- The Public Radio Satellite -
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In 1979 public radio entered the Space Age when all stations were
interconnected by satellite.  It was now possible for live and recorded
programs to be distributed simultaneously to public radio stations
across the country.

It was no longer necessary for hundreds of
Radio Reader tapes to
be duplicated and mailed to stations.  Dick had only to record each
episode on one tape that would then be "uplinked" by WKAR Radio
to the satellite and recorded by each station.
Above is WKAR Radio's satellite antenna, as it appeared in 1979.  It
was used to distribute
The Radio Reader until 2002.  It was erected
in the parking lot behind the Physics and Astronomy Building at
Michigan State University, across the street from WKAR Radio's old
studios in the Auditorium Building. The dish was situated next to a
tank of liquid nitrogen used by the Physics Department.

In 1981 the antenna was moved to a fledgling "dish farm" adjacent
to the Communication Arts & Sciences Building at Michigan State
University, the new home of the WKAR Radio studios.  With changes
in the public radio distribution system, the dish is now used only as a
satellite receiver and no longer transmits.
The Communication Arts & Sciences "dish farm" in 1981.
Photo: Gene Purdum
The "dish farm" as it appears today.
Dick Estell
The Radio Reader
Public Radio's Reading Program
Photo: WKAR Archives
Photo: WKAR Archives
Photo: WKAR Archives
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