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NMC Completes Transfer of Public Radio Station to Nonprofit MEMS (October 19, 2010)

The Northern Marianas College has completed the transfer of the public radio station KRNM-FM to a nonprofit organization, Marianas Educational Media Services, Inc. (MEMS), with the transfer of radio broadcast equipment.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last year approved the College’s application to assign its KRNM licenses to Guam-based MEMS, who had offered to continue KRNM’s public radio format broadcasting in the CNMI. To support its operations, MEMS will rely on listener and corporate support. It will also provide NMC with no-cost-announcements.

“We are extremely thankful to the CNMI community for their continued support, especially those who contributed financial resources to KRNM,” said NMC Interim President Lorraine T. Cabrera. “Those generous donations went a long way in helping to diversifying the types of radio programming that listeners enjoyed.”

“We are extremely pleased that MEMS will continue to offer excellent entertainment and educational radio programs that we have come to enjoy on KRNM these past few years,” added Cabrera.

In the meantime, the College has converted 600 square feet of vacated studio and radio office space to support its operations. The removal of the 100’ radio tower and two satellite dishes will be handled by MEMS at no cost to NMC.

Public radio is now enjoyed throughout Saipan and Tinian on KRNM’s translator, at 89.1FM.

KRNM was originally established with federal funds in 1998 when the FCC granted the College a license to broadcast non-commercial public radio programming. The radio station set out to become self-sustaining with external funding. Unfortunately, the goal was never reached, and, for the past 10 years, KRNM was heavily subsidized by NMC.

The College had decided to cease subsidizing KRNM operations to focus its resources on its core academic programs. The NMC Board of Regents voted in a September 2008 meeting to support the assignment of KRNM licenses to a nonprofit, educational entity.

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