Big noncommercial broadcaster is expanding format in Hawaii
CALIFORNIA-based Educational Media Foundation will expand its Air 1 radio format on Oahu later this month or in early April with KHAI-FM 103.5, licensed to Wahiawa.
Those who are moderately long in the tooth may remember KHAI as the call letters for 1080 AM. They were also the call letters for TV Channel 20, which carried Japanese programming, according to an online archive compiled by local broadcast history researcher Melvin Ah Ching.
The new KHAI will retransmit programming from Air 1's flagship station, KLRD-FM 90.1 in Yucaipa, Calif., according to Joe Miller, EMF chief financial officer.
Air 1 also airs from K214CY, a sort of repeater licensed to Maili at 90.7 FM.
The company Web site brands Air 1 as "The Positive Alternative" with commercial-free music by artists such as Jeremy Camp, Relient K and Switchfoot, interviews with Christian recording artists and news.
EMF has applied with the Federal Communications Commission to change the station's status from commercial to noncommercial educational, but needn't wait for approval prior to going on the air.
EMF seeks noncommercial educational status for "practically all of our stations," said Miller, who is also the company's director of signal expansion.
Signal expansion is something at which EMF has been most successful, with 439 signals in 45 states for its two networks, Air 1 and K-Love -- heard in Hilo, at K207CD 89.3 FM.
K-Love also features Christian artists, including Michael W. Smith, Mercy Me and Third Day, updated music charts, ministry and news.
EMF has licenses for Lihue, Kauai and at Fort Shafter, but those signals are not on the air yet.
For further expansion, EMF is participating in the ongoing Federal Communications Commission auction of FM station construction permits.
As of Friday, after 35 rounds, EMF was high bidder for one FM station in Kentucky.
A construction permit for a Kailua-Kona radio station at 96.7 is available in FM Auction 70. Hawaii broadcasters have so far cast two bids for the permit -- Maui-based Visionary Related Entertainment LLC bid $44,000 in Round two, and Hilo-based New West Broadcasting Corp. bid $103,-000 in Round 10.
The auction resumes tomorrow.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org