|Broadcast area||Lubbock metro area|
|Branding||88.1 The Raider|
|First air date||February 5, 1961 
|Callsign meaning||K TeXas Tech|
|Former frequencies||99.1 (MHz)|
|Owner||Texas Tech University|
KTXT-FM (88.1 FM) is a non-commercial educational college radio station licensed to Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, USA. KTXT-FM is licensed to broadcast 35,000 watts of power to Lubbock and the surrounding South Plains of West Texas.
The first station operated at Texas Tech University began as a carrier current station in 1951. It was called MD-2 until permission was obtained to use the call letters KTTC. In 1959, it became an AM band radio broadcast station. The following year, KTTC applied to the FCC to become a 10-watt, non-commercial educational FM station. The request was granted and the station began broadcasting at 91.9 megahertz. The call letters were changed to KTXT since KTTC were for marine operation.
The original transmitter, antenna, and studios were located in the speech building and after the late seventies in the journalism building. The antenna and transmitter moved to the channel five KTXT-TV at the west end of the campus sometime after TV's inception in 1962. Though power remained low, the antenna stood at a height of 272 feet (83 m).
In the late 1960s or early 1970s, the station applied for and received a construction permit for an increase to 18,500 watts at 340 feet (100 m), proposing the KTXT tower. This was extended a number of times, because of changes in plans, changes in budgets (which mostly the station did not have) and the discovery (after the big Lubbock Tornado of 5-11-1970) or realization that the tower was too light and too damaged to carry the additional weight and wind load of the bigger FM station antenna. In late 1978, the station relocated to the 98th and University tower owned by Ray Moran interests (101.1 KTEZ in those days, now ch 34 KJTV).
In the early 1980s, KTXT-FM offered an eclectic mix of alternative programming ranging from oldies, new wave-80s, and reggae to house/trance, rock, country and indie. The 1980s led the way to the introduction of reggae music to the South Plains area. Reggae bands were booked in local clubs as a result and Lubbock experienced a boom in world music influence locally. As with all college radio during the 1980s, KTXT-FM was responsible for expanding the minds and opening the ears to the sounds of up-and-coming bands like REM, U2 and The Clash. While other stations in Lubbock stuck with the Chart Hits Radio (CHR) radio format, KTXT-FM drew many listeners away from commercial radio with their alternative programming, thus forcing the commercial stations to pay attention to KTXT's playlists and DJs. Many veteran DJs[who?] can claim KTXT-FM as their first home on the air and are currently employed throughout the US as a result.
In February 1999, 88.1 became the first Lubbock FM station to broadcast on the Internet via a live audio feed.
Among the earliest broadcast equipment used included a 5,000-watt Gates FM-5H2 transmitter donated by Pat Patillo (old and longtime chief engineer of KTXT-TV), new feed line, and an eight-bay antenna. The old frequency of 91.9 could not be used for a very high power level because it would conflict with the use of another channel assigned to Lubbock (102.5) that was open for applications in those days. The new frequency used was 88.1. This proved to be a good news/bad news combination. Sister station KTXT-TV was carried on cable television on channel 6 where the sound frequency is about 87.7 MHz. At some locations near the new FM tower, there was KTXT-FM audio heard where the KTXT-TV sound should have been. The FM operated at reduced power for a time as negotiations between the sister stations went on.
In the early 1980s, the owner of KAMR-TV in Amarillo, Texas, a Texas Tech alumnus, donated their old broadcast tower to Texas Tech. This used (albeit newer and taller) tower replaced KTXT-TV's old tower and the KTXT-FM antenna was moved back to the Tech campus. When Texas Tech assumed control of the KOHM-FM broadcast license from the Lubbock Independent School District, it too moved to the campus.
Until 2001, KTXT-FM had been run under the auspices of the School of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University. At the time, Mass Comm was redirecting its media efforts from radio to various multimedia platforms. KTXT-FM's faculty adviser, Dr. Clive Kinghorn, retired in the fall of 2001, and control of the station was transferred to Student Media that September.
The broadcast transmitters of all three stations, KTXT-TV, KTXT-FM and KOHM-FM, were housed in the same transmitter building until July 2003 when a new transmitter building for the radio stations was completed. The conversion of KTXT-TV to a digital television station required this new facility. At some point, the Gates transmitter KTXT-FM had been using was replaced by a Broadcast Electronics FM10B, rated to 12 kW. The BE transmitter was moved into the new facility and was eventually replaced in 2007 by a new, state-of-the-art solid-state Nautel Q10 transmitter.
Around 2007, a tower crew was welding stiffeners to the cross-members of the KTXT-TV tower in order to strengthen it for the heavier load an added digital TV antenna would require. It was during this work that the KTXT-FM antenna was significantly damaged. The antenna was eventually replaced by an antenna donated by Clear Channel Communications of Lubbock. The donated antenna was formerly used by 98 Kool (KCCL-FM), and was sent to the factory, refurbished and re-tuned for 88.1.
Cessation and return
KTXT-FM abruptly stopped broadcasting 2:35 PM CST on December 10, 2008. Student Media cited budget constraints as the reason behind the station closure. Student Media retained control of the studios, using them as offices, while the bulk of the broadcast equipment would be transferred to Texas Tech's other FM radio station, KOHM. Broadcasts from the former studios were no longer possible after December 10, and KTXT-FM was off the air.
Control of KTXT-FM was transferred to KOHM-FM (Now KTTZ-FM) in January 2009. Relocation of the microwave studio/transmitter links to the KOHM studios were completed in early May 2009, and test broadcasts were conducted. KTXT-FM returned to the air in late May with a broadcast schedule consisting mainly of network programming via satellite. The lack of proper studio facilities has been cited by KOHM management as the reason for KTXT-FM's automated/unattended operation. KOHM/KTTZ station management had expressed a long-term goal of returning students to the operation of KTXT-FM.
On July 1, 2012, KTXT-FM was once again belting out alternative/college hits. KTXT-FM is once again operated by the College of Mass Communications. As of this date the station has returned, with students said to be running the station. New studios, equipment, and offices are being installed in the Mass Communications Building. (Former Business Administration Building)
KTXT-FM is owned and licensed to Texas Tech University and as of March 1, 2013 is student operated, and controlled by the College of Media and Communication., and is no longer controlled by Texas Tech Student Media, The Department of Continuing Education, KOHM-FM (now KTTZ-FM), or the Office of the Provost. From September of 2001 until December of 2008, KTXT-FM operated under Texas Tech Student Media. From December 2008 until March 2011, KTXT-FM was run in conjunction with KOHM-FM and reported to the Texas Tech University Office of the Provost. In March of 2011, KOHM-FM, KTXT-FM (and KNCH-FM) were moved back into the Texas Tech College of Mass Communications, reporting to the Dean of that college, and coming full circle back to where they had started.
An administrative change in September of 2011 resulted in both KOHM-FM and KNCH-FM being moved administratively under the Texas Tech Public Television station KTXT-TV, while KTXT-FM was kept in the College of Mass Communications. A small studio for KTXT-FM was set up in the basement of the Mass Communications building, and the Fall semester of 2011 saw the first real return of students to 88.1. In January of 2012, the call letters for both KOHM-FM and KTXT-TV were changed to KTTZ-FM and KTTZ-TV respectively, leaving KTXT-FM with the university's oldest original call-letters still in use.
In August of 2012, KTXT-FM, along with the College of Mass Communications, relocated to the newly renovated Business Administration building located at 15th Street and Flint Avenue. The College also changed its name during this move and is now known as the Texas Tech University College of Media and Communication.
In its heyday, KTXT-FM was one of the most powerful college radio stations in the United States, operating with 35,000 watts of power. As a college radio station with an Alternative music format, KTXT-FM broadcast a wide range of music genres, including dance, modern rock, R&B/hip hop, and Texas country music.
One of the best known blocks of KTXT programming was 10pm Friday Until 7am Saturday from 1989-1993.
The 10pm-1am block featured a program called "Shockwaves". Originally created by Craig Crafton (aka "3C") in 1988 Shockwaves featured a variety of then cutting edge techno, trance, rave, ragga, electro, ambient and house music. Crafton left the area a couple of years later and Shockwaves was then hosted full-time by Jeff Wros (aka DJ Piccadilly) who, by then, had been working under Crafton in the co-host capacity. In the final years the show added an extra hour as well as co-host Daniel Alanzo (aka DJ Daniel Dub), who became the resident house music DJ. The show ended December 13, 1993.
From 1992-1994, 1am-4am it was the Midnight Maniacs with Moon Doggie (Daniel Light), Master Poe (Ben Hight), Ice Troy (Troy Hollers) and Mr. Todd (Mr. Todd). This show was full of antics, great alternative music, call-ins, prizes and even an early-morning pizza delivery to one lucky listener. Then it was Shaggy and his one-man fan club keeping things going until 7 am. (Light and Hight would later have success as the Cable Ace award winning producers and hosts of the show "Generation X". Hight still works in radio for KEJS-FM Power106 in Lubbock.)
From October 2009 until June 30, 2012, KTXT's programming was all via satellite, consisting of PRI's "The TakeAway" during weekday morning drivetime, BBC World Service programming during the mid-day and afternoon, and music from the Jazz Satellite Network during overnights.
Some of the one-liners used by many of KTXT's DJs include: "Lubbock's Only Alternative", "The Couch", "Keep it locked to the left" and "Music your parents warned you about!" Or one from the 1980s, "You're all the way to the left at 88.1 KTXT-FM".
As of July 1, 2012 KTXT-FM returned to the Lubbock airwaves with the students of Texas Tech University at the helm. KTXT-FM is once again an alternative/college format, with minimal breaks for station identification. This is not the KTXT of old, but time will tell if it becomes the powerhouse it once was.
- "History of the Media at TTU". Texas Tech University Student Media. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
- Schroeder, Sara; Siegrist, Nikki (2003-03-03). "Tech Traditions: Campus station defeats adversity". Retrieved 2008-09-14.
- "FCC FM Query". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
- "KTXT goes off the air". Texas Tech University. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- "Financial constraints force closure of FM station". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-16.
- "Welcome to Student Media". Texas Tech University. Retrieved 2008-09-13.
- "2007-2008 Advertising Ratebook" (PDF). The Daily Toreador. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-13.
- "Texas College Radio Stations". Texas Music Office. Retrieved 2008-09-13.