WXPN-FM, the University-owned radio station, may nearly double its audience when it boosts its power output in early October that is, if listeners can find it on the dial. Along with the power increase, which will triple the broadcast area and boost the potential audience from 1.5 million to 4.5 million people, the station will shift its frequency from 88.9 to 88.5. To facilitate the signal expansion, WXPN will move its antenna and transmitter to a tower at the site of the WPVI-TV tower in Roxborough. WXPN currently broadcasts from a transmitter on High Rise South. The power increase will cost $340,000 and was funded by a combination of a private donation from a University Trustee, a commitment of the 1987 University capital fund and grants from local and federal agencies, according to WXPN Chief Engineer Scott Fowler. The station currently reaches listeners inside Philadelphia city limits and some suburban communities. Programming primarily targets a college-educated audience with a mix of alternative music and issue-oriented programs. According to General Manager Mark Fuerst, the nature of the station's programs will not change because of its expanded audience. "I think the enthusiasm for what we do is proportionately the same in suburban communities as in central Philadelphia," Fuerst said. Kathy O'Connell, producer and host of WXPN's most popular show, the nightly Kid's Corner, also said that the expanded audience would not require different programming. "The kids who bother to listen to the show, whether they're inner city or suburban, are very curious," said O'Connell. "They all speak English. Even more, they all speak radio." Fuerst said he anticipates that University football games broadcast on WXPN will attract faculty and alumni who live in the Delaware Valley. "We are serving a lot of exclusive listeners at that time," said the general manager. "People tune in just to listen to sports." Although affiliated with the University, WXPN is professionally staffed.Comments powered by Disqus
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