Quick Facts

KPFT is the independent, noncommercial, community radio station for Houston, Galveston and Southeast Texas region of the Gulf Coast.

KPFT a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational media organization.

Listener Support

KPFT is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a non-commercial radio station. As such, KPFT does not broadcast advertisements. Not airing commercials makes us very different to listen to.

KPFT is able to pay its electric, equipment and transmitter bills through listener donations. Almost 90 percent of our operating budget comes from you, the listener.

Our Board

KPFT’s board is one of five boards of radio stations owned by Pacifica. Pacifica requires all radio stations to have a local Board of Directors.

To view upcoming meetings of the board, its committees and other units, visit the Pacifica national meeting schedule. For legacy meeting audio, you can click here. You can send an email to the board at lsb(at)kpft.org.

To view the Pacifica Bylaws, click here.

Programming

Since 1970, KPFT broadcasts a fascinating mix of music, talk and news 24 hours a day on two channels — FM and HD3/online. Volunteers host, report, DJ and produce virtually all of the programming you hear on KPFT.

We invite aspiring volunteers to contact the Program Director if you’re interested in hosting a show. Send a short description of the proposed show, a little about you, a preferred time/day and contact details. KPFT debuts much of its newest programming on its HD3/web schedule; please note you will likely start there.

Our History

90.1 KPFT has a unique history.
It set the standard for what listener-supported community radio can be.

KPFT serves the Greater Houston and Galveston population of nearly six million people, reaching almost 150,000 listeners every week and bringing to the airwaves an eclectic schedule of music, news, languages and information programming. In our 40+ year history, we’ve grown along with Houston, helping to foster cooperation among the various peoples of the community and becoming a unifying force in a city of great economic and cultural contrasts.

In addition to being a radio station in its own right, KPFT is also an important part of the nationwide Pacifica Radio Network. Maverick broadcaster and peace activist Lewis Hill founded Pacifica Radio, in 1949. Lew Hill’s dream of a truly alternative media became a reality when its flagship station, KPFA in Berkeley, went on the air as a bold, alternative to commercial radio. Hill’s vision created the country’s first audience-supported radio station and gave birth to public broadcasting as we know it today.

Hill and Pacifica’s other founders sought to create independent, non-commercial radio in the service of peace, social and racial justice, and the arts. They saw, and we see, radio as a forum to ignite the democratic spirit. For over 60 years, Pacifica has produced challenging, courageous, smart and independent programs.

kpft transmitter-500KPFT was founded by journalist Larry Lee, who convinced Pacifica to establish an independent listener-supported station in Houston. Lee felt it was important for the Houston community to have an alternative voice to standard radio fare and, as a realization of this vision, KPFT first took to the airwaves on March 1, 1970. The first sound to emanate from 90.1 FM was the song “Here Comes The Sun” from the then-brand-new “Abbey Road” album by The Beatles. Just two months later, however, on May 12, 1970, the Ku Klux Klan blew up the KPFT transmitter, and the station was off the air for a few weeks until repairs could be made. Several months after returning to the air, on October 6, 1970, the transmitter was bombed again. This time the damage was more extensive, and KPFT was off the air for more than three months.

On January 21, 1971, with Arlo Guthrie live in the KPFT studios playing “Alice’s Restaurant,” the song that had been playing when the October bombers struck, KPFT was back on the air again.

Pacifica-225x132KPFT remains on the air to this day, thanks to the thousands of listener-sponsors who believe in the mission of the Pacifica Radio Network. The network includes KPFT in Houston, as well as stations in Berkeley (KPFA), Los Angeles (KPFK), New York (WBAI) and Washington, D.C. (WPFW) with signals reaching 22% of American homes and an audience of over a million listeners each week. In addition, more than 200 other community and public radio stations across the country broadcast Pacifica’s news and public affairs programs. Thanks to the internet, KPFT and its fellow Pacifica stations reach a truly worldwide audience.

Our Mission

KPFT has a mission in which it is devoted to education through media.

Since 1970, the radio station has provided a forum for the arts, music, culture, ideas and more. Our mission statement is the following:

To establish a Foundation organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any member of the Foundation.

To establish and operate for educational purposes, in such manner that the facilities involved shall be as nearly self-sustaining as possible, one or more radio broadcasting stations licensed by the Federal Communications Commission and subject in their operation to the regulatory actions of the Commission under the Communications Act of 1934, As Amended.

In radio broadcasting operations to encourage and provide outlets for the creative skills and energies of the community; to conduct classes and workshops in the writing and producing of drama; to establish awards and scholarships for creative writing; to offer performance facilities to amateur instrumentalists, choral groups, orchestral groups and music students; and to promote and aid other creative activities which will serve the cultural welfare of the community.

In radio broadcasting operations to engage in any activity that shall contribute to a lasting understanding between nations and between the individuals of all nations, races, creeds and colors; to gather and disseminate information on the causes of conflict between any and all of such groups; and through any and all means compatible with the purposes of this corporation to promote the study of political and economic problems and of the causes of religious, philosophical and racial antagonisms.

In radio broadcasting operations to promote the full distribution of public information; to obtain access to sources of news not commonly brought together in the same medium; and to employ such varied sources in the public presentation of accurate, objective, comprehensive news on all matters vitally affecting the community.

All Pacifica radio stations adhere to the same mission statement.

CPB Transparency
Awards

Radio Station of the Year (Houston Press, 2002)
Radio Show of the Year: New Capital Show (Houston Press, 2002)
Radio Show of the Year: Cultural Baggage (Houston Press, 2002)

Careers
Careers Application Procedure

To apply for any of our current job opportunities, send a cover letter, resume and any other materials requested in the description to businessmanager@kpft.org. KPFT must receive all information requested in order to consider your candidacy.

Qualified candidates only please. No calls. No agencies. Candidates selected for interview will be contacted.

EEO and the Federal Communications Commission

The Federal Communications Commission established new equal employment opportunity regulations for broadcasters effective in 2003. In order to comply with the regulations, broadcasters are required to display their “Public File Report” on the website.