Our story begins with a dream and a vision of Andrew “Skip” Robinson Carter. Carter’s aspirations of operating a Black radio station started at the age 14, where he built his first radio. Carter was born in 1919, and raised in Savannah, Georgia. He studied physics at Georgia State for three years and went on to the RCA School of Electronics and New York University, where he earned his first-class broadcast license from the Federal Communications Commission in 1947.
In 1950, Carter’s dream was achieved with the support of former Kansas’s governor and fellow broadcaster, Alf Landon. Alf Landon provided Carter with the transmitter and KPRS-AM debuted as the nation’s first Black radio station west of the Mississippi River. In 1952, Carter and Ed and Psyche Pate became business partners. They purchased KPRS for $40,000 from the Johnson County Broadcasting Corporation.
By 1969, the Carter family had controlling interest in the station. In 1971, KPRS-AM’s music format was moved to FM and became KPRS-FM. KPRT-AM was a full-blown gospel music format. In 1975, KPRS-FM became one of the first fully automated radio stations in the Midwest. KPRT-AM was fully automated soon thereafter.
In 1987, Michael L. Carter, Andrew’s grandson, was named president of the company, due to Andrew’s declining health. One of Mike’s first moves was to take both stations back to the "live” formats.
In 1989, Andrew Carter died at his Florida home. Carter’s legacy lived on and moved forward. Andrew’s widow, Mildred Carter, became chairperson of the board and the stations continued to grow and to solidify its standing in the Black community with various outreach programs and promotions, until her death in 2003. In 1990, KPRS-FM jumped from 8th to 5th, according to the Arbitron Rating Service. In 1995, KPRS achieved its highest ratings with a number one slot. KPRS continues to be the top rated radio station in Kansas City. Carter Broadcast Group has received numerous accolades over the years. Here are some of our achievements: ♦ 1995 - Andrew “Skip” Carter inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame (Chicago, IL) ♦ 1995 - Crystal Radio Awards for Excellence in Community Service from the National Association of Broadcasters ♦ 2000 - Urban Radio Station of the year from the Radio Music Awards ♦ 2001 - Marconi Awards Urban Station of the Year from the National Association of Broadcasters ♦ 2003 - Crystal Radio Awards for Excellence in Community Service from the National Association of Broadcasters ♦ 2004 - Marconi Awards Urban Station of the Year from the National Association of Broadcasters ♦ 2014 – Andrew “Skip” Carter inducted into the Missouri Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame