Hawaiʻi Public Radio Launches HPR-2 in East Hawaiʻi
Hawaiʻi Public Radio announces the launch of its HPR-2 channel on KAHU 91.3FM on the east side of Hawaiʻi island. The estimated sign-on date is Wednesday, October 26, after 12 noon. This marks the completion of the nonprofit station's long-held goal of a radio network spanning the major Hawaiian islands with both of its programming streams. The transmitters for the East Hawaii HPR-1 and HPR-2 signals are now co-located on an antenna on Kulani Cone, requiring a shift of the HPR-1 frequency (KANO) to 89.1FM. This new location for the HPR-1 transmitter has also resulted in a stronger signal, with a larger footprint than that previously possible from the facility in Mountain View. After October 26, KANO/HPR-1 will no longer be found on 91.1FM.
José A. Fajardo, HPR's President and General Manager, made the announcement to listeners on both streams on the final day of the stationʻs fall fund drive. “This is a historic moment,” he said, “made possible by the community of supporters who have kept the faith and supported the station throughout its statewide expansion. Credit must also go to my predecessor, the visionary Michael Titterton, the networkʻs master builder. We look forward to introducing the wonderfully diverse programming of HPR-2 to our current and new listeners on the Hilo-side of Hawaiʻi.”
HPR-2 programming includes a mix of national and international news, talk, entertainment, and music. Popular programs are “Fresh Air” (weekdays, 3 p.m.), “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me” (Saturdays, 11 a.m.), the station’s talk shows “The Conversation” (weekdays, 8 a.m.) or “The Body Show,” “Bytemarks Café,” and “Town Square” (weekdays, 5 p.m.), and the locally produced jazz, Hawaiian, blues, and Latin music programs.
The East Hawaiʻi transmitter project required extensive negotiations for a suitable location, FCC licensing, and structural renovations, as well as scheduling adjustments for extreme weather delays. The grassroots capital campaign for HPR-2 in East Hawaiʻi began in November 2013, after HPR acquired the broadcast license for the Kaʻu community radio station KAHU. The $150,000 goal was met in January 2015. Donations were received from 271 individual charter members, as well as lead gifts from the Atherton Family Foundation, Hawaiian Electric Industries (HELCO), KTA Super Stores (in memory of Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi, founders of KTA Super Stores and K. Taniguchi, Ltd.), McInerny Foundation, and the Schafer Philanthropic Family Fund.
Beyond making it possible for East Hawai‘i residents to enjoy HPR-2 in cars, offices and homes, the extension of HPR’s signal into remote rural areas of Hawai‘i island provides a vital service, especially during times of emergency.