"This is Keith Community Radio" - When those words were broadcast at 10.45 on the morning of 17 February 1986, they proclaimed the launch of the smallest radio station of its kind in Britain.
A public meeting had been called some months earlier to float the idea and attracted a good number of enthusiasts eager to volunteer their services in putting out a daily diet of programmes to the local hospital and to Nursing Homes in Keith. There was something for everyone in music, requests, news, storytelling, religious slots, sport and interviews with local personalities. Home was a studio in the basement of Randall Webster's house. Randall was one of KCR's founders and, now into his eighties, is KCR's Honorary President.
The initial format of KCR closed in March 1993, when the Management Committee decided, in the face of financial difficulties, to "mothball" the service. Then, following changes in legislation on community radio, KCR was revived.
With the help of Moray Firth Radio, KCR went back on air in 1997. From then until 2014 we broadcast as an opt-out from Moray Firth Radio using their licence, transmitter and their expertise. In 2013 we applied successfully to Ofcom for our own licence and, having raised the funds to install our own transmitter, we went on the air in 2014 as "KCR107.7FM".
Much has changed since that re-birth in 1997 but the volunteers who manage the station and present the programmes remain committed to contributing information and entertainment. These days we broadcast from a space generously provided by local builder, Peter Stott, measuring about six metres by three which is increasingly filled with up-to-date equipment. We also broadcast across a wider area or, as we proudly tell our listeners, "across Moray and beyond.... and, via the internet, to the world on kcr.fm".
We started off in 1997 broadcasting from 7pm to 10pm on weekday evenings. Now we broadcast from 6pm to 11pm seven days each week. We present a wide mixture of music programmes from local people who are keen to play you their favourite kind of music. We also offer a range of speech-based programmes ranging from a church service through sports bulletins to locally written short stories. All bar about two hours per week are presented by local volunteers often with local accents and language (though we do have the odd incursion of a voice from further south).
KCR has been fortunate to attract the commitment of many people in its existence. Some have passed on to the great broadcaster in the sky but we remain thankful to:-
Charlie McAndie & Colvin Cowie - Station Managers
George Smith, Mark Campbell, Sandy Murdoch & Rev. Ranald Gauld - Presenters
KCR continues to seek further opportunities to widen the service we provide to our listeners whether by extending our broadcast hours, improving our equipment and premises or improving the skills and experience of our presenters. We hope you enjoy KCR107.7FM.