Houston Public Media Timeline

1950

KUHF-FM, operated by student volunteers, signs on the air on November 6 with 9,600 watts of power at 91.3 MHz on the FM dial.

1953

KUHT, Channel 8, licensed by the University of Houston and the Houston Independent School District, goes on the air. It is the first Educational TV station in the country.

1959

The University of Houston becomes the sole licensee of KUHT.

1962

KUHT has its first fund-raising drive.

1963

The University of Houston becomes a state-supported institution.

1964

  • Corinthian Broadcasting, parent company of KHOU-TV, donates its 18-acre transmitter site and tower to the University, boosting the signal reach to 80 miles.
  • KUHF moves from Ezekiel Cullen to the former Communications Building, along with the Radio/TV and Journalism departments.

1967

President Lyndon Johnson signs the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, creating a network of non-commercial television stations from coast to coast.

1969

  • The Association for Community Television (ACT), the fund-raising organization for Houston’s educational station is created. This name was later changed to the Association for Community Broadcasting (ACB).
  • The groundbreaking children’s series, Sesame Street, produced by the Children’s Television Workshop, debuts.

1970

  • KUHF joins the National Educational Radio Network, based in Washington, DC – a predecessor of NPR.
  • The FCC changes the KUHF frequency from 91.3 MHz to 88.7 MHz to reduce interference with KUHT Channel 8.
  • KUHT produces and broadcasts programs in color

1971

KUHT raises $107,000 during its first tele-auction.

1978

KUHF moves into a broadcasting facility in the newly constructed UH School of Communications. The station provides a closed-circuit subcarrier radio channel to Houston Taping for the Blind to provide citywide audio services to the visually impaired.

1979

KUHF qualifies for Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) grant support by hiring, for the first time, a core staff of five full-time paid professionals. The station joins National Public Radio (NPR). The format is primarily jazz and NPR’s afternoon news magazine, All Things Considered

1983

  • After replacing almost all of its equipment with state-of the-art cameras, computers, digital audio equipment and tape machines, KUHT powers up as never before. Broadcasting from new “tall towers”, Channel 8 has better reception and reaches an additional 2,868 square miles and 100,000 more people.
  • NPR’s Morning Edition is added to KUHF’s broadcast schedule.

1985

KUHT becomes the first Houston station to broadcast in high fidelity stereo.

1985

KUHT wins a national Emmy Award for its special on pedophilia, “Child at Risk”.

1986

  • Commercial classical music station KLEF-FM changes its format and donates its 14,000+ album and CD library to KUHF. The format is changed to classical music and NPR news.
  • Houston Symphony begins a broadcast partnership with KUHF.

1988

News 88.7 produces Engines of Our Ingenuity, hosted by Dr. John Lienhard and other contributors

1990

KUHF produces a live Houston Symphony concert broadcast via satellite from Miami, Florida. In subsequent years the station would accompany, and record for broadcast, Houston Symphony tours to Japan and Europe

1991

KUHT offers descriptive video services (DVS) and bilingual capabilities through its separate audio program (SAP).

1997

KUHF co-produces its first of several commercial compact disc releases with the Houston Symphony

1998

To mark the opening of the Moores Opera House, KUHF records a compact disc of the Verdi Requiem, with distinguished guest conductor Robert Shaw leading the combined choral and orchestras of the Moores School of Music.

1999

KUHF joins with Houston Grand Opera and NPR to co-produce recordings of HGO performances for nationwide broadcast in the NPR World of Opera series. KUHF begins recording and broadcasting the Houston Ballet Orchestra’s season performances.

2000

  • KUHF celebrates its 50th anniversary with a gala concert in the Moores Opera House. Business News fund established to increase coverage of Houston’s business community.
  • KUHF Houston Public Radio and KUHT Houston PBS move into the new Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting.

2001

KUHT produces one of the first high definition PBS children’s programs, Mary Lou’s Flip Flop Shop.

2004

In January, KUHF premieres The Front Row, its daily one-hour radio magazine of the performing arts.

2005

  • The Association for Community Television (ACT) changes its name to Association for Community Broadcasting (ACB), to serve as a fundraising arm for both KUHT Houston PBS and KUHF Houston Public Radio.
  • In response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, KUHF partners with KTRK Channel 13 to provide 24/7 emergency broadcast information to the region, serving, among others, over 1 million automobiles trapped on area freeways during the evacuation.

2006

KUHF begins broadcasting in HD digital.

2008

  • KUHF provides continuous live emergency coverage to the region of the impact of Hurricane Ike and its aftermath, once again in partnership with KTRK Channel 13. Widespread power outages rendered home television reception impossible in most areas, thus battery-powered radios became a crucial link in imparting emergency information.
  • Through a grant from the Houston Endowment, KUHF constructs a new, state-of-the-art recording studio in Jones Hall, for production of the Houston Symphony broadcasts and compact discs.

2009

  • The Front Row originates its first live remote program from Discovery Green in downtown Houston.
  • KUHF participates with NPR Labs in testing higher power for HD digital broadcasting.
  • Health and Science News Desk launched.

2010

The University of Houston purchases 91.7 FM from Rice University. Format for KUHF now features NPR, other top national feeds, plus expanded local news and coverage. Station KUHA-FM becomes Classical 88.7, featuring the best of national programming, local arts coverage and live broadcasts with the Houston Symphony, the Houston Grand Opera and local performing artists and groups.

2011

  • The University of Houston makes the decision to merge television station KUHT- PBS Houston, with radio stations KUHF-News 88.7 and KUHA-Classical 91.7 and its web services under the name Houston Public Media.
  • Energy and Environment News Desk launched.
  • Music in the Making, a weekly program that features music from the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music and the Shepherd School at Rice University, debuts on KUHA-Classical 91.7.

2012

KUHA-Classical 91.7 debuts Opera Cheat Sheet on Saturday afternoons– a quick, fun overview of the opera

2013

2014

Houston Public Media is launched, bringing together TV 8, News 88.7, and Classical 91.7—on air, online, and throughout Southeast Texas, 24/7

2016

Classical 91.7 (KUHA –FM) moves to digital and becomes HPM Classical, enabling us to make the best use of technology and resources to continue providing the music and quality arts and culture content that our listeners and viewers enjoy every day. HPM Classical is available over the air on 88.7 HD-2 or on TV 8.5, on the web at houstonpublicmedia.org, and via HPM Classical Music app or another similar streaming service such as TuneIn Radio or iHeartRadio.

2017

Houston Public Media reveals a three-year strategic plan, charting the future through 2020 with the following strategic priorities: trusted content, leading technology, audience growth, and financial strength.