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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Oct. 24, 2012) – A $269,069 Fiscal Year 2013 grant made possible through United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development will help support continued efforts by the University of Central Missouri’s public television station KMOS-TV to accomplish its digital broadcasting transition.
Dallas Tonsager, U.S. agriculture undersecretary for rural development, announced the award Oct. 19 as part of a plan by USDA Rural Development to fund 24 broadband and communications projects across the country to create jobs and promote education in rural America. These loan and grant programs administered by the Rural Utilities Service are Broadband Telecommunications Loans, the Community Connect grant program, and the Public Television Digital Transition grant program, which is providing funding for KMOS-TV.
Rosemary Olas, interim director of broadcasting services at UCM, said, “This is the fourth USDA grant KMOS has received in its progress toward completing the digital transition. This award will be used to acquire digital satellite receivers for master control and upgrade the studio-to-transmitter microwave link which will move us closer to completion of the digital transition in support of the production and broadcast of digital programs.”
Olas noted that KMOS-TV qualifies for the grant program because it primarily serves a rural population. In addition to the recent grant award, previous USDA grants received for the digital transition totaled $1.87 million, but KMOS-TV also secured another $1.87 million from other grant programs to provide a total $3.6 million to apply toward the digital transition project.
“With this new funding, KMOS will be about 98 percent complete in its transition,” Olas said.
Previous funding provided the digital transmitter, necessary equipment to complete a digital capable master control, HD field production equipment, and up-to-date editing suites. KMOS-TV is in the process of acquiring HD studio equipment with the FY 2012 USDA grant funding to complete its HD production capabilities. It is estimated that 800,000 rural residents in KMOS-TV’s service area of 20,000 square miles in 33 Missouri counties will benefit from the digital transition project.
According to Tonsager, in the recently completed fiscal year, USDA Rural Development has funded more than $170 million in rural telecommunications projects nationwide to expand rural access to educational, health care, business and social services.