KTXK 91.5 FM operates Texarkana College's public radio station. KTXK is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to Texarkana College to serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity of the people in the Texarkana area.

 

One of KTXK's primary purposes is to feature programming that cannot be found on any commercial medium in the area. KTXK is the radio voice of Texarkana College, though what we say or play does not necessarily reflect the feeling of the Texarkana College's Board of Trustees, Administration or students. KTXK 91.5 FM, Texarkana's Public Radio Station, serves Texarkana and the surrounding areas with news and information, fine arts, jazz, easy listening, and smooth jazz music. KTXK is a member of National Public Radio and American Public Media.

 

KTXK-FM began broadcasting on February 1, 1984 and has shown continuous growth and maturity as a public radio station. When KTXK started, it had no network affiliation and very few concerts from the major symphonies around the world. We didn't even have a satellite until 1990 and since then we have seen tremendous growth.

 

KTXK's broadcast day is 24 hours a day, seven days a week. KTXK's transmitter tower is located on the Texarkana College's farm west of Texarkana and currently operates with a power of 100,000 watts.

 

KTXK's offices and studios are located on the campus of Texarkana College at 2500 North Robison Road in Texarkana, Texas 75599. Business hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday.

 

KTXK's POWER INCREASE

 

On February 25, 2004 Texarkana Public Radio KTXK became only the second C1 class radio station in the twin cities.

 

A construction permit was granted to KTXK by the Federal Communications Commission on April 18, 2003 to increase its effective radiated power to 100,000 watts from its present 5,600 watts. The station, located at 91.5 on the FM dial, is owned by Texarkana College and is an affiliate of National Public Radio.

 

The station made an application for the change early last year and was surprised by the speed with which the FCC granted the new application.  Steve Mitchell, General Manager of KTXK, said that it had a lot to do with the engineering.  "We used Don Mussell, an engineer from California who has a lot of experience with these kinds of applications, but even he was surprised by the speed of the approval." Mitchell added, "Don has some applications that have been before the commission for more than a year, so we are obviously pleased with this construction permit."  The station and the college were already planning to replace the existing transmitter and antenna because they are worn out.  Mussell was brought in to see if the station could get more power at the same time they replaced the equipment, which is now 20 years old. After much adjusting of the signal pattern, Mussell was able to apply for 100,000 watts, the maximum allowed by law.  While confident that the increase would be granted, the speed at which it was approved indicated the commission’s belief that this area is being underserved by the public broadcasting signal.

The increased power now allows the station to reach a much larger area with public radio extending its reach farther into Southwest Arkansas, Southeast Oklahoma, and much deeper into Northeast Texas, extending into the Mt. Pleasant area.

 

This major upgrade in facilities cost in the range of $140,000 according to Mitchell.  To help offset the costs, Texarkana College applied for a (PTFP) Public Telecommunications Facilities Program grant through the Department of Commerce, which may fund up to 75% of the station upgrade costs.  PTFP makes grants to TV and radio stations in the country for new and replacement costs for Public Radio and TV operations.  Stations that would be serving a wider area with these grant funds tend to get favorable responses according to Mitchell, who pointed out that the original KTXK funding 20 years ago was also a PTFP grant.  The college received the grant this past September.  "Our listeners are going to be very happy with the upgrade not only locally, but in the outlying areas.  One of the biggest problems we had was trying to reach listeners in areas like Idabel, Oklahoma; Mount Pleasant, Texas; De Queen, Hope, and Arkadelphia, Arkansas; and Springhill, Louisiana.  This new upgrade will now allow those listeners an opportunity to hear our station," Mitchell said.