100 Years, 100 Stories

Celebrating a century of accurate, balanced news and information from Northwest Public Broadcasting

100 Years, 100 Stories

Celebrating a century of accurate, unbiased news and information from Northwest Public Broadcasting

100 Years of NWPB

Our mission has always been to put our audience firstto uphold public trust. As we reflect on our first 100 years and look forward to the next, the dedication to our listeners remains unchanged. Watch the video to hear General Manager Cara Williams Fry, Program Director Sueann Ramella, and Health Care Fellowship News Reporter Rachel Sun talk about the history that has shaped us and the vision for our future.   

Stories From Our Listeners

Successful stories need an audience. You are the reason NWPB gets to celebrate 100 years storytelling this year. We want to say thank you and reflect on the reasons you choose to listen to us.  

What’s your story? Add your voice today.  

This title card contains a quote from Madison Evangelista. It reads "If I switch it on, there's a familiar voice or a familiar story." Click here to hear Madison's story.
This title card contains a title card from Ann Chikin. It reads, "I want to thank you so much for saving our stationand for providing beautiful wonderful classical music to the Pacific Northwest." Click here to hear Ann's story.
This title card contains a quote from listener CA Hurst. It reads, "I think public broadcasting provides a very needed balance to the whole filed of broadcasting field in general." Click here to hear more from CA Hurst.
This title card contain a quote from the listener Debby Parker. It reads, "You build community and you connect us." Click the image to hear Debby's story.
This title card contains a quote from listener Kathleen Kiesel-Nield. It reads, "I love the fact that I can rely on the news, it's accurate and it's not biased." Click this image to hear more from Kathleen.
This title card contains a quote from listener Aaron Randall. It reads, "To have a source of information that you can rely uponis as important as having the right to vote." Click this image to hear more.

Moments in Time

From the initial approval of a single radio station in 1922 to the centennial celebration of 2022, these are the events that have shaped our history.  

1922
May 15
President Ernest O. Holland asks the Board of Regents of the State College of Washington to approve a radio broadcasting station.
June 21
US Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover authorizes WSC to build a broadcasting station. The station is assigned the call letters KFAE.
December 10
KFAE begins broadcasting from the Mechanic Arts Building

First Transmitter - 1925 & The Mechanic Arts Building

December 22
College of Engineering Dean H. Hubert V. Carpenter reads an address from US Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace On-Air.

HV Carpenter as the first General Manager

1923
January 26
KFAE broadcasts its first basketball game, in which the Cougs defeat the University of Idaho Vandals 20 to 12.
1925
Call letters change to KWSC

A page from the 1928 edition of the WSU Chinook Yearbook

1926
Maynard Lee Daggy, head of the college’s newly established department of speech, starts what’s believed to be the country’s first college course in radio performance.
1928
Edward R. Murrow ('30) gets his start on air at KWSC.

Esther Stilson, George Stapleton, Betty Ramsbeck, and Edward R. Murrow (right), walking from Pullman to Moscow, in 1927

1930
Edward R. Murrow is a member of Daggy’s radio performance class during his last semester at WSC.
1936
The KWSC studios move into the building now known as Murrow Hall.

This building was first referred to as Old Science Hall. In the 30s, it became known as the Mechanic Arts building and housed many of the first transmitters used at KWSC Studios.

1937
KWSC begins year-round programming.
1938
Kenneth E. Yeend becomes the General Manager
1940s
Women join the newsroom as announcers, previously a male-only occupation.
1943
A bomber crossing northern Idaho gets lost in a storm. KWSC urges its audience to go outside, listen, and help track the plane. Dozens of listeners respond, and the bomber makes a safe landing. KWSC is credited with saving the lives of the crew.
1945
Following World War II, Murrow’s reputation as a journalist attracts aspiring radio broadcasters to WSC.
1948
Allen Miller becomes the General Manager
1952
October 4
Keith Jackson (’54 Speech) is among the students who recreate each play of the Coug football game at Baylor University using Teletype reports in the studio.
Keith Jackson Radio Announcing

Keith Jackson (center) announcing a football game

1953
WSC gets a TV studio

The WSC Televsion Studio during a live production of Ethan Frome.

1958
Burt Harrison becomes General Manager
1962
KWSC-TV begins broadcasting from Pullman

A WSU student works with 16mm film.

1967
The National Public Broadcasting Act is signed into legislation by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Tom Foley with Lyndon B. Johnson at a bill signing

1969
KWSC radio becomes KWSU-AM. KWSC television becomes KWSU-TV.

Station Manager, Burt Harrison announces the station name change

1970
Robert Mott, head of WSU’s communication studies, is a co-founder of NPR. KWSU is a founding member.
1978
General Manager Dennis Haarsager and Director of Radio Jean Palmquest celebrate the birthday of the station.

Dennis was instrumental in growing NWPB's radio from a few signals to a state-wide network. During his time, Dennis oversaw 13 stations through the radio network, two television stations, an interactive video network and on-campus instructional technology services. 

1982
WSU gains an FM station on the WSU Tri-Cities campus, expanding the broadcast coverage.
1983
The WSU radio network begins broadcasting in Ellensburg, Goldendale/The Dalles, Yakima, Lewiston/Clarkston, Ephrata/Soap Lake, Wenatchee, Cashmere/Dryden, and Chelan/Waterville.
1986
The radio network becomes Northwest Public Radio.
1987
WSU television begins broadcasting from KTNW-TV in Tri-Cities.
1993
Burt Harrison’s book Washington State on the Air is published.
Burt Harrison’s book Washington State on the Air is published.
2013
KJEM, “the jazz gem of the Palouse,” goes on the air in Pullman, thanks to 15-year startup funding from Bruce McCaw, son of J. Elroy McCaw (’34 Busi. Admin.), whose initials the call sign honors.
Student KJEM Announcer

Student announcer on KJEM.

2014
The network develops cell phone apps.
2015
A reading service for sight-impaired listeners is added. Volunteers read the news and sight-impaired listeners use special state-provided radio receivers to tune in.
2018
The network becomes Northwest Public Broadcasting
2022
NWPB celebrates 100 years of broadcasting at WSU as Cara Williams Fry becomes the first woman to lead NWPB as general manager.
Cara Williams Fry Headshot

Cara Williams Fry

We are NWPB

From the hosts you love to listen to and our reporters in the field to the folks who help raise money and the engineers protecting our air space, running a station takes dedication and teamwork. This year, we interviewed past and present staff members and students about their work at NWPB, revealing honest and unexpected truths about serving the mission of public media.

This title card reads, "KWSU Radio & TV Alumna Nancy Mack. Click this card to hear Nancy Mack's story.
This title card reads, "Former Radio Personality Bill Morelock. Click the card to hear Bill's story.
This title card reads, "Former News Director Dale Harrison". Click this card to hear Dales story.

Stories and Life of the Pacific Northwest

NWPB reaches more than 3.6 million people throughout Washington and parts of Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia. The reporting in this series aims to capture the reality and vibrancy of this undeniably beautiful, complex, and imposing landscape.

a pacific northwesterner's guide to mushroom gathering
How conservation is preserving a community
wsu anthropologists work with kalispel tribe to learn about traditional foods
unlocking the ocean's black box with science
the fight for legacy forests
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Welcome to the new digital home of Northwest Public Radio and Northwest Public Television. The new year brings an internal change to our organization, joining TV and radio. Together, we’re NWPB. Thank you for your continued support of public broadcasting in our region. Your support matters.
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