750 AM, Clay Center (Grand Island)
First Air Date: November 29, 1925
Operating Power: 500 watts
Original Call Letters: KMMJ
General Manager: H.H. Johnson
Issued To: M.M. Johnson Incubator & Brooder Co.
Through the Years
November 29, 1925- KMMJ signs on at 1310 kHz with 500 watts. Antenna is strung between two 150-foot towers, 300 feet apart. Studios/Transmitter are located at 320 West Glenville Street in Clay Center, NE. Owner is The M M Johnson Incubator and Brooder Company (Manader M. Johnson, founder of Old Trusty chicken brooders, named after his dog, Old Trusty.) General Manager is H. H. Johnson (the son of Manader M. Johnson, who passed away in 1912.)
January, 1926- Station is authorized to increase power from 500 watts to 1,000 watts.
July 12, 1927- Frequency moves from 1310 kHz to 790 kHz and from 1,000 watts to 500 watts, dividing time with WCAH in Lincoln, NE.
October, 1927- Frequency moves from 790 kHz to 1050 kHz, 500 watts day, 250 watts night, dividing time with WJAG, Norfolk, NE.
Frequency moves again from 1050 kHz to 740 kHz at 1,000 watts, limited hours. Hours of operation are primarily daytime; clear channel protection for WSB, Atlanta, GA.
Farm Director George Kister joins the staff and stays with the station for 40 years.
A larger facility is built as the incubator factory quits production. Its turned into a regional tourist attraction and a launching pad for performers.
August, 1933- Station is granted temporary authority to operate 5-6am for service to farm/ranch audience.
August, 1935- Licensee company is renamed Nebraska Broadcasting Company. KMMJ for $75,000 is one of four stations negotiated for purchase by the Omaha World Herald. The other three were WAAW, Omaha; KGBZ, York; and WJAG, Norfolk, but the sale fails to close.
July, 1936- Station is sold to KMMJ, Inc (Don Searle, President) for $80,000. Randy Ryan is named General Manager.
November, 1937- KMMJ begins airing Coffee Pot Inn morning show from Cornbelt Broadcasting Networks, distributed directly over the air from WHO, Des Moines, IA
April, 1939-KMMJ completes its move to Grand Island with studios and auditorium located at 315 North Locust. A new transmitter and 330-foot tower is located 1.3 miles east of Phillips, Nebraska.
March, 1941- Frequency is moved to 750 kHz as part of the NRBA national frequency shift.
October, 1943- Studios are moved to 205 South Cedar Street (Cedar & Division) in Grand Island. Two small studios, one large studio with audience seating for 125, offices, a new Hammond electric organ. KMMJ joins NBC Blue Network as their 167th affiliate.
February, 1946- Station joins an association to fight clear channels. Also files an unsuccessful construction permit to go to 10,000 watts, unlimited hours.
May, 1952- Corporate name is changed from KMMJ Inc. to Town and Farm Company.
June, 1958- Transmitter is relocated to 1.3 miles northeast of Central City, NE with power increase to 10,000 watts, directional antenna. Limited hours protecting WSB, Atlanta, GA.
April, 1960- Don Searle gains controlling interest of Town and Farm Company, though purchase of stock.
February, 1962- Station files construction permit to move as a Class II-A to 880 kc, 50,000 watts directional antenna with unlimited hours. Filing is a result of the FCC opening up 13 clear channel stations for duplication. KRVN, 1010AM, Lexington, NE also files for the channel. After nine years of hearings and court cases, KRVN emerges as the winner in 1971.
KMMJ drops ABC Network, and joins Mutual Broadcasting Network until 1968.
November, 1967- Station is sold to United Communications, Inc. (Rex Lathen, President. Chicago) for $450,000.
With the sale, Don Searle ends his 42-year career in broadcasting, which included the founding of KOIL, Council Bluffs in 1925, head of the Central States Broadcasting duopoly (KFOR, KFAB, Lincoln, KOIL, Omaha) 1938-1943, multiple station ownership and a stint as an ABC network executive in San Francisco, CA.
Pre-Sunrise 500 watts is authorized, 6am to local sunrise.
Calling itself Farm an Home Radio with a Middle of the Road format, farm programming is increased.
December, 1976- Sold to KMMJ Inc. (Forum Publishing Company, Fargo, ND) for $671,000.
KMMJ rejoins the Mutual Radio Network.
Middle of the Road music format is replaced by Country. Farm programming continues.
KMMJ is sols to Clinton Broadcasting Company (Randall K. Boesen) for $855,000.
Sold to KMMJ, Inc. (Forum Publishing, Fargo, ND) from Viking Broadcasting Corporation (Randall K. Boesen) for $800,000. Boesen had paid $855,000 for the station five years earlier.
Joins NBC’s TalkNet night time talk.
Studios and offices are moved to 3280 Woodbridge Blvd, Grand Island. KMMJ Inc. licensee name is changed to Cornhusker Radio, Inc. (Forum Publishing, Fargo, ND). TalkNet is dropped for SMN satellite-delivered Country format.
KMMJ is sold to Central Nebraska Broadcasting (Tommy Gleason, Jr.) for $186,000, asset sale for cash. Purchase was part of a duopoly deal that included KLRB, 97.3 FM Aurora from another seller. Licensee later renamed Prairie States Broadcasting.
April, 1995- Country format is replaced by News/Farm/Talk, dropping Mutual.
September, 1996- KMMJ is sold to JRK Broadcasting (John R. Kidd) for $700,000, which includes KLRB, 97.3 FM, Aurora, NE. JRK owns KRGI 1430 AM, Grand Island. Stations moved to newly co-owned KRGI studios/offices at 3205 West North Front Street. Lyle Nelson is brought in as General Manager.
KMMJ flips to All-Spanish Regional Mexican format, adding Hispanic Satellite Net for use outside of drive-times.
December, 2003- KMMJ is sold to Steckline Communications (Wichita, KS) as part of a package sale that includes KRGY FM, Aurora and KRGI AM-FM, Grand Island for $2 million.
KMMJ is sold to Legacy Communications (Jay Vavricek) as part of a package that includes KRGY FM, Aurora, KRGI AM/FM, Grand Island and KIMB AM, Kimball, NE for $4.75 million.
KMMJ is sold to Mission Nebraska, Inc (Lincoln, NE) for $825,000. Gospel music. Slogan: KMMJ, Keeping Your Mind on the Message of Jesus.