In January 2000 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), created a frequency allotment for non-commercial community low-power FM radio stations with a maximum power of 100 watts.
During the fall of 2000, Tom Beard, the Manager of the Battlement Mesa Company (the developer of Battlement Mesa, Colorado) and Jimm Seany, a broadcast journalism instructor at Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University) in Grand Junction, Colorado, discussed the concept of forming a new station under the new FCC low-power FM radio station rules. Shortly thereafter, local residents Harlan Hanson and Jim Warren learned about the discussions and became involved. These discussions lead to the formation of KSUN Community Radio, Inc., a Colorado non-profit corporation, for the purpose of operating a low-power FM station to serve Battlement Mesa and Parachute, Colorado.
Tom Beard and Harlan Hanson contacted Bill Atkinson, a retired local radio engineer and requested his assistance with the proposed station engineering. Following a couple of informal meetings, on November 22, 2000, Tom Beard, Harlan Hanson, Jim Warren, Bill Atkinson and Linda Berry conducted the first official KSUN Radio board meeting. During the meeting, Harlan Hanson was elected President, Jim Warren was elected Vice President/Treasurer, and Linda Berry was elected Secretary. The meeting was also attended by Francis Rose who represented The Sun, the community's local paper.
At 10:00 AM on Tuesday, January 18, 2001, an application for a low-power FM radio station license was filed on-line with the FCC. Subsequently, the board met weekly to discuss how to finance the station and to discuss equipment needs. The FCC regulations are onerous even for a low-power FM station, thus the process was slow.
In order to gain the additional knowledge needed to acquire and install the equipment necessary to begin broadcasting, during August 2001, Jimm Seany arranged three meetings between Bill Atkinson and Ken Pilling, then Operations Manger at KSTAR Radio, Grand Junction Colorado.
Four months later, on December 11, 2002, several KSUN board members, a couple of technical volunteers (Larry Huber and John Chapman), Fran Storm (a former employee of the Battlement Mesa Activity Center, now the Grand River Recreation Center) and Anne Huber all crowded into the KSUN studio and turned on the transmitter.
At first nothing happened. Larry Huber and John Chapman, the technical volunteers, made some changed to the connections and finally, after more than two years of work, KSUN Community Radio began broadcasting using the call letter KSBP which stood for Sun, Battlement and Parachute.
Early programming included "The History of Country Music 101" produced by Floyd McDaniel, a run of old-time radio shows including "The Carmel & Fish Show" airing popular music, "Fric and Frac" hosted my Mary Lee Mohrlang and Terry Lynott which eventually evolved into "Community Connections", a live Friday morning interview program, and "Blessing Up" a live one-hour Sunday morning program that has aired for the past several years. Additionally, for many years, Floyd McDaniel hosted "The Morning Show" live every week day morning.
Between 2002 and 2007, KSUN broadcasted on 101.1 FM. Unfortunately, low-power FM stations are "junior" to a normal station license thus in 2007, a representative from a Grand Junction, Colorado Cumulus Radio station visited KSUN and explained that Cumulus had purchaced a nearby frequency (101.3). This meant that the signals conflicted. As a "junior" license, KSUN was required to move to 103.9 in order to continue to operate.
In the early summer of 2013 the KSUN board of directors learned about an opportunity to acquire their former 101.1 frequency and associated license. With the financial help or Alpine Bank, a long time KSUN supporter, the board was able to negotiate and purchase the license, plus some needed equipment and obtain the required FCC approval for the license. As required by the FCC, as a condition of issuing the new license, KSUN Community Radio, Inc. Turned in their low-power license and stopped broadcasting as KSBP 103.9FM at 8AM on June 27, 2013.
On July 1, 2013, KSUN Community Rado acquired the KDBN license from Townsquare Media along with some equipment. Within a few days, after completing the installation and testing of some upgraded equipment, KDBN began broadcasting on 101.1 FM utilizing an epic pop rock format complimented by local programming and public interest programs that were enjoyed by listeners of 103.9.
KDBN 101.1 FM is a commercial license which allows KSUN Community Radio to accept commercial advertising. KSUN Community Radio, Inc. will continue to be a 501(c)3, non-profit entity providing quality programming which has been selected based upon input from our members and the communities that we serve.
KSUN's mission is to keep listeners informed about the local community and to provide a voice to other non-profit and other community organizations in the Grand Valley.