KGNU: 40 Years of Making Waves

A Timeline of KGNU


1976 C.U. Boulder Radio Initiative

C.U. Boulder students raise fees to fund involvement in what becomes KGNU radio


1977: Studio & Broadcast Facility Planning

The Boulder Community Broadcast Association, licensee of KGNU collaborates to create studio space, transmitter and tower location, equipment, and personnel to put KGNU on the air


1978: KGNU Inaugural Broadcast

1978: KGNU Inaugural Broadcast

Inaugural KGNU broadcast on May 22, 1978 from a cottage behind the Millenium Harvest House Hotel. Glen Gerberg named first station manager. John “Sal” Salamone, pictured here, was a DJ and also KGNU’s advertising manager. Boulder Bluegrass Band Hot Rize debuts on KGNU morning show from the “Kabaret” room, KGNU’s..Read More

1978: KGNU & NFCB

KGNU is one of the founding members of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB) representing community and public radio stations in the US.

1978: Signal Power Reduction

July 1978: Citing “close channel interference” with KRMA channel 6, FCC forces KGNU to reduce signal power from 3000 to 1300 watts.

1978: Debut of Longtime Favorite KGNU Programs

Eclipse Crew

Debut of six favorite programs still on our schedule: “Indian Voices,” locally produced program covering Native American issues and music; “Old Grass Gnu Grass,” “Eclipse,” “Reggae Bloodlines,” “Ragtime America/Dixeland,” and “Blues Legacy”.


1979: Rocky Flats Protests

KGNU broadcasts protests by airplane from Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Facility.

1979: First Grateful Dead Marathon

Skeletons on the Mount

Broadcast of first Grateful Dead Marathon, continued today in our fund drive Grateful Dead “Rare Tapes” Special.


1980: Local Music

Local favorites Washboard Chaz, Rare Silk, and Ray Bonneville perform regularly from Kabaret room

1980: Financial Challenges

Station’s financial weakness leads to staff and board turnover, station in crisis.


March, 1981: KGNU Goes Off Air

KGNU loses CPB funds, runs out of money and is signed-off the air.

April 1981: KGNU Back On Air

“Friends of KGNU” sign station back on three weeks later with no federal funding, begins two-month on-air fundraising effort; Fergus Stone becomes station manager

July 1981: New Studio Space

KGNU Group Photo 1981

KGNU moves to space above the Aristocrat restaurant at Broadway and Spruce.


1983: New GM, Rocky Flats Coverage

Greg Fisher named general manager; 2nd major coverage by KGNU of Rocky Flats protests.


1994: Signal and Format Updates

Marty and Tower

Signal boosted to serve Boulder’s mountain towns and the station begins transition from NPR to more local-based programming. KGNU produced Morning Magazine begins airing.


May 2015: KGNU & Boulder Bookstore Radio Bookclub debuts

Radio Bookclub

Our Radio Bookclub, in collaboration with the Boulder Bookstore, begins airing the last Thursday of every month and published on and as a podcast on iTunes.


2017: Boulder voters approve ballot measure 2M & 2N

Community Culture Safety

The measure includes KGNU as a recipient of a $1.25M matching grant from the City of Boulder for capital improvements and expansion.


May 22, 2018 – KGNU Celebrates 40 Years of Broadcasting

KGNU 40 Years of Making Waves

A heartfelt thank you to all of the volunteers, staff, our listener community, and everyone who has supported KGNU over the last 40 years.