HPR Takes Over Ka`u Radio Station
Hawaii Public Radio took over ownership and operations yesterday of KAHU 91.7 FM, Ka`u’s only community radio station, located in Pahala.
Former KAHU FM president Christine Kaehuaea formalized the contractual deal with HPR president and general manager Michael Titterton on Aug. 12 in Honolulu following FCC approval. No public comments for or against the transfer were received by the FCC during a 30-day waiting period.
“This consummates a bittersweet ending to what was an unprecedented beginning for the District of Kau to have its own radio station,” Kaehuaea said in a statement released Aug. 13.
“Unfortunately, the community radio station format met with too many regulations
and restrictions in an economically challenged area.”
Kaehuaea said strict federal regulations that prohibit on-air advertising of products and services by community radio stations prevented KAHU-FM from being financially successful.
KAHU-FM went on the air on June 28, 2010, as the only native Hawaiian-owned and operated community radio station, heard from Kalapana to South Point.
Titterton said that after making some adjustments, Hawaii Public Radio expects to have its HPR-2 lineup of programming on the air for listeners in the “Kau valley” within four weeks. He said HPR would also petition the FCC for additional power to expand the station’s coverage area.