The College radio station went on the air in 1986 as a satellite of the area's original NPR station, KLRE-FM 90.5, on the air since 1973. At the time, KLRE only broadcast at 40,000 watts, and the addition of KUAR brought NPR programming to large portions of central Arkansas that hadn't received it before. In 1988, all NPR news and talk programming moved to KUAR during the day, while KLRE began running exclusively classical music.
The two stations were jointly owned by UALR and the Little Rock School District until 1995, when UALR became the sole owner. KUAR began airing jazz shortly afterward at night.
The two stations have a full-time staff of nine, including General Manager Ben Fry, Program Director Nathan Vandiver, Operations Director William Wagner, News and Content Manager Karen Tricot Steward, News Director Michael Hibblen, and Development Director Mary Waldo. It also offers UALR students the chance to get broadcasting experience by working part-time. Like all public broadcasting, KUAR relies on listener contributions for a large part of its operating budget.
Locally Produced Programs That Air on KUAR 89.1 FM
Swingin' Down the Lane - With Host David Miller