KGHP, the community service radio station serving the Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula areas, began its twenty-first year of broadcasting in September. It is owned and operated by Peninsula School District No. 401, and managed by Spencer Abersold. Leland Smith is the instructor in Radio and Electronic Media Arts. The station is heard on the FM frequencies of 89.9, 89.3, and 93.7.
KGHP first went “on the air” at the start of the 1988 school year on a limited broadcast schedule. The station shifted to full time operation as more specialized equipment became available. Student broadcasters are heard on the station during weekday school hours, while the evening shifts and weekend shifts are handled by a group of dedicated volunteers, many of whom have been with the station for 10 years or longer.
The station was founded by the late Max Bice and the late Milton S. Boyd. Max Bice was a broadcast engineer with many Northwest radio and TV projects, and Milt Boyd was both an experienced broadcaster and a drama teacher at PeninsulaHigh School. Original funding for the station was provided through a large committee of business leaders and other citizens, headed by retired Col. Arch Carpenter of Gig Harbor. The Peninsula Light Company, Centurytel, The Angel Guild, and a host of local Underwriters have provided substantial assistance over the years.
The station, which currently operates a main transmitter and two translators, now runs on a 24-hour, 365-day schedule, broadcasting local news, music, athletic events, and other special programs.
As the only radio station in Pierce County north of the Narrows Bridges, KGHP is associated in emergency services with Fire Districts 5 and 16, the Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Committee (PEP-C), Pierce County Emergency Services (including the Amateur Radio Network), and through Pierce County with FEMA, the overall government Emergency service.