KRSN requests 30-year land lease from School Board

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By Carol A. Clark

Seeking an acre of land and a 30-year lease for their antenna, KRSN AM 1490 owner-operators Gillian and David Sutton presented their case to school board members Tuesday evening in the district boardroom.

“We are not in compliance with FCC regulations,” David said.

The station has not been in compliance since the old antenna was dismantled some eight years ago to make way for the Hawks Landing housing addition, he said.

FCC requires the station’s antenna to be in the city of license - Los Alamos - rather than in White Rock. The FCC granted the station a temporary renewal July 16, David said.

Along with a small transmitter shed, the Suttons intend to install a Valcom 75-foot vertical antenna constructed of fiberglass that takes a grounding field of 250 feet. “It is brand new technology approved by the FCC in February,” David said. “It is the most compact antenna approved by the FCC.”

While willing to explore other land opportunities that meet FCC requirements, the Suttons explained the 1-acre tract owned by Los Alamos School District on DP Road completely meets their needs:


•  It’s the same elevation as the town site of Los Alamos;

• it allows them to cover their city of issuance; and

• it will bring them into FCC compliance.

“We would want a long lease because it’s expensive to put in an antenna and be told in seven to 10 years that I have to go,” Sutton said. “It’s difficult to find a site and we’d have to get FCC approval again.”

They requested a 30-year lease.

KRSN broadcasts from the Pajarito Plateau reaching the majority of areas in Los Alamos, Espanola, Pojoaque and Santa Fe.

The Suttons bought KRSN in December 2005. They provide music, national news and information to the public through their locally produced and syndicated shows in which community news and interests are also featured. The couple participates in community activities and events in their roles as participants, sponsors, organizers, promoters and broadcasters.

They described the station’s contributions to the schools including their coverage of nearly all athletic events, plays, forums and other activities. They also broadcast interviews with school board members, school officials and teachers.

“We raise public awareness of school issues and we announce closures and delays,” David said. Gillian added, “One phone call and we can tell the world.”

The board unanimously agreed to look into the Sutton’s request.

KRSN was founded as part of the Manhattan Project in 1945 and has evolved in the 63 years since, now offering web casting.