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Nat’l gay/lesbian radio station to bow from Denver

Unbowed by the Nov. 3 passage of Colorado’s Amendment 2, KGAY, a gay and lesbian radio superstation, will go on the air Saturday from Denver.

Initially, KGAY will be available nationally to consumers with C-band home satellite dishes, but general manager Clay Henderson said he is negotiating with cable TV system operators and local radio stations to retransmit the 24-hour service.

Start-up costs for KGAY are around $ 1 million, Henderson said, and funds were provided by private investors. The KGAY signal piggybacks as an audio-only subcarrier on Turner Broadcasting’s WTBS signal, though Turner required contract language saying KGAY is in no way associated with WTBS. Signal is carried by Hughes’ Galaxy 5 Satellite on channel 6 at 6.30/6.48 mHz,and also on GTE’s Spacenet 3 Satellite on channel 22 at 6.20/7.40 mHz.

Henderson said KGAY will be advertising-supported, and has already pacted to run some per-inquiry ads and is in discussions with several large-scale commercial time-buyers. Though he said he will accept some “discreet adult” advertising for services such as 900 numbers, Henderson said those ads will have limited frequency and be scheduled only during certain hours.

Programming will include news from the Gaynet News Service, talk and variety shows, sports programming, inspirational programming and other entertainment programming in development. On Friday and Saturday nights, KGAY will broadcast alternative and dance music.

Backs Colorado boycott

The station has an editorial policy, said Henderson, favoring a boycott of Colorado because of the state’s passage of Amendment 2. The new law invalidates all previous legislation that protects gays and lesbians from discrimination, and prevents the introduction of any such legislation. It also prevents the courts in the state from hearing a case involving discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

A 13-year Colorado resident, Henderson previously produced a gay and lesbian radio show in Texas, and started Gaybreak, a radio show in Colorado. He said his interest in broadcasting dates back to his childhood in Texas when, “The Ku Klux Klan blew up the transmitter for the Pacifica Radio station, which was located in my grandparents’ cotton field.”

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