Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

The 1960s

Ken Jones, a San Diego State professor, had the vision to create an educational radio station on campus. After several years of trying to get the project off the ground, he launches KEBS with a donated transmitter and a budget of about $6,000. Seven years later, on June 25, 1967 KPBS TV hits the airwaves– "The French Chef" featuring Julia Child is one of its first shows.

Later that year, President Johnson signs the Public Broadcasting Act with KPBS General Manager John Witherspoon at his side and spurs the formation of National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting Service.

Both Ken Kramer and Gloria Penner begin working at KEBS in the late sixties; Kramer starts in ’68 as a student operator playing classical music, and Penner in ’69 as director of community relations. By the end of the decade, the station moves from a student run enterprise to a professional media organization with both a radio and television signal.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.