Community Education

Meeting planned Tuesday on fate of KGHP-FM radio station

Posted on November 2nd, 2023 By:

Peninsula School District officials will host a meeting Tuesday, Nov. 7, to discuss the fate of KGHP-FM, the district-owned radio station that’s been in operation since 1988. The meeting is at 1 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Educational Services Center (district administration office), 14015 62nd Ave. NW, Gig Harbor.

The public is welcome. Current and former station volunteers, and others with an interest in the station’s future, are encouraged to attend. The format will be an informal discussion led by Kris Hagel, executive director of digital learning.

“The meeting will be an opportunity to bring together any interested parties in the community who have been involved in KGHP in the past or currently, who are interested in helping to contribute to the conversation around what is the future of KGHP,” Hagel said.

Recent changes at the station

The district in the past used the station, based at Peninsula High School, for broadcasting classes that were once popular but in recent years dwindled in enrollment. Peninsula School District ended the broadcast program in the 2021-22 school year following the retirement of the instructor.

The district laid off the station manager, along with dozens of other staff, amid a $12 million budget reduction toward the end of the 2022-23 school year. The station manager’s salary and benefits comprised most of the district’s costs to operate the station. Organizations in the past have partially subsidized the station through sponsorships.

Seeking stakeholders’ input

Historically, volunteers provided much of the programming on the station. Some of them have hosted shows for decades. The station also regularly broadcast high school sports games, but that’s been spotty this year.

A core group of volunteers continues to broadcast programs and advocate for saving the station. Its closure  would be a loss to the community, they say.

“We are interested in facilitating a community conversation on what stakeholders believe the future of KGHP should be and how do we bring community partners to the table to help to support the radio station,” Hagel said.

One topic sure to come up at the meeting is licensing. The district owns the FCC license. The sale or transfer of the license would be subject to federal broadcasting requirements.