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1340 AM, Kearney (Ravenna)

City of License: Kearney, NE (Ravenna)

First Air Date: June 25, 1927

Operating Power: 10 watts.

Original Call Letters: KGFW

Issued To: Roy McConnel & Otto Sothman

Through the Years

  • 1927

    June 25, 1927-  KGFW signs on with 10 watts at 1000kc.  Transmitter is located at 318 Grand Avenue, Ravenna, NE (Otto Sothman Photography Studio).

  • 1929

    January, 1929-  Frequency is moved to 1420 AM with 50 watts.

  • 1930

    Power is increased to 100 watts.

  • 1930

    License is transferred to Central Nebraska Broadcasting Company (Roy McConnell).  Station is moved to Kearney with studios/offices in the Midway Hotel, 25th and Central Avenue.  Transmitter is moved to 919 West 27th Street.

    November 26, 1930-  The first Kearney broadcast is aired with the State Teachers College Vs Chadron football game.  General Manager is Roy Mc Connell.

  • 1936

    Central Nebraska Broadcasting Corporation transfers of control to Clark Standiford and Kate S. Fisher from Anna McConnell and Hugh R. Brown for 548 shares of common stock.  Clark Standiford, General Manager.

    August, 1936-Standiford applies to move the station to Omaha, NE. The application is quickly returned.

  • 1938

    August, 1938-Clark Standiford sells his half interest in Central Nebraska Broadcasting Corporation to K.H. Dryden.  New studios/offices open at 2223 South Central Avenue in Kearney in the Federal Annex Building.

    New transmitter and tower is located two miles south of Kearney, at today’s I-80 and 2nd Avenue exit.  Power is increased to 250 watts day, remains at 100 watts at night.  (250 watts full time by 1940).  A remote studio is opened in Grand Island.  General Manager is William Baker.

  • 1940

    Lloyd “Skipper” Thomas, 49% owner, buys the remaining 51% for full ownership from Kenneth Dryden, Edith McKean and Dora Brown in a stock purchase for $6,500.  Thomas is a native Nebraskan who had managed Westinghouse stations KDKA in Pittsburgh and WBZ in Boston.  Lloyd Thomas takes over as General Manager for the next 12 years.

  • 1941

    KGFW’s dial position is moved to 1340 in the national NARBA frequency shifts.

  • 1945

    Station joins MBS and keeps this affiliation to 1962.

  • 1952

    Station’s license is transferred upon Lloyd Thomas’ passing to the Thomas family as executors of his estate.  John Yeager Jr. takes over as General Manager.

    Station slogan:  “The Midway Station of the Nation”

  • 1954

    February, 1954- Transfer of control of Central Nebraska Broadcasting Corporation to Belle M. Thomas for $51,000 through the purchase of 47% from other stockholders for $34,600, giving Mrs. Thomas 85% interest.

    October, 1954-  Station is sold to Central Nebraska Broadcasting Company, a six-person partnership that includes George Peterson and John Mitchell for $96,500.  John Mitchell, who worked part time at KGFW during his college years, is named General Manager.

  • 1960

    16-year old Art Ferguson makes his radio debut as a staff announcer.  He goes on to a 40-year career as Top 40 DJ Charlie Tuna, becoming nationally-known and settles in Los Angeles, CA.

  • 1961

    August, 1961-  Daytime power is increased to 1,000 watts, 250 watts at night.

  • 1968

    Central Nebraska Broadcasting incorporates.  John Mitchell owns 40% interest by this time.  Assistant General Manager John Howard is named General Manager of the station.

  • 1974

    John Mitchell gains majority control (40% before, 66% after) though stock purchase for $47,500.  This purchase price also includes an interest in KFLI, Mountain Home, Idaho.  John McDonald is named General Manager replacing John Howard, who moved to Mitchell’s Omaha radio station, KRCB as General Manager.  McDonald spent 40 years with KGFW until his passing in 2009.  During his tenure, Central Nebraska Broadcasting added KQKY FM in 1979 and KRNY in 1998 to the cluster.

  • 2001

    KGFW is sold to Waitt Radio as part of Mitchell Broadcasting’s 16-station package for $36.6 million.

  • 2004

    Waitt Radio merges with New Radio Group to form NRG Media.

  • 2016

    June, 2016-  FM translator K241CN 96.1, 250 watts is added to relaying KGFW news/talk format during the AM revitalization window.