KTCU serves students, Fort Worth residents


    Located in Moudy South is a radio station unlike any of the other local stations: a radio run by students.

    KTCU is run and operated on TCU’s campus.

    It first aired in 1948 in a closed circuit with 11 transmitters. The radio broadcasted only on TCU grounds, either in the dorms or in the buildings.

    In 1964, KTCU went from a closed circuit to a larger circuit on regular radio waves throughout the Fort Worth community.

    Station Manager Russell Scott said most students, faculty and staff are not aware, but KTCU has been here for a long time.

    “It was an AM radio station at one time, and then we upgraded the license and got an FM radio station,” Scott said. “So we have really grown from only a station that you could hear in one building, to now you can hear in all of Tarrant County.”

    The station is on air from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.

    The station offers a variety of music for listeners. The station plays genres such as rock, pop, alternative and even top hits.

    “We play a lot of different music,” Scott said. “Our day time format is really formatted to the community of Fort Worth and more of the non-students with Americana, Texas country and a classic rock mix.”

    In the evening, Scott said, the station tries to gear more toward the student population by playing indie rock and alternative music.

    The station broadcasts specialty shows that cover sports, music and more, such as the Riff Ram Sports Show, Tunes with Tori and Nick at Night to name, to name a few. 

    Sports Director Patrick Jones said the Riff Ram show has been on for almost two years and has a good following.

    Jones does the show with co-hosts Matt Jennings, Stephen Simcox and Philip Pappadakes every Wednesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

    The radio show is not all talk and music. Listeners also get a news update every weekday at 4 p.m. on top local, state and world news.

    KTCU not only serves the public as an alternative to mainstream radio stations, but it also helps develop students who may pursue a career in the media.

    Students get to engage in writing, producing and editing radio shows.

    “The mission is to give students an idea of what goes on in a radio station,” Scott said. “It is to teach them some of the basics of radio operations and to teach them how the radio works from the inside.”

    Jones, a junior sports broadcasting major, has received hands-on experience since his sophomore year at TCU.

    “The experience you get, not only at KTCU but TCU as a whole, is something special,” Jones said. “You have more time to really get that experience you need when you are looking for a job outside of TCU.”

    Scott said the station has approximately 20,000 listeners each week. KTCU tries to increase the amount of listeners through word of mouth, but the station’s members also hand out flyers and CDs around campus and Fort Worth.

    Listeners are able to tune into KTCU-FM 88.7 “The Choice” online. ‘The Choice’ is the station’s slogan, a phrase that a student came up with years before Scott began managing.

    “We have kept ‘The Choice’ because it kind of represents what we are doing,” Scott said. “We want to be special. It fits what we are doing right now.”