930 AM, Ogallala
First Air Date: January 23, 1955
Operating Power: 500 watts, daytime only
Original Call Letters: KOGA AM
General Manager: Ed Launer
Issued To: Ogallala Broadcasting Co. Inc.
Through the Years
January 23, 1955- KOGA signs on. Principal owner- Newell Eastman. Transmitter: US-26, half-mile north of town. Main Studio: 214 North Spruce Street.
Main studio moves to 111 West 4th Street in Ogallala.
Pre-sunrise operation at 500 watts is authorized. Ray Lockhart is named General Manager. Lockhart started his broadcast career at KNOP-TV in North Platte in 1959.
Stock sale from Newell Eastman relinquishing negative control to E. Charles Robacker, Marvin A. Romig and Ray Lockhart.
Construction permit for 500 watts night operation with directional antenna is granted.
September, 1974-Transfer of control to Ray H. Lockhart from Marvin Romig through the purchase of stock, for consideration of $275,000. Lockhart goes on to serve the broadcast industry for decades including eight years on the Radio Board of the National Association of Broadcasters and many years as the legislative liaison chairman for the Nebraska Broadcasters Association. He served two terms on the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Board of Directors and in 1992 was the NBA’s president. Lockhart was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 1998.
KOGA’s format is described as Middle of the Road. 10 hours of Farm news weekly. ABC network affiliation.
Transmitter site with directional antenna system permitting night time operation lights up at North Spruce Street and Prairie Ridge, about 1.5 miles north of downtown Ogallala.
Co-owned KOGA FM 92.7 signs on with 3,000 watts at 294 feet. This is a second attempt for a co-owned FM after losing a bid earlier in the 1970’s that went to 93.4 KIBC (later KMCX).
KOGA adds AM stereo using the Harris system.
KOGA power is increased to 2,500 watts daytime directional, remaining at 500 watts at night.
February, 1988- Increased day power to 5,000 watts directional calling for an addition of another tower.
Operations Manager Kevin Lockhart, along with Ray Lockhart develop and establish Prophet Systems, a digital audio storage and playback system that replaces aging tape-based automation systems. A first in the industry, the system debuts on KOGA and co-owned Colorado stations the following summer and leads the way for computer programming industry-wide.
KOGA is authorized full time operation with 5,000 watts, directional antenna.
New co-owned FM, KMCX 106.5, is purchased by Ray Lockhart from Midwest Broadcasting Co. Inc for $184,000. Studios move in with KOGA AM/FM. KOGA AM flips format from MOR to Oldies.
Ogallala Broadcasting (Ray Lockhart) sells KOGA AM & FM, along with KMCX FM to Goodstar Broadcasting (Alan Goodman, President) for $3.25 million, but the deal fails to close.
August, 1998-Ogallala Broadcasting (Lockhart) sells KOGA AM, KOGA FM and KMCX FM to Central Star Communications Inc. for $4 million. Central Star is a subsidiary of Capstar Broadcasting (Thomas O. Hicks). The deal includes Prophet Systems, the Lockhart-developed digital automation programming system. Capstar owns or is buying 245 FMs and 102 AMs.
After a series of mergers sand purchases involving Chancellor Media and AMFM Inc., Capstar’s stations become a part of Clear Channel (iHeart Media).
Clear Channel’s Ogallala group, KOGA 930 AM, KOGA 99.7 FM, and KMCX 106.5 FM was to be included in GoodRadio TV.LLC’s purchase of dozens of Clear Channel markets but the deal fell through when its financing group, American Securities Capital Partners, objected to the deal’s $452 million cost.
KOGA is a finalist for the Crystal Radio Award for public service awarded by the National Association of Broadcasters.
September, 2012-KOGA AM power is decreased to 2,100 watts to allow non-directional daytime operation.
Nighttime power is decreased back to 500 watts, directional.
Clear Channel becomes iHeart Media, aka IHM.
KOGA AM format flips from Soft Oldies to “Classic Country for the High Plains.”