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History and Audience

91.3 KBCS is public radio providing Puget Sound with essential music and news.

Listeners tune in to hear an unparalleled mix of new and classic worldbeat, folk, and jazz, in addition to unique and vital news and analysis.

Over 150 volunteer hosts, producers, and journalists deliver much of the music and news heard on the station. KBCS alumni can be heard on public radio stations throughout the region and reporting for National Public Radio.

The roots of KBCS took hold in the early ‘70s. Perhaps inspired by the insurgent FM stations of the era, with their rebel disc jockeys spinning a wild mix of album sides and long prog rock tracks, a group of students set out to become broadcasters. Bellevue College was initially disinterested. While the events leading up to the student sit-in at the president’s office have been forgotten, the end result was that in February of ’73 KBCS went live, with a tiny 10 watt transmitter and equipment donated by KING-FM.

Gradually, KBCS evolved from a student radio club into a professionally managed public media organization.  In 1990, transmitter power increased to 8,000 watts. In March of 2013 the station’s antenna moved from the Bellevue College campus to the top of Cougar Mountain, strengthening the station’s reach to the south and east.

The Eastside’s only public radio station, 91.3 KBCS is heard as throughout the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan region. The station continues to grow and adapt to the evolving needs of public radio listeners, and that ‘73 spirit of community and adventure is alive and well.