Improving the quality of life in Amarillo and across the High Plains
The service will be available via analog radio at 94.9 FM and HD digital radio at 105.7 FM throughout the greater Amarillo-Canyon area and central Texas Panhandle. It will also be available via digital streaming on desktop computers, tablets, or smartphones throughout the Texas Panhandle, the High Plains, and worldwide.
94.9 Connect will improve the quality of life for residents of the Texas Panhandle by being a community resource, increasing the services that HPPR currently provides to the community, filling an information need, and as an amenity to attract and retain its residents.
Though HPPR is a public media organization, it views itself as a community resource -- a library, lecture series, continuing education program, and community center all rolled into one. Moreover, it is a community resource available to all residents, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at their convenience in their homes, workplace, and vehicles at no expense.
HPPR’s existing programming service has served the Texas Panhandle in this capacity since 1998, mixing select news programs with music and entertainment shows. The creation of this second news and information channel will greatly expand HPPR’s community service by adding 8,760 programming hours per year (4,837 hours unduplicated), all of it dedicated to offering listeners content that is informative, enlightening, reflective, and inspirational.
Over the past two decades there has been a dramatic decline in news and information programming on commercial radio stations and an accompanying shift to all-music formats or all-talk, call-in, and opinion-based programming. This makes the need for and value of HPPR’s planned services even greater. Its intent is not to take sides or promote certain viewpoints but rather to better inform, educate, and enlighten those seeking to know and understand more about our nation and world and the issues of our times. Access to such information is fundamental for an informed citizenry, constructive political discourse, and the development of a strong communities.
With this added service, the Amarillo area will also be able to claim having the widest and richest selection of public radio news and information programming available on the airwaves of any city in Texas, Dallas and Houston included. Public radio service will be a notable quality-of-life amenity in attracting and retaining talent and businesses in the area.
The weekly program schedule will feature the best offerings of the major public radio programming producers (National Public Radio [NPR], the British Broadcasting Company [BBC], Public Radio International [PRI] and American Public Media [APM]), many independent producers and academic institutions, and High Plains Public Radio’s (HPPR) own regional news and information service.
This service will complement HPPR’s existing service to the Texas Panhandle, which mixes news with classical, jazz, and folk music throughout the week. It will satisfy longstanding requests from listeners to hear more of the excellent non-music public- radio programming available with an emphasis on news and information.
This sort of second service public radio service is usually only possible in metropolitan markets with 10-20 times the population of the Amarillo area and with a budget at similar multiples to HPPR’s planned budget of $73,000 for starting and operating the service for the first year. However, by repurposing existing FM frequencies, refurbishing and redeploying existing equipment, drawing on expert volunteer help, and negotiating extremely low-cost programming rights from the major program distributors; HPPR has figured out how to make it happen. And, we are nearly there! Click here to make your additional contribution now.