| The First Stations | Late 40's-60's | 70's and 80's | 90's | KKNX |
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On June 13, 1993 an arsonist burned down the old KEED studio and transmitter facility on Day Island Road. The City of Eugene denied the request to build a small replacement transmitter building declaring the conditional use permit invalid, since the site was adjacent to Alton Baker Park. However, if the station continues to transmit from the site, the conditional use permit might stay in effect, so the station engineer wired up a 40 watt transmitter and playing a 10 minute loop tape, over and over, KEED-AM (1600) returns to the air. Mr. Tilson appealed the land use decision to the City of Eugene and prevailed which allowed the construction of a new transmitter building to hold the AM transmitter. The land, occupied by the former studio building and towers, was sold by Tilson to the City of Eugene with one half of to become part of Alton Baker Park and the other half being reserved for the two AM towers. KEED-AM (1600)was sold to Albany Radio who runs it today from the Albany studios of KHPE- FM/KWIL-AM as a satellite operation of their Christian programming. [crm]
KKTT-FM began as KFMY-FM, which was owned and operated by Duke Young. The studio and transmitter facilities were located entirely downtown, in what was at that time one of the tallest buildings, the Medical Arts building on East Broadway. The station eventually made its way to Blanton Heights, across the parking lot from KVAL-TV in the 60s and as Mr. Youngs sons, Jeff, Tim and Mike grew up, they influenced the station programming, which evolved from adult-standards and "better music" to "Rockin From the Ridge Top" in the late 60s and early 70s. The station was sold to KUGN in the late 70s and operated as KUGN-FM until just as few years ago when they changed the call letters to KKTT.
KFMY was the first station to broadcast in stereo in Oregon. KLCC claims on their website to be the first in stereo, but KFMY commenced experimental stereo broadcasting in 1959. [rp] KEED used to have a Sunday stereo show in the early 60s, that was rather unique...they had both an AM and FM station at that time when they were on Laura Street in Springfield. Their idea of "Stereo" was to put the right channel on one station, the left on the other.
KUGN had to buy a FM station in the 70s to catch the wave as the FM band began to attract listeners with FM stereo. Seems that early on, KUGN used to have a FM license on 99.1, which the owners let go "dark". That frequency was subsequently applied for and authorized to KPNW-FM. It has gone through several changes, from "lite 99" to its current incarnation as KODZ-FM.
The KUGN studios and transmitter facilities started out on Coburg Road, where the Oakway mall is today. As the city grew, they moved the towers and studios down the road to just north of Crescent Avenue in the early 60s. In the late 70s they built new studios on West 11th street, and in the mid 90s had to move the transmitter towers once again, this time to a location between Country Farm Road and I-5 as land values around the tower site became more profitable for housing than radio transmitters. At about the same time KDUK-AM on 1280 moved to the new KUGN-am transmitter site and co-located on the KUGN towers, for the same reason. The KDUK-AM towers were located on the corner of Coburg and Willakenzie Roads and the Sheldon Plaza shopping center was rapidly growing up around the tower site.
In 1994, Paul Bjornstadt starts up 840 AM, the areas first "new" AM station since the 1960s. His station is combined on to the KKXO-AM (1450) tower on Goodpasture Road. Initially running a 70s oldies/soft hits format, the station later experimented with various talk programming and call letters including KDBS "BS-84" and KKNX. The station was told to John and Susan Melkie in 1997 who changed the format to oldies and added an AM stereo executor, to become KKNX-AM "Stereo-84" (840).