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Power boost in Waterloo


WATERLOO - FM 98.5 CKWR is about to undergo one of the most ambitious projects it's ever undertaken in its 30-year history. The radio station will soon make a major power increase from its present 2,400 watts to 15,200 watts.

CKWR applied to the CRTC and Industry Canada to increase its effective radiated power in spring 2003, and the CRTC granted approval last fall.

The increased power will improve reception for listeners in Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford and fringe areas; extend the station's reach into London; and reduce interference caused by WKSE in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

This major upgrade in facilities will cost about $150,000 and will be financed through the radio station's "POWER UP" fundraising campaigns, which will be in three phases with Phase I kicking off September 24 and continuing until October 3 inclusive.

"You can't just increase the power of an existing station without a great deal of research and preparation. Our engineering consultants, Brian Clemens and Promethean, have been instrumental in preparing the engineering brief for our application, and steering us through the regulatory process," said station manager Vic Folliott. "Also, there's been a lot of hard work generated by station staff, board members and volunteers.

"Complementing the power increase is an unveiling of a new corporate image and a further investment in community events and values. I anticipate this next phase of our growth will begin in early September to coincide with the fundraising campaign," he added.

FM 98.5 is a registered not-for-profit organization, and Canada's first community radio station. It broadcasts an eclectic mix of programs, including soft hits Monday through Friday with hosts John Harada, Fred Merritt and Vern Rombough; specialty programs, including jazz on Thursday nights, and four evenings of classical music Monday through Thursday; and multicultural programming in 11 different languages during the weekend.

For more information about FM 98.5, visit the station's web site at

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