Only two other FM stations were on the air in Oklahoma on December 29, 1955, when KAMC radio went on the air with test programming at Oklahoma A&M College. The campus station (which would eventually become KOSU) initially operated on a 10-watt transmitter that covered Stillwater and gave students a wider audience than the wired-wireless station, KVRO, could offer.
KAMC suffered some setbacks with a transition in the staff for radio services and the death of President Henry Bennett, but following two years of silence, it went back on the air for good on February 8, 1959.
Soon after its return to the airwaves, the Federal Communications Commission approved new call letters for the station, KOSU, which now boasted a 250-watt transmitter and a coverage area of about 30 miles. The radio station offered students an expanded audience for their hands-on classroom.
Robert Johnson (photo) became the first chairman of the new radio-television section in the School of Journalism in 1959. He is shown directing students Louis VanLandingham of Russellville, Arkansas, and Billy Lou Perry of Lawton, as they broadcast from KOSU to listeners in Stillwater and surrounding towns and rural areas. The station’s signal was increased to 100,000 watts in 1971, the same year it became the 100th member of National Public Radio.
Today, KOSU is a member-supported public radio network, reaching 100 thousand listeners every week in a 54,000 square mile area that includes Oklahoma City and Tulsa. It operates on frequencies 91.7 FM in central Oklahoma, 107.5 FM in northeast Oklahoma and it can also be heard at 94.9 FM in Ponca City.