Station History

KUCO History Timeline

Read two articles on KUCO History here! 



In 1966, Central State College receives a $25,000 gift from Homer Johnson to establish a classical music radio service.  The College receives an FM broadcast license from the FCC and KCSC is housed in a campus building.  In 1969, the station moves to the remodeled library, known now as the Communications Building and the station becomes a student-run radio laboratory.  In 1979 KCSC receives permission from the FCC to broadcast at 100Kw ERP and erects a 400 foot tower on campus with grant funds from the Kerr Foundation. 

In 1985 the station qualifies for membership as a Corporation for Public Broadcasting affiliate and students are moved to a separate campus station KBLZ.  Joining NPR in 1986, the station begins broadcasting All Things Considered.  After a one year test run, NPR membership is withdrawn and KCSC returns to its roots as a fine arts broadcaster but continues its status as a member of the CPB.   In 1995 KCSC receives the Governor's Arts Award, the first of Oklahoma's public radio stations to be honored and in 1996 the station purchases land in Oklahoma City's "antenna farm" and with grants from the US Department of Commerce, the Sarkeys Foundation, the Kerr Foundation and the Kirkpatrick Foundation, erects an 800 foot tower with accompanying transmitter building.  Transmitter and broadcasting facilities are moved to 1501 NE 101st Street in Oklahoma City with studios remaining in the University's Mass Communications Building.

In 1998, KCSC's opera host Clyde Martin receives the Governor's Media in the Arts Award.  Leonore Williams leaves her estate to KCSC to be administered by the UCO Foundation in 1999 and KCSC establishes a repeater station, KBCW, in McAlester with a grant from the US Department of Commerce and a gift from Clark and Wanda Bass.  Forest Johnson of Norman leaves his estate to KCSC to found the KCSC Classical Radio Foundation in 2001, becoming a separate 501(c)3 organization.  In 2007, KCSC adds HD to its central Oklahoma operation and in 2008, former opera host Clyde Martin leaves one half of his estate to KCSC.  In 2010 KCSC launches a new website, and hosts NPR’s "From the Top" at Oklahoma City University.

In 2013, KCSC's Director of Production Kimberly Powell receives the Governor's Media in the Arts Award.  KCSC adopts new call letters in 2014 and becomes Classical KUCO, the website, opens social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter  and establishes a repeater station at 95.9 Woodward, KZCU, and eventually reclaiming its original call letters of KCSC.  In 2016 KUCO marks its 50th anniversary and upgrades its online stream with new encoding software and a new service contract with an independent provider.  KUCO's weekly Spotlight on the Arts returns to the OKC Museum of Art with a brand new portable radio console funded by the Kirkpatrick Foundation and a back up antenna is installed at the transmitter site at 1501 NE 101st Street in Oklahoma City.  The station also completes a new installation in Woodward, bringing the repeater up to full power with a grant from the Rapp Foundation.  In the Summer of 2017, KUCO installs a new lead antenna at the OKC transmitter site.  In 2018, KUCO's General Manager Brad Ferguson receives the Governor's Media in the Arts Award and installs the Telos Alliance Omnia 9 processor and in 2019, in the second most significant upgrade in the station's history, KUCO replaces its aging multi-transmitters with a new state of the art liquid-cooled solid state FM single transmission platform (GatesAir “Flexiva”) supporting both analog and digital broadcasting and built on green transmission architecture offering a compact, energy conserving and highly efficient signal performance. And during the 2019-2020 season, the station moves to brand new digital studios at Santa Fe Plaza in downtown Oklahoma City.  The year also saw KBCW McAlester upgrades with a new antenna increasing the stability and continuity of broadcasting across the terrain in southeastern Oklahoma, a new transmitter, increasing the power to 5000 watts,  and the addition of digital HD for KBCW broadcasting.   


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