the Kvmr Legacy

Like many great things, KVMR started with a group of weirdos who believed in a dream.

July 14, 1978

After two years of planning by Sacramento visionary, Lee Amundsen, KVMR signed on the air on July 14, 1978. KVMR first operated under the umbrella of the Nevada City-based non-profit, The American Victorian Museum (AVM). Deriving its name from Victorian Museum Radio, KVMR first broadcast from a small miner’s shack on nearby Banner Mountain, at just 20 watts, four hours a day.


In 1981, KVMR found a home at the Museum, upgraded its power and began broadcasting 24 hours a day. Drawing from a rich pool of local talent, KVMR’s programming quickly began to incorporate live, in-studio performances. The popularity of these live broadcasts spurred a small crew of broadcasters to launch a regular live-broadcast performance series from the stage at the AVM.

80s & 90s

KVMR-early-yearsBy the mid- to late 1980s, KVMR’s nominal board formed an independent non-profit organization and purchased the station from the failing AVM. In 1989, ownership of the station was transferred to the Nevada City Community Broadcast Group (NCCBG), KVMR’s first Board of Directors. Since the mid 1990s, KVMR has matured to adopt a business structure supported with sound policies and prudent fiscal management.

1999 World Domination

An upgrade of the station’s broadcast facility in 1999 dramatically improved KVMR’s regional signal quality. Although studios and offices are located in Nevada City, the KVMR community is better defined by the wide range of its signal, which is broadcast from Banner Mountain from 3,861 feet above sea level resulting in a signal equivalent to 6,000 watts output at sea level. KVMR serves listeners throughout the Northern California Sierra foothills and the greater Sacramento Valley on 89.5 FM, Woodland at 93.9 FM, the Truckee/Tahoe region on 105.1 FM, Camino/Placerville at 88.3 FM and Angels Camp on 99.5 FM


KVMR is now available via live web stream anywhere in the world twenty-four hours a day at KVMR’s unduplicated audience is 40,000, two thirds of who live outside of Nevada County. KVMR has become the official Emergency Broadcast station of Nevada County, with a live broadcaster in the studio 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The station has a small staff of 10 and a few contract staff, but the majority of the station operates with the generous time of volunteers, over 700 of them, of which 150 are broadcasters.

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