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k u n n fm signed on the air in october nineteen sixty six but its roots go back to the atm carrier current station kenyon md which signed on in april of nineteen sixty cane and he was created and operated by ewan him students and its signal could be heard only on the u and m campus and then only in the several buildings that were specially wired its format including classical and easy listening music a little folk and jazz dance music news and campus events k u n n was preceded by an am station called canyon and see this carrier current station used phone lines to carry the signal to small transmitter is located in a dorm building and two fraternity houses on the u and m campus do a mistake probably made by the phone company candy was heard in its first week every time anyone on campus picked up the telephone the economics of operating a radio station had long been a challenge when k williams precursor carrier current station k n
andy was initially proposed in nineteen fifty nine who's projected that the station would cost less than one thousand dollars to start up in less than a year that estimate had increased to twelve thousand dollars shortly after its premiere in the spring of nineteen sixty candy shut down for the summer unfortunately the transmitter was inadvertently left are in resulting in a substantial repair bill that fall katie women's colorful past goes all the way back to its early days as carrier current station k n and the first dispute on record goes back to the spring of nineteen sixty one when kamen be aired a recording from students at the university of california explaining their side of the free speech demonstrations that were occurring there some board members felt that all future programming should be reviewed by the board to keep such material off the air while others held out for a maximum degree of editorial freedom can you win in his predecessor cayenne empty saw
its share of controversy in the early sixties the issues range from the weighty to the mundane in the fall of nineteen sixty one the station went off the air in an argument with the student union over a fire escape access but some say the real issue was after hours access to the restroom facilities the subject came to light when a can and the dj was caught after hours in the sub theater restroom having picked the lock in order to answer the call of nature the un and has long been known for its eclectic music programming what eventually became known as free form programming may trace its roots back to november nineteen sixty two when k u and m's predecessor came in the year going all night programme called a great festival according to one description the dj is played all types of music taking requests from listeners before and during the show k u and m's predecessor k n andy was an idiom carrier current station at the time of
cayenne and these inception fm technology had not yet become the standard in nineteen sixty four interest in developing an fm broadcast station was renewed partly in response to complaints from students who lived off campus they were paying for the service but could only hear it in the student union building on campus their arguments found a more sympathetic ear with king and andy's current station manager who was an electrical engineering major in nineteen sixty four the move toward developing an fm broadcast station began in earnest initial proposal included an antenna on sandy a crest the project's cost was estimated at nineteen thousand five hundred dollars the university administration declined to split the cost of the proposed upgrade of cain empty on the school grounds reassessing costs the same senate decided it would be cheaper to first establish an antenna on the roof of the student union building the proposal moved forward with a funding allocation from student fees
in nineteen sixty five the border regions of the university of new mexico agreed to apply for a non commercial educational fm broadcast license from the federal communications commission on behalf of the associated students of the university of new mexico and kenyon md the new station was to be a medium of communication between the university of new mexico and the people of albuquerque and the city with programs on a high educational and entertainment plane in the summer of nineteen sixty six with construction of its fm facility well underway can be applied to change the station's call letters to a u and m was the preferred designation but it turns out the scholars were assigned to a ship since the ship was no longer sailing under the us flag request was made to the customs bureau to release the call sign to the fcc with the issue still unresolved some twenty thousand program guys were printed bearing the call letters to a u and m
on october seventeenth nineteen sixty six a brand new non commercial educational broadcast service signed on the air at ninety point one fm it was k u and m but the colleges were get official one source as it that a local commercial station suit to bar the station from using the call letters k u and m on the grounds that they were too similar to their own another source contends that there was a glitch and transferring the call letters from the liberty ship that held them previously requiring the intervention of senator anderson either way the problem was soon resolved and tell you when am was on the year k u n n published its first program died in october nineteen sixty six and it was this statement of purpose k u n and will not operate as a mass appeal radio station programming to attract the greatest possible number of listeners neither will it be strictly an educational operation for the convenience of curriculum planners k u and m will function as a service of the student body of you and him unburdened by
commercials providing the university family and the albuquerque public with radio programs on a high cultural and entertainment plane we hope you and them attracts a loyal audience not out of loyalty to you and i am but because it presents programs that are unavailable elsewhere programs that enlightened and stimulate as well as entertain programs with content apps and elsewhere katie women's broad mission the subject of differing interpretations and different readings have given rise to controversy to a women's first major programming controversy came in nineteen sixty eight more students were listening to the station now but some of them didn't like what they heard one group demanded that at one am devote at least seventy five percent of its programming to pop music the radio board drafted a policy statement directing the station to more directly reflect what the students wanted the station manager at eleven other staff members resigned in protest and the station shut down
in the programming controversy of nineteen sixty eight some feared that k u n n would start sounding like a commercial station it's didn't stick aided programming station management felt unwise to leave open the record library under a policy of announcers choice up to this point the station sound was certainly distinct from commercial stations but tended to lean towards elevator music the new programming policy open the door to changing times and to you and then began to evolve as a freewheeling free form alternative by the fall of nineteen sixty eight k u n n had gone underground station was turning more toward underground rock and folk music and programming that reflected the rhetoric of the times students returning to school that fall were greeted with a full page psychedelic adding in the un him daily lobo welcoming them back to the cool sounds of k you when i'm as the nineteen sixties were drawing to a close various groups were becoming more vocal
in their desire for access to k u and ends airwaves united mexican american students insisted that the station play nothing but mariachi music during the week a fiesta a group called the strike committee forcefully demanded airtime in an effort to keep them away from the control room microphone a dj who was on the air back into the transmitter switch accidentally shutting down the station for the night can you announce program guide for september nineteen sixty nine clearly reflects the mood of the time's public affairs specials included title such as militancy on the campus law and order and civil disobedience the jefferson airplane and the san francisco sound conference on marijuana female liberation front and crises in the peace movement much of this timely and topical material came from the pacifica network you and m's music mix was decidedly eclectic by the fall of nineteen sixty nine seven plus hours per day featured music format called the bone yard
described as a general mix of rock folk jazz blues and soul this program can be i sing in its content free form was featured late night an overnight and was then described as rock hard rock and a hard hard rock other new specialty music show's featured soul and native american music in may of nineteen seventy you win them students staged a strike to protest the killings at kent state came in and broadcast live from the student union building giving literally a blow by blow account of the ensuing battle although play you in and was not yet affiliated with the fledgling national public radio system tapes of the broadcasts were sent to npr and were used in their national news broadcasts in the early nineteen seventies fm spit tension in the albuquerque market was underdeveloped and k u n n was one of the most listened to fm stations but apparently it wasn't
for everybody in november nineteen seventy the director of the student union building replaced k u n and with a k r s t and the buildings public address system responding to complaints from some students that they couldn't study to the outrageous sounds on k u and m the change generated an even greater number of complaints from k u and m supporters and the decision was reversed in nineteen seventy two k u and m was broadcasting twenty four hours a day seven days a week the station was growing and so was the university but his new buildings went up at one am signal was getting boxed in kalan and santana was still on the roof of the student union building and its signal troubled by line of sight with the construction of popejoy hall another university buildings was getting harder to pick a k u and m signal even in the immediate area the original plan to put cannons and ten on sandy a crest postponed the cost back in nineteen sixty four
Narration of KUNM History to 1987 by Claude Stephenson
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KUNM (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
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Highlights from KUNM's history including conflicts regarding free speech, free form programming format, the move toward developing an FM signal, different interpretations of KUNM's mission over the years, and more.
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Narrator: Bokuniewicz, Mary
Producing Organization: KUNM
Writer: Stephenson, Claude
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Identifier: cpb-aacip-38453c0c243 (Filename)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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Duration: 00:14:00
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Chicago: “Narration of KUNM History to 1987 by Claude Stephenson,” 1987-06-18, KUNM, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 28, 2023,
MLA: “Narration of KUNM History to 1987 by Claude Stephenson.” 1987-06-18. KUNM, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 28, 2023. <>.
APA: Narration of KUNM History to 1987 by Claude Stephenson. Boston, MA: KUNM, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from