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Since 1958, Central Washington University has had a radio station in one form or another, but it wasn’t until April 29th, 1962, that Central Washington College of Education obtained its FCC broadcast license for 91.5 FM.


Roger Reynolds, assistant professor of Communications, was the station’s sole radio adviser from 1968 until 1984 (succeeding Professor John Hoglin). KCWS was a non-commercial educational station funded jointly by the speech and drama department and the Services and Activities Fees Committee, which allocates funds every two years from student fees. According to Reynolds, the broadcast license was allowed to expire without renewal in 1972, because nobody was listening to the station and the Services and Activities Fees Committee subsequently didn’t want to pay to keep it running.


Programming for KCWS-FM was mostly classical music, talk and documentary programming which was not popular with the students. Meanwhile, Central was also operating an AM radio station (KCAT, 880 AM) via carrier current transmission through the power lines. This made reception of the station possible by plugging in a radio receiver from anywhere on campus. Reynolds said he persuaded the students to convert this station to a commercial rock and roll operation, which made it extremely popular amongst the student body and brought in large sums of annual revenue.

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