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City East Lansing, Michigan
Broadcast area Lansing, Michigan
Branding Michigan State Radio
Slogan NPR and Classical Music
Frequency 90.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date October 4, 1948
Format Public: Classical, News/Talk: also airs jazz (Saturday evenings) and folk music (Sunday evenings)
HD2: All Classical
HD3: WKAR (AM) simulcast
ERP 85,000 watts
HAAT 269.3 meters (884 ft)
Class B
Facility ID 41683
Transmitter coordinates 42°42′7″N 84°24′48″W / 42.70194°N 84.41333°W / 42.70194; -84.41333
Callsign meaning call letters are shared with WKAR-AM (WKAR-AM's call letters were assigned randomly in 1922)
Affiliations NPR, PRI, APM
Owner Michigan State University
Sister stations WKAR-TV, WKAR (AM)
Webcast Listen Live
Website wkar.org

WKAR-FM is a public radio station in East Lansing, Michigan, United States; broadcasting on the FM dial at 90.5 MHz. It is owned by Michigan State University, and is sister station to the AM radio and television stations with the same call letters.

The station airs classical music, and several of National Public Radio's more popular programs, such as Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, All Things Considered and Car Talk.

In January 2013, WKAR launched the daily news/arts radio magazine Current State, an hour-long program of interviews and produced reports devoted Mid-Michigan and statewide politics, government, business, education, environment, science, technology, health, medicine and the arts. The program is broadcast Monday through Friday at 9 am and 6 pm on 90.5 FM and weekdays at noon on AM 870. Current State Weekend airs Saturdays and Sundays on both 90.5 FM and AM 870.

The station is also the primary Emergency Alert System (EAS) station for the state of Michigan, relaying emergency messages from the Michigan State Police to all media outlets in Michigan; WKAR-FM hosts statewide tests twice a year. WKAR-FM is also the secondary EAS station for Lansing and the South Central Michigan region (WFMK is the primary station for the region).[1]

The station signed on for the first time on October 4, 1948 as the Lansing area's first FM station. Like most FM stations of the time, it simulcast its AM sister for several years during the AM station's sunrise to sunset broadcast hours. When WKAR-AM concluded its broadcast hours for the day, WKAR-FM would then carry its own signature programming which included classical music and other arts-related programs. The two stations split their broadcasting schedules on March 1, 1965, with the FM station airing fine arts programming. The WKAR stations were charter members of NPR in 1971, and were among the 90 stations to carry the inaugural broadcast of All Things Considered.

The station's 85,000-watt signal, combined with a 269.3 meter antenna can be heard as far east as Flint and the Detroit suburbs, and as far west as Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. WKAR-FM is a "Superpower Grandfathered" Class B FM station, providing a signal 7.6 dB stronger than would be granted today under current U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules.[2]

HD programming[edit]

WKAR-FM is licensed by the FCC to broadcast in the HD (hybrid) format,[3] on the following HD channels:

HD1 provides a simulcast of the analog FM signal's NPR and classical music format.

HD2 is a simulcast of the Classical 24 classical music channel.

HD3 is a simulcast of WKAR (870 AM), continuing from local sunset to sunrise when the AM station is not broadcasting.[4] It is also simulcast on a low-powered translator at 105.1 FM, giving most of the Lansing area access to a locally focused NPR news and talk station.

In addition to its HD signals, WKAR-FM also has streams on its website of folk music, jazz, and Radio Reading Service. Its three HD signals are also streaming online.


External links[edit]