Nebraska Broadcasters Association Archive logo

1480 AM, Lincoln

City of License: Lincoln, NE

First Air Date: October 31, 1949

Operating Power: 1,000 watts, full time, directional pattern at night

Original Call Letters: KLMS

General Manager: J. Russell Joynt

Issued To: Lincoln Broadcasting Corporation

Through the Years

  • 1949

    October 31- KLMS signs on.  Studio at 130 North 16th Street in Lincoln.  Transmitter-East of town between A & O Streets.  Five tower array.    The owner was Lincoln Broadcasting Corporation (Howard Shuman, President).  Shuman was the founder of KFOR 25 years earlier.  Some sources indicate he placed KLMS on the air as the result of a dispute with Stuart Broadcasting, to whom he sold KFOR.

  • 1954

    Format adjustment as reported to Broadcasting Magazine.  “There is a new emphasis on block music shows and in evening record shows where the accent will be on smooth and semi-classical music.  The daily block will consist of popular releases and the evening record shows will feature carefully selected ‘smooth’ record for KLMS’ disc library.”

  • 1959

    KLMS adopts Top 40 format.  Successful ratings follow.  Program Director Lee Thomas begins long run, becomes station manager from 1979-1986.  Thomas later heads up the broadcast sequence for Doane College in Crete, NE and is later named to the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2009.

  • 1960

    Howard Shuman acquires full control of Lincoln Broadcasting Corporation.

  • 1964

    Harvey Swenson, manager, describes the programming of KLMS as “music and news.  The music is modified Top 40, skimming off the hard rock and mixing in standards and C&W.  Our four mobile units do a concentrated job of local news coverage.”

  • 1965

    The FCC grants a shortened (one-year) license renewal to KLMS because of substantial departures from their proposed commercial policies and practices (meaning over-commercialization).

  • 1974

    October, 1974-Lincoln Broadcasting Corporation (Howard Shuman) sells to Telegraph-Herald, Inc., Dubuque, Iowa (Robert Woodward and family) for $900,000.

  • 1979

    July, 1979-Telegraph-Herald, Inc, acquires KFMQ 101.9 FM from KFMQ, Inc.(Steve Agnew) for $1.8 million, including a $200,000 non-compete agreement.

    Program Director Lee Thomas succeeds General Manager Harold Lampman, who takes over as General Manager of KFMQ.   KLMS format adjusts from Top 50 to Middle of the Road.

  • 1980

    April, 1980- KLMS is authorized for 5,000 watts.  The new signal pattern requires additional towers.

  • 1981

    Telegraph-Herald changes its name to Woodward Communications.  KLMS begins AM stereo.

  • 1983

    New transmitter site at 98th & A Streets.  Eight towers for different day and night patterns.  Now 5,000 watts daytime power.

  • 1985

    AM and FM operations move in together at 1540 South 70th Street.

  • 1987

    KLMS picks up The Breeze, a satellite-delivered New Age/Jazz Infusion format.

  • 1988

    July, 1988- Sold by Woodward Communications (William R. Williamson, Dubuque, IA) to Midwest Communications ( D.E “Duke” Wright, Green Bay, WI, later renamed KLMS/KFMQ Inc.) for $2.8 million.  Includes KFMQ 101.9 FM.

    Station drops light jazz and new age music, returns to Oldies.  Ratings had dropped from a 4.9 to .7 in just over six months.

  • 1990

    KLMS begins simulcast of sister KFMQ, Album Rock format, and changes call letters to KFMQ AM.

  • 1993

    April, 1993-  KLMS/KFMQ Inc. (Duke Wright, Green Bay, WI) sells KFMQ AM 1480 (the AM only) to Radio One Nebraska, Inc. (Raymond Lamb, Sioux Falls, SD) for $200,000.  Buyer also owns KLDZ 95.1 Lincoln, KTTT and KWMG, Columbus, NE, plus six other stations in Minnesota and South Dakota.  Studios/offices move to 1230 O Street.

    KFMQ AM takes over the Big Band format abandoned by now-silent KHAT 1530 AM.   Changes call letters to KMEM for “Memory Music.”

  • 1996

    June, 1996-Sold by Radio One Broadcasting (Ray Lamb) to Three Eagles Communications (Rolland Johnson, CEO, Gary Buchanan, President) for $10.2 million.  Sale includes KNET 95.1 (ex-KLDZ) Lincoln and eight more stations outside of Lincoln.

    September, 1996- Three Eagles also buys KFOR and KFRX FM Lincoln for $5.3 million.

    Studios/offices move to 6900 Van Dorn Street in Lincoln.

  • 1997

    KMEM flips format to All-Sports, returns the call letters to KLMS.

  • 2000

    Localization programming is reduced and ESPN is given the vast majority of air time.

  • 2002

    Studios/offices move to 3800 Cornhusker Highway in Lincoln.

  • 2010

    February, 2010-  Format flips from Sports to Oldies, capitalizing on station’s Top 40 heritage.

    March, 2010-  Format flips back to Sports as a result of listener complaints.

  • 2014

    Three Eagles sells its 48 stations, including KLMS 1480 to Digity for $66.5 million.

  • 2015

    Modification of license to reduce power to 1,000 watts daytime, 750 watts night time.

  • 2016

    Alpha Media (Larry Wilson, CEO, Portland, OR) buys Digity Media’s (Dean Goodman, CEO) 116 stations in 26 markets including KLMS for $264 million.

  • 2017

    July, 2017- Translator K268DF, 101.5, 130 watts signs on carrying KLMS programming.