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KPFK (90.7 FM) is a listener-sponsored radio station based in North Hollywood, California, United States, which serves Southern California, and also streams 24 hours a day via the Internet. It was the second of five stations in the non-commercial, listener-sponsored Pacifica Foundation network.
|Broadcast area||Greater Los Angeles|
|Slogan||"Radio powered by the people"|
|Repeater(s)||KPFK-FM1 Malibu, California|
|First air date||July 26, 1959|
|HAAT||863.0 meters (2,831.4 ft)|
KPFK 90.7 FM began broadcasting in April 1959, twelve years after the Pacifica Foundation was created by pacifist Lewis Hill, and ten years after the network's flagship station, KPFA, was founded in Berkeley. KPFK also broadcasts on booster KPFK-FM1 along the Malibu coast, K258BS (99.5 MHz) in China Lake, California, K254AH (98.7 MHz) in Isla Vista, California and K229BO 93.7 MHz in Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, California.
With its 110,000-watt main transmitter atop Mount Wilson, KPFK is one of the most powerful FM stations in the western United States. The station can be heard from the California/Mexico border to Santa Barbara to Ridgecrest/China Lake. A second 10-watt translator is licensed in Isla Vista, California, a census-designated place outside Santa Barbara. The transmitter for that station is located atop Gibraltar Peak, allowing its broadcast to be heard over a large portion of southern Santa Barbara County.
The station is part of the Pacifica Network which has 5 radio stations besides KPFK, and provides programming to over 150 affiliates.
Operating costs are covered primarily by donations from listener-sponsors and sponsored events. The 501(c)3 non-profit station runs no paid commercial advertisements or sponsored programming. Memberships at a minimum donation of $25 allow participation in the election of Local Station Board members.
Local Station Board [LSB]Edit
In two years during a 3-year cycle, station members and staff elect the Local Station Board (LSB) as required by the Pacifica Foundation Bylaws. The KPFK LSB elects members from its body to the Pacifica Foundation board of directors and has support and advisory duties for the station. The full LSB meets monthly, and committees of the LSB meet on both regular and ad hoc bases.
Like all Pacifica stations, KPFK has, since its inception run an eclectic schedule of performing arts, public affairs, and news. Many programs are available through the Pacifica Network  for rebroadcast to affiliate stations and are streamed for a limited period on the Online Archives.
Maintaining its adherence to Pacifica founder Lew Hill's Mission, KPFK focuses on news, public affairs, and performance of local interest, while blending in nationally and internationally focused programming.
Programming includes twelve hours broadcast in Spanish from 9:00 p.m.-midnight. With the rest of the Pacifica Foundation stations and in accord with the Mission's commitment to dialogue, KPFK maintains community access to the airwaves, which was stated as:
"to serve the cultural welfare of the community.... to contribute to a lasting understanding between nations and between the individuals of all nations, races, creeds and colors; to gather and disseminate information on the causes of conflict between any and all of such groups; and through any and all means compatible with the purposes of this corporation to promote the study of political and economic problems and of the causes of religious, philosophical and racial antagonisms. In radio broadcasting operations to promote the full distribution of public information; to obtain access to sources of news not commonly brought together in the same medium; and to employ such varied sources in the public presentation of accurate, objective, comprehensive news on all matters vitally affecting the community."
- 1959: The Pacifica Foundation begins its second station — KPFK. Terry Drinkwater is its first General Manager.
- 1961: KPFK wins Pacifica's second George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting.
- 1962: The FCC withholds the license renewals of KPFA, KPFB, and KPFK pending its investigation into "communist affiliations." Pacifica was never cited (see The Investigator).
- 1963: KPFK runs the very first Renaissance Faire as a fundraiser (the event is managed by Theme Events Limited Renaissance fair#History of the fairs in America).
- July 24, 1966: The first broadcast of Peter Bergman's Radio Free Oz
- November 17, 1966: The first appearance of The Firesign Theatre on Radio Free Oz
- 1974: The Symbionese Liberation Army delivers the Patty Hearst tapes to KPFA and KPFK. The KPFK manager is jailed for refusing to turn the tapes over to the FBI.
- August 31, 1986: Jerker, a Robert Chesley play dramatizes the reflections of a man dying of AIDS, airs on Pacifica station KPFK. Because it included graphic sexual language, the FCC ruled that it violated an indecency policy.
- 1987: Ladysmith Black Mambazo makes their first on-air U.S. radio broadcast on KPFK.
- 1992: CPB Board member Victor Gold targets KPFK for strident African American programming and controversial speech aired during Black History month, by filing an FCC complaint.
Translators and BoosterEdit
|City of license||ERP
|K258BS||99.5||China Lake, Kern County, California||9||D||FCC|
|K254AH||98.7||Isla Vista, California||10||D||FCC|
|K229BO||93.7||Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, California||10||D||FCC|
- KPFK 90.7 FM - official website
- Pacifica Radio Foundation
- Pacifica Radio Archives
- Pacifica Radio Archives weekly radio series
- Mt. Wilson transmitter
- Historical transmitter photos
- "Superpower" Grandfathered FMs
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KPFK
- Radio-Locator information on KPFK
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KPFK