KOPN History 1973
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KOPN History 1973

1973: In January, KOPN studio construction is finished, and on March 3, monaural broadcasting begins at 10 watts on 89.7 FM. The first sound that listeners hear is musical satirist Biff Rose's "Evolutions."

The station's relatively low signal, beamed from a transmitter located atop Paquin Towers apartments, covers only a five-mile radius, and the station prints monthly Program Guides instructing listeners to make their own FM antennae for receiving KOPN.

In the first of many efforts supporting the cause of feminism, the station carries live broadcasts from the first annual Women's Fair in October.

Radio Station KOPN Begins Broadcasting

Columbia's newest radio station, KOPN 89.7 FM, begins broadcasting Friday evening, Jeff Mintz, one of the organizers of the New Wave Corp. which runs the station, said.

KOPN, the only non-commercial, non-profit, listener-supported station in a community as small as Columbia, has been planned by New Wave Corp. for more than a year.

Mintz, who had the "Jethro" show on KTGR-FM in 1971, said the station's regular programming is not scheduled to begin until Sunday. "However, we will be playing whatever kind of music we feel like and generally getting used to the station until then," he said.

Regular programming will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday with a show for women featuring music, poetry and interviews. According to an article in their programming guide, KOPN's women's shows will not have the recipes and gossip hours usually allotted to women's shows.

Programs for March include jazz music on Mondays, folk music on Tuesdays, blues on Wednesdays and rock and roll on Thursdays as well as news analysis programs, alternative living hints and a weekly three-hour program for community participation.
Jeff Mintz

Harry Pearle, assistant professor of engineering at the University and chief engineer for KOPN, said the station's philosophy will be to "give the individual (in the community) the opportunity to express himself...to be an incentive to people's creativity."

Mintz said they plan to have telephone calls by listeners as and integral part of the programming. He said thy will welcome anyone to call in (443-5611) or walk in anytime they are on the air and participate in or comment on the programming. The station, 915 E. Broadway, will be on the air daily from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Mintz said.

March 1973