National Radio Day is a time to honor one of the most longstanding electronic media and its role in our everyday lives. Radio delivers information, news, entertainment and company to millions of Americans every hour of every day. We invite listeners, broadcasters, producers and stations to celebrate on August 20.


Although there is not one authoritative source on the history of National Radio Day, it has been celebrated since the early 1990s on August 20. Perhaps it was decided that August 20 would be an appropriate day because 8MK (now WWJ) in Detroit, first broadcast on August 20, 1920.

According to Wikipedia, WWJ debuted as the “Detroit News Radiophone” and was “the outgrowth of interest in radio technology by the publishers of The Detroit News, combined with inventor Lee de Forest’s longtime promotion of radio broadcasting.”

Regular annual recognition didn’t quite take off until 2011 when NPR brought renewed attention to the day.


National Radio Day is organized by Sabrina Roach, a Doer at Brown Paper Tickets, in partnership with non-commercial radio stations across the United States.

In July 2015, Roach called a meeting of radio broadcasters, producers and enthusiasts to discuss initiating a project to raise the visibility of non-commercial radio across the country. That effort put fresh energy behind the celebration of National Radio Day.

It’s also an ideal time to initiate a common project for full-power and low-power FM (LPFM) stations as hundreds of new LPFMs are getting on the air made possible by the Local Community Radio Act.

The following people have contributed to coordinating National Radio Day:

Paul Riismandel
Radio Survivor
Portland, OR

Morgan Jaffe
KAOS Community Radio
Olympia, WA

Erin Yanke, Ani Haines, and Becky Meiers
KBOO Community Radio
Portland, OR

Betsy O’Donovan
Boston, MA

Marie MacDonald
WVAO: The Voice of Athol•Orange
Athol, MA

Sally Kane
National Federation of Community Broadcasters
Crawford, CO

Peggy Berryhill
The Native Media Resource Center and KGUA
Gualala, CA

Candice Mendez
Native Public Media
Flagstaff, AZ

María Arambula
WSNK Valdosta Community Radio
Valdosta, GA

Nikki Kayser and Maeve Conran
KGNU Community Radio
Boulder, CO

Leslie Hardwick and Tony Bova
KWIS Coeur d’Alene Tribe
Plummer, ID

Caitlin Reading
Riverwest Radio
Milwaukee, WI

Hector Youtsey
KPYT: Voice of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe
Tucson, AZ

Llu Mulvaney-Stanak
Vermont Cam
Burlington, VT

Joe Newman
Fayetteville Community Radio
Fayetteville, LA

Tom Dooley
WWSX East Sussex Public Broadcasting
Rehoboth Beach, DE

Sharon Scott
Louisville, KY

Jeffory Simmons
Portland, OR

Lauree McArdle
Arlington Independent Media
Arlington, VA

Tatyana Safronova
Takoma Radio
Takoma Park, MD

Olivia Weitz
The Northwest Hall of Radio History
Pullman, WA

Will Floyd
Prometheus Radio Project
Philadelphia, PA

Kenya Lewis
San Francisco, CA

Joe Serocki
Ingleside, IL

Ted Coe
KCSB Community Radio
Santa Barbara, CA