KGNU: 40 Years of Making Waves

KGNU Timeline 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..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..Read More


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.


1986: “Alternative Radio” with David Barsamian debuts.

1986: “Alternative Radio” with David Barsamian debuts.


1987: Marty Durlin name General Manager

1987: Iran-Contra hearings broadcast live


1988: KGNU moves to 1900 Folsom Street

KGNU Folsom Street


1991: Boulder’s E-Town joins the weekly lineup


1992: “Connections” call in show premieres



1992: Award-winning science show, “How on Earth” debuts


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.


1996: KGNU and WERU found the Grassroots Radio Coalition.

1996: KGNU becomes one of first subscribers to Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now”; ends NPR programming.

Amy Goodman and Noam Chomsky


Purchase of our current studios on east Walnut in Boulder

KGNU Building


Purchase of 1390 AM signal to broadcast in Denver


Sam Fuqua named general manager; Denver studio opens

Americana Roots & Branches Premieres Sunday Mornings

Roots & Branches


FM signal increased to 4000 watts, increases Front Range Footprint


David Wilson named general manager


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..Read More

2015: Tim Russo hired as General Manager


2017: Fort Collins translator acquired

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.