From humble beginnings in 1948 to an iPhone app in the 2000s, the station keeps expanding and teaching future broadcast professionals.
by Mark Wright ’07 (MS)
The KTCU crew in 1958. The station had eleven transmitters to serve the campus with high-fidelity music. (TCU Yearbook)
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by Mark Wright ’07 (MS)
1948 KTCU goes on the air in the fall semester, broadcasting to the dorms and other campus buildings on a clock-circuit network. Then a senior at TCU, Luther Adkins ’49, credited as the station’s “founder,” helped get a console and turntable for the fledgling station.
1949 KTCU moves from Building Two of the Barracks to the Fine Arts Building
1952 KTCU purchases new transmitter and audio console and receives permission to sell advertising.
1955 KTCU converts to line-carrier transmission and purchases seven specially built transmitters. Studio facilities continue to improve as money from sales is made available.
1958 Eleven transmitters serve the campus with high-fidelity music. Students hear KTCU by tuning 1025 KC’s on any radio on campus. Sponsors of the station that year include Lucky Strike Cigarettes, University State Bank, Hammond Organ Studios, Record Town, KFJZ Radio, and Caro’s.
1964 A headline in the Tuesday Sept. 14, 1964, edition of the Skiff announces: “Officially Blessed by FCC, KTCU-FM Goes Into Action on 89.1 This Month.” To prepare for the station’s expansion, a 60-foot tower was constructed in the summer of 1964 atop Ed Landreth Auditorium.
1966 Larry Lauer, former program director at WAMU-FM in Washington, D.C., is hired to head the station and be an RTVF instructor in the speech department.
1967 Lauer switches KTCU to rock ‘n’ roll format to attract student workers.
1977 University officials switch KTCU to a community station with classical, jazz and public affairs.
1980 A 321-foot transmission tower is erected. With a one-millivolt signal, the station can be heard in a 20-mile circle.
1981 KTCU 88.7 moves from cramped Ed Landreth quarters to more spacious confines in the Moudy Building, with studios visible from the courtyard separating the north and south sections of the building.
1982 TCU adds KROC, a carrier-current station heard only on campus specializing in rock music. It was designed to give students experience in selling air time.
1984 Mayor Bob Bolen declares October of 1984 as KTCU-FM month in Fort Worth to recognize its 20th anniversary as an FCC-licensed station.
1994 Station manager Andy Haskett gives KTCU a distinct format — “The Edge” without commercials. Ratings climb 500 percent over the previous year, with the number of listeners increasing from 3,800 the year before to 19,300.
2009 The Office of the Mayor issues a proclamation that October 2009 is KTCU month in Fort Worth to honor its 45th anniversary as an FCC-licensed station.
2010 KTCU iPhone app is launched on April 25, 2010. By March 2011, the app had reached 5,000 downloads and counting.
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