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KCPR (91.3 FM) is a non-commercial radio station that is licensed to San Luis Obispo, California. Owned by California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo, the station is operated by students from its on-campus studio located in the Graphic Arts building. In addition to its FM broadcast, KCPR streams its programming online 24 hours a day and has established a growing social media audience.

KCPR 91.3FM logo.jpg
CitySan Luis Obispo, California
Broadcast areaSan Luis Obispo County, California
BrandingCal Poly Radio - 91.3 FM
Slogan"Where Different Matters"
Frequency91.3 MHz
First air date1968
FormatCampus radio
ERP310 watts
HAAT432 meters (1,417 ft)
Facility ID8324
Transmitter coordinatestype:city 35°21′38.00″N 120°39′21.00″W / 35.3605556°N 120.6558333°W / 35.3605556; -120.6558333
Callsign meaningK Cal Poly Radio
OwnerCalifornia Polytechnic State University
WebcastListen Live

KCPR is known for launching the careers of several entertainers and public figures, including musician Weird Al Yankovic, comedian Eric Schwartz, and news reporter David Kerley.


KCPR debuted in August 1968, making its first broadcast with a small two-watt transmitter.[1] According to station lore, the first words spoken on-air were, "Is this the damn switch?"[2] However, an archived version of KCPR's website from 2000 holds the station's first words to be, "How the hell do you turn this thing on?"[3]

Cal Poly professor and former KCPR disc jockey Jim Cushing describes the station's musical philosophy as "to provide people with a blend of music that they will not find on any other station, to remind people that the musical culture belongs to them".[4] Among the programs that have anchored the KCPR program schedule for years include The Breakfast Club, Afternoon Delight, The Comedown, The Lounge, and Club 91.

KCPR is branded as "Cal Poly Radio". Previously, it was known as "Burnt Dog Radio", an axiom that is reflected in one of the station's early logo designs that featured the RCA Victor dog.[5] A logo from the 1980s shows the RCA dog with its head blown off, next to a speaker, and a dog bowl labeled KCPR. Presumably, the loud music is what caused the RCA dog's head to explode, a visual representation of the alternative route that KCPR took after abandoning its top 40 format in 1983.[6]

In the summer of 2008, KCPR moved to a new studio in the same building after 39 years of continuous operation.[4]

In 2017, Great Value Colleges, a consumer resource website for prospective university students, selected KCPR as one of its top 30 college radio stations in the United States.[7]


Occasionally, KCPR hosts concerts at SLO Brew in downtown San Luis Obispo. Some notable artists have performed at these shows, including Jorja Smith and The Strokes.[8]

During the 2017-2018 academic year, KCPR began hosting Club 91 events at Underground Brewing Company in downtown San Luis Obispo. Club 91 features live music played by KCPR student DJs.

October 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the station.

Notable personalitiesEdit

  • David Kerley[9]ABC News correspondent; previously an anchor at KCOY (channel 12) in Santa Maria, California. Was KCPR news director.
  • Eric Schwartz — Comedian. KCPR News director and journalism student; graduated 1996.[10]
  • Alfred ("Weird Al") Yankovic — DJ at KCPR while an undergraduate architecture student at the university.[11] Yankovic recorded his iconic parody song "My Bologna" in the bathroom that stands across the hall from the station's original location on the second floor of the Graphic Arts Building (building 26) on the Cal Poly campus.[4][12] He later returned to the station for an interview during the 1990s, when he recorded a station ID that can still be heard on air.[13]


  1. ^ "Campus radio goes on the air". Mustang News. San Luis Obispo, California: Associated Students of California Polytechnic College.
  2. ^ Brown, Brad. "An interview with Brad Brown" (Interview).
  3. ^ "KCPR 91.9 FM". Archived from the original on April 8, 2000.
  4. ^ a b c Mendonca, Kylie (November 25, 2008). "A long, strange trip". New Times. San Luis Obispo, California. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  5. ^ "Cal Poly University, CA Radio Stations". Local Town. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  6. ^ Mustang Daily, October 14, 1983, page eight
  7. ^ "30 Amazing College Radio Stations 2017-2018". Great Value Colleges. 2017. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  8. ^ "The Strokes Setlist at Downtown Brewing Co., San Luis Obispo, CA, USA". August 6, 2001. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Momburg, Stacia. "Funny Boy". Cal Poly Magazine. San Luis Obispo, California: California Polytechnic State University. p. 11. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  11. ^ "'Weird Al' Yankovic: Cal Poly alum still getting laughs after 35 years". The Tribune. San Luis Obispo, California. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  12. ^ Nunez, Melissa (August 14, 2014). "From Cal Poly bathrooms to No. 1 on Billboard 200: Weird Al through the years". Mustang News. California Polytechnic State University. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  13. ^ "KCPR Weird Al Promo". KCPR. Archived from the original on March 11, 2012.

External linksEdit