Mountain Chill gets OK to broadcast in Ouray

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Mountain Chill Radio has temporarily extended its broadcast reach into Ouray County during the new coronavirus outbreak.

At the request of Ouray County, the station, whose call letters are KRKQ and which broadcasts on 95.5 FM, received special temporary authority from the FCC to relay its signal on the Ouray School’s radio station. That station, KURA at 98.9 FM, began relaying Mountain Chill’s Telluride signal to listeners in Ouray, Ridgway and Ouray County on March 19.

In the last several days the station has broadcast live interviews with various community leaders to discuss their response to the threat of COVID-19.

The authorization allows KRKQ’s studio in Ouray to disseminate information while the school and its radio studio remain closed during the coronavirus outbreak. The authorization extends until the school reopens or June 19, whichever comes first. Ouray County schools are closed through at least April 17.

“We can get down here and make critical announcements,” Mountain Chill Radio co-owner Ethan Funk said. “With the school closed, that’s not something they can do from there.”

KRKQ’s official city of license is Mountain Village, although its studio is located in Ouray because of a higher level of Internet connectivity. But because of the area’s mountainous geography, the KRKQ signal does not reach Ouray County with local-grade signal quality. The special temporary authority allows KRKQ to reach Ouray County during these special circumstances.