FCC Application & Station News
March 12, 2017. KCEI 90.1 FM was on the air again after a 6 hour hike to the top of San Antonio. Real winter challenge! 3000 ft climb through snow & mud, now to sleep in our transmitter shed and walk down Saturday. Failed battery back up turned off our radio link. However, when I got down, a new problem took us back off the air. Now KCEI 90.1 FM is back on. It turns out that a Kit Carson Electric voltage regulator part way up the mountain was failing and Sunday morning repair crews went up, turned it off and fixed it. This would explain the intermittent transmission Saturday. Not good for our equipment to be stressed by bad power, not mention the stress on me. Thanks to our listeners for their patience.
December 18, 2016. We were off the air Saturday Dec 17 due to a power outage from Kit Carson Electric Coop to our transmitter on San Antonio Mountain. Thanks for your patience!
November 10, 2016. Come hear our Board member David Barsamian speak at the Harwood Saturday Nov. 12, 7 pm and in Crestone Sunday at 4 pm.
October 26, 2016. We have been on the air more than 2 months and are doing regular live shows! We have had trouble with our radio link to the mountain over the last two weeks, but that seems to be solved, thanks for your patience when we were off the air.
September 14, 2016. We hope to begin some live shows next week and slowly build a more regular schedule with more current local programming. We need volunteer DJs, interview hosts, reporters, audio editors, event recorders, and other volunteer to help us.
If you are interested, please call our cell 575-224-0151 or email .
September 5, 2016. We are now broadcasting Pacifia Network programming from affliate stations around the country.
August 27, 2016. We continue to improve our signal while keeping at 50% power.
August 23, 2016. We can be heard as far away as Santa Fe! We keep adding new archived segments to our rotation. Thanks so much to the original producers of these shows, they did fantastic work! Special thanks to Mike Tilley who recorded and edited many of the shows.
We still are working on getting everything in the transmitter building up to technical best, for example lightning surge suppression, back up power supplies, remote control, etc. before we concentrate of getting the studio ready for live broadcasts. If you are interested in volunteering, hosting a music or interview show, editing recordings, or recording a public service announcement, please call our cell 575-224-0151 or email .
August 20, 2016. We began broadcasting archives at 50% power on KCEI 90.1 FM at 3:15 today. We are on the air!!! The new Nautel transmitter and the radio link is working great. However because of the reduced power, required until the FCC approves our "License to Cover" and a dispute with the Forest Service, some low spots may be getting a scratchy signal, but a good FM antenna above your house will help.
August 18, 2016. Our Nautel transmitter is arrived today but a key cord was left out, which is being shipped overnight..
August 15, 2016. We have ordered a new Nautel VS1 1400 watt transmitter and it should be rushing on its way from Nova Scotia hopefully to arrive by the end of this week. Thanks again to our wonderful donor making this possible! We also are now a National Federation of Community Broadcasters member, which will cover copyright issues for most music broadcast.
August 12, 2016. Thanks to the talented work of Philip Martinez, with Tiwa translated directions by Ernie Concha, we were able get the antenna tuned perfectly and even get one of the amps on the old transmitter partially working with enough signal to reach Taos. However an anonymous donor stepped forward to fund the purchase of a new Nautel transmitter which we should get this week. The more efficient transmitter will save $1,00 - 1,500 in electric costs each year and can be controled via our Ubuquiti Internet link, essential for the winter. We will fix the old transmitter for a backup.
August 9, 2016. We have the 40 mile Ubiquiti radio link working great. After tower climbing to fix nitrogen leaks by Philip Martinez, and help from Ernie Concha, both of Taos Pueblo, we were able to make a short test tone broadcast on August 9th at 30 watts, coming through the radio link from the studio. We now have to continue adjust the antenna tuning and the transmitter to get higher broadcast power.
August 5, 2016. We are close to getting on the air with 90.1 FM, working out all kinds of bugs in the equipment on San Antonio Mountain, and we have been delayed because of the torrential rains this week. The antenna and Ubiquiti radio dish are up, the transmitter shed built with the transmitter & electrical installed. Unfortunately, some of these issues may take some time, but we WILL get on the air! Thanks to Paul Richards of KSPK, Seth Brown, Ernie Concha, Lucia Duncan, Ed Gonzales, Petri Dish, Will Floyd of Prometheus, Miguel Santistevan, Margaret Garcia, Mike Brown of Brown Broadcast Services, Doug Ross of PSI, Matt McCormick of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, Rob Watt of Red Tail Surveying, and everyone else who have helped so far!
July 22, 2016. We will become an Pacifia Affialiate, joining the network of listener supported stations that started in Berkeley, CA in 1948 with KPFA. Look for a lot more than Democracy Now!, as there are more than the one program that many are familar with.
July 13, 2016. We have been awarded another generous grant from an anonymous donor, so we will be better able to equip our radio studio. Still need your listener donations so please become a member!
July 8, 2016. We have been awarded a generous grant from the Healy Foundation to help start our radio station and exhibit space. Thanks to Ed, Trudy and Felice, we really appreciate their support! But we still need listener donations to pay for our rent, utilities, Internet, tower lease and all the other operating expenses. Please become a member!
June, 2016. We have begun the installation of our FM antenna for 90.1 FM on San Antonio Mountain with the incredible help of brodcast engineer Pete Tridish, AKA Petri Dish, the founder of Prometheus Radio. Thanks also for the help of Seth Brown and Will Floyd, technical director of Prometheus for their help on the mountain, and to Miguel Santistevan for loaning his 4WD truck to get up the steep road to the 10,800 ft site. Petri will return in July to finish the difficult installation and set up the 40 mile radio link to the studio.
April 8th, 2016. We have leased Illa Macafee's studio and house at 112 Civic Plaza Drive as our radio and TV studio and museum/gallery. We should be open in June and hope to be broadcasting on KCEI 90.1 in July. Come by and visit! Our new studio is between the new SOMOS offices and the Taos Municipal Court, just across from the Century Link office and UNM Taos offices downtown.
April, 2016. We are again be broadcasting at low power on KCEI 90.1 FM and KCEI-LD TV 18 with limited programming & times to keep our FCC licenses until we can broadcast at our full power locations.
August, 2015. We have two new Board members, David Barsamian and Kay Matthews bring closer concordance with the Board of our sister non-profit, Taos Local Television. Thanks to retiring Board members, Miguel Santistevan, Máye Torres and Juman Khweis. We continue to work on land title issues for our Picuris site with the help of SF attorney Chris Cullen, Taos attorney Larry van Eaton, Floyd Martinez of Fidelity Title and surveyor Scott Crowl of Rio Grande Survey Service.
March-April, 2015. We will again be broadcasting at low power on KCEI 90.1 FM and KCEI-LD TV 18 to keep our FCC licenses until we can broadcast at our full power locations.
March 18, 2015. We have been granted approval by the FCC of our new directional anntenna for KCEY FM 89.5 on Picuris increasing our power from 9 kW to 16.7 kW to reach more people to the south including a lot of Santa Fe. This will increase our coverage from 94,364 persons to 219,223 persons. Thanks to our engineer Michael Brown for his excellent design and to our brilliant attorney Matt McCormick for getting this through the FCC.
November 19, 2014. Taos Local Television has become our sister organization, with overlapping Boards. We have secured the video archives of Taos Local Television covering 25 years of recording in Taos. Thanks to the Taos Local Televison Board & Tom Meyers for making this possible. Like Glenn Pikes's video, there is much work ahead to index and archive it all, and we hope to be able to show it on KCEI-LD Channel 18.
September 27, 2014. With the help of Glenn Pike's family and an anonymous benefactor, Cultural Energy has been able to keep all 12 years of Glenn Pike's video here in Taos. We have much work ahead to index and archive it all, but we hope to be able to show it on KCEI-LD Channel 18.
September 19, 2014. We have been granted FCC approval of our new 13.98 kW directional antenna for KCEI-LD TV Channel 18 on Picuris peak. This will give us increased coverage to the south to Española and parts of Santa Fe, as well has giving us very good gain to minimize our solar power usage.
September 19, 2014. We have been granted our tolling request from the FCC for KCEY 90.1 FM thus keeping our CP while we resolve land title issues for our Picuris site.
September, 2014. Delays related to the transmitter building continue for our Northern mountain site for KCEI 90.1 FM, but we stiil hope these will be resolved before winter. We continue securing easements for our Picuris site. Thanks to our excellent engineers Mike Brown and Jeremy Lansman, we have redesigned FM & TV signals from Picuris to reach more listeners and viewers.
April 9 & 10, 2014. Visited the National Association of Broadcasters conference and made lots of contacts with leading antenna, transmitter and other equipment sources for our radio and TV needs.
March 31, 2014. We broadcasting for a week with a STA at low power in Red River on KCEI FM 90.1 to satisfy our license with the FCC. When our transmitter building is completed we will start broadcast at full power from our mountain site.
March 24, 2014. We have been granted our "License to Cover" by the FCC for KCEI-LD valid through 2022. We were broadcasting archived material from Phedra Greenwood, Tony Isaacs & Glenn Pike a few hours a day. We picked up the digital TV signal from Llanno Quemado CC to Taos to Gallina Canyon. We will now be raising funds for a more powerful signal from a higher location.
March 9, 2014. We began our first broadcast on KCEI-LD TV 18 . This is experimental at 43 watts from central Taos until we can raise funds for our Picuris location. We will be broadcasting just a few hours a day, but appreciate reports on who is able to pick it up.
December, 2013 Our tower owner failed to make the site for our KCEI transmitter ready, due in part to requirements placed on him by the Forest Service. With full snowfall in place, we again expect further delay until the spring.
June 1, 2013 We have moved from our La Posta location and are seeking new studio space for KCEI. Contact us at for more info.
May 25, 2013 The FCC has re-granted our construction permit for KCEI in just one month, thanks to the great work of attorney Matt McCormick and engineer Mike Brown.. This will allows us to resume our work in getting on the air. We will need everyone's support to make this possible.
April 25, 2013 Because of a late April snow, we were unable to install our KCEI equipment on the mountain before our CP expired. We must now wait for the FCC to reapprove an identical CP application, which may take 1 to 4 months. We are downsizing temporarily until we are sure we are ready to go on the air, including moving to smaller offices.
April 10, 2013 KCEI is temporily off the air as we prepare to move our equipment to our mountain site.
April 1, 2013 KCEI has resumed broadcasting from Red River on 90.1 FM on a STA, with selections from our audio archives. We will soon be moving to the KCEI main transmitter location, high on a mountain top.
January, 2012 We are now working with a legendary TV engineer, Jeremy Lansman, who knows how to build an affordable community TV station, as we plan with 5 kW KCEI-LD Channel 18. Thanks to our excellent attorney, Matt McCormick, we now have more time to build this station. If you are interested in our plans for a educational TV station for Northern New Mexico with lots of local content, please contact us.
December, 2012 Delays by the tower owner in installing electric and the transmitter building at the tower have so far prevented us from getting on the air. We still are seeking additional funds for all the equipment we need.
Mid October, 2012 After a great benefit by Amy Goodman, we are getting closer to installing our transmitting equipment on the mountain to broadcast on the new Shively antenna at 10,940 feet above sea level. Prometheus Radio founder Pete Tridish aka "Petri Dish" will be coming to help us build the broadcast studio and make the STL links to the transmitter. We will be needing both donations and volunteers to get us on the air.
On July 16, 2012 Cultural Energy will begin moving to new headquarters at 125-A La Posta. This is across the street from Albertsons and Wired Cafe, next to the Taos Integrated School of the Arts 6th-8th grade campus. Just blocks from the high school, this will make us very accessible to youth and the general public, and allow us to create a media school for our community.
On June 19, 2012, Cultural Energy's construction permit to move our KCEI transmitter to a high mountain was approved by the FCC. With this change, the signal should reach about 65,000 people.
On April 3, 2012, Cultural Energy purchased another small radio station, 90.1 FM now re-named KCEI. This lower powered station will allow us to better cover communities north of Taos, and get on the air sooner. Huge thanks to a very generous anonymous donor! Our fantastic attorney, Matt McCormick, our skillful engineer, Mike Brown, and our great Board, were key in making this happen.
Thanks to David Barsamian and all who came to his talk on February 17 at the Harwood. This raised important funds to move us closer to getting on the air.
Thanks to all who helped & donated to Cultural Energy at our house party hosted by Jean Richards in Des Montes on Oct 23. Please contact us if you would like to host a House Party for your friends & neighbors to learn about Cultural Energy & our plans.
We were glad to meet people in Peñasco at the PACA Board meeting Sep 19 and at the Tewa Women United's Gathering for Mother Earth on Sep 24 as we did outreach for our new stations.
Cultural Energy Planning Meeting Saturday, Sep. 17 10 am to Noon at the Kit Carson Electric Coop Meeting room. People interested in helping start our TV & Radio stations are invited to discuss our plans and join committees for Programming, Music, News, Training, Membership/Outreach, Fundraising, etc. This will be the first of many meetings to involve the public in createing policies and direction for the stations. Thanks to all who came & particpated.
Sep 9, 2011: The FCC granted us a construction permit for a 9,000 watt Educational FM Radio station, KCEY at 89.5 FM. Thanks to all the many people who made this possible, including our amazing pro-bono attorney Matt McCormick of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C., our engineer Mike Brown of Brown Broadcasting, Anthropologist Don Brown, Archeologist Steve Townsend, Lyle Tourp and Meaghan Fahey of the Ottery Group, our Board members, Máye Torres, Miguel Santistevan, Juman Khweis, Aspen Flowers Espinosa & Robin Collier, and many, many other volunteers! Thanks to our many past producers, especially Mike Tilley, who have established the rich body of work you can hear on our web site and a tradition of excellence. Thanks to our many donors & in-kind contributors, especially John Batis of TaosNet.
Aug 25, 2011: Our NEPA/FCC tower study study is now complete with no tribes or any other public enities raising any objections to the tower. Our FCC application will now be amended with the approval, and we expect granting of our Construction Permit to come relatively soon.
July 2011: Our tower study study is near completing it's public comment period, with approval from NM Fish & Game and the NM State Historic Preservation Office.
May 2011: Our NEPA/FCC antenna structure assessment & notifications for our Picuris tower have been submitted to the required agencies and we await approval. With the ending in the 2011 Federal budget of Dept of Commerce funding for public radio equipment, it will be a challenge to raise money for the tower, transmitter and studio equipment. We will need our community's help in many ways!
May 2010: With the snows finally melting, we are now working on our NEPA/FCC antenna structure assessment & notifications to get approval for our Picuris Mountain location. We have an excellent team of an anthropologist, an archeologist and an environmental firm to assist us in consulting with local tribes, governmental entities and the New Mexico State Historical Preservation Office. Tower foundation and installation design will minimize environmental impact using the most advanced anchoring technologies. Design work is also beginning on our solar array which will power our transmitters to make us the most powerful solar TV & Radio station in the world with a combined ERP of 16 kW.
March 3, 2010: We have received approval call signs for our radio & TV stations will be KCEI and KCEI-LD Cultural Energy Independent Radio & Cultural Energy Independent Television.
February 25, 2010: The FCC has granted Cultural Energy a construction permit for a 7kW LP Digital TV station at channel 18. We have 3 years to complete the work & get on the air to reach some 92,000 people in Northern New Mexico. Thanks to our wonderful attorney Matt McCormick of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C., our engineer Don Baad of Munn-Reese, Inc., and Billy Knight in Taos for his help in making this happen.
February 17, 2010: Apparently our lawyer's response was so effective that Highlands failed to even file a response to it. We hope the FCC will act quickly to dismiss their Petition to Deny.
February 1, 2010: Our lawyer has filed a strong and clear answer with the FCC to Highlands University's Petition to Deny of our license and we are confident we will prevail. We will continue our work building both our radio and TV stations.
January 23, 2010: On Dec. 15, 2009 the FCC named Cultural Energy as tenative designee for a NCE radio license at 89.5 FM licensed to Ranchos de Taos, NM. On Jan 14, 2010 NM Highlands University filed a "Petition to Deny" our radio license with the FCC. Both our attorney and engineer firmly believe the assertions made in the Petition are totally without merit, and we will strongly refute them in our legal answers. We remain totally baffled as to the motive of Highlands in filing the Petition, since we can not see how it can result in achieving a license for their competing application for Española.
September 9, 2009: On Aug. 25, we applied for a Low Power Digital TV License at Channel 18 of of Picuris Peak at 7 kW. This signal would reach some 92,000-96,000 people from the south just short of Santa Fe, to the west to Abiquiú & to the north past Questa. At this time, it looks like there are no competing applications that would interfere with this signal. This would allow the rural North to have its own public educational TV station. Building a public TV station will be possible by partnerships with many other organizations.
June 2009: Since applying with the FCC in October 2007 for a full strength FM Educational Radio Station for Northern New Mexico, on June 2008, it was announced that we are in the next group of applicants that will be processed. We thought that this meant we would get a license by the end of 2008, but perhaps because of the transition to the Obama presidency and the Digital TV transition, it is taking longer. We still have to do much work to do and money to raise get on the air. In the mean time, we are working to expand the website with more content to involve people throughout the potential listening area.
If licensed by the FCC, we would broadcast with a C0 class radio license from Picuris Peak at 89.5 at 9 kW reaching from East of Mora to West of Abiquiú and from North of Taos to South of Española, to some 100,000 listeners. Review of conflicting applications is very hopeful for granting of a license, because we provide either the largest new 1st and/or 2nd educational FM service.
We plan satellite studios in such towns as Abiquiú, Mora, Española, Dixon and other communities, where they can produce their own programs. We will also seek to involve youth throughout the region in producing their own programs.
Listen Here to Pacifica's national Sprouts program "Be the Media!" where we are briefly interviewed about the filing, along with many other excited, hopeful applicants.
A Big Thank You to all who helped in preparing our radio application, including our FCC Attorney Matt McCormick in Washington, DC who is providing his services pro-bono, our excellent Engineers; Michael Brown & Mike Johnson of Brown Broadcasting Services, Inc. in Portland, OR, our Board of Directors; David Barsamian, Kay Matthews, Aspen Flowers Espinosa, and Robin Collier, and previous Board members Juman Khweis, Miguel Santistevan, Máye Torres, Deborah Begel, Scott Randolph, and Morten Nilssen. Thanks to Don Badd of Munn-Reese Inc. and Jeremy Lansman, for our Digital TV applications engineering. Thanks especially to those familes who provided reasonable assurance of a tower location, and to those individuals who were willing to provide evidence of their ability to help in the financing of the station startup.
Special thanks to Marty Durlin; former GM of KGNU in Boulder, Norm Davis; formerly of KSAN in San Francisco, David Barsamian; of Alternative Radio, Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan; of Democracy Now!, Ursula Ruedenberg; of Pacifica Radio, Dory Hulbert; formerly of the Horse Fly, Michael Chamberlain; CFO of the New Mexico Community Foundation, and many other individuals who provided special expertise and support in our effort. And all of this would not have been possible with the hard work of Mike Tilley and all our other volunteers who kept our production going while we prepared the application. Thanks also to KVOT, KRZA, KTAO, KLDK, KUNM and the Pacifica network for broadcasting our segments.
Funding for our programs and outreach during the long wait for the FCC window was provided by the members of Cultural Energy, our business underwriters, the Peter and Madeline Martin Foundation, the Healy Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, the New Mexico Community Foundation, the Surdna Foundation through KUNM, and the Taos Community Foundation.