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KCWU is 88.1 The Burg (formerly KCAT). 88.1 The Burg is the college radio station for Central Washington University based out of Ellensburg, Washington. The history of The 'Burg starts back in 1958 when small broacast facility, KCAT, started broadcasting on 880 AM. The 'Burg, now KCWU, has flourished into a state-of-the-art broadcast facility using Axia Audio systems. It now broadcasts 500-watts at a frequency of 88.1MHz.



KCAT Begins transmitting on 880AM as a carrier current station (transmission carried through the power lines).


The FCC Grants the Central Washington College of Education Board of Trustees a non-commercial, educational FM broadcast license to operate KCWS, a 10-Watt FM Broadcast station. KCWS 91.5 FM signed on the air on April 29th, broadcasting from the same building as KCAT 880 AM.


Central Washington State College of Education loses its FM broadcast station. It was unpopular with most students due to its classical music and talk/documentary format.


KCAT AM broadcast facility moved to SUB Lair, and is destroyed in a fire in the Summer of 1976.


KCAT switches from carrier current AM to and FM cable station, transmitting its signal through King Video Cable in Ellensburg.

April, 1992

KCAT is officially separated from the CWU Communications Department because of limited faculty and budget, and declining student interest in radio degrees.

March, 1995

The CWU Service and Activities Fee Committee grants money to KCAT to facilitate the process of once again obtaining an FCC broadcast license.

July 1, 1995

KCAT becomes an officially recognized department under the CWU Division of Student Affairs.

March 3, 1998

KCAT obtains its Construction Permit to build a 500-Watt, non-commercial educational FM broadcast station at 88.1 MHz, with tower site located at 1300 North Pfenning Road in Ellensburg.

May, 1998

KCAT is given the call letters "KCWU" by the FCC, to use once it signs over the air. The call letters were changed because "KCAT" already existed in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

September 19, 1998

KCWU-FM begins 24-7 Live operation, under the leadership of student Program Director Noelle Trolio.

April 30, 1999

KCWU 88.1FM signs on-the-air at noon from the gazebo at 4th and Pearl in downtown Ellensburg.

October, 2001

KCWU-FM begins the Fireside Chat broadcast series, featuring (for the first time in the station's history) live broadcasts from the CWU President's home once every quarter. The broadcast occurs before a live studio audience of CWU students, and is designed as an intimate forum for them to discuss and address their concerns and issues to the President and the four University Vice Presidents in a very informative Q&A format. This is also the month when "Rock Night with The 'Burg" now known as "Alley Ice with The 'Burg," was implemented as a live music and contest broadcast from the local Rodeo Bowl bowling alley every Wednesday night from 9pm to Midnight.

March, 2003

KCWU-FM successfully passes a voluntary inspection by WSAB, as part of their voluntary inspection program. This certifies compliance with all necessary FCC broadcast and station standards.

March 6, 2006

KCWU-FM temporarily suspends live talent as they transition into their new state-of-the-art facility in the new SUB/Recreation Facility on Central Washington University.

August 3, 2006

KCWU-FM begins audio transmission from its new broadcast studios in Student Union and Recreation Building, Room 120.

External links

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