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Happy National Radio Day!

Robert Ashworth
Flickr - Creative Commons

Somewhere across the history of the USA, someone felt it was necessary to note the contributions of the radio. We're somewhat biased, but we couldn't agree more.

Everybody started somewhere. Radio as you know it today got its start 1920 as KDKA signed on in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. NPR's very first program was All Things Considered, broadcast May 3, 1971.

The voices you hear on KUNC also started somewhere else. Take Morning Edition host Erin O'Toole for example. You probably wouldn't have even recognized her when she first got behind a microphone.

That's because she was Coyote Kim.

Credit Erin O'Toole
"Coyote Kim" kicking back with the Y96.5 remote setup.

As Erin tells it:

"I haven’t always done mornings. For a time I hosted music during middays (in Ohio), which is my favorite shift of all time. Here I am in sunny California (the shades are a dead giveaway) for a live remote broadcast from Universal Studios, Hollywood. This was taken in (I think) 1992 or 1993 when the Back to the Future ride opened. "One funny thing I remember from this trip is that I was also phoning in traffic reports from California. I was actually calling fellow traffic reporters back in Cincinnati, getting the information, and then calling the radio station to do “live” traffic reports. It’s not like people didn’t know I was in California and not flying over the Cincinnati highways, but I think it’s a testament to the magic of radio that nobody cared."

Before she covered Growth and Natural Resources for KUNC News, Stephanie Paige Ogburn took to the air as a volunteer DJ at KSJD in Cortez, Colorado. 

Credit Stephanie Page Ogburn
Stephanie Paige Ogburn (right) and sister Katelyn (left) at the KSJD studios.
"My first foray into radio was at KSJD in Cortez, Colorado, as host of 'The Fabulous SPO Radio Show' from 2007-2009. I followed that with a volunteering gig at KALX in Berkeley, California. Those two jobs were great hands-on training for my current career, and, more importantly, why I fell in love with Community Radio in the first place!"

KUNC Music Director Benji McPhail has been in the radio business for 26 years, and in that time has been lucky to meet musicians from all walks of life (and Maureen McCormick, a.k.a. Marcia Brady). 

"I've been lucky to meet a lot of amazing musicians (and Marcia Brady) in my 26 years of radio work, it's one of the best perks of my job! 

Credit Benjamin McPhail
Clockwise from top left: Benji & The Wallflowers (1998); Benji & The Subdudes (2007); Benji & Maureen McCormick (1995); Benji & Paula Cole (1995)

KUNC is fortunate enough to have strong connection to its history. President/CEO Neil Best has been with the station for over 40 years in one function or another.

"Taken in the newsroom in the basement of Carter Hall on the UNC campus (second location of the station after Cranford Hall was torn down), sitting at the Gates Dualux console. Obviously big tie era, so late 70s early 80s. Would have been news director at the time, evidenced by the reporter notepad in my shirt pocket."

Credit KUNC archive

Another familiar voice and presence at KUNC is Operation Manager Kirk Mowers.

"Me, in my early days at KUNC in the 80’s playing music. CD’s were still pretty new and most everything was still on albums."

Credit KUNC Archive