In 1924, with the growing influence of radio, ...
... Father Michael Hanlin discussed the idea of broadcasting weekly liturgies from what was then Helen Catholic Seminary with then Bishop Matthew O'Brien. O'Brien, a groundbreaker in his own right within the Catholic Church, convinced both the Vatican and the local church community that liturgical services on the airwaves would enhance the moral fiber of the latter. KTB began broadcasting in November 1925. It's all-day Sunday program of services and its two hours of daily, inspirational talks, excited the religious community which, in turn, brought much needed financial support to the Helen dioscese. Between 1929 and 1934, KTB provided information on the location of jobs, food and housing assistance as eastern Arkansas and the nation weathered the effects and after-effects of the Great Depression. In 1941, KTB was sold to the newly established Community Radio Trust, and applied for and received a new license under the KKAR callsign. It continued its legacy of community support during World War II by helping to organize the sale of gasoline ration cards and war bonds as well as the establishment of community victory gardens and commemorations for those lost in the war. When the State College of Arkansas Board of Regents decided to establish a communications program in response to the growing interest of young people in journalism in 1965, Board President Preston Myers convinced the board to make an offer to the Community Radio Trust to purchase KKAR. CRT, like its predecessor, was in dire need of financial support and accepted the offer rather than let the station go silent. State College immediately began incorporating KKAR into the college, and within eight years, had purchased several repeater stations; KFRT Forrestown, KBLI Berlin and KMYL Maylaine. In 1972, State College joined the newly established Public Radio Network (PRN), and began splitting its programming between network shows and locally produced shows, all with an eye on continuing to support the community and the college. Today, KKAR continues that mission by producing students that go on to be award winning reporters and journalists while supporting the Helen community and the tri-state region with excellent news, information and entertainment.
Please show your support for KKAR now and throughout the year by making a generous contribution. Call us at 1-870-555-5567 or contribute here on our website.
In 1999, KKAR received a much needed facelift. It moved from the campus services and administration building to a new building of its own with more room and capability.
KTB operated at 10 watts. By WWII, broadcast power was 250 watts. In 1974, the FCC granted an increase to 1000 watts. In 2005, its new transmitter belts out 5000 watts.
Clergy and volunteers ran the early KTB. More professional staff came online with the CRT in 1944. In 1960, KKAR joined the Arkansas Association of Broadcasters.
Community based programming remains key for KKAR. collaborations with other networks and stations delivers new, diverse shows online and over-the-air.