Welcome to KKFI’s Story!

KKFI started broadcasting as a 100,000-watt FM station on 90.1 on the FM dial in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, February 28th, 1988 at about 10:00 AM. KKFI observes its anniversary every year with many events.

This website celebrates the work of hundreds of volunteers and the contributions of thousands of listeners who have kept KKFI going through the years.  It chronicles some of the history, facts, and, interesting anecdotes about the struggle to get the community radio station going and keep it on the air.

This is a bare-bones record of the accomplishments of hundreds of non-paid volunteers who kept the dream of community radio alive. Many deserve recognition and it is hoped that they will add to this history website with their own stories of the stories to start and keep community radio going in Kansas city.

In this website there are newsletters, program guides, photos, posters, video clips of the first day of broadcast and anniversaries, and audio MP3s of material broadcast on KKFI. The record is incomplete, but will be added-to as new material emerges.

First Song on KKFI

First song played on KKFI, February 28, 1988 – “When the Ship Comes In!” by Bob Dylan

“. . . and the ship’s wise men
will remind you once again,
that the whole wide world is watching!

Oh the foes will rise,
with the sleep still in their eyes,
and they’ll jerk from their beds
and think they’re dreamin’,

But they’ll pinch themselves and squeal,
and know that it’s for real,
the hour when the ship comes in

And they’ll raise their hands
saying we’ll meet all your demands,
But we’ll shout from the bow,
‘your days are numbered’!

And like pharaoh’s tribe
they’ll be drownded in the tide,
and like Goliath,
they’ll be conquered!”


At the Mainmark Building on 1627 Main Street in Kansas City.

How It Was Made Possible

The Mid-Coast Radio Project looked like it was not going to succeed. The problem was – there was no spot on the radio dial for a new station – all the spots were taken.

There were two low-powered stations at 10 Watts each which occupied the space on the non-commercial end of the FM broadcast band. Only a small portion of the broadcast frequencies on the radio dial can be used by non-commercial, non-profit stations and these two stations took up that space.

The stations were licensed to what was then Park College – KGSP FM, and to the Nazarene Theological seminary – KTSR FM.

As the situation looked hopeless, the membership of Mid-Coast dropped down from the original 30 or so which had showed up for the Communiversity class “Radio Free Kansas City” to 2 or 3 people who stuck with the goal of a community radio station.

Then, in 1978, things changed. The FCC in its infinite wisdom, decided that since there was a limit to the number of stations that could be put on the FM dial, that they had better make sure that all these stations were serving the most people.

10 Watt stations only could cover an area equivalent to a large neighborhood, and they were taking up a spot on the dial.

So in 1978, the FCC made a new rule that these 10 Watt stations either had to boost their power to 100 Watts, or move to another spot on the dial.


Maybe, just maybe, the small, broke organization, Mid-Coast Radio, could take advantage of the new ruling by negotiating with the two 10 Watt Kansas City stations!

Stay tuned . . . more to follow.

Remembering Gil Werner

Services for Gil were held Saturday 8/24 at 10:00 AM CDT on August 24, 2019 at Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, located at 1001 East 52nd Street, Kansas City, MO 64110. Afterwards, a reception and celebration of Gil’s life was held in the Parish Hall adjacent to the Church. Refreshments and light nosh will be served.

An evening of story telling about Gil with his friends occurred at 3707 Pennsylvania after 7:00 PM around a campfire that evening.

Fact of the Day

The struggle to put KKFI on the air started in earnest in 1981 when negotiations had to happen with KTSR, the Nazarene station; KGSP, at Park College; and KIEE, a commercial station. The long and drawn out legal work with KTSR will be placed on the KKFISTORY site soon for people to read. It is an amazing story. The letter below highlights attempted negotiation with the Nazarene station which ultimately ended up with them going off the air.

KTSR’s non response helped it become doomed as a radio station.

Ascertainment Event

Thursday, April 25, 2019 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Annex Room
M.C. Richardson Coordinator and Consultant
Teresa Wilke Ascertainment Background Kathy Peters Mission Philosophy
Co- Hosts
Benita Morrow: Guess Who’s Coming to Kansas City: Public Affairs
Benita Morrow: Guess Who”s Coming to Kanas City, Urban Connections
Dr. Joahn Ha ll MD MD Home Care LLC
Neil Rudisill Health Initiatives Manager
Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council
Elisa Redworth Farmers Market Manager
Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council
Larry Lester Noirtech Research, Inc.
Karen P. Boyd, Executive Director
Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council
Kent T. Diggs, President
Northeast Kansas City Historical Society
Mike B. Rollen, Community Garden
Quiema Spencer, President
Heartland Women In Trades
Lewis Duiguid, Free- lance Writer
Diane Euston
T. Green Kent
Mamie Currie Hughes-Rogers
Pat Harris-Shelby
Habitat for Humanity Kansas City
LaDonna Ali
Central Bank of the Midwest
Ben Sharda, Executive Director
Kansas City Community Garden
Rob Reiman
Director, Fruit Trees KC Community Garden