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1300 AM, McCook

City of License: McCook, NE

First Air Date: September 26, 1947

Operating Power: 250 watts

Original Call Letters: KBRL

General Manager: Leroy W. Lenwell

Issued To: Partnership of 4 individuals

Through the Years

  • 1947

    September 26, 1947-  KBRL signs on at 1450 kHz, 250 watts full time.
    Owner:   Partnership of Leroy W. Lenwell, William J. Cox, Edward Cooper and Arthur V. Henri.

    Studios/offices/transmitter location:  J Street and US 83 (1300 West J Street), McCook.

  • 1950

    Granted voluntary assignment of license from the partnership composed of four equal partners to a corporation-  the McCook Broadcasting Co.  No monetary consideration is involved.

  • 1952

    Leroy Lenwell is elected as president of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association.

  • 1955

    Facilities change from 1450 kc, 250 watts unlimited to 1300 kc, 1,000 watts, daytime only.

  • 1957

    Studios and offices move to 109 East C Street.

  • 1963

    Power increase to 5,000 watts with new directional antenna system.  New transmitter site is just over a mile southwest of town near Federal Avenue and Road 384.   Studios and offices are moved to 320 Norris Avenue.

  • 1965

    August, 1965-  Acquisition of positive control by Leroy W. Lenwell (25% before, 100% after), through purchase of stock from Arthur V. Henri, Edward Cooper and William J. Cox (each 25% before, none after) for $45,000.

  • 1967

    Pre-sunrise operation with 500 watts is authorized (6am- local sunrise).

  • 1972

    Station is sold by Leroy Lenwell to KBRL Broadcasting Co. (Edwin S. Towle III, President) for $155,000.   General Manager is William Hardt.  Format:  Middle of the Road.

  • 1977

    KBRL is sold by Edwin S. Towle III to Leroy M. Santee, Carol B. Santee and David R. Santee for $200,000.  Leroy Santee and his wife, Carol, are teachers in the Denver, Colorado public schools.  David Santee is their son.   The Santees have no other broadcast interests.   General Manager is David Santee.  Format:  Farm/Country

  • 1980

    Leroy Lenwell is inducted into the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

  • 1981

    Voluntary assignment of license to partnership of Jerry Venable and Ernest McRae.  Licensee name remains KBRL Broadcasting Co.  David Santee remains as General Manager.

  • 1982

    October, 1982-  KBRL call letters are changed to KSWN.

  • 1987

    October, 1987-  First National Bank & Trust of Great Bend, Kansas acquires station, presumably in receivership.   General Manager is Ed Briley  Format:  Country

  • 1989

    KWSN changes call letters back to KBRL.

    Assignment of license from K-101 Inc. to Ron Crowe & Associates for $42,000.  Seller is owned by First National Bank & Trust Co, Great Bend, Kansas and has no other broadcast interests.

    Ron Crowe and Associates the same year, purchases KICX-AM/FM and must spin off one of the two stations in order to by KSWN.  Crowe chose to donate KICX AM to the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  KICX FM becomes sister station to KBRL.

    Studios and offices are moved to 802 West C Street.   Ron Crowe becomes General Manager.  Format:  Contemporary Country.

  • 1996

    Station is sold from Ron Crowe and Associates to McCook Radio Group, LLC, including KICX  96.1 FM.

  • 2000

    McCook Radio Group, owner of KBRL 1300 AM and KICX 96.1 FM, purchases KRKU 98.5 FM, McCook.  Studios and offices are moved to 1811 West O Street in McCook.  David Stout is President and General Manager.  Format:  Oldies/Full Service.

  • 2007

    January, 2007-McCook Radio Group (David & Connie Stout) sells to Armada Media (Jim Coursolle, President, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin) for $3.6 million in a package deal that includes KICX 96.1 and KRKU 98.5 McCook, KFNF 101.1 FM, Oberlin, Kansas;  KADL 102.9 FM, Imperial, NE, KSTH 92.3 FM, Holyoke, CO and KJBL 96.5 FM, Julesburg, CO, plus a construction permit for a new 50,000 watt station on 103.9 FM in McCook.  KRKU has a construction permit to move into the North Platte, NE market.  (McCook Radio Group also won a construction permit for KNAX 700 AM (McCook) in 2003, but the CP has now expired and KNAX is not included in the deal.)

  • 2008

    Bryan Loker is the General Manager.

  • 2010

    KBRL format change to News-Talk as “The Big Talker.”

  • 2016

    FM translator for KBRL signs on at 97.5 with 250 watts.