Marfa Public Radio plans to spread its coverage to the border as it recently won a construction permit in Presidio. In a nationwide Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auction, the NPR-member station was one of the 59 bidders that won one of 102 construction permits for a new or modified radio broadcast station.
Now the station has three years to build on the permit, which Marfa Public Radio plans to install a repeating transmitter to strengthen its signal in Presidio.
“It’s something that the KRTS Advisory Board has advocated for many years,” said station manager Tom Michael. “In the coming years, this will allow us to strengthen our signal in south county.”
While the station currently has a listening area the size of South Carolina, Michael has been told the current 93.5 FM signal is not strong in south Presidio County as it can be heard in the cars, but not in residents’ homes.
Marfa Public Radio was previously unsuccessful in a bid for the same construction permit in Spring 2013. They lost to winning bidder Efrain O. Saille from Indiana, with a $29,000 bid, but Michael said Marfa Public Radio bid $26,000 and couldn’t go beyond Saille’s bid. Saille defaulted on the bid due to nonpayment though, bringing the permit back into auction, which started on July 23.