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KEWU to Sign Off at Year’s End

Eastern Washington University has made the difficult decision to discontinue its on-campus, non-commercial jazz radio station, 89.5 KEWU-FM, effective at the end of this year.

A phase-out plan will culminate with a grand finale celebration featuring EWU jazz musicians. The radio station has been managed and operated by a mixture of Eastern faculty, students and broadcast communications professionals.

This decision did not come about lightly, as KEWU has been a part of Eastern’s culture since 1950. The move has the support of program faculty and university administrators, who recommend Eastern will be best served by looking at new broadcasting opportunities in the future.

“KEWU has provided quality entertainment as well as classic and contemporary jazz to the Inland Northwest for nearly 74 years, and we are proud of that accomplishment,” says EWU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jonathan Anderson. “With how dynamically the media landscape is changing there will be new opportunities for the university to explore.”

Anderson notes the university will look into other broadcasting options, such as involving students with podcasting, or other creative forms of communication.

During the transition over the next four months, KEWU will maintain programming with pre-loaded jazz music each day. The station will also promote a pre-recorded jazz finale featuring a performance by the celebrated EWU Jazz Ensemble.

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About KEWU

Jazz 89.5 KEWU-FM is a non-commercial, educational radio station serving Eastern Washington University and the surrounding Cheney/Spokane metropolitan area. The station has an extensive and illustrious broadcasting history in The Inland Northwest. KEWC (as it was originally identified) first hit the airwaves on April 7, 1950.

KEWU has undergone many changes throughout the years. In 1986, the station increased its transmitter output from 10 watts to 10,000 watts and the station format was changed to straight ahead Classic and Contemporary Jazz.

KEWU is managed and operated by a mixture of Eastern Washington University faculty, students and broadcast communications professionals. Station announcers are paid student employees.


Elizabeth Farriss was named Best Small Market Jazz Programmer for 2009 & 2015 by Jazz Week Magazine.

KEWU was also named the 2005 Best Small Market Jazz station and Program Director Elizabeth Farriss was named Best Small Market Jazz Programmer for 2005 by Jazz Week Magazine, the definitive jazz radio resource.


KEWU believes in the importance of promoting the music of contemporary jazz artists who—while staying true to the art form—are exploring and pushing the limits of the music. It is these artists who keep the music moving in a forward direction. KEWU strives to maintain a potent balance of music past and music present, playing a prodigious amount of classic jazz in its many incarnations: traditional, Dixieland, big band, swing, and bop. KEWU also features specialty programming such as The Old School Show, The Friday Night Blues Show, Nightfall, and Jazz Omnibus.

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