News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

KYAC changing to 90.1 FM

Reporter for The Canyon Weekly

By Stephen Floyd

KYAC will officially change its frequency to 90.1 FM on Feb. 20 as part of an upgrade to the strength of its broadcast signal.

The station, based in MIll City, received a new licensed from the Federal Communications Commission in December allowing it to broadcast at 500 watts rather than 100 watts. The new license came with a change in frequency, though the station expects to keep the same call sign.

KYAC was granted the new license after demonstrating that its programming played a valuable role in the Santiam Canyon community and would benefit from a stronger antenna. This was exemplified in 2020 when KYAC broadcaster Ken Cartwright remained at the station during fire evacuations to broadcast emergency information, leaving only when it was too unsafe to remain.

The previous license for 100 watts is typical for small communities, but the rockiness of the canyon and remoteness of its towns make it difficult to receive a signal in some areas. 

With a stronger antenna, KYAC plans to undertake upgrades that will boost the signal throughout the Canyon, including a repeater in Detroit, as well as improvements to the broadcast hardware and emergency power capacity at the station.

Improvements are under way and expected to continue through mid-2023, with a total estimated cost of of roughly $60,000. Cartwright said these improvements will leave the station without the need for a major upgrade for several years to come.

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