A Brief History of KFAI Radio

KFAI Fresh Air Radio  went on the air at 90.3 FM on May 1, 1978, after five years of paperwork and other legal entanglements. The station’s first studios were in the belfry of Walker Community Church and the antenna sent out a mighty 10 watts from the roof of the Seward Co-op.

Foshay Tower

In 1984, KFAI increased its power to 125 watts and moved its transmitter to the Foshay Tower in downtown Minneapolis, greatly expanding the coverage area. To further increase its coverage the station later added a St. Paul translator at 106.7 FM in 1994.

KFAI moved out of the Walker Community Church in 1986 to new studios above Butler Drug at the intersection of Lake and Bloomington in Minneapolis. In 1991, KFAI moved its studios to its current home in the historic Bailey Building on the West Bank, near the intersection of Cedar and Riverside.

2001 saw the dedication of KFAI’s renovated studios. This renovation increased studio space from two working studios to six.

Today, KFAI broadcasts from high atop the IDS building at a strength of 900 watts and online at a strength of approximately 1,000,000,000 watts.

Since 1978, KFAI has been the voice of the community. The station continues to be the Twin Cities’ source for adventurous and innovative music, news, arts, and community programs. The history of KFAI lives within the thousands of volunteers that have given their time and the listeners who have tuned in.



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