For the first time, the NPR News service of Northwest Public Radio—and its standout broadcasts like NPR’s Fresh Air, the Diane Rehm Show and Talk of the Nation—are on the airwaves of KYVT 88.5 FM in Yakima.
Through a partnership with Yakima School District and YV-Tech, Northwest Public Radio and NPR’s award-winning news programming is now available on the school district's radio station KYVT 88.5 FM. Listeners can tune in to KYVT’s 3,000-watt transmitter in Yakima as well as West Valley, Union Gap and Selah to hear more public radio programs.
KYVT-FM has served as the broadcast outlet for the audio productions program at YV-TECH. The station originally began operations in 1980 as KYSC before changing its call letters in 2000.
Martha Rice, President of the Yakima School Board, believes the new arrangement will strengthen both educational and community life. “The Yakima School District continues to explore partnerships that will benefit our students and the community, and this is clearly one of those partnerships. The Yakima School Board is delighted at the opportunities it will provide for the YV-TECH students, the Yakima community and NWPR,” said Rice.
Northwest Public Radio is a service of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at WSU. Serving dozens of communities across Washington state, the NWPR network offers two program services: the NPR & Classical Music service, heard in the Yakima on KNWY 90.3 FM (since 1992); and the NPR News service.
Until now, only the NPR & Classical Music service was available in Yakima. With the partnership of the Yakima School District, Northwest Public Radio’s NPR News service will now also be heard on KYVT 88.5 FM.
Students in YV-TECH’s Digital Media class will also benefit from the partnership. NWPR staff will offer assistance to the program in areas of journalism, radio programming and technology, and will work to help integrate student learning into broadcast and online streaming opportunities. Student programming will soon also be available on the HD2 service of Northwest Public Radio’s KNWY 90.3FM. Listeners with HD capable radios will be able to enjoy the music programming previously offered on KYVT-FM.
Dr. Lawrence Pintak, founding dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, anticipates new opportunities to increasing service in the region. “We strongly believe that the kind of regional news coverage that NWPR provides is essential to the continued health and well-being of the communities we serve. We’re proud to increase our presence in Yakima, and pleased about the opportunity to help students find their way in this critically important profession.”
Northwest Public Radio Station Manager Kerry Swanson said this collaboration will strengthen NWPR’s statewide commitment to public broadcasting. “Public broadcasting is an essential resource for life-long learning. Yakima listeners have turned to Northwest Public Radio to connect to people and places nationally and internationally. Now Yakima residents will be able to expand those connections with more programs that encourage deeper thinking and conversation on issues that matter,” Swanson said.