The Chickasaw Nation recently launched a new radio station in Ada featuring a Modern Rock format.

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Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said the new station is part of the effort to serve a diverse audience.

"Radio stations play a major role in rural America,” Gov. Anoatubby said. “They help keep people entertained, informed and safe. We are adding this new station to our other commercial radio stations and KCNP community radio as part of our effort to serve listeners who live and work in all parts of the Chickasaw Nation and beyond."

General Manager Roger Harris explains the “Modern Rock,” format was not previously represented in the local market.

We have an existing classic rock station that consists of music from the sixties, seventies and eighties, but we did not have a format that played the music that came after that to present day. This format dove-tails quite nicely into that audience niche.

Launched by the Chickasaw Nation commercial radio group, South Central Oklahoma Radio Enterprises (SCORE), the new low-power FM station (known officially as an FM translator) is located on 102.3 on the FM dial and is co-operated with the Tribe’s existing commercial stations, KADA (99.3), KYKC (100.1), KTLS (106.5)’ and KXFC (105.5).

The station started out just as a paper license in the city of Duncan when it was acquired by the Tribe. Eight months was spent on the legal and engineering work to get the license authorized to Ada. At that point, equipment was purchased and the station was built utilizing the SCORE facilities located at 1019 North Broadway.

The station is themed as “Pirate Radio,” meaning it is reminiscent of the illegal stations that sprang up in the 80’s and still exist today, much to the chagrin of the FCC. Harris explains, “the station is edgy, and un-polished intentionally to sound almost ‘homemade’ like it was coming from someone’s basement. It is meant to be music-intensive and features no DJs.”

The station is the lowest powered station in the Nation’s group of stations, covering primarily Pontotoc County, as opposed to their sister stations that extend up to 45 miles in coverage. It will also feature lower priced advertising as a result of its limited coverage.

The format is also being simulcast on the group’s AM station, 1230am, which is mandated by the FCC. The license came into existence under the FCC’s “AM Revitalization Act,” whereby owners of AM radio stations could acquire these low power FM stations in an effort to make the AM station more viable in an era where AM stations have lost significant portions of their audience to FM stations and other sources.

The station signed on January 1st.

The new station will be the sixth commercial radio facility owned by the Chickasaw Nation. The Tribe also has two non-commercial stations, located in the Sugg clinic. KCNP, Chickasaw Community Radio are located at 89.5 and 89.3 on the FM dial. KCNP radio offers information on tribal, local and national news as well as cultural programs and a diverse mix of music and talk shows.

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