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|KEDM's digital fundraising drive far from reaching $150,000 goal|
KEDM officials hoped to have its campaign to pay for digital technology wrapped up by the end of May, but that's unlikely as the drive has been slow-going.
KEDM general manager Cynthia Perdue said Wednesday that if KEDM cannot raise the $150,000 for the station to upgrade to digital broadcasting technology, station officials will have to reevaluate their situation.
As of Wednesday, KEDM has raised a little more than $14,000 toward its fundraising goal.
"If we don't have some indication by the end of May that this is doable, we'll have to take another look at it, but we're not ready to throw in the towel, and I don't want to lose that grant money," Perdue said.
KEDM, northeast Louisiana's only public radio station, recently was awarded a $105,000 grant from the Corporation of Public Broadcasting for the digital technology switch.
KEDM can get that grant funding if the station can raise the rest of the money to pay for the $255,000-project to upgrade KEDM's equipment to digital broadcasting.
KEDM is the last public radio station in the state to undertake the process of upgrading to digital broadcasting.
"We're the last station in the state to do this, and it would be a terrible thing to say about our community that we didn't get the public support to do it," Perdue said. "We all want to attract business and industry and not supporting public radio is not the message we want to send to them. It is a valuable and enjoyable resource."
"I really hope we can all come together to support this because it will be wonderful for our community," she said.
The Federal Communications Commission is urging all public radio stations to upgrade to digital broadcasting. KEDM officials wanted to have the conversion completed by the fall.
Digital broadcasting means the station will send out a FM signal with "static-free, crystal-clear reception and CD quality sound," Perdue said. Also, information such as artists' names, song titles, local weather alerts, school closings and emergency news bulletins will scroll across the display on a listener's digital radio, Perdue said.
KEDM is located on the campus of University of Louisiana-Monroe. It recently celebrated its 16th anniversary of service as northeast Louisiana's only public radio station.
KEDM officials say they will meet with any organization or group of people interested in supporting the station's conversion efforts. For more information, call KEDM at 342-5556.