KDVS (90.3 FM) is an American student and community radio station based in Davis, California. Featuring a freeform programming format, the station is owned by Regents of the University of California. Broadcasting at 13,000 watts, it is one of the most powerful freeform university-based radio stations in the United States. With a good enough car radio the station can be heard as far east as Lake Tahoe.
|Broadcast area||Central Valley|
|Owner||University of California, Davis|
First air date
|January 2, 1968|
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
|HAAT||56 meters (184 ft)|
A free newsletter entitled KDViationS, written and composed by the volunteer staff of the radio station, is published quarterly. The station also produces This Week in Science, which is broadcast live on the station but is known mostly in podcast form. KDVS is also the home of the public affairs programs Radio Parallax and Dr. Andy's Poetry and Technology Hour.
The idea for starting KDVS was conceived by students in the former Beckett-Hughes dormitories in late 1963. Using the call letters KCD and 880 AM as the frequency, the students "broadcast" their first program on February 1, 1964, from a laundry room in Beckett Hall. The station's signal, which was transmitted by telephone lines, could only reach certain dorms.
Two years later, in 1966, KCD and the university's student government, Associated Students of UC Davis, joined in applying for a Class D noncommercial broadcast license. The FCC awarded the license to the university on October 18, 1967. By then, the station had moved to the newly constructed Memorial Union, where its inaugural broadcast was aired on January 2, 1968, under the call letters KDVS.
Initially, KDVS had 10 watts and broadcast on 91.5 FM in mono. In 1971, the station's signal was upgraded to stereo, but a far more significant development occurred six years later. In 1977, during a period when the FCC was forcing Class D stations to either upgrade or go silent, KDVS received a power increase to 5,000 watts and moved to its current frequency 90.3 FM. Two additional power increases were approved by the FCC over the years: 9,200 watts in 1983 and 13,000 watts in 2013. The latter increase enabled the station to cover most of Sacramento, as well as portions of Placer, El Dorado, and Solano counties.
In summer 2006, KDVS started the non-profit record label KDVS Recordings to promote independent artists in the Davis and Sacramento areas.
Several now-famous artists were members of the KDVS staff in their early years. Former KDVS DJs include DJ Shadow, Lyrics Born, Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel of Blackalicious, Steve Wynn of The Dream Syndicate, and Kendra Smith of both The Dream Syndicate and Opal.
- KDVS Facility Record Federal Communications Commission Retrieved on May 6, 2017.
- KDVS moves transmitter to new tower, boosts power. The Davis Enterprise Retrieved on May 6, 2017.
- Dr. Andy's Poetry and Technology Hour
- "KDVS: History". KDVS Website. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
- Walker, Jesse (2004). Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America. New York, NY: NYU Press. pp. 143–145. ISBN 9780814793824.