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City of license Spokane, Washington
Broadcast area Spokane, Washington
Branding KPBX
Frequency 91.1 MHz
Repeaters KIBX 92.1 FM in Bonners Ferry, Idaho
plus ten low-powered translators
First air date January 20, 1980 (originally experimental c. 1971-1980)
Format NPR/classical music/jazz
ERP 56,000 watts
HAAT 725 meters
Class C
Facility ID 61942
Callsign meaning PuBlic Broadcasting
Affiliations NPR
Owner Spokane Public Radio
Webcast Listen Live

KPBX-FM is a public radio station serving Spokane, Washington. It broadcasts at 91.1MHz with an ERP of 56 kW and is one of two stations operated by Spokane Public Radio. KSFC is the other.

Through a full-power repeater, KIBX 92.1 FM in Bonners Ferry, Idaho and ten translators, it reaches 50,000 listeners in eastern Washington, northern Idaho, western Montana and southern British Columbia.


The station traces its history to a ten-watt transmitter erected in the early 1970s in the home of George Cole in the South Hill neighborhood of Spokane. It broadcast various kinds of music eight hours a day from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.. In 1974, David Schoengold, a record store owner and law school student, took over the station from Cole and expanded its broadcast schedule to 24 hours a day. It became very popular, with people waiting at all hours of the day to go on the air. It also gained the attention of National Public Radio, which sent tapes of All Things Considered.

Schoengold wanted a better station for the area, so he formed the Spokane Public Broadcasting Association to raise funding for a full-power public radio station. The 10-watt transmitter went off the air at the suggestion of one of Schoengold's friends in order to make it easier to raise the money. After several years of fundraising and several delays in the on-air date, KPBX finally went on the air on January 20, 1980. The station had to postpone its first pledge drive because it was scheduled a few months after the eruption of Mount St. Helens, and Pacific Northwest Bell requested that phone lines be used for emergencies only.

Today, the station broadcasts a mix of NPR news, classical music and jazz. KPBX also airs BirdNote, a two-minute show about birds and nature, produced in Washington State.

It is one of seven local Spokane FM radio stations heard across Canada to subscribers of the Shaw Direct satellite TV service.[1]

KPBX also broadcasts the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library's Evergreen Radio Reading Service to blind and handicapped listeners on its 67kHz subcarrier. KPBX is one of three major FM stations in Washington to do so; KUOW-FM in Seattle and KFAE-FM in Yakima are the others. However, this requires a special FM radio capable of receiving such broadcasts; it cannot be received on a standard FM radio.


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