Call Letters: KJHK
City of License: Lawrence, KS
Format: Alternative/Urban/Jazz "The Sound Alternative"
Owner: University of Kansas
Coverage: Douglas County
1975-1979 - KJHK - Top 40/Rock
KJHK originally started as a wire-broadcast into the Daisy Hill dormitories as KDGU, then KUOK. The station eventually broadcasted at 630 kHz on the AM dial. KJHK began its FM broadcasts on October 15, 1975 with 10 watts of power, and with a Top 40/rock format. Much of it was programmed in blocks. The "new wave" programming began in 1978, but did not become full time until the next year. KJHK caused a minor stir in 1978 when, in a satirical newscast, a student declared Waterloo, Iowa, had been destroyed in a nuclear explosion. Somehow that news traveled much farther than ten watts, and caused a panic. The panic warranted a brief story on the CBS Evening News.
1979-current - KJHK - Alternative/Urban/Jazz
In 1979, we find KJHK in its current incarnation. They were pretty much the only station in the area playing punk, British pop, acoustic, death metal, and a wide variety of other things. The decision to program in this direction was partly to justify the cost for the required upgrade to 100 watts in 1980.
In 1994, KJHK became the first U.S. station to broadcast its signal live over the internet-- a claim disputed by a North Carolina college station. Since then, KJHK has greatly expanded its hip-hop and jazz programming. After nearly three decades of oversight from the school of journalism, KU transferred control of KJHK to the student union in 2004. The journalism department could not handle the station's budget anymore. In 2010, KJHK moved from its longtime home in "the shack" to a new studio in the Kansas Union.