KMUW celebrated 70 years in 2019. Help us continue to ensure the future of public radio for decades to come by making a donation.
April 26, 1949: KMUW begins broadcasting as the first 10-watt noncommercial FM station in the United States, the first noncommercial FM station in the state of Kansas and the second FM station in the state.
March 1962: KMUW increases its power to 250 watts (ERP).
August 1, 1970: KMUW hires its first full-time manager with grant money received from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
October 29, 1970: KMUW increases its power to 10,000 watts (ERP) and relocates its transmitter to the KTVH-TV (now KWCH-TV) facilities at 37th Street North and Hillside.
May 1, 1971: KMUW carries the first broadcasts of National Public Radio, as a charter member and affiliate of that new and interconnected network of noncommercial radio stations.
September 23, 1973: KMUW begins broadcasting in stereo, through all-new studio equipment purchased with funds received from an HEW matching grant.
March 27, 1981: KMUW dedicates Blake Hall at 3317 East 17th Street, which served as our home until April 24, 2016.
September 1, 1987: KMUW increases its power to 100,000 watts, effectively serving a 60-mile radius around metro Wichita.
September 1, 1994: KMUW becomes an affiliate of Public Radio International (PRI). Along with NPR, PRI produces the bulk of nationally-distributed programs heard on public radio station across the country.
2008: KMUW completes the Signal Expansion Project doubling the height of the antenna and building a new green transmitter facility.
April 22, 2009: KMUW's 60th anniversary celebration gets underway with an event at WSU Hughes Metroplex featuring NPR's Cokie Roberts.
April 25, 2016: KMUW moved into our present studios at WSU Old Town, 121 N. Mead, Suite 200.
September 9, 2017: KMUW presents Science Friday at the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown Wichita, Kansas.
September 14, 2017: Our partners at King Solar install solar panels on our roof, helping to reduce our energy use and carbon footprint. The array is 5Kw (kilowatt), and we average 28kWh (kilowatt hours) on a sunny day, which is just enough power to handle our Master Control room, the satellite receivers and audio servers that directly air our programming.
August 15, 2018: Bill Kurtis, judge and scorekeeper of NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me, joined KMUW at our inaugural Media Circus fundraising event.
April 26, 2019: In honor of KMUW's 70th anniversary, the city of Wichita declares April 26, 2019 as KMUW Day with a formal proclamation delivered by Councilwoman Cindy Claycomb.
June 29, 2019: NPR newscaster Korva Coleman joined KMUW as the host of our annual fundraising gala Media Circus. This event is the catalyst that launched KMUW's continued partnership with Coleman for KMUW's Korva Coleman Diversity in Journalism Internship.
2021: In its 72nd year, KMUW is honored with Large Market Station of the Year by the Kansas Association of Broadcasters for the eighth year in a row.
More KMUW History:
- Unloved by Trump, NPR Carries On: Donations to NPR went up sharply after the president said it was “a very good question” to ask why it still existed. The New York Times interviewed KMUW General Manager Debra Fraser after KMUW received pledges from 12 states.
- News on 'The Range,' where the Wichitans and Kansans play: The Sunflower reports on the debut of The Range, KMUW's new weekly news program.
- Wichita's Shine Thrives Despite Journalism's Struggles: Wichita Story spoke with Tom Shine, KMUW's director of news and public affairs, about his career in journalism throughout the industry's ups and downs.
- Wichita In 1949: A City In Transition: Dr. Jay Price, the director of Wichita State University's Public History program, gives us a glimpse of what Wichita looked like in 1949.
- From bell-bottoms to broadcast: RIP Blake Hall: The Sunflower, Wichita State University's student newspaper, recounts the history of KMUW's former home.
- KMUW's reputation and production grows as it adds to its reporting staff: Wichita State University's Paul Suellentrop details KMUW's growth in 2018.
- Hayes Through The Haze: Pat Hayes reflects on KMUW's 30th Anniversary in 1979.
- NPR show wins awards and international attention: The Sunflower interviews KMUW's Chris Heim when her music show, Global Village, became an internationally broadcast program in 2013.
- History Of The KMUW Pledge Drives: Frank Dudgeon interviews Pat Hayes, who worked at KMUW for 38 years.
- Left of the Dial: In this article for The Shocker, Wichita State University's alumni magazine, KMUW's Jedd Beaudoin profiles former KMUW disk jockey Thurston Briscoe. Briscoe went on to become the program director of WBGO in Newark, N.J., a top-rated jazz station serving the New York City area.
- View the list of awards KMUW has received since 2014.