CWU News

KCWU Granted FCC License Renewal, Nominated for Top National Awards

A shelf with all of The Burg's trophies on it

The 'Burg has a history of excellence on the national stage

Central Washington University’s radio station, KCWU 88.1 The ‘Burg, has successfully renewed its Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broadcasting license for the next eight years.

KCWU General Manager Tommy Skaggs says both the FCC license and the guidelines the station must follow to keep it in good standing are important components in carrying out KCWU’s mission. Working within these boundaries helps prepare students for the radio world.

“If you go work in mass-market radio, you have to know what’s appropriate to say on the air,” Skaggs said. “So, someone who’s trained in our program already has a keen sense of what’s permitted.”

In more good news, the station has received national award nominations in seven categories, including Best College Radio Station for institutions over 10,000 students, by the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS). KCWU won Best College Radio Station in 2015 and has been nominated for the award every year since.

Students involved with KCWU are included in the process of preparing and submitting content for awards consideration. This year, those efforts resulted in nominations for Best Phone App (Dylan Elliott), Best Website (Elliott), Best Sports Talk Program (Kody Phoxay, Will Ortner, Kajal Lang), Best Underwriting Spot (Matt Wiemals, Brendan Dolleman), Most Creative/Innovative Show (Wiemals), Best Live Music Broadcast (Wiemals), and Best College/University Radio Station (from schools with more than 10,000 students).

CWU Event Management major Wiemals, who previously worked in production at the station and is still a show DJ, says the station’s emphasis on student involvement brings out the best in its staff and volunteers.

“When I started at the station, I was just looking for an opportunity to play music somewhere,” Wiemals said. “Putting in work, engaging with the station and learning about what radio has to offer opened up so many doors for me that I never thought existed, especially at a college radio station.”

KCWU is focusing on more outreach to the CWU community, inviting broader participation in diversifying on-air content. Skaggs noted that working in radio offers experience in more fields than one might think.

“We’re working with students who are exploring and trying out something new,” he said. “They may not be on the radio afterwards — it’s not a radio preparatory program — but we’re going to give them everything they need to be good communicators.”

The winners of the 2022 IBS Media Awards will be announced at the 82nd annual IBS Conference on March 5.

Media contact: Rune Torgersen, Department of Public Affairs,