880 AM, Lexington
First Air Date: February 1, 1951
Operating Power: 25,000 watts
Original Call Letters: KRVN
Format: Agricultural Programming
General Manager: Max Brown
Program Director: Gary Schroeder
Sales Manager: Dan Bellus
Chief Engineer: Tom Copeland
Issued To: Nebraska Rural Radio Association
Through the Years
[Note: Much of the information provided in this listing, courtesy of the book, “KRVN, 50 Years of Service to Agriculture” by Max Brown & Eric Brown. 2002]
Nebraska Rural Radio Association started with the Nebraska Cooperative Council, which opened an office in Lincoln, NE on April 1, 1946. Max Brown was named Executive Secretary/Treasurer in 1946.
August, 1947- The Nebraska Cooperative Council became interested in forming a farmer/rancher-owned radio station.
May 1, 1948- Nebraska Rural Radio Association is incorporated in Lincoln, NE in order to establish an agricultural radio station.
June 2, 1948- NRRA officially formed on this date. Ownership certificates were sold with a value of $10/each and 4,775 certificates were issued.
Jay Person was the association’s first President and served from 1948-1972.
April, 1949- NRRA files an application to the FCC for 10,000 watts at 1010 kc, directional antenna system.
January 5, 1950- NRRA files an amended application for 25,000 watts.
April 21, 1950- NRRA decides to locate in Lexington, NE
July 27, 1950- Max Brown transfers to the radio project and is named General Manager of the station.
KRVN call letters are chosen, meaning “The Rural Voice of Nebraska”.
First location for the station in Lexington was in a former mortuary at 109 West 8th Street.
February 1, 1951- KRVN 1060 AM signs on at 7:30 a.m. General Manager- Max Brown; Chief Engineer- Tom Copeland; Sales- Dan Bellus; Programming- Gary Schroeder
February 4, 1951- 4,000 people attend the dedication of the station on Sunday.
Station sign on at 7:30 a.m. sign off at 6:15 p.m. In December & January, sign on is at 8 a.m. and sign off is at 5 p.m. During summer hours, sign on is at 6 a.m. signoff at 7:15 p.m.
KRVN is permitted to buy rights for University of Nebraska Football play-by-play from KOIL-Omaha for the 1951 season.
Religious Program Back to the Bible is aired Monday-Friday from 9:00-9:30 a.m.
KRVN’s signal in the eastern portion of Nebraska is lacking, due to the station having to protect the signals of radio stations in Mason City, Iowa and Independence, Kansas.
To remedy the problem of getting a signal into Eastern Nebraska, NRRA purchases KOIL 1290 AM in Omaha to cover that portion of the state. Sale is on a sales contract and NRRA sells KOIL a year later at a loss.
KRVN links up with KFAB for their Husker football broadcasts with Lyell Bremser’s play-by-play.
January 29, 1962- KRVN applies for 880 kc clear channel signal with 50,000 watts of power. Two other stations in South Dakota and KMMJ Grand Island also applied for the frequency.
Later, the South Dakota stations drop out of the running leaving only KMMJ still in the hunt for the frequency. The negotiations continue until 1967.
November 1, 1962- KRVN FM signs on the air at 93.1 MHz at 50,000 watts on a 600 foot tower, located 7 miles south of Lexington.
April 18, 1967- KMMJ’s Don Searle agrees to withdraw his application for the frequency if KRVN will pay for Searle’s out-of-pocket expenses regarding his application.
March 6, 1972- KRVN goes full time at 880 kc and 50,000 watts, ending “1010 for KRVN”
Transmitter is located at a four-tower array south of Lexington, near Holdrege, NE.
NRRA President Jay Person retires and is replaced by Ira Beachler.
KRVN also purchased KEYR AM, a 1,000 watt daytimer in Scottsbluff, NE to expand coverage in that area. Once KRVN went full time at 50,000 watts, KEYR was sold on August 1, 1971.
During daylight hours, KRVN broadcast from Tower #3 of a four tower array, 3 miles north of Holdrege.
September 11, 1978- Lightning hits tower #3 and it lost its top 1/3rd bringing the tower down to 200 feet, which caused the station to have to lower power to 20,000 watts. It took a full year to get the station back to 50,000 watts.
April 18, 1979- Eric Brown is named the new General Manager of KRVN AM & FM as his father, Max Brown would be retiring on July 31, 1979. Eric’s first day on the job was August 1, 1979.
August 7, 1981- KRVN receives it’s permanent license from the FCC. It had been on a temporary license since March 3, 1972.
Max Brown is inducted into the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.
NRRA President Ira Beachler retires and is succeeded by Otto Geiger for the next 20 years.
General Manager Eric Brown is elected as President of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association for 1985.
March, 1988- KRVN links up with WWL 870AM, New Orleans, LA to form a “super station” broadcasting the “Road Gang Show” nationwide from midnight to 5 a.m. nightly. This is the only synchronized station in the U.S.A.
A building is purchased (formerly the Farm Credit Building) at 1007 Plum Creek Parkway, and KRVN builds new studios to house both the AM & FM.
November 18, 1989- KRVN first broadcasts from its new offices/studio location.
November 20-1989- Nebraska Governor Kay Orr dedicates the station
December 2, 1989- 3rd District Congresswoman Virginia Smith cuts the ribbon at the Grand Opening ceremony of the station.
December 15, 2004- Founding KRVN General Manager Max Brown passes away.
KRVN General Manager Eric Brown is inducted into the Nebraska Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame.
Dwight Lane, Station Manager of KTIC AM/FM in West Point, NE, moves to Lexington as Station Manager over KRVN AM/FM and remains there two years before moving back to West Point as its Station Manager.
January 1, 2012-KRVN General Manager Eric Brown retires but remains active in its Foundation.
Craig Larson, station manager at KNEB AM/FM in Scottsbluff assumes the General Manager duties over the Nebraska Rural Radio Association
December, 2013-Tim Marshall is named Station Manager of KRVN AM/FM.
Long time KRVN air personality Dave Thorell is inducted into the Nebraska Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame.
January, 2020-Craig Larson steps down as General Manager over the Nebraska Rural Radio Association, and Tim Marshall takes over as General Manager. Amy Biehl-Owens is the Market Manager of KRVN AM/FM.