KYRS-Thin Air Community Radio is a volunteer-powered, non-commercial, listener-supported, community radio station in Spokane, WA serving the area with unique programming for un-served and underserved populations. Heard on 92.3 & 88.1 FM and streaming 24/7 at www.kyrs.org, we provide a mix of news, views, culture and music often overlooked by other media.

Thin Air Radio’s goal is to build a strong, listener-supported community radio station that empowers people, especially ethnic minorities, low-income, and other marginalized groups, to strive for a more just and sustainable world.

Please, if you’re not a member of KYRS yet, consider joining today. Thank you!

Independent News, Music and Culture

KYRS broadcasts Democracy Now!, Thom Hartmann, Jim Hightower, Counterspin, the Bioneers and more hard-hitting, in-depth national news programs. Run almost entirely by volunteers from the community, KYRS provides news, views, music and culture heard nowhere else on the radio dial. Tune in to locally produced public affairs, cultural programs, environmental news, GLBTQA, women’s issues and youth programs, to name a few. Tune in and do something about what you hear! KYRS brings you cutting edge music from every genre. From Blues and Hip Hop, to Indie Rock, Bluegrass, Funk and World. KYRS has something for everyone. Tune in and take a musical journey!

Mission

Thin Air Community Radio fills needs that other media do not, providing programming to diverse communities and unserved or underserved groups.

Thin Air Radio provides a forum for neglected perspectives and discussions on important local, national and global issues, reflecting values of social, economic and environmental justice, peace, human rights, democracy, multiculturalism, freedom of expression and social change.

Thin Air’s arts, cultural, and music programming covers a wide spectrum of expression from traditional to experimental and reflects the diverse cultures Thin Air serves. Thin Air Radio strives for spontaneity and program excellence, both in content and technique.

History

Thin Air began as an idea in 1999 when local community activists learned the Federal Communications Commission would soon open up the “public” airwaves to Low Power FM community stations. These new stations would be considered a “secondary service” with very limited rights compared to full-power, public radio and commercial radio stations. The LPFM stations must be 100 watts or less, non-profit, and non-commercial.

In 2000, Thin Air became a formal project of Citizens for Clean Air, a non-profit with more than ten years of service in the community.

Thin Air was built almost entirely by hundreds of volunteers donating thousands of hours, and $40,000 in donations (primarily from individuals). In the summer and early fall of 2003, we raised more than 100 Founding Members in the community at $100 each. We began soliciting program proposals from Spokane residents, emphasizing our mission of providing a platform for neglected voices and music.
After waiting nearly two years to receive the permit from the FCC, it took only eight months to build the station. This involved preparing the tower site, erecting the 120-foot tower with partially donated local union labor, wiring the studio and transmitter sites, training program hosts, filing permits and paying fees.

We began broadcasting as targeted on October 26th, 2003 with a dozen live programs hosted by volunteers from the community. In our short time on-the-air, our hard-working volunteers have trained dozens of volunteer programmers, and we now have more than 40 live, locally produced shows on-the-air. These shows cover a wide variety of music, culture, news and views. We are proud that we have successfully created a forum for discussion and expression by and for those typically left out of the mainstream media.

KYRS achieved its own 501(c) 3 status in 2007 and is governed by a board of directors.

On November 5th, 2011, Thin Air Radio became a full power, non-commercial station, broadcasting with 6,800 watts and reaching as far north as Kettle Falls, WA.

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Awards

2012, 2013 & 2014 #2 Best Radio Station by readers of the Inlander
2014 Best Non-Profit, STCU’s Who Do You Love Contest
2012 EPA Clean Air Excellence Award for InnerTribal Beat
2010 Spirit of Jim Chase Group Award for “Dragonflies on Thin Air”
2010 Champion of Youth Award from Chase Youth Commission
2009 Spokane Arts Commission Bold Strokes Award
2008 & 2009 Ranked in the Top Three Radio Stations in the Inlander Reader’s Poll
2009 NW Alliance for Responsible Media Award for Contributing to Excellence in Media Literacy
2009 Summer Youth Employment Program Certificate of Appreciation
2009 Rainbow Awards: Bob & Irey of “Queer Sounds”
2008 Rainbow Awards: Ally Award
2007 NW Alliance for Responsible Media nomination for Outstanding Contributions to Media Literacy
2005 Spokane Local Hero Award by State Sen. Lisa Brown for Outstanding Activism & Advocacy in the Field of Community Radio

Board of Directors

William Berry (Chair)

Lara Estaris (Secretary)

Tracy Poindexter-Canton

Dr. Kim Thorburn

Bart Haggin

Sarah Hamilton

Lupito Flores, Station Manager (ex-officio)

The board meets every other month on the third Wednesday.
To send an email to the Board, use the contact form here.