KPOV’s Mission and Values:
Vision: KPOV is a respected source of ideas, promoting an engaged, thoughtful community.
Mission: KPOV is radio by the people and for the people
of Central Oregon. We strengthen community and democracy through
independent, non-commercial radio.
Values: At KPOV, High Desert Community Radio, we value:
Grassroots participation in the station and community
Dialogue over debate
The dignity of our listeners
Fun and entertaining local programming
Diverse voices not commonly heard in the mainstream media
Healthy individuals and community
KPOV began on a whim in late May 2001. Bend residents Darcy McNamara, Mike Riley, Kyla Merwin, Stacy Dycus and Erica Reilly learned that the FCC would soon open a brief window to accept applications for a new, low power fm (LPFM) radio station in Bend. They quickly rounded up seven nonprofit organizations to apply for the permit separately, but with the intention to collaborate over the long-term for a true community radio station.
After the applications were submitted in June 2001, the long wait began. McNamara, Riley, Merwin, Dycus and Reilly chose a name, developed a mission statement, created a logo, started to raise money, and polled community members about what they wanted to hear. They even made a mock statue of former FCC Chairman Michael Powell for use at Earth Fair 2003. Throw a bean bag and hit his hand and he stamped KPOV’s permit “Approved!”
Finally, in the fall of 2003, the FCC notified all seven applicants that they had two months to come to agreement about which individual organization would hold the LPFM license in Bend. After intense negotiations, six of the original applicants agreed to transfer their rights to the license to the Women’s Civic Improvement League, a little known organization with no present day agenda or baggage in the community. (But the Women’s Civic Improvement League does have a loud and proud history in Bend. That was the name of the visionary civic organization that protected Drake Park from development in the 1920s. Today, Women’s Civic Improvement League is KPOV’s official corporate name and holds the FCC license to operate; we do business as KPOV 88.9 and Bend Community Radio.)
In February 2004, the FCC granted a construction permit to KPOV. Then, the real work began. More money was raised. A Board of Directors was formed and held its first planning retreat. Studio and tower space were secured. A call went out to the community for program proposals. The Board raised more money. Program proposals were accepted and DJs were trained. The studio was remodeled and equipment bought. Technical volunteers sweated how to get the signal from the downtown studio to the antenna on the top of Awbrey Butte. DJs began to get nervous. Then program testing began. The DJs got more nervous.
And then, the big day arrived. On June 26, 2005, at 12 noon, dreams became reality. KPOV LPFM, began broadcasting live from Studio 501c3 in downtown Bend. The station was launched with a community HOOPLA party. And boy, did people have fun! Even the state Hula Hoop champion showed up to perform her award winning routine!
KPOV began its broadcast schedule with thirty-five locally produced music and talk shows and over 70 freshly trained programmers, as well as several hours of syndicated talk shows. Broadcast hours for the first three months were from 9 am to midnight six days a week, with a shorter Sunday schedule. In October 2005, KPOV expanded its broadcasting to 8 am to 2 am, seven days a week.
Today, KPOV is a 24 hour, full-scale, primarily volunteer community effort. Guests on KPOV have ranged from well known local and national artists, musicians, poets, athletes, elected officials at the local state and federal level, cowboys, children, and more. Over 100 individuals volunteer their time on a regular basis to make Bend’s community radio station a reality every day. And the community is tuning in.