KUPS received its charter to operate a carrier current AM station from the Associated Student Body of the University of Puget Sound. This meant that KUPS was basically broadcasting music over the electrical lines on campus. This inefficient system, along with antiquated broadcast
equipment, made it impossible for KUPS to reach a significant percentage of the student body of UPS let alone any of the surrounding community in Tacoma. In reality, KUPS functioned as somewhat like an intra-campus intercom system. Nevertheless, KUPS was on the air and this set the foundation for the future!
A campaign was initiated to transfer KUPS to FM operation. This transfer required obtaining an FCC license, securing an individual frequency, and purchasing entirely new broadcast equipment. Fortunately, a group of dedicated students undertook the campaign to improve KUPS and their successful commitment to college radio put KUPS on the map broadcasting at 10 Watts of FM power! This was a wonderful advancement because not only could the UPS campus listen to KUPS but now the local community could too!
The FCC declared that the minimum operating power for an FM radio station be at least 100 Watts. This meant that 10 Watt KUPS needed to act quickly to stay on the air. Again, a group of dedicated students stepped up and took on the challenge. They met with the UPS Board of Trustees and reached an agreement to increase to 100 watts. They also arranged the purchase of new high-powered equipment. As a result, KUPS became 100 watts and began to reach most of Tacoma and then some.
Pat retired from the Operations Advisor role and Adam Gehrke, a recent KUPS graduate, was hired to fill this position. As a technical expert, Adam expanded the role of Operations Advisor and successfully took on many additional technical responsibilities.
KUPS acquired an all new computer system that rendered carts (a cousin to the 8 track cassette tape) obsolete, made better production possible, and also increased the number of prerecorded announcements available for playback. By the summer, the automation system (Zarvox) was in full swing and KUPS began to broadcast all day, every day!
The Mail Room moved from Jones Hall into the Wheelock Student Center next to KUPS and the station was completely remodeled to accommodate this shift. Before this change, KUPS had a large living room containing couches, lamps, and at one point, a wood paneled HiFi console stereo. Although the new station is lacking a living room, it now has school spirit inspired maroon trim, a news booth, larger offices, and best of all, a larger on-air studio!
KUPS celebrated its 40th anniversary with a great 40th anniversary party featuring the popular electronic band Valella Vallella. What a great 40 years KUPS had!
KUPS won the MTVu Woodie Award for being the Best College Radio station in the country!
KUPS began using Serato Scratch Live, a computer and turntable interface allowing DJs to play
music from their computer by using the turntables to control the music’s pitch and position just
like a normal record. It’s just like virtually putting computer files (mp3s) onto a record!
KUPS replaced the original 11 year old on-air computer and automation system (Zarvox) with a
new state of the art digital broadcast system (also named Zarvox).
Doug Herstad retires from being the Operations Advisor at KUPS.
KUPS starts replacing old audio systems in the booth and around the station. Lawrence Huffines
is hired as the new Operations Advisor.