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. KPOV strengthens community, arts, culture, 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

Entertaining local programming

Equality, peace and economic justice


Diverse voices not commonly heard in the mainstream media

Healthy individuals and community

Origins of KPOV

KPOV began as a  bold idea in May 2001 when the FCC announced it would accept applications for a new, low power FM (LPFM) radio station in Bend. A few interested and highly motivated residents (Darcy McNamara, Mike Riley, Kyla Merwin, Stacey Dycus and Erica Reilly) quickly built a strategy and applied for a permit in June 2001, using 7 different local nonprofit organizations.  

In February 2004 the FCC granted a construction permit to Women’s Civic Improvement League (WCIL),  a long time, but dormant Bend organization, notable for visionary civic organization that protected Drake Park from development in the 1920s. Today, Women’s Civic Improvement League, a non-profit 501(c)(3), is KPOV’s official corporate name.

The construction permit allowed KPOV to move forward and get the station off the ground. Committed volunteers elected a Board of Directors, raised funds, rented and built out a downtown studio and office space from Bend-La Pine School District, erected a transmission tower on Awbrey Butte, bought equipment, elicited program proposals, and trained DJs.

After four years of planning, on June 26, 2005 all the dreams and hard work came to fruition. KPOV began broadcasting live from the studio at 501 NW Bond St.  KPOV began its broadcast schedule with over 70 newly trained DJs producing their own 35 music and talk shows, as well as several hours of syndicated talk shows. (KPOV DJs and program hosts now locally produce over 50 shows, from local affairs to music.)KPOV quickly began innovating.

Innovation and Development

♦ In 2006 KPOV began conducting adult and teen DJ classes to engage more of our community. We also began offering youth radio camps and then started Youth Radio Hour, recognizing young voices are important to community dialogue.

♦  In 2007 KPOV became the first local station to stream all content on line and then began to carry web archives of our locally produced shows that people can listen to at their convenience.

♦  In 2009 we began broadcasting live from community events including local Bend Elks baseball games, the Local’s Only stage at Bend Summer Festival, Bend Roots Revival. We currently broadcast live from several political forums and more local music festivals. KPOV now also broadcasts for City Club of Central Oregon monthly forums.

♦  In 2011 KPOV became the first FCC low power radio station in the country to move to an FCC designated full power station, broadcasting at 1000 watts. The power increase extended KPOV’s reach to Redmond, Sisters, Prineville, Terrebonne and rural Central Oregon.

♦  In 2013, KPOV joined forces with community radio stations all over Oregon to form Oregon Community Media. OCM allows member stations to take advantage of expertise of other stations as well as participate in statewide programming.

♦  Also in 2103 KPOV began our daily local affairs show, The Point, which features thoughtful dialogue on important local issues with local hosts and guests. The Point is also a sought-after platform for local nonprofits to connect with the Central Oregon community.

♦  In 2016 KPOV began a new training program specifically aimed at creating new hosts and segment producers for local affairs content. This program is expanding the number of KPOV citizen journalists informing our community.

♦  In 2017 KPOV created a podcast network to provide easy access to KPOV’s interviews that contain a wealth of information on local affairs, arts and culture, local nonprofits.

♦  In 2017 and 2018 KPOV upgraded critical transmission equipment, including the antenna and transmitter, creating a stronger and more reliable broadcast signal.

KPOV Today

KPOV is a 24-hour, volunteer community effort, with  just three staff, only one of whom is full time. Over 100 committed individuals, including DJs, volunteer their time on a regular basis to make Central Oregon’s community radio station work for the community every day. KPOV’s volunteer DJs now locally produce over 50 shows, from local affairs to music.

KPOV engages our community to inform, educate, and entertain the community, something no other local media source does. KPOV continues to create innovative programs and to seek new ways to bring exceptional homegrown radio to our community.