KRUA is an award-winning, Non-Commercial Educational Radio Station based out of the University of Alaska Anchorage. National Arbitron research has shown that our listeners tend to keep listening for longer periods of time than they do with other radio stations. Listeners also tend to be younger. This can be attributed to KRUA’s diverse choices in music and programming; whereas commercial stations tend to play the same select programming over and over again and focus on an older audience.
As the college radio station of Anchorage, students tune in to KRUA each day to hear about new and exciting opportunities on their campus. From our main studios on UAA campus, to our transmitter in Eagle River, our radio station reaches a significant portion of Alaska’s South Central region. Sponsors associated with KRUA are exposed to a large and diverse listener-ship that spans South-central Alaska and now, with online streaming, around the United States and the World, allowing your business to be more accessible to more people at any given time.
KRUA has a small core group of student staff and a large collection of UAA and Anchorage community volunteers. Since 1992, KRUA has provided the UAA and Anchorage community with not only great music and shows, but also the opportunity to gain skills in radio broadcasting and a unique creative outlet.
KRUA is funded by the students at UAA. If a student is enrolled in 3 or more credits, they pay an $11 media fee. These fees are split between KRUA and our sister organization, The Northern Light student newspaper. Because we are funded by student fees, we work hard to ensure that we are meeting the needs of students and paying attention to student interests.
KRUA began transmitting in the spring of 1987. It was known then not as KRUA, but as KMPS. During this time, they borrowed a small transmitter from Augie Hiebert of Northern Television, Inc. The station worked on a small budget, receiving only $1.50 per student through a student fee.
KMPS was a carrier current station. The signal traveled through telephone lines and could only be heard in specifically targeted places. In this case, KMPS could only be heard in student housing and the campus center. The schedule was sporadic and depended on the school schedules of volunteer DJ’s. The station tried to air from noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, but occasionally missed an hour or two.
During the school year of 1989-90, actual proceedings began to create an FM station at UAA. After meetings with the University of Alaska Anchorage journalism and public communications department, local FCC offices, and the Anchorage Associated Broadcasters, Inc., documentation to create a non-commercial, educational station began.
In 1991, KMPS received the approval to move forward with the construction of a tower site for the young station, and 88.1-megahertz was assigned as its frequency. A referendum to increase student fees to $5.25 per student passed by a landslide: this allowed the station to move towards FM status.
On February 14, 1992, at approximately 5 p.m., KRUA’s faint signal was suddenly being heard on the Hillside, in Turnagain and around the Anchorage area. REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” was the first song Anchorage listeners heard from KRUA. In 2017, KRUA celebrated 25 years of FM broadcasts by hosting a free show with local acts I Like Robots, DJ Spencer Lee, and Lavoy.
As KRUA continues to evolve, one element is constant: KRUA volunteers. Our volunteers continue to make KRUA a great station to listen to, and an excellent place to work and learn. Thank you!