Missoula Community Radio moves into library, gets stronger signal

Cory Walsh

Missoula Community Radio has moved into a new home and is expanding its geographic reach.

KFGM, a nearly five-year-old low-powered nonprofit station, last Friday switched from 105.5 FM to a new bandwidth, 101.5 FM, and settled into a space in the Missoula Public Library.

An upgrade like this “was not a plan, it was more of a dream,” said Jon Van Dyke, a co-founder who’s now volunteer station manager and president of its board. Originally, he said their priority was to “develop good programming with local voices,” with revenue streams to buy new equipment further down the road.

While it’s a coincidence, both changes have happened at the same time.

In March, Townsquare Media announced that it had purchased Cherry Creek Broadcasting. According to a news release, Townsquare had to divest from six radio stations in Missoula due to ownership limitations set by Federal Communications Commission.

One of KFGM’s co-founders, Ann Szalda-Petree, knew someone at Townsquare through their kids’ lacrosse team. He reached out to her about assuming the frequency formerly taken by Alt 101.5 FM, the alternative rock station. They came to a “generous” agreement that covers utilities, basic engineering and the use of the transmitter and tower, said

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