When Jim Bolt was in college at Sacramento State University in 1989 college radio was exerting unprecedented cultural influence in the U.S. But this campus no longer had a radio station. Though he had heard stories of an earlier student-run AM station – KERS – he couldn’t get to the bottom of why it no longer existed. In the same period the university transferred its FM license over to Capitol Public Radio.
Convinced that the school and the Sacramento community deserved real college radio, he and a group of fellow students pushed hard for two years to finally get KEDG off the ground and onto the AM airwaves in 1991. Today that station continues to thrive online as KSSU. But the struggle to bring college radio back to Sacramento State is why he says it’s “a startup that shouldn’t exist.”
Jim tells this founding story and explains why he and his fellow co-founders endeavored to keep the founding story alive with words and archival materials. He shares hard won advice for college students looking to build their own stations, and for alums who want to preserve their broadcast legacies.
- KEDG Online Archive
- New York Times: The Power of Tower Records
- The State Hornet: KSSU radio station celebrates 25 years of giving voice to Sac State community
- Sacramento News & Review: Radio Control
- CollegeRadio.org: Sac State Students Refuse to Be Sacked: A Story of Student Radio Startup and Survival in Sacramento
- Inside Radio: Radio Plays Outsized Role In Small And Mid-Market America