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89.3 FM, Lincoln

City of License: Lincoln, NE

First Air Date: February 14,1978

Operating Power: 10 watts

Original Call Letters: KZUM

Format: Variety

Issued To: Sunrise Communications (William Lock, President)

Through the Years

  • 1975

    Construction Permit.  Opposition comes from Meredith Corporation, later Chronicle Broadcasting, over concerns of interference to Omaha’s WOWT Channel 6 audio.

  • 1978

    February 14, 1978-  KZUM 89.5 FM, with 10 watts (Class D) signs on.  Main studio- 2635 Randolph in Lincoln, NE.   Transmitter: 1808 Yolande, Lincoln.  KZUM is Nebraska’s first (and only at the time) community radio station.  Volunteer programmers.  Founders were led by legendary Lincoln activist Ron Kurtenbach.

    Programming:  Variety, including jazz, blues, folk music, fund, soul and bluegrass, as well as a variety of locally and nationally-focused news and talk programs, targeting “the unserved and underserved population.”

  • 1979

    Applications begin for upgrading to 89.3 FM with ERP increases up to 3,000 watts, finally getting a better signal on the air by 1987.

  • 1981

    Studios moved to 1038 South 23rd Street.  Landlord kept his German Shepherd on the porch.  The dog often could be heard barking over the airwaves.

  • 1983

    Studios moved to 244 North 10th Street.

  • 1987

    Upgrade  with a frequency move to 89.3 MHz using 1,500 watts at 31 feet.  Transmitter new location- Lincoln Building, 1001 O Street in Lincoln.   Studios moved to 941 O Street, 10th floor of the Terminal Building.

  • 1992

    Antenna height is increased to 161 feet.

  • 2010

    Station begins digital transmission.

  • 2012

    April, 2012-  Studios moved to 3534 South 48th Street in College View neighborhood.

  • 2022

    Notable is that KZUM is run by over  100 volunteer programmers, 7 days a week.  Several programmers have been with KZUM virtually since its inception, including Eric Bachenberg, John “The Wagonmaster” Schmitz, Jim Anderson, and Hardy Holm.  John Schmitz, with over 40 years of dedicated service to KZUM and the community of Lincoln, was inducted into the Nebraska Performing Arts Hall of Fame in April 2021.