Established in 1955, KOSU is a member-supported public radio network that operates 91.7 KOSU in central Oklahoma including Stillwater and Oklahoma City and 107.5 KOSN in northeast Oklahoma including Tulsa, Bartlesville and the Grand Lake area. KOSU can also be heard at 107.3 in south Tulsa, at 88.3 in Stillwater, and at 94.9 in Ponca City. Reaching thousands of listeners every week, KOSU features local music with The Spy and distinguished public radio news and information service with award-winning local news coverage and NPR news content.
KOSU also features signature public radio news and cultural programs from PRX, American Public Media and independent producers.
Partnership with The Spy
In 2012, Ferris O'Brien of The Spy and Rachel Hubbard of KOSU met to discuss the possibility of The Spy producing a single show that would air on KOSU and focus on local music. Following a great deal of research and looking at the obvious void of Oklahoma music on the airwaves, KOSU and The Spy entered into an unprecedented partnership to bring a suite of shows to air.
These shows and the Spy stream maintain a heavy focus on raising the bar for Oklahoma music. The Spy retains its independence in production and as a non-profit. However, to maximize resources, KOSU and The Spy work together to bring that programming to air and to fundraise to support the programming.
The Spy airs nightly on KOSU from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.
- KOSU was the third permanent FM radio station in Oklahoma, following KWGS in Tulsa and KSPI in Stillwater.
- KOSU signed on December 29, 1955 as KAMC with a 250 watt signal that barely covered the Oklahoma A&M campus. Today, KOSU covers more than 54,000 square miles.
- The call letters changed to KOSU in 1958 when Oklahoma A&M became Oklahoma State University.
- KOSU became the 100th NPR member station in 1971. That was the same year that the signal increased to 100,000 watts.
- In 1985, KOSU became the first university-licensed station to win the Silver Baton duPont Columbia award. It is the Pulitzer Prize of broadcasting.
- In 1991, KOSU moved to a 1,000-foot broadcast tower west of Stillwater.
- In 1995, KOSU's coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing was recognized by RTNDA, SPJ, AP and the Public Radio News Directors Incorporated.
- In 2000, KOSU established its first website.
- In 2002, KOSU was recognized with Edward R. Murrow journalism awards from RTNDA and two Scripps Howard Journalism Awards for coverage of the plane crash that killed 10 members of the Oklahoma State University basketball team.
- In 2005, KOSU moved its 91.7 signal to a tower between Edmond and Guthrie, greatly increasing the signal in the Oklahoma City metro. That year also marked the sign-on of 107.5 and 107.3 to cover Tulsa and northeast Oklahoma.
- In 2008, KOSU changed its daytime format to meet the growing demand for news and information programming.
- In 2010, KOSU built KOSR at 88.3 to better serve the Stillwater community.
- In 2011, KOSU entered into a collaboration with all the other public radio stations in Oklahoma to join a collaborative news coverage effort through NPR called StateImpact. This resulted in two new reporters being hired to exclusively focus on energy and the environment and how policy surrounding those issues affects people.
- In August 2012, KOSU partnered with The Spy to bring independent and local music back to the airwaves in Oklahoma. This resulted in a dramatic increase in community engagement and support.
- In September 2013, KOSU opened a studio in Oklahoma City's Film Row district thanks to gifts from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the Kirkpatrick Foundation.
- In April 2014, the FCC granted OSU a construction permit to build a translator station in Ponca City to improve the broadcast signal.
- In April 2014, KOSU, StateImpact Oklahoma and KGOU were honored with a Sigma Delta Chi Award for Breaking News from the national Society of Professional Journalists for coverage of the May 20, 2013 tornado that affected Moore, Oklahoma.
- In 2022, KOSU won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award for "Blindspot: Tulsa Burning," a collaborative podcast with Focus: Black Oklahoma, WNYC Studios and The History Channel. It's the second such award earned by KOSU.