) is a radio station
located in Columbia, Missouri
, broadcasting with 1 kW of power. Its programming format consists primarily of news, talk and sports. The station is licensed to Cumulus Media
KRFU was founded in Oklahoma by E.H. Rollestone, in January 1925. That fall, the station was purchased by Stephens College and moved to Columbia (with Rollestone going on to found KVOO-AM, now KFAQ
). Several owners later, the station was purchased by the St. Louis Star-Times
newspaper, mostly for its regional broadcast frequency of 630 kHz, later moved to its St. Louis radio station, KXOK
. The station was assigned its current 1400 kHz frequency in 1941.
Mahlon Aldridge, Jr. was appointed manager in 1945, later purchasing the station in partnership with the publisher of the Columbia Daily Tribune. In 1957, the station's format consisted of a mixture of country music, news and sports.
Aldridge sold his interest to his partner's son in the 1980s, and competition caused the station's audience share to fall. After another change in ownership, KFRU was purchased by a local ownership group headed by Al Germond, who moved the studios into the broadcast complex with their KARO-FM (now KPLA) station. The group formed and purchased additional stations in the Columbia and Jefferson City markets under the name of Premier Marketing Group.
In 2004, KFRU and the other Premier Marketing Group stations were sold to Cumulus Broadcasting.
ABC Radio Network
When KFRU was purchased by the Star-Times, it became affiliated with the NBC Blue Network
, now the ABC Radio Network
, to which it is currently affiliated.
Missouri Tiger Network
KFRU is the longtime home of play-by-play broadcasts of Missouri Tiger football and basketball teams. With KMOX-AM
in St. Louis as a network affiliate, the network has had many regional and national broadcasters providing play-by-play and color commentary for MU sports broadcasts, including:
Former color commentators include Jim Kennedy and Rod Kelly.
The current broadcast teams are:
- Football - Mike Kelly (play-by-play), John Kadlec (color commentary) and Chris Gervino (sideline)
- Men's Basketball - Mike Kelly (play-by-play) and Gary Link (color commentary)
- Women's Basketball - David Lile (play-by-play) and Gary Link or Edith Thompson (color commentary)
St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Network
According to KFRU promos, they have been affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals
for at least 60 years.
Affiliation with the University of Missouri School of Journalism
Prior to the founding of University-owned station KBIA-FM in 1971, KFRU was a primary training ground for broadcast journalism students at the University. Even after this time, the station still employs students and recent graduates; many graduates list the station on their current employment biography pages.
Former KFRU Employees in TV/Radio
- Eric Engberg, news director, 1963-68 - retired CBS News Washington Correspondent
- Ben Bradley, host, reporter and news anchor - currently WLS-TV general assignment reporter
- Dave Hunziker, sports director - currently Oklahoma State Cowboys play-by-play
- Chris Gervino, sports director - currently KOMU-TV sports director
- Will Sterrett - currently KTRH-AM assistant news director
- Sean Kelley - sports director - currently New Orleans Hornets play-by-play
- Ed Kilgore - currently WGRZ-TV sports director
- Mike Roberts - currently KRCG-TV chief meteorologist
- Mark Reardon - currently KMOX-AM talk show host
- John Carney - overnight board-op/host - currently KMOX-AM talk show host
- Michael Calhoun - currently KMOX-AM news anchor
- Amy Miller - currently local Morning Edition host at WDET
- Joe Scialfa - currently WTMJ-AM Assistant Program Director/Executive Producer -Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks Radio Networks
- Michael Putney, news director - currently WPLG-TV, Miami Political Reporter
- Steve Moore - currently KMOX-AM, Vice President of News/Talk, CBS Radio, Director of Programming and Operations
- Ellen Schenk - currently KMBZ-AM morning co-anchor
- Larry Zimmer - retired KOA-AM sports director, University of Colorado play-by-play
- Mark Becker - WSOC-TV reporter
- Mark Davidson - KSNW-TV sports anchor/reporter
- Matt Boltz - currently Chicago Cubs radio network producer/engineer
- Kevin Larue - currently KSL-AM news and program director
- RJ McAllister, news - currently news director at KWTO
- Jim Fry - currently at WFAA
- Brian Sussman - currently host at KSFO
- Paul Hannigan, news director - currently at WROK
- Darren Hellwege - Host of "Morning Edition" and "Thinking Out Loud with Darren Hellwege" on KBIA-FM, Columbia; formerly of KCSC-FM and WWLS, Oklahoma City.
- Dick (Kettenbrink) Preston - Currently Morning and Noon news anchor at KRCG-TV Jefferson City, Mo.
Other Former Employees and Program Hosts
- James Keown - state capital reporter and Sunday Morning Roundtable contributor - currently incarcerated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts charged with murdering his wife by poisoning her Gatorade. Keown was arrested by the United States Marshal’s Service in November 2005 during a commercial break on his “Partyline” program on sister-station KLIK in Jefferson City, MO
- Roger Gafke, news director
- Scott Baker - currently press secretary for Rep. Kenny Hulshof
- Rod Kelly - Missouri Basketball color commentator
- Kathy Poppe (Watson)
- Barry Bennett-Currently Director of Communications for Missouri House of Representatives
- Brian Hauswirth, news director - currently public information officer with the Missouri Department of Corrections
- Doug Ross
- Dick Aldrich-Radio Communications for Missouri House of Representatives
- Chris Lincoln - co-founder of Winnercomm; ABC Sports and ESPN commentator on Thoroughbred racing; former sports host of KTUL-TV, Tulsa
- Dr. John Williams - host, The Pet Place
- Bob O'Connell - host, The Garden Spot
- Ray Rothenberger - host, The Garden Spot (deceased)
- Stacy Allen - meteorologist
- Brendan Cosgrove - news - currently Broadcast Associate at Northwestern University
- Greg Crain - sports (deceased)
- Leslie Callison - news
- Judd McIlvain - consumer reporter, worked at KRCG-TV, KTTV-TV and CBS 48 Hours.
- Ara Ayre
- Anne Steffens - formerly with KMOV, now Director of the Office of Communications of the Archdiocese of St. Louis
- John Fougere, sportscaster - currently Press Secretary to Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon
- Robert Loggia - actor
- Brad Whitworth - sportscaster/announcer - now Sr. Comms Mgr, Strategic Alliances at Cisco Systems
- Kevin M. Gray - sportscaster and sports director - now President of the Kansas City Sports Commission
- Tony Messenger - evening show host; was concurrently a Columnist with the Columbia Daily Tribune - now Editorial Page Editor of the Springfield News-Leader
- Chris Kelly - evening show host; former local and state politician; resigned to accept appointment as Boone County associate circuit judge (retired) - now Democratic candidate for Missouri House of Representatives 24th District
- Mike Kelly - Morning sports reports; Missouri Men's Basketball play-by-play; Left his fulltime job as Missouri Athletic Department Director of Broadcast Operations on May 30, 2007 to join The Insurance Group sales department , but will remain as play-by-play announcer. During the David Lile Show on June 29, 2007 it was announced that this was his last day "due to budgetary reasons" with the Cumulus stations (he also provided reports for Jefferson City station KLIK-AM)
- Dave Schmidt- Weatherman for KOMU TV in Columbia,MO
- Steve Lager- 20 year radio career in Kansas City including mornings at KCIY
- Dusty Rhodes-the Midnight Mayor
- Bob Pollack-Sports Director