The KEWC Radio Station started broadcasting in 1950 on 89.5 FM. The station played classical music such as Beethoven, Mozart, Schuman as well as history commentaries about the Inland Northwest. The radio signal’s strength was only 10 watts, which meant it could only be heard on campus.
KEWC Station’s first big hit happened during their second year in 1952. “The Ron Mckinney and Hal Hartely’s tele requests is the most popular program on KEWC,” The 1952 yearbook promoted. The program aired every night giving the public two mystery tunes a week for anyone to guess. If someone guessed the mystery tune they would win two free tickets to Pix Theater, Cheney’s local movie venue.
KEWC changed its name to KEWU in 1986, and the frequency was upgraded from 10 watts to 10,000 watts. It also switched music from classical to contemporary jazz, a format that continues to today. Program director Elizabeth Farriss was awarded best radio programmer in Jazz Weekly Magazine in 2005 and in 2009.
The KEWU philosophy is to “stay true to contemporary Jazz music while exploring and pushing the musical boundaries."