Kachemak Bay Broadcasting, Inc., was incorporated as a nonprofit in 1976. Bev Munro, a local lover of public radio, organized a group of energetic folks to bring public radio to Kachemak Bay. The Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission (APBC) provided seed money. With the labor of many volunteers and donated materials, a small transmitter shack was built on the Spit. A wire was strung across Spit Road and KBBI was born. KBBI signed on the air August 4, 1979, the first radio station in Homer at 1250 on the AM dial.
Although most public radio stations are FM, KBBI chose to be an AM station because of the mountainous terrain and the need for people on the water to hear our marine weather forecasts. Most people associate AM with low fidelity but, in reality, AM has the same frequency response as FM. The main difference is that stereo AM is not in common use and our AM receivers aren't built to the same specifications as FM.
Most of KBBI's first ten years were spent in a building that had no running water, but was situated in a beautiful setting. At that time, we broadcast our signal from the old FAA tower next to the studio. It beamed our programming to communities in Kachemak Bay, across Cook Inlet, down to Kodiak Island and as far north as Ninilchik.
Later the station acquired a new transmitter, land and emergency generator so that KBBI could move its frequency from 1250 AM to 890 in order to reach further. The result was a new building and a new location on Kachemak Way. With the acquisition of a studio generator, KBBI became a reliable source of information whenever an emergency arises, free from the interruptions caused by power outages.
In 2009, KBBI marked 30 years of listener supported public radio. It remains the single-most listened to radio station in the area for the range of programming it offers. Built from an early vision for quality programming, KBBI AM 890 continues to grow as a lifeline and a source of entertainment for the people of the Kachemak Bay area - and beyond.