By Perry DeCory
MISSION — The new radio station—KOYA Radio 88.1 FM—will broadcast at 51,000 watts on a 502 ft tower and is an educational station, meaning it will not be competing with other stations for advertising commercials.
Operating under an eclectic format, one of the planned programming features include “Monday Night Live,” a program dedicated to providing live on-air performances by local artists of all genres.
As of this date, since I am coordinating everything, I will be the station manager. The first official broadcast will be on February 24, 2011, with no specific time announced, just yet.
On the day of the first broadcast, I hope to have a blessing ceremony and some songs in honor of six people who were instrumental during the creation process in getting the project off the ground. They are: President Rodney Bordeaux, Business Manager Rose Cordier, Sheri Knox, the late Thelma Black Crow-Amiotte, and Bill Stands.
The Tribe put up $267,143.14 toward the cost of equipment and that has been paid; equipment is arriving daily. In the very near future, we will begin applying for any grants that are geared toward radio operations.
The new radio station will be located in two places: One is the studio and that will be in the basement under Tribal Utilities Commission at the old Mission medical clinic on Main Street in Mission. Second is the tower, located 3.3 miles east of Rosebud toward six-mile corner.
Again, we are not competing for business commercials so the advantages over KINI Radio (another local station owned by the Jesuit community), are like this: KINI accepts commercial advertising and is limited in receiving grants that we may qualify for. KINI is not an educational channel as determined by the FCC.
We are hoping contributions and donations will be plentiful in order to keep operating the station on a daily basis, and may be touch 'n' go in the beginning. Radio spots will be called "sponsorships” or “contributions from,” but no rate sheets for seconds or minutes like commercial radio.
However, grants will be a major factor in the station’s longevity, and our grant hunting team is out in full force.
So, tune in and turn on, KOYA 88.1 FM—the New Voice in Lakota Country—is here!
Editor’s Note: Perry DeCory was quickly named first station manager of KOYA-FM after giving an impassioned speech last week before members of the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council. He is also editor of Sicangu Eyapaha, a periodical published under the tribal administration.