|Broadcast area||Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood|
Radio X, "WNSU"
|Slogan||South Florida's Radio Alternative|
|First air date||1982|
|Owner||Broward County Public Schools
(off-hours programmed by Nova Southeastern University)
WKPX 88.5 FM "South Florida's Radio Alternative" is a non-commercial educational, non-profit, high school radio station owned and operated by the Broward County Public Schools with studios and transmitters located inside Piper High School, northwest of Fort Lauderdale in Sunrise, Florida. The station broadcasts with the talent of students, school days from 7:30 am to 6 pm and also sometimes after school hours. After hours, broadcast students from Nova Southeastern University man the station, under the name Radio X.
WKPX broadcasts to Broward County and has a transmission capacity of 3,000 watts, extending its reach to include part of Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. Piper High School conducts radio classes that educate high school students in journalism, business management, radio production, communications, music review, and censorship. The students operate the station with the assistance of a faculty advisor; the program involves approximately 200 Piper students.
The station was conceived by its Chief Engineer, Warren Exmore, who earned his U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Engineering license while still a teenager. He served as an electronics and computer instructor at Piper High School. Its first Program Director and broadcasting instructor was Sheldon Shores. Exmore and Shores, working with former Piper principal Robert Beale, and a proposed yearly budget of a $120,000, the station had its maiden broadcast on Valentine’s Day 1983. Upon the departure of co-founder Shores in the summer of 1985, Bill Foreman joined the station as its Operations Manager and its high school program Broadcasting Instructor.
The station began by broadcasting Top 40 and Classic Rock formats on a 24-hour schedule from 1983 to 1985. However, staffing a 24-hour operation with high school aged students (in the days before computer automation) proved to be difficult, and presented risk management issues to the school board. WKPX was successful in petitioning the FCC to broadcast on an sunrise/sunset schedule, usually reserved for AM radio operations, of 7 am to 7 pm.
Broadcasting giant CBS planned to complete its purchase of WCIX Channel 6, on January 1, 1989. It was the contention of CBS that WKPX’s 3,000 watt signal on 88.5 was too close to Channel 6 on the FM band at 87.7, and the radio signal would interfere with the already weak television signal in Broward. As result, WKPX was not able to become a fully licensed facility. In late September 1991, the FCC granted a permanent license to WKPX.
In February 1993, the station celebrated its 10th anniversary.
On September 4, 1998 Nova Southeastern University’s student run radio station, WNSU, went on from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. through the transmitter of 88.5 FM WKPX, while Piper High School continued to use the frequency from 7 a.m to 7 p.m, daily. The eight-year-old WNSU went on the air in August 1990 as a closed circuit/campus radio station, known as WNKR (Nova Knights Radio; after the athletics teams/program) on 101.1 FM. The station broadcast over the 101.1 frequency via radio splitters provided by Jones Intercable Systems in Davie, Florida. The agreement to allow WNSU to use the WKPX transmitter at night was about five years in the making, since 1993, with FCC, NSU and school board attorneys writing a contract that worked for all parties, assuring educational benefits to both Piper High School and Nova Southeastern University.
According to a July 2005 Sun-Sentinel report, WKPX filed complaints with the FDLE[clarification needed] and the FCC regarding two pirate radio stations at 89.5 and 88.7 FM interfering with WKPX’s signal since May. According to rwonline.com, the State of Florida had passed an “Anti-Pirate Radio Law,” in July 2004 making it illegal to operate unlicensed radio station in the state.
In June 2009, all 971 full-powered TV stations in the U.S. were switched to digital. Upon the FCC instituting DTV (digital television), and the abandonment of analog broadcasting, this led to the abandonment the local Channel 6 by NBC (WTVJ Miami). As result, the FM frequency which broadcast the audio for Channel 6, 87.7 FM, was cleared; WKPX applied to the FCC for a facility change (power increase) for 88.5 FM. At that time, as reported by the radio industry paper allaccess.com, the request was denied. By November 2009, WKPX's request to increase its power to 25 kW (25,000 watts), was granted by the FCC.
February 14, 2013 marked the station's 30th anniversary as "South Florida’s Radio Alternative"."
Between 1996 and 2006, the station was recognized for its highly popular weekend hip-hop programs which included: Sichop and, later, The Asylum, hosted by Sydney Crawford, Curtis Steele, and Gerald Dagher. More recently, there were variety shows hosted by the Music Directors of each corresponding year: from 2001 to 2010 - Noise Pollution (Punk Variety), 2008 to 2009 - Special Delivery, and 2008 to 2010 - Dead Air. Other popular shows from the high school-based programming schedule included the weekday, all request, program The Power Lunch, hosted by Brett Rose in the early 1990s, Ground Zero, a 1980s Retro/New Wave program hosted by the then high school program’s News Director, Jason Specland. Serena Milisci conceived the show Current Impulse, in the early 1990s; a dance music program that aired Tuesdays from 3 to 5 p.m. when school was in session; and from 1 to 4 p.m. during the summer and holidays. The upbeat dance tunes aired for two years on Current Impulse proved popular enough with the listeners, that the show continued with new, up and coming DJs from the high school program.
- The Little Station That Could Piper High School`s 3,000-watt Wkpx Turns Students Into Radio Personalities-and Battles The Giant Cbs Television Network To Stay On The Air - Pag...
- Radio Station Making Waves In Sunrise Student-run Wkpx-fm A Big Success - Sun Sentinel
- Piper Students Plan Protest On Radio Hours - Sun Sentinel
- Wkpx Radio Faces Fund Shortage - Sun Sentinel
- Cbs Tv Seeks To Block Piper High Radio Station - Sun Sentinel
- Music With Class A Tiny High School Radio Station Fills A Musical Void, Trains Djs And Riles Cbs. - Sun Sentinel
- Heavy Mettle Student-run Wkpx Radio Stands Up To Cbs - And Wins. - Sun Sentinel
- Riding The Airwaves Student Djs Celebrate 10th Anniversary Of School-run Radio Not For The Masses. - Sun Sentinel
- Wnsu Up All Night - Sun Sentinel
- Florida Toughens Law on Pirate Radio : NPR
- FCC Rejects WKPX Upgrade For Now | AllAccess.com
- Application Search Details
- Local high school, college students take to the airwaves - Sun Sentinel
- Radio Silence - - Music - Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach - New Times Broward-Palm Beach
- Former Piper Radio Dj Giving Job, College A Spin - Sun Sentinel
- WKPX Website
- WKPX-FM Web Site at School
- Radio X (Nova Southeastern University)
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WKPX
- Radio-Locator information on WKPX
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WKPX
- Radio Locator.com Coverage Map for WKPX