KMUZ-FM, the community radio station serving Salem and the mid-Willamette Valley, is looking for a new home. The all volunteer radio service has been broadcasting from the Mission Mill at the Willamette Heritage Center. “Thanks to the facilities of the Heritage Center and the generosity of the law firm of Crowell Ing LLC, KMUZ has had a great place to start at the Mill,” said Board President Karen Holman. “We were able to get KMUZ on the air and get our feet under us in our WHC studio location.”
The station was set up in a suite of rooms within the Crowell Ing law offices at the Willamette Heritage Center, using space excess to the needs of the firm. According to KMUZ Treasurer Dave Hammock, “We were able to use the Mill studios at no charge, but our hosts’ space requirements have changed and KMUZ needs to leave the nest and find a new home. We knew this would eventually happen.”
After periodic testing through the late summer and fall, KMUZ-FM signed onto the airwaves for good on December 17th, 2012. The station broadcasts at 88.5 MHz FM. Treasurer Hammock, who will also coordinate KMUZ’s relocation effort, says the studio is connected to the transmitter via a relatively flexible internet link. “This simplifies our move,” says Hammock “Once we locate and occupy a suitable studio site we can switch operations to the new Control Room in just a few hours. There will be very little down time for the station.”
KMUZ-FM had an unexpected trial run of such a relocation during the recent flooding when the Willamette Heritage Center studios were threatened by rising waters. Volunteers grabbed the essential radio gear and moved to a Board member’s house on higher ground. After broadcasting “from the bunker” in the residential basement for a day, the equipment was returned to the mill as the waters receded.
A permanent move will be more complicated and require substantial efforts by station volunteers. The current studio and office location will become unavailable at the end of February. The KMUZ Board has established a working group to seek a new facility and plan the move. As financial resources are limited (as they are for any young non-profit organization in 2012!), KMUZ is hoping to find advantageous terms of occupancy wherever the studio ends up. Listeners, supporters or interested parties who have ideas for the Studio Relocation group are encouraged to contact KMUZ move coordinator Dave Hammock at [email protected].