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91X Station History

A campus radio station was proposed as early as 1967, at what was then Northeast Louisiana State College. Our first Construction Permit application was filed with the Federal Communications Commission in 1972, and the Commission approved that application in January, 1973. The station was first known as KNLU, reflecting our parent institution's name at that time: Northeast Louisiana University.

Construction was completed in late April, 1973. Graduating seniors were rewarded for their efforts when the FCC granted special permission for a one-day-only broadcast at the very end of that Spring semester (May 9, 1973). Regular broadcasts would not begin until the following Fall.

KXUL (as KNLU) was first licensed to transmit from atop Brown Hall with an awsome 12.6 watts of power from an antenna 75 feet high. The station would initially broadcast programs from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m., five days each week, during the Fall and Spring semesters. Early programming relied heavily on a blocked schedule, including contemporary music; "Country Corner" (4:45-5:00 p.m.); easy listening music; a classical music program, "Concert Miniature" (6-6:30 p.m.); "From Broadway to You" (6:30-7 p.m.); progressive music; and others.

Stereo broadcasts began in April, 1974, with stereo generator equipment donated by KHBM in Monticello, Arkansas.

In the mid 1970s, the student staff added a morning shift, from 7-9 a.m., to their broadcasts. "Clyde," the first automation system, was acquired in 1977 to fill in the formerly vacant time between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. The station by this time had also added abbreviated weekend hours and was operating during most summer terms. Programming was now primarily an Album Oriented Rock (AOR) format, with a few specialty programs scattered throughout the week.

From 1978 to 1987, a series of FCC Construction Permits authorized then-KNLU to increase its transmission power, including installing a new transmitter on the roof of the eleven-floor Olin Hall dormitory and raising the antenna to 167 feet. We would ultimately broadcast 3.25 kilowatts from the Olin Hall site (Incidentally, Olin Hall was demolished by implosion on September 25, 2004). In the meantime we moved the station's studios from Brown Hall to Stubbs Hall in June, 1986.

Although we decreased KXUL's (formerly KNLU) transmission power to 1.35 kilowatts in a 1990 transmitter move, the increased height of 689 feet on our new 900-foot tower ten miles north-northeast of campus enlarged our coverage area by 190%. Our tower is exceptionally tall by comparison to most college stations, allowing us to serve a substantial geographic area.

One more improvement, to 8.5 kilowatts at 716 feet, also included changing KNLU's frequency from our original 88.7 to our current 91.1 MHz in 1992. The station's urban-grade signal now covers a radius of approximately 28 miles. Over the years, our programming evolved into the present modern rock format.

The station's first server-based computer system for storing the station's entire active music library first went on line in 1998, which not only improved the station's sonic quality but also allowed 91X to begin broadcasting 24 hours each day. The station's first web site was launched in 1996, and our first live audio Webcasting began in 1998.

In August, 1999, the name of our parent institution changed from Northeast Louisiana University to the University of Louisiana at Monroe. As a result, the station's original KNLU call letters were changed to the present KXUL configuration on January 10, 2000.

A major studio upgrade in the Fall of 2004 made 91X the first all-digital radio studio in northeast Louisiana.

Monday, November 24, 2014