Frank Christel

Director of Broadcast Services

Frank Christel has been a part of Public Radio Tulsa for more than 34 years, first as Chief Engineer, then General Manager, and The University of Tulsa's Director of Broadcast Services. In 2004, he was instrumental in signing Classical 88.7 KWTU on-the-air. Before that, he worked at KBJH, KCFO, KAKC, and KBEZ in Tulsa and also served in the Navy during the Vietnam era. 

He was introduced to the magic of radio by his 9th grade math teacher who in class would play tape recordings of Stan Freberg's radio shows. His love of electronics grew by building hi-fi and shortwave radio electronic kits.

He's quite proud of his two daughters, their husbands, four grandchildren, and is blessed by his lovely bride of more than 45 years.

Ways to Connect

New this year - A half-hour post-show special musical performance, Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," performed by The United States Marine Band, conducted by Colonel Michael Colburn, with Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell as the speaker.

Hear this special program on Wednesday, July 4, at 7:00 pm over Classical 88.7-1.

It's the Capitol Steps' Fourth of July 2012 Edition of mirth, merriment, and political satire, recorded live at the Ronald Reagan Building in DC. They put the Mock in Democracy!

Listen Wednesday the 4th at 7:00 on Public Radio 89.5-1.

Radiolab: Lucy

Jul 2, 2012

Chimps. Bonobos. Humans. We're all great apes, but that doesn’t mean we’re one happy family. This hour of Radiolab: stories of trying to live together. A chimp named Lucy teaches us the ups and downs of growing up human, and a visit to The Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa highlights some of the basics of bonobo culture (be careful, they bite).

RadioLab airs Fridays at 8 pm and Sundays at 6 pm on Public Radio 89.5-1

On the Fourth of July, Classical 88.7-1 marks our nation's independence with a day packed with the musical sounds of America, ranging from the Wild West to the big city, to a parade down Main Street; and sample new releases, recently unearthed gems, and lots of familiar favorites.

Composers like Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, John Williams and John Phillip Sousa will be featured.



Things are not so rosy in the bedroom communities of Tulsa, according to Joe Wertz of StateImpact Oklahoma and the Tulsa World. Outreach centers are stepping up to help fill in the gaps.

Ghosts, ghouls, shades from the past ... in this episode of Radiolab, real-life people try to pin down, and make peace with, mysterious figures that haunt them, prod them, and fade out of existence. One man finds a way to put the beatdown on his personal bogey man, a dead monk spurs a king to build a perfect prayer machine, an unknown face launches a thousand dummies (actually, a whole lot more than that), and a skeptic goes on a one-way to journey to find out whether spirits exist.

RadioLab airs Fridays at 8 pm and Sundays at 6 pm on Public Radio 89.5-1

A paradigm of this century is "perpetual beta" - continually creating and refining new things. In this spirit, NPR has created three new limited-run series: TED Radio Hour, Cabinet of Wonders, and Ask Me Another. Listen, rate, and help choose the next big NPR hit! After hearing each episode (Thursdays at noon on Public Radio 89.5-1), help decide whether the program should continue.

Classical 88.7-1's sister station in Oklahoma City, KCSC, was at the OK Mozart International Festival 2012 in Bartlesville. Music Host and Producer Kimberly Powell posted dispatches from her week at the Festival - fascinating behind-the-scenes insights into the artists and performances. Be listening for highlights from this year's Festival later this year, produced by Kimberly.

Roll Credits returns for a summer cinema experience on Classical 88.7-1 - every Monday from July 2nd through August 27th at 7:00 pm.

Lynne Warfel and Bill Morelock will converse about music from the movies - drawing connections between the classical and cinematic worlds - and share popular film scores, old and new. From Erich Korngold, Aaron Copland and Harold Arlen, on up to John Williams, Howard Shore and James Horner, the mix is appealing, surprising, and full of moments that connect you with familiar music.


In this episode of Radiolab, strange stories of brains that lead their owners astray, knock them off balance, and, sometimes, propel them to do amazing things. We hear from a kid whose voice was disguised from himself, relive a surreal day in the life of a young researcher who was hijacked by her own brain, and try to keep up with an ultra-athlete who, after suffering terrible seizures, gained extraordinary abilities through removing a chunk of her brain.

RadioLab airs Fridays at 8 pm and Sundays at 6 pm on Public Radio 89.5-1

Radiolab: Guts

Jun 11, 2012


This hour, we dive into the messy mystery in the middle of us. What's going on down there? We stick our hand in a cow stomach, get a window into our core through the story of a human science experiment, listen in on the surprising back-and-forth between our gut and our brain, and talk to a man who kind of went out of his mind when a medical procedure left him (for a little while) gutless.

RadioLab airs Fridays at 8 pm and Sundays at 6 pm on Public Radio 89.5-1

Radiolab: Escape

Jun 4, 2012


The walls are closing in, you've got no way out...and then, suddenly, you escape! This hour, stories about traps, getaways, perpetual cycles, and staggering breakthroughs. We meet a man who's broken out of jail more times than anyone alive, travel to the edge of the solar system ... to a boundary beyond which we know nothing, and we hear the story of a blind kid who freed himself from an unhappy childhood by climbing into the telephone system, and bending it to his will.

RadioLab airs Fridays at 8 pm and Sundays at 6 pm on Public Radio 89.5-1

Cruelty, violence, badness... This episode of Radiolab, we wrestle with the dark side of human nature, and ask whether it's something we can ever really understand, or fully escape. We encounter a man who scrambles our notions of good and evil, turn to one of the most famous (and misunderstood) psychology experiments ever, talk to  a man who chased one of the most prolific serial killers in US history, then got a chance to ask him the question that had haunted him for years: why?

RadioLab airs Fridays at 8 pm and Sundays at 6 pm on Public Radio 89.5-1

Composer Callen Clarke and violinist Kyle Dillingham

The 2012 OK Mozart Festival in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, begins June 8. To celebrate the upcoming season, Performance Oklahoma host Kimberly Powell of KCSC, Oklahoma City's classical music station, presents a two-hour retrospective celebrating last June's Festival.

Hear this special program on Sunday, May 27, from 8-10 pm over Classical 88.7-1.

Steve Granitz /

This Memorial Day weekend, XPoNential Radio 88.7-2 spotlights singer/songwriter Carole King. From the early hits for other artists to her remarkable solo career and beyond. Hear Natural Woman: The Carole King Radio Special, all this weekend.

Airs Friday, May 25 at  8:00 pm and Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, May 27-29 at noon, only in HD. You won't be able to hear this two-hour special on a standard FM radio!


The greatest mysteries all have a shadowy figure at the center-someone who sets things in motion and holds the key to how the rest of the story unfolds. In epidemiology, this central character is known as Patient Zero-the case at the heart of an outbreak. This hour, Radiolab hunts for Patient Zeroes from all over the map-from the origins of a blues legend, to the history of the high five, to a race to halt the spread of a deadly disease.

RadioLab airs Fridays at 8 pm and Sundays at 6 pm on Public Radio 89.5-1

Radiolab: Loops

May 14, 2012


So much of life is organized by cycles-seasons, biological rhythms, even our ideas of consciousness. In this episode, Radiolab looks at some of the surprising ways that loops steer our lives, and asks what happens when we disturb them.

RadioLab airs Fridays at 8 pm and Sundays at 6 pm on Public Radio 89.5-1

Tulsa Historical Society

We asked KAKC's jocks to recreate a bit of their airshft and imagine what the station might sound like today. These re-creations were produced by Beau Weaver. 

Listen to the documentary | Hear Scooter Seagraves, Robert Walker, and Beau Weaver

Tulsa Historical Society

We asked KAKC's jocks to recreate a bit of their airshft and imagine what the station might sound like today. These re-creations were produced by Beau Weaver. 

Listen to the documentary | Hear Jim Peters & Bob Scott

Listen to the documentary, as broadcast on Public Radio 89.5-1

For nearly two decades, KAKC AM 970 was Tulsa's top-rated radio station. From the mid 50s to the mid 70s, KAKC ruled the teen and young adult audience, dominating the local radio scene like no other station has before or since.

Last night's This American Life Live event was great fun and a great success: more than 200 fans attended at the Cinemark theaters in Tulsa and Broken Arrow. Public Radio Tulsa station staff enjoyed meeting and greeting listeners.

Warner Bros. / Studio 360

45 years ago, Tulsan S.E. Hinton broke every rule for young adult fiction and created an American icon. Way back before The Hunger Games there was The Outsiders. Studio 360's Lu Olkowski came to Tulsa to talk to Susie Hinton about The Outsiders and its premise now.  Learn More

Live radio on the big screen? Yes! Thursday at 7 pm in This American Life's "You Can't Do That on The Radio", a celebration of visuals and music, dance, and comedy. Learn More | Buy Tickets

Radiolab: Games

May 7, 2012

A good game--whether it's a pro football playoff, or a family showdown on the kitchen table--can make you feel, at least for a little while, like your whole life hangs in the balance. This hour of Radiolab, Jad and Robert wonder why we get so invested in something so trivial. What is it about games that make them feel so pivotal?

RadioLab airs Thursday at Noon on Public Radio 89.5-1 

OK - enough is enough! Alec Baldwin has finally taken the cake, or cookie, in his attempts to change the face of public radio. Please don't let him ruin NPR. He'll relent only when we reach our fund drive goal.

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You know Ira Glass from his popular public radio program, This American Life. Until our fund drive goal is reached, Ira is now working for a different radio station, all thanks to Alec's backstage machinations.

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Award-winning NPR journalist Scott Simon has been all over the world, but he's never had an assignment like this. How low - or high - will Alec Baldwin go to hold our beloved radio personalities hostage until our fund drive goal is met?

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You've never heard Nina like this before. Her usual beat is the Supreme Court for Morning Edition and All Things Considered, but Alec Baldwin has really outdone himself by reassigning her to...well, listen for yourself.

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Will Ryan

Alec Baldwin won't let Terry Gross back onto Fresh Air until we meet our fund drive goal. Can't you hear her pain? For Terry's sake, please don't let this go on much longer!

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