KGNU is an independent, noncommercial community radio station licensed in Boulder and Denver, dedicated to serving its listeners.
We seek to stimulate, educate and entertain our audience, to reflect the diversity of the local and world community, and to provide a channel for individuals, groups, issues and music that have been overlooked, suppressed or under-represented by other media.
The station seeks to expand the listening audience through the excellence of its programming without compromising the principles stated here.
KGNU was founded in the mid-1970's by a group of Boulder residents intent on bringing a different broadcasting model to the metro area: community radio. They envisioned a radio station where diverse music and news could be broadcast free of commercial considerations, a station where members of the community could have in-depth discussions of local and global issues, a station where people of color could take to the airwaves and reach out to the community. And the founders wanted to do all this mainly with volunteers-providing the equipment, training and supervision necessary to create a volunteer-powered sound that was very different from commercial radio and even different from traditional public radio.
It worked. The station went on the air on May 22, 1978. Thirty-seven years later, KGNU continues to provide mission-driven diverse programming produced primarily by volunteers. And the need for community media is even greater now, with fewer and fewer large conglomerates controlling more and more of commercial radio and television.
Major milestones include:
*Purchase and renovation of our building at 4700 Walnut Street in Boulder (2000-2001).
*Purchase of the 1390 AM frequency (2004). With limited power on our 88.5 FM signal and growing demand from Denver residents, our ambitious expansion into a major media market garnered national attention, including coverage in The New York Times.
*Addition of a Denver production & broadcast studio in the Santa Fe Arts District (2007).
FM signal improvement and power increase (2009-10).
*Installation of a new antenna and increase of our FM power, which extended our 88.5 FM signal to more of Boulder County and the Denver Metro Area (2010).
*Expansion of a new FM frequency in Fort Collins, at 98.7 MHz following the FCC's approval of the acquisition of FM Translator K254CH (2017).
"I love the alternative perspectives KGNU brings to the news." - Mandy Walker
"Saturday on KGNU is the best radio day on Earth." - Jeff Rose
"African Roots just might be the best radio show I've heard in a long time. Thanks for sharing the music of Africa this Saturday around 5:00 PM. Cheers" - Brian Plavnicky
"Hands-down the best Independent radio station in Colorado. Do yourself a favor and tune in!" - Hannah Leigh Myers
"Thank you KGNU for you for live streaming Rockygrass festival it is a true celebration! You are a magical asset to our community/ and the music listening public all over the world. Love it that I can listen via the radio or the internet. The Rockygrass broadcast's stories and Music are so inspiring, and the tales of re-birth of Planetbluegrass's renewed landscape after the #COflood13 so profound and real, I shed several tears of joy. Thank you." - Tara Doran
"An eclectic mix of commercial-free music, Local/international news and informational radio. There's nothing quite like it around, and it's an honor to be a part of the KGNU family!!" - Juliette Laurel Strauss
"Great station and easy to navigate [online] with nearly all shows in an easy to download format." - Bret Bartlo
"What an honor to be producing shows on KGNU. It's about the community." - Miriam Mimi Schiff
"Still listening from Vermont! Favorites are Democracy Now, Duncan Campbell, Honky Tonk Heros, BBC, Birgit Mars, Michael Toms." - Liza Cabot-Case
"Thankful for the access to alternative sources of both news and music." - Erin Hamilton
"Great station! Was a volunteer programmer there in the '70s."- Irene Hamilton
"Unpurchased media rocks!"- Vrnda Noel
KGNU is Award-Winning:
In May 2019, KGNU was awarded the 2019 Recycle Colorado award for Outstanding Outreach from Recycle Colorado. This award is given to a media outlet that in the past year has worked to promote recycling, composting, or waste reduction in Colorado.
In June 2019, KGNU received two awards from the Public Radio News Directors Inc., (PRNDI). Each year, PRNDI honors the best work being done by local public and community radio stations. In Division C (stations with small newsrooms) KGNU won the first place award in "Best Call-in Program" category for Designed For The Dump: Earth Day Special that aired on April 18, 2018, as part of our year-long zero waste series thanks to funding made possible by Boulder County and Zero Waste Funding. The program was focused on electronic waste the fastest growing waste stream, specifically what happens when electronics are discarded and to encourage the public to recycle and fix electronics instead.
In 2016, KGNU received a first-place award at the annual national Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI) ceremony in St. Louis, Missouri last month for its Call-in Program, "What Happens to our Bodies After Death."
KGNU was selected as "Diverse Radio" - Best of Boulder - 2016! "The best part about the radio is that when you stop liking something, be it a song or a talking head, you can just turn the dial. But, our favorite radio stations rarely beckon us to do so, and Boulder's KGNU is a station that's hard to turn off. It's likely you've found yourself parked outside your house waiting for an engrossing segment to wrap up before you go inside. Or maybe you turn to it for world-class, no-spin news. Or maybe it's the music and arts features you like. Whatever it is, there's no denying KGNU's diversity, and that's why it's one of our favorites."