Eastern Oklahoma State College has launched KWLB 93.1 FM to bring the best mix of music to the local airwaves.
The college will celebrate the launch of the radio station with a “Flip the Switch” event on Thursday, Jan. 29 at 1:30 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom in Wilburton. The event, which is open to the public, will also recognize the partnership between Eastern and Oklahoma AT&T to make the project possible.
“This is a unique partnership between two organizations that will benefit the greater Latimer and Pittsburg County areas,” said Eastern President Dr. Stephen E. Smith. “Oklahoma AT&T brought the much-needed 4G LTE cellular service to the region, while Eastern is providing music, local news and sports to the surrounding communities, as well as enhancing learning opportunities for students preparing for careers in the broadcast industry.”
Smith said the partnership began when AT&T was seeking a location to place a new tower in order to bring the 4G LTE service to the area. At the same time, Eastern was in search of a tower to place its terrestrial radio equipment.
“The partnership enabled AT&T to construct a 350-foot tower on Eastern’s campus in Wilburton,” Smith said. “A long-term agreement is in place that will allow both services to be provided to the area for years to come. The timing was right for both organizations and we are most grateful to AT&T for this partnership.”
The 25,000 watt radio station will reach listeners in Red Oak, Wilburton, Hartshorne and McAlester, as well as some areas to the north and south of those communities. General Manager Doug Sims said the station will feature a “Best Mix” of music programming, including Top 40, pop, adult contemporary, light classic rock and today’s cross-over country music.
“Mountaineer Radio is a family-friendly and work-friendly station with music that appeals to most audiences,” Sims said. “We’ll incorporate a local flavor in the station’s programming with a focus on news, weather, community events, contests, giveaways, and high school and college sports from the listening area. We’ll also broadcast Dallas Cowboys football games.”
The college has been broadcasting Mountaineer Radio over the Internet since 2010. Sims said Mountaineer Radio will continue to broadcast on the Internet at radio.eosc.edu for those outside the FM listening area. Mountaineer Radio is also available on smartphones with the free TuneIn Radio app.
“We have many alumni, fans and parents from around the country who listen online to hear campus news and listen to live broadcasts of Mountaineer sporting events,” Sims said.
Professor Kristen Turner said students in Eastern’s Mass Communication program will be heavily involved with the radio station, serving as interns and on-air personalities. Students will produce news and weather reports, public service announcements and other programming. They will also have the opportunity to select music, produce their own show, help with live remotes and provide play-by-play and color commentary during sports broadcasts.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for Eastern students to get significant hands-on experience and training early in their education, which is uncommon for freshmen and sophomores in college,” Turner said. “Our students will be well-prepared to transfer to university programs or enter the workforce.”