East Hawaii News

Hawai`i Public Radio Begins Broadcasting in Ka`u

November 7, 2013, 12:09 PM HST
* Updated November 7, 12:15 PM
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Hawai`i Public Radio began broadcasting HPR-2 Wednesday in Ka`u, the first area of East Hawai`i to receive the organization’s second programming stream.

HPR-1, which consists of news and music, primarily classical, is currently being heard nearly statewide, and is the only HPR offering available across most of the Big Island’s windward side.

The Ka`u broadcasting was made possible through Hawai`i Public Radio’s acquisition of KAHU 91.7 FM radio in Pahala earlier this year after its owners were unable to maintain operations.

KAHU provided the only radio broadcast for a wide swath of Ka`u, and its closure meant areas such as Pahala and Na`alehu were without emergency broadcast information.

The transfer of KAHU’s broadcast license was completed in August, paving the way for the emergency broadcasts as well as the first introduction to East Hawai`i of HPR-2’s mix of news, jazz and other genres of music.

“It is absolutely essential that this population be served, particularly when it comes to emergencies and civil defense,” said Michael Titterton, HPR president and general manager. “We are well aware of the responsibility we hold to deliver consistent and reliable service.”

The Ka`u area does not currently receive HPR-1.

West Hawai`i began receiving HPR-2 in February.

Plans are continuing to provide HPR-2 for the rest of East Hawai`i, said Valerie Yee, vice president and assistant general manager for Hawai`i Public Radio in Honolulu.

“We’re hoping to have that finished by the first quarter next year,” she said.

HPR-2 is available in West Hawaii at KIPM 89.7 FM and KHPH 88.7 FM. HPR-1 is broadcast at KANO 91.1 FM in Hilo and 94.7 FM in Waimea, and via KKUA 90.7 FM in Kona.

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