A New Tune at KVTI-FM

Clover Park Technical College and Washington State University (WSU) announced a new partnership Tuesday with Northwest Public Radio, a service of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. Beginning June 1, WSU will assume responsibility for the programming and operations of KVTI 90.9-FM, located at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood.

KVTI began in 1955 as KCPS-FM, airing classical music. Over the years, the station went through several format changes before becoming ‘contemporary top 40’ in 1988. The 51,000 watt transmitter reaches listeners in three counties from Olympia to Seattle. Northwest Public Radio broadcasts National Public Radio (NPR) news and classical music to listeners in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia.

Clover Park chose Northwest Public Radio to assume management of the station after the radio broadcasting instructional program was eliminated last year due to budget cuts and decreased radio jobs for graduates. Clover Park also pointed to historic low enrollment and the high cost of operating a radio teaching facility as reasons for the decision.

“We are always on the lookout for ways we can collaborate with other higher education institutions, especially during these challenging financial times,” said Clover Park Technical College President Dr. John Walstrum. “WSU is well known for its communication program and this is a natural fit.”

Northwest Public Radio, based on the WSU campus in Pullman, now serves dozens of communities east of the Cascades including Wenatchee, Yakima, Ellensburg, the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla. It also serves the northwest Washington communities of Bellingham, Mount Vernon and Forks.

WSU President Elson S. Floyd said that this agreement will strengthen WSU’s statewide commitment to public broadcasting.

“Because Northwest Public Radio is an established regional and national news service, listeners in Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle will now have a very real connection to people and places from northwest Washington to Idaho and Oregon,” Floyd said. “We appreciate the strong support for public broadcasting in the greater Puget Sound area and we look forward continuing to build the audience for NPR and Northwest Public Radio.”

Beginning June 1, listeners will gain a new, noncommercial public radio choice: classical music and NPR news. “Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms and other favorite composers will be presented by world-class performers every weekday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., and again from 7 p.m. overnight on KVTI,” said Station Manager Kerry Swanson. “Weekends will include a variety of entertainment programs along with several music choices Listeners will also hear Morning Edition and All Things Considered among other NPR news magazines and talk programs.”

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