1370 AM, York
First Air Date: September 25, 1954
Operating Power: 500 watts, daytime
Original Call Letters: KAWL
General Manager: Melville Gleason
News Director: Jim Robinson
Chief Engineer: Melville Gleason
Date of FCC Issue: June 16, 1954
Issued To: Prairie States Broadcasting Co. Inc.
Through the Years
June 16, 1954- KAWL license is granted
September 25, 1954- KAWL 1370 signs on with 500 watts daytime only. Studios/offices located 1.2 miles South of York on Highway 41. Personnel: William Whitlock, VP & General Manager of Prairie States Broadcasting Company, Inc. Melville Gleason, President & Chief Engineer; Tom Gleason, Secretary-Treasurer and Farm Service Director; Betty Rae Whitlock, Traffic Manager; Jim Robinson, News Director; Orville Jones, Special Events Manager.
June, 1971- Sister station KAWL FM signs on.
February 20, 1979- Voluntary relinquishment of positive control of license by Melville L. Gleason, through sale & transfer of stock to E. John Gleason and E. Louise Gleason.
June 5, 1981- Voluntary transfer of control from Melville L. & E. Louise Gleason & E. John Gleason to Robin L. & Marcia Pozin Robson for $475,000.
KAWL AM is authorized for 176 watts nighttime operation.
December, 1990- KAWL receives authorization to increase tower height from 310 feet to 328 feet.
KAWL AM & FM is sold by E. Louise Gleason Broadcasting to Central Nebraska Broadcasting for $530,000. Buyer is Tommy Gleason Sr. and Tommy Gleason, Jr.
September, 1991- KAWL FM call letters are switched to KTMX, “Mix 105”.
October, 1991- KAWL AM format switches from Country to Adult Contemporary.
KAWL AM drops Adult Contemporary format for Country Music (Unistar).
Mark Jensen joins stations as Operation Manager. Tom Robson is General Manager. KAWL format: Country & Talk. Station drops Talk, remains Country.
(excerpts from an article that appeared in the July 4, 2001 issue of the GM Journal).
KAWL General Manager Tom Robson hit on what he thought would be a novel way to sell KAWL AM. He always believed that the Average “Joe” could own his own radio station, so he hatched a plan to do that. Robson held a national contest with the winner to receive the right to apply to the FCC for transfer of license for KAWL AM.
“We talked to our lawyers and the FCC’s lawyers and it’s completely legal,” said Robson. “The winner of the contest would actually end up with the assets of the company, including the license, the tower, building, land, transmitter and equipment….all debt-free.”
As the contest required a game of skill, the FCC said it was not a lottery. The station needed to have 1,000 entries with each entry having a $1,000 entry fee. However, if that didn’t happen, all the escrowed money would be returned. The station needed that number to pay off all the stockholders and clear up all the station debt. They almost got 500 entries. The contest received national attention, but the station didn’t sell.
December 3, 2004- KAWL & KTMX are sold to Mark Jensen’s MWB Broadcasting LLC for $1 million. KAWL drops Country format and goes Oldies. KAWL slogan is “Good Times, Great Oldies.’
August 28, 2014- Mark Jensen sells KAWL & sister KTMX FM to Nebraska Rural Radio Association for $1.335 million. Sale closes in May, 2015- NRRA also owns KRVN AM/FM in Lexington, NE; KTIC AM/FM in West Point, NE; KAMA in Cozad, NE; and KNEB AM/FM in Scottsbluff, NE. New General Manager is Brad Liggett. Jensen continues to own stations: The Mighty 1060 KNLV AM and V103.9 KNLV FM in Ord, NE and the new KBEAR Country FM 92.3 in Broken Bow, NE.
November, 2015- Nebraska Rural Radio Association purchases K282BE, a silent translator at 104.3 FM in Hastings, NE and is moved to 103.5 FM in York, NE as K278C1, returning to the air with a Classic Hits format in March of 2016, and is branded as “KOOL 103.5.”.