KYMC-FM 89.7 was a small, 120-watt commercial-free public radio station located at the West County YMCA in Chesterfield and owned and operated by the YMCA of Greater St. Louis. KYMC was the first alternative rock station in St. Louis and the only YMCA-run radio station in the United States. The station went off the air on January 5, 2007, some twenty-nine years after it first started broadcasting. During the West County YMCA's budget process for 2007, it was determined that they would cease operations of the station due to budgetary constraints.
KYMC was licensed out of Ballwin and its broadcast area was within about a 15-mile radius, so its listeners included those in Manchester, Ballwin, Ellisville, Chesterfield, Wildwood, Creve Coeur and other parts of West St. Louis County and into St. Charles County.
KYMC was also the first commercial free non-college station to broadcast high school football and Saint Louis University Baseball.
It was the first alternative rock station in St. Louis and was a non-commercial station. In the 1990s many bands played their music live in the studio, including Everclear, Alanis Morissette and Live.
At its peak in the Spring of 1992, KYMC was run by program director Glen Allen and music director Greg Berg. The station was officially managed by YMCA employee Ruth Ady. Under the leadership of Glen Allen, the station achieved tremendous success by streamlining the alternative rock music format for the Saint Louis audience, a first in the area. Incoming funding from pledge drives and sponsorships reached an all-time high for the station. The popularity of the alternative rock format on such a small station helped pave the way for viability of the format on a larger scale. KPNT-FM (105.7 The Point) began operation soon after that in March of 1993. Greg Berg was one of the few KYMC DJs to be hired as on-air talent by The Point.
During KYMC's peak in popularity in the Spring of 1992, general manager Ruth Ady used most of the station revenues for other YMCA programs, leaving the station's broadcasting equipment in a constant state of dysfunction. In May of 1992, Ruth Ady fired Glen Allen, Greg Berg, and most of the DJ staff, with the intention of turning the station back into "kiddy radio camp" for the YMCA. Large protests were organized by some of the remaining DJs, receiving front page coverage in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The station's popularity fell into decline as its content became more fragmented. Income from pledge drives and sponsorships waned.