HISD Will Star in Its Own Internet Radio Station

Starting this July, from the comparative comfort of your computer terminal, you'll be able to listen to Houston ISD Internet radio, courtesy of a joint effort between HISD and the private company RFC Media.

The 24-7 Internet radio about and at least partially produced by a school district is the first of its kind in the country, those involved say.

Promising to feature easy listening (can't get you fired if your boss hears it) music by day and news reports about HISD at night, k12radiohouston or K12 for short will be able to be accessed from the HISD website , the Channel 11 website or by an I-phone by the summer.

Sample artists:

Brandi Carlile
Bryan Ferry
Taylor Swift
Elliot Smith
John Mayer
Dave Matthews
Etta James
Death Cab For Cutie
John Legend
Tori Amos

Longtime Houston radio manager Pat Fant, who heads up RFC Media, is ready to "move on to where things are going, not necessarily where they've been." Fant was previously with 101-KLOL, says he started the Buzz in 1995 and worked at 104-KRBE up until about a year ago.

According to Fant the site is "not necessarily for the students," but for their parents, teachers and community interested in hearing what HISD is doing. They'll be selling sponsorships to support it, along the lines of National Public Radio, and there will be few commercial interruptions, he said.

The deal looks to be a good one for HISD. Fant's group will pick up all the expenses and then split the profits 50-50 with the school district, according to HISD spokesman Norm Uhl. "It costs us nothing," Uhl said.

Any HISD school with communications programs will be able to develop news copy and interviews for the shows, Fant said.

Yates High School is one of those schools. Yates used to have its own radio station but the transmitter more or less fell apart. Wilshaud Harrell said he was happy about the chance to provide programming for the new Internet station " so people won't think we're just a sports school. So they'll know we're academics as well."

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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing