The United States Department of Agriculture has awarded WKU a $577,114 grant from the Rural Utility Service to update equipment in the WKYU-PBS station.
WKYU-PBS is the public broadcasting station for south central Kentucky and northern Tennessee. The station is currently using analog studio equipment and the money will allow the station to switch over to high-definition digital equipment to provide better programming.
Linda Gerofsky, WKYU-PBS station manager, said the grant will allow the station to update its 20- to 40-year-old equipment, which cannot take advantage of the digital format.
“Some of it’s on its last legs or failing already, and we’re really in dire straits when it comes to that kind of stuff, not to mention that we’re not able to produce things in digital format, and that’s a problem with digital television,” Gerofsky said.
Gerofsky said everyone in the studio was thrilled to finally receive funding.
“It just seems almost unbelievable because we’ve gone so long and needed this for so long and tried some other sources to get money, and it’s just not easy,” Gerofsky said. “So we were kind of, you know, keeping our fingers crossed, but we were trying not to get our hopes up too much that we would get it.”
Katie Gibbs, a senior from Connersville, Ind., and a student worker at WKYU, said she was happy the station was upgrading because a lot of the equipment the station currently uses is antiquated.
“The model of switcher that we have in the control room was actually used in the first Star Wars,” Gibbs said.
Gibbs said its been about 30 years since the last time some of the equipment was replaced in the control room.
“Whenever one of our station managers, Linda Gerofsky, gives tours, she’s reluctant to go in there because it’s so old in there,” Gibbs said. “She’s like,‘This is a museum and then this is all of our modern stuff.”