KLYC returns to the airwaves

Exactly 98 days since KLYC’s last broadcast, about 40 well-wishers turned out to count down the seconds until its return to the airwaves Friday.

At 1 p.m. — equivalent of 12:60, an homage to the old AM standby’s 1260 frequency — new owner Dave Adams went live from a makeshift studio in the Granary District. And he assured those present and those listening over the air that KLYC was back in every sense of the word.

A former radio manager in Bend and talk show host in Albany, he will be the station’s only employee for the time being. He plans to focus on covering as many Yamhill County events as possible, in addition to playing familiar musical fare.

“It’s going to be the same old station that the community loved, with the same music,” Adams said. “We want to use this radio station to cover as many local events as possible. We want this to be a community radio station.”

He and his wife, Norma, purchased KLYC from Stella Bohnsack and the estate of her late husband, Larry, on May 7.

Norma, who has been working in McMinnville and living in Independence, said the idea occurred to her while she was driving home from work.

“I was driving during the day listening to scripture,” she said. “The Lord gave me a vision that Dave and I would own a radio station and it would be a lot of fun.”

After relaying the vision to him, they decided to make an offer. They bought the station for $50,000, after a failed $18,000 deal had knocked it off the air.

They were drawn in by the fact KLYC is the only radio station in Yamhill County and has a strong local following.

“Part of the reason we wanted to come to Mac was that it’s the only radio station in the county,” Adams said. “One of the things I keep hearing from community members is, ‘I’m so glad KLYC is back on the air,’ so we’re excited to be here.”

The station normally has a 1,000-watt signal strength, but will be broadcasting at only 100 watts much of this week so its towers can be repainted — a Federal Communications Commission condition for a license transfer. “Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the power outlet for KLYC will be substantially reduced,” Adams said.

In addition, KLYC will be throttling back to 250 watts at night the next two months. “For the next couple of months, we’ll have to do a lot of rewiring to prevent us from getting interference from other radio stations on the same frequency hundreds of miles away,” he said.

While residents in the immediate area shouldn’t notice much difference, reduced signal strength will limit the station’s reach as long as it continues.

Once all the FCC requirements have been satisfied, and the station is back at full strength, Adams hopes to begin augmenting the staff.

He said the equipment and facilities need so much work, he can’t afford to add staff at the outset. “We’ve been putting quite a bit of money into the facility, so initially I will be the only employee,” he said.

The couple are planning to move to Mac and commit for the long haul, Adams said.

“We don’t plan on ever expanding or anything like that,” he said. “We’re happy with what we have.”

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