KIOL - AM 1370 - Iola, KS

The Voice of Iola

Iola radio broadcasting began on July 25, 1961 when 1370 AM KALN (KIOL's former call letters) signed on the air. 1370 AM was a daytime-only ... See more y operation, as were many radio stations in small towns at the time. The station was started by Lloyd C. McKenney of Carthage, Missouri, who also owned KRMO, Monett, Missouri, and KMDO in Fort Scott. Welcome Stanton was the manager of the station for McKenney. According to papers filed in 1962 with the FCC, 1370 AM was affiliated with the Kansas University Sports Network. Other programs listed as being broadcast included "Church Notes", "Church World News", "Thought For The Day", "Farm Service Hour", "School News", "Sports Parade", "Perkin' with Gerkin", "On The Square", and, of course, "Trading Post." Religious programming made up 6.6% of the airtime, agricultural 9.2%, news 16.3%, educational 0.4%, discussion 0.6%, and other talk 4.7%. The rest, 62.2%, was entertainment programming. Moving ahead a decade, 1370 AM continued in a similar vein, listing programs in 1971 that included "The Allen County Juco Show" (news at the college), "Time Out With Iris" (Iris Stanton givng community news), "The Tom Maxwell Program" (farm news), and "The Social Security Show." Documents showed that the station was affiliated with The KU Sports network, The K-State Radio Network, The Kansas Association of Radio Broadcasters Network and The Kansas Broadcasting Industry Network. The earliest surviving rate card we can find is from this time. The average cost of a 30-second ad on the rate card of 9/1/72 was $2.16. Adjusted for inflation, that works out to a rate of $10.95 in 2007...proving once again what a great value today's radio advertising really is! Change came to KALN in 1973 when McKenney decided to sell the station to Mike and Lovetta Russell. The Russells came from Wichita, where Mike had considerable experience working in radio at stations such as KFBI, KANS and KAKE. He'd also spent time broadcasting in Denver, where he became acquainted with another young broadcaster by the name of Peter Jennings. Yes, THAT Peter Jennings! On August 31, 1973, the Russells officially became the second owners of the radio station. Welcome Stanton continued as Station Manager and Mike assumed the title of General Manager. Around a year later, the station changed the type of music it played to contemporary hits. On March 1, 1976, the call letters of the radio station became KIKS. Mike Russell had seen in a trade publication that another station had just given up those call letters and he thought that "KIKS" standing for an abbreviation for "Iola, KS" would be perfect for the station. He must have been right...those call letters have been in Iola ever since! Around that same time it was determined that an FM station should be added. The AM station was still a daytime operation and adding an FM would give the company the means to broadcast past sunset. On April 21, 1975, an application was filed with the FCC to build the new FM station. On June 9, 1977, the new station at 99.3 FM was finally on the air with the call letters KIOL. Again, as with KIKS, the "KIOL" call letters were a tie back to the city of Iola, taking the first three letters of the city's name. The station continued with the call letters KIKS and KIOL until April 2, 1984 when the call letters of the FM station were changed to KIKS-FM to reflect an increased amount of simulcasting being done on the two stations. For a while during the 80's, a dual-city identification of "Iola-Chanute" was used. That was dropped later when the focus returned to Iola. It was also during this time that the owners, the Russells, were living in Lawton, Oklahoma, running another station they owned there, KKRX. In 1991, it was decided that the programming of the two stations should be split again to take advantage of being able to provide two independent sources of programming. AM 1370 was changed to a country music format. Its original call letters, KALN, were restored and the station was named "K-Allen." The station experienced another change two years later on August 8, 1993 when the FCC permitted 1370 AM to broadcast at night for the very first time. It was also in 1993 when Mike and Lovetta Russell moved back to Iola from Oklahoma to resume day-to-day operation of the radio stations. In the late 1990's, it was obvious that everything was moving to computers, and in 1998 an extensive amount of computers were installed to allow the station to move away from airing taped commercials on the air. Now, everything was recorded and played digitally on computer! On the night of the Presidential election of 2000, a new voice was heard on KIKS and KALN. It was Tom Norris, who had moved from Hutchinson to assume the role of Station Manager. Norris had been in broadcasting since 1979 having worked at stations around the central part of the state such as KWHK, KSKU, KWLS, and KKRD. He would take over the morning slot on KIKS. Shortly after the attack on America on September 11, 2001, the format on 1370 KALN was changed from country to oldies. At the time, there were no oldies stations in the area and the station filled a void for those who enjoyed music from an earlier era. The format change was originally planned for the Friday of the week of the attack. Because of the attention placed on those events the switch was pushed back a week. In 2004, KIKS was in store for an upgrade. Topeka station KWIC, which also broadcast on 99.3 FM wanted a power upgrade so it could better compete with other higher-power stations in the market. In order for this to be achieved, KIKS and another station in Emporia would have to be moved to different frequencies to eliminate interference. It was determined that KIKS should move to 101.5 FM. Doing so would provide an extra benefit to KIKS: it, too, would be able to increase its power. The increase would roughly quadruple the output, enabling KIKS to serve even more listeners. On May 20, 2004, KIKS moved from 99.3 to 101.5 FM at the higher power. During the years between 2001 and 2007, plans were made to transfer the ownership of the station from the Russells to Tom and Monica Norris. Monica, who had also worked in radio along with time spent at The Hutchinson News and its shopper The Bee, began working at KIKS and KALN along with Tom. Starting off selling advertising, she quickly became an instrumental part of all aspects of the stations, from recording ads, to live on-air work, to running the traffic and accounting systems. On May 1, 2007 it was official: the station had its third set of owners as Tom and Monica took over the operation. They were delighted to find out that Mike and Lovetta still wanted to remain onboard in smaller roles. Over the Labor Day weekend 2007, KIKS ran a "Country Club Weekend." While it was assumed that there were a lot of country music fans in the area, the response was overwhelming. It was decided during the following week to keep the format of KIKS as country. That has proved to be a wise decision as the station's listenership has increased since the change. It was also around this time that Kansas City Chiefs game broadcasts were added to 1370, along with The Rush Limbaugh Show. The KIOL format gradually evolved into the talk format you hear today. In August 2008, the station experienced a stroke of luck. The original call letters of the FM station, KIOL, became available after being tied up on a Houston station for many years. It was always thought that the original AM-FM combination of KIKS and KIOL sounded great, so the KIOL call letters were brought back to 1370 AM. That brings us to today. What's next for Iola Broadcasting? Stay tuned and you'll find out! P.S. Just for purposes of accuracy, it should be noted that there WAS another radio station in Iola before this...but it didn't last long! Ross Arbuckle opened his garage at 223 South Street on December 28, 1918. He operated radio station KFID 1220 AM from the building in 1923 and became one of Iola's first pilots. KFID operated with a whopping 20 watts of power! The latest we can find records of this station operating is June 30, 1924.

3 tune ins AM 1370

Iola - Kansas, United States - English

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(620) 365-3151

2221 S. State Iola, Kansas 66749 USA

radiostation@iolaradio.com

Lori Allen Middays The KIKS Morning Show