project forward while keeping the station on the air despite the challenges.
“We got a lot of calls when the station was off,” Kallenbach said. “While we hate to reduce service, it was gratifying to hear from so many people who rely on the service we provide, and we look forward to providing that service with very few interruptions for years to come.”
Ideas 88.3 provides issues-based call-in talk programming during the week, plus popular public radio programs like Whad’Ya Know?, Car Talk, Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me! and A Prairie Home Companion each weekend. WPR Classical 88.3-2HD provides classical music throughout the day for listeners with HD radios. The stations serve a 12-county listening area in west central Wisconsin.