KPTZ 2.0

KPTZ and Fort Worden Public Development Authority (PDA) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines plans for the station to move its operations to historic Fort Worden.

News of the KPTZ–PDA agreement debuted on KPTZ’s news magazine Compass: on December 4th. The joint press release from the two organizations can be found here.

The prospect of relocating to Fort Worden is exciting because it would place KPTZ amongst Port Townsend’s vibrant arts, culture and education community, where we have many natural synergies. The move would greatly expand the station’s ability to inform our audience about the diversity of activities at the Fort, and to broaden our core community.

The agreement highlights KPTZ’s interest in reestablishing its broadcasting studios and administrative offices in the basement of Building 305, the cornerstone facility in Fort Worden’s proposed Makers Square redevelopment project, and relocating the radio station’s transmitter tower to Artillery Hill.

“KPTZ’s mission and values align closely with that of the Fort Worden Lifelong Learning Center (FWLLC) as it provides extensive training for volunteers of all ages ranging from sound editing to journalism,” said PDA Executive Director Dave Robison. “The radio station already partners closely with Centrum to broadcast Free Fridays and other concert series; if it were to relocate to the Fort, KPTZ could develop many more collaborative partnerships here.”

After 6-1/2 years broadcasting from the 900-square foot portable building on the Mountain View Commons campus, our operations have outgrown the facility. If we are to continue to evolve as a public radio station and a community asset, we need a larger space designed specifically for our purposes.

KPTZ also must relocate its transmitter by autumn 2019 because the lease for its current location expires and cannot be renewed. In 2014 KPTZ identified Artillery Hill in Fort Worden as an ideal transmission site that has the potential to improve reception in downtown Port Townsend and southern Jefferson County. Broadcasting from Artillery Hill would revive a historic use of the site: The U.S. Army installed a radio transmitter there in 1908, to serve military and civilian needs in Alaska territory.

– Robert Ambrose, General Manager