Best Radio Station St. Louis 2003 - KWUR (FM 90.3)
Readers' Choice: KDHX (FM 88.1)
Although it seems contrary to select a station that can't be heard more than a mile and a half from its transmitter (in Clayton, just off the Washington University campus), KWUR (FM 90.3) is the best radio station in St. Louis precisely because of its contrary nature. A 10,000-milliwatt powerhouse, KWUR broadcasts exactly what you'd expect from a college radio station: college rock, conscious hip-hop, Wash. U. sporting events and a full afternoon of classical music on Saturdays -- i.e., a little bit of anything and everything. What sets KWUR above all other stations (at least this year) is its stand against the consolidation of the airwaves. In 2003 the station made another fruitless drive to expand its broadcasting power from a measly 10 watts to a tiny 100 watts, losing yet again to the FCC, which has this nasty habit of kowtowing to the behemoths at every opportunity. KWUR fought the Man and the Man won, but if Cool Hand Luke taught us anything, it's that when George Kennedy smashes your face in, you keep getting up because to do otherwise is to admit that George Kennedy is better than you. And George Kennedy is not better than KWUR.