GOOD NEWS: Amarillo radio station celebrates 100 years of broadcasting

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 10:23 PM CDT|Updated: May. 20, 2022 at 2:29 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - This week, local radio station KGNC celebrates 100 years of broadcasting.

“1922 May 16th was the first day and they applied for a 10,000 watt transmitter and it got accepted,” said David Lovejoy, radio personality. “KGNC was the first source of media in this area.”

Not only was it one of the first stations to sign on in the country, but KGNC became a booming regional media outlet after World War 2. A booming radio station with 100,000 watts of power became a game changer for this region.

“We reach as far as Clovis, New Mexico, Wichita Falls, up into Oklahoma, parts of Central Oklahoma,” Lovejoy said “It made the difference in weather, in news and safety, that’s what the focus of it is.”

Over the decades KGNC has been a mainstay as a source for news and we’ve had an important partnership in weather.

“Having grown up rural, I listened to KGNC AM when that was the only station we could get,” said Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson. “It’s had a lot of impact for a lot of years, and a lot of people with community heart wanting to better our community through news, through connection, through music, arts, and culture so it’s had a gigantic impact.”

Lovejoy said that the radio station reflects the community.

“It shows that it’s really a community radio station, it always has been, its been about the community,” Lovejoy said.

KGNC boasts illustrious and colorful lists of radio talent heard over the many years.

“I used to be on Tooty Tutneses story, that he had on his kids show. Then Janet Lee Baxter had a noon show and she called it Talk Duece and Talent, and I did sort of a Erma Bombeck,” Former KGNC Broadcaster DJ Stubben said.

And some of the radio pioneers at KGNC were actually the inspiration for others to pursue a career in broadcasting.

“I loved radio, I was just mesmerized by it, but there was just one thing missing to me, and that was a woman,” said Morgan Tanner, radio personality. “I never heard a woman on air, until the first time I ever heard Ruby Lewis on KGNC. I was like ‘oh my gosh, it’s a woman on the radio.’ If she can do this than I can too.”

And after a century of broadcasting at KGNC, some fundamentals remain the same.

For the First Alert Storm Team to be able to partner up with a radio station that’s been around for 100 years is something special.

And that’s some good news.

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