The North Central High School Era

KFIO finds its origin at Spokane's North Central High School's Radio Club under the guidance of physics teacher Arthur L. Smith. Beginning as radio station 7YL in 1921 and as KFIO in 1923, students who belonged to the radio club could learn about radio theory and broadcasting. Despite some controversy, technical problems, and a lapsed license, Smith was able to use the station while at North Central to train his students to be radio technicians and broadcasters who went on to work at radio stations in Spokane and throughout Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.

For an in-depth look at North Central High School's part in KFIO's history, please click here.

Station Sold, Moved to Pedicord Hotel

KFIO was sold to the Spokane Broadcasters who then moved the station's studio and transmitter to the Pedicord Hotel. For a discussion of KFIO's becoming a full fledged commercial station (August 1929-1935), please click here.
KFIO as a Commercial Station

Fidelity-Ziegler Building-Sherwood Building Era

KFIO spent about 16 years broadcasting from 1935 to 1951 from the Fidelity-Ziegler Building and Sherwood Building. The Fidelity-Ziegler Building was used for the studio, offices, and transmitter and the antenna was mounted on top of Sherwood Building's roof. Click here for a look at this part of KFIO's history.
Fidelity-Ziegler and Sherwood Buildings

Move to Realty Building

Forced to make room for a new building to replace the Ziegler Building in early 1952, Louis Wasmer prepared to move KFIO to the Realty Building. Partners Del Cody (AKA Delbert Bertholf) and D. Gene Williams bought KSPO later in 1952 and continued to be involved with KSPO etc for many years to come.

The Short Life as KLYK

For five years, from 17 June 1957 to 9 July 1962, KLYK broadcast from the Realty Building. For more details about KLYK, please click here.

Country KSPO 1230

After two years of remaining silent, KSPO returns to the air, this time as a popular country and western station.
Country KSPO 1230

News Radio KSPO 1230

News Radio KSPO 1230
News Radio KSPO 1230

KKER 1230

  • "The Kicker" KKER 1984

KRSS 1230

  • "Cross" Radio - August 1985

Business Radio KSBN 1230

Business Radio KSBN 1230

  • KSBN 1230 first licensed in 29 April 1991

by Bill Harms - Updated 23 September 2008

KSBN's Web Site

KFIO Links


  • Emil Olson's station - Said to be the first station in Spokane to broadcast music
  • KFZ - Licensed by Doerr-Mitchell Company - The first licensed commercial broadcast station in Spokane
  • KOE - Licensed by the Spokane Chronicle Newspaper
  • KFDC/KFPY/KXLY - Humble beginnings to major market force
  • KHQ - 1922 to present
  • KFIO/KLYK/KSPO etc - Claims to be the oldest operating station in Spokane
  • KGA - Started in 1927
  • KREM - Started broadcasting in the late 1940's in Downtown Spokane. Become part of Dorothy Bullitt's King Broadcasting.
  • KNEW/KJRB - became Spokane's number one top 40 station in the 1960's.
  • KVNI - The Voice of North Idaho
  • KZUN Opportunity - "The Voice of Spokane Valley" from 1955 to 1985.
  • KCFA and KMBI - now owned and operated by the Moody Bible Institute.
  • KUDY etc
  • KPEG/KEZE/KCKO - Started out as an all-female station with the all announcers named Peg. Made a splash as a country station in the 1960's.
  • KLFF Mead - The short history of "Clef Radio"
  • KDNC/KXXR/KSVY - Started out on the Moran Prairie and ended up in the Spokane Valley.
  • KTWD - Spokane's first commercial FM only station and first FM Stereo station. Established in 1966 by Terry Denbrook.
  • KPBX - Started in George Cole's basement in the early 1970's. Now a major public radio station.


  • Which station is the oldest station in Spokane? - Look here for the interesting answer


  • If you have a radio history related website that you would like to be featured here, please contact me.
  • Radio History on the Web Start here for your journey into the fascinating world of radio history. Radio historian Barry Mishkind is the webmaster.