Beginning in 1973, the University of Arkansas had a student radio station known as KUAF, broadcasting at 91.3FM. In 1986, however, KUAF changed their format to National Public Radio, gaining a wide following, but at a loss of student input.

After three years of listening to talk radio, students hatched a plan in 1989 to form KRFA, based on the college radio format. But the “broadcasting” was done via cable and carrier current, available to on-campus facilities only. In the spring of 1994 KRFA disbanded.

That fall, KRZR was formed as a student organization with the goal of creating an FM station. A consulting engineer was hired to do  a frequency check for a 500 watt station at 90.1FM. In the spring of 1996, a communications lawyer was hired to complete the FCC application for 90.1FM. The American  Family Association (AFA), dedicated to buying up radio frequencies, also filed for 90.1FM.  Subsequently, KRZR filed for 88.3FM; so did the AFA.

After several months, the AFA and the University of Arkansas came to a settlement  and the student radio station, rechristened KXUA, was given 88.3FM.

In the spring of 1999, the Media Board accepted the student radio station as a part of their organization, among the ranks of the Arkansas Traveler (the student newspaper), the Razorback Yearbook, and UATV.

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On April 1st, 2000, after five years of hard work, KXUA finally began broadcasting. In the spirit of April Fool's Day, our first listeners were led to believe that, due to licensing restrictions, we weren’t allowed to play music. So, for that one infamous day of broadcasting, the DJs played nothing but political speeches. Since that day, not a day goes by that is not filled with music on KXUA 88.3FM.


  1. Hello.
    I was part of the 1994-1996 group that helped bring about KRZR and (eventually) KXUA. I was the guy talking to the FCC engineer and the FCC lawyer (who charged like $200 an hour!). It is immensely satisfying to see that nearly 20 years later, KXUA is thriving. We thought it was ludicrous that a university of 12000+ (at the time) lacked its own radio station, and we set out to change that. Those involved include Jeff Hodge, Stanton Doyle, Brad Vester, Kyle Marcrum and me (David Hein). God forgive me for anyone I have forgotten – it’s been a while. Anyway, long live KXUA!

  2. I believe KUAF became an affiliate of NPR in the Fall of 1985, when KRFA was also born. I was the Station Manager for KUAF my Junior year, and both stations my Senior year – KRFA’s first year. 103 S. Duncan certainly had its charms. The Record Tree, wiffle ball, crazy baseball game broadcasts. And Mark Anthony’s much revered record collection – which he let every jock use at KRFA. Good times.

  3. im from southern california. my station of choice out there was ksoc 88.7 which broadcast from the claremont colleges. when i moved out here i looked n looked for a college station. i only recently found out about 88.3 a couple years ago from a coworker. i love it.

  4. One small correction: In your introductory paragraph, it’s stated that KUAF’s original frequency was 91.3. It was actually 88.9. I was one of the first DJs and news announcers, and I can’t think how many times I recited those numbers. Working for KUAF in 1973-74 was the best part of college and helped get me into a grad program in communications at Southern Illinois University.

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