K G F F RADIO, SHAWNEE
An Oklahoma Broadcasting Pioneer
Bill Coxsey, KGFF News Director, Dec. 1981—Nov. 1990
[This is not a complete and comprehensive history of KGFF Radio. These words are the condensation of a box of files found on a shelf in the storage shed behind the studios at Bryan & MacArthur. The box contained many of the early records of the station and letters about its operations.
The records are far from complete. There are missing sections and few references to many people. There are no scripts of shows or newscasts. There are few program schedules.]
For KGFF, Shawnee, it all began on Tuesday morning, December 10th, 1930 at 9:00 a.m. The first program was the 30-minute KGFF Devotional Hour. The first minister to appear was Rev. W. A. Carter from the Church of the Nazarene on South Park Street. At 9:30 there were thirty minutes of Shopping Suggestions from Shawnee Merchants followed by two hours of silence. Those silent hours were to keep from interfering with a Kansas station on the same frequency. KGFF would also be off the air from 1:30 to 6 p.m. for the same reason.
During the noon hour of that first day there was a program of Luncheon Music performed by Chic Haynes and His Hotel Aldridge Orchestra. Since the KGFF studios were located on the mezzanine of the “beautiful Hotel Aldridge” it was convenient for the orchestra to make regular appearances. They would play again each evening at six with their Dinner Hour Music program and individual orchestra member would take solo stints on the air.
There were two newscasts each day in those first months. At 1:15 from the newsroom of the Shawnee Morning News there were the Early News Flashes. On most nights at 7:45 the Late News Flashes and Oil News would be done from the newsroom of the Shawnee Evening Star. At 9 p.m. listeners would hear the Government Weather Report just before KGFF would say good night.
Throughout the day there were numerous solo and group musicians, all live, all local. This schedule would stay much the same during the first month on the air.
After that first day KGFF was off the air for a week as there were still some adjustments to be made. The antenna was a T-shaped contraption of wires strung on wooden poles between the Aldridge Hotel and the Masonic Building across the street. At the time KGFF was at 1420 kilocycles with 100 watts of power.
Ross Porter is credited as the man who started KGFF and managed the station in its early years. Porter didn’t actually start KGFF. He brought it to Shawnee. KGFF was started by D. R. Wallace, who operated the Wallace Radio Institute of Oklahoma City. Their stationary touted them as the “Southwest’s Largest Radio School”. The institute operated a technical training station and amateur radio station in Oklahoma City and a commercial broadcast station, KGFF, in Alva. It was the commercial outlet that Porter brought to Shawnee.
The earliest records in the file indicate the Wallace Radio Institute put KGFF on the air in January 1927. The original studios and transmitter were in the Bell Hotel at Barnes & 5th Street in Alva. Later the studios were moved to College & 5th before everything was loaded on a truck and brought to Shawnee.
Porter may have gotten his idea for radio from Alfred J. Spooner, credited with starting the Morning News and Evening Star newspapers for the Stauffer Co. In 1926 Spooner started KGFG Radio in Oklahoma City. It later became KTOK. He went on to build the first radio system for the Oklahoma City police and Oklahoma County sheriff’s department and the first mobile telephone service for the state. Spooner, who died in 1989, was listed as Program Coordinator for KGFF in the early 30’s.
After that first day of broadcasting on Dec. 10th, KGFF was back on the air to stay on Dec. 17, 1930. The Luncheon Hour Music was cut short that day, a very important one in Pottawatomie County history. At 12:30 p.m. a program listed as Court House Speaker was broadcast. This was the Special Election Day to decide whether the county seat should be moved from Tecumseh to Shawnee. Throughout the evening the votes came in and were reported precinct by precinct, setting a precedent that continues to the year of this writing in 1990.
Shawnee’s population was about 23,000. Tecumseh had 2400. The vote in Tecumseh was 809 to 7 to keep the county seat there. The county vote went for Tecumseh, too: 5,268 to 4,785. But a big Shawnee vote settled the election. It was KGFF’s first and, probably, biggest night of election coverage.
The all-live entertainment on KGFF contained quite a variety. Besides the Hotel Aldridge Orchestra there was the Bush Creek String Band, the Shawnee Hawaiians, the Evans String Trio, the Ayres Street Band, the Hay Wire String Band, the Jolly Four Quartet and Rudy’s Rhythm Roamers.
KGFF’s first Christmas had just one holiday program listed. On December 22nd the Christian Church Choir presented their Christmas Cantata. Christmas Day was like another other day with the regularly scheduled programs.
KGFF got plenty of newspaper coverage: December 27, 1930—“Radio friends of Miss Margaret Adams, popular KGFF pianist will be pleased to hear her on the air again Monday night at 7 p.m. Miss Adams is rapidly recovering from a severe attack of influenza.” The schedule expanded adding Tea Time Tunes and the Children’s Travelog at 5:30 each afternoon.
While off the air in the afternoons KGFF held auditions. “All talent desiring to broadcast are requested to call 4390 for an audition.” [Note that KGFF’s telephone number is still 4390 with the 273 added in the 60’s for dialing.]
Having a local radio station meant some talent that had been going to Oklahoma City came home. One such group had been appearing on WKY. The Varsity Trio “has been appearing over the capital ‘mike’ on the Cain’s Coffee programs.”
On December 23rd, 1930, D. R. Wallace was asked by the Federal Radio Commission “why the continued operation” of KGFF in Shawnee should be allowed. He replied that KGFF was “broadcasting weather, news flashes, agriculture information, entertainment and local sporting events, civic news, and other local events, which are not covered by outside sources.” Sixty years later KGFF still follows much of that original purpose.
On January 26th, 1931, Ross Porter filed for the official transfer of KGFF’s license from Mr. Wallace to the new KGFF Broadcasting Co. Porter wrote to the radio commission, “This community is not adequately supplied with radio programs by any other station. This station is located in the heart of the Seminole oil area, giving it access to oil news and facts that are not available to other radio stations for broadcasting (this station is not directly or indirectly connected with any oil development). It is located at a division point of the Rock Island Railroad Company and many programs will be broadcast that will benefit railway employees. The Oklahoma Baptist University is also located in Shawnee and we have access to all programs by students of this college. A great many Indian programs will also be given. Co-operation with the County and Home Demonstration Agents to increase 4-H interest and farm development, music appreciation hours, religious education work. Will co-operate with Shawnee Morning News and Evening Star and all public affairs of interest to the development of this community.”
In that first license request, Porter said that KGFF would devote 40% of its broadcast week to commercial programs, 25% entertainment, 10% to religious, education and agricultural programs and 5% to oil news. Porter said that a new Western Electric transmitter and tower would be installed to further improve the signal.
In April 1931 an article in the Sunday newspaper heralded a special program on KGFF: “A picture in words and music of the growth of Shawnee and the presentation of KGFF’s first radio plays is expected to begin this week . . .The story will begin with the coming of the white man to Shawnee and end with the bringing of KGFF and the latest civic development to the city.”
The 15-week series was written and performed in collaboration with several OBU students and professors. “Presentation will be under Mrs. Rhetta Mae Dorland with the dramatic class of the university.”
A program note from April 12, 1931, showed an appearance that Sunday afternoon by a member of one of America’s greatest acting families, Ethel Barrymore. The Mammoth Department Store sponsored a thirty-minute show featuring Miss Barrymore. There were no other notes to explain the details of her visit to Shawnee.
Other feature artists included Ramah Lee Smith who was a popular theatre organist. Prince Zomar and Aunt Ethel were popular with the children along with numerous local music groups.
KGFF News continued to air twice a day with a new formula. At 1 p.m. the Shawnee Evening Star News Flashes would preview the stories appearing in the afternoon paper. At 7:45 p.m. the Shawnee Morning News Flashes would do the same thing for the morning paper.
KGFF’s new transmitter was sending the signal of Shawnee’s voice all over Oklahoma. Letters were arriving from Cushing, Ada, Holdenville, Norman and Pauls Valley, which was very good considering the station was operating with a power of just 100 watts (compared to 1,000 now). Some late nite tests were heard even farther away in Buffalo, N. Y., Nebraska, the Dakotas, Michigan and Chicago. KGFF’s radio technician was Al Spooner, the pioneer Oklahoma broadcaster mentioned earlier.
By the end of 1931 KGFF’s broadcast schedule had expanded enough to be on the air all day long. There were no longer morning and afternoon breaks. Two sponsors, still on the air at this writing, were on the air in early December 1931: Sears, Roebuck and Marquis Furniture. Some of the additional hours were coming from KGFF’s new second studio sight at the Aldridge Hotel in Wewoka.
A 1933 program schedule shows some other familiar sponsors. Besides the Mammoth Department Store and Sears there was a live broadcast from Resthaven Memorial Park. OG&E sponsored a broadcast by the Spanish Military Band. There were other programs “Brought to you by” Moody’s Bargain Store, Norton Motors, the Ben Cooper Motor Co. and Conoco. The Top o’the Morning News Cast was added at 7:30 a.m. In addition to the broadcasts from Wewoka there were now daily broadcasts from studios at the American Legion Hut in Seminole. The Seminole County Rural Schools did one half hour. Special programs of the week included Lillian Murray’s Stage Show, a girl’s quartet from Chandler and recorded programs featuring the dance music of Duke Ellington and another with Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians.
In 1935 a new self-supporting single tower was built atop the Aldridge Hotel replacing the T-type antenna. A photo of the hotel taken in the late 30’s shows the tower looking much like the one at the opening of the old RKO movies. In 1936 management began looking for a rural site for the transmitter to further improve the signal. The first site considered was on Mission Hill. But the best deal came from the Shawnee Country Club so the tower was placed there.
Another note from 1933 concerned a certain Federal Radio Commission inspector out of the Dallas office who irked some religious broadcasters. Exactly what the man did is unknown but two letters written by “men of God” were anything but God-like:
“Mr. L. A. Newcombe, radio inspector, attached to the Dallas, Texas, office, is incompetent, not because of a lack of energy or intelligence, but because he is crooked, dishonest, two-faced, and double-crossing. He is absolutely the most crooked and most corrupt and dishonest, the lowest principled white man, who ever disgraced this country.
“This man is a menace and a danger not only to this section but to the Commission as well, because along with his rascality and dishonesty, bruteness and ruthlessness, he is possessed with a charming appearance, a cunning disposition, and a pleasing power of deception. Also, he is the biggest and rottenest liar this side of hell.”
A second letter in the KGFF files about Mr. Newcombe says, “He is a most thoroughly knavish and putrid in his personal and official conduct; because he is untrustworthy and unjust day after day; because he is cunningly corrupt and deceivingly dishonest; because he is a natural crook and a most plausible liar, tainted and rotten thru and thru; because he is the Prince of Devils.” FRC inspectors were not always the most popular people since they were the ones wrote would charge broadcasters with violations. In the 1930’s there were many complaints concerning religious broadcasters.
Until 1937 all of KGFF’s programs were local or recorded. More and more listeners were demanding the highly competitive and sophisticated shows produced by the networks. That year KGFF became a member of the Mutual Broadcasting System in a cooperative effort with several other stations in the state including KCRC in Enid, KVSO in Ardmore, KADA in Ada and KBIX in Muskogee. All are still on the air. In May 1937 KGFF was given special permission to stay on the air all night to broadcast Mutual’s live coverage of the coronation of Britain’s King George VI. It was the first of many world events heard over KGFF in the last 60 years.
1941 brought several changes to KGFF. On January 1st the network affiliation was switched from Mutual to the NBC Blue Network. Later in 1941 most of the nation’s radio stations had to move up the dial. KGFF went from 1420 to 1450.
Joining the NBC Blue Network brought a long list of some of America’s most favorite radio shows to KGFF. A few of those were: Inner Sanctum and Dinah Shore on Sunday; during the week there was Don McNeil and the Breakfast Club, Just Plain Bill, Lum & Abner, I Love a Mystery, Easy Aces, Mr. Keene Tracer of Lost Persons, the NBC Symphony, The March of Time, The Green Hornet and live broadcasts across the country from America’s most famous hotel ballrooms.
Another reason the switch to the NBC Blue Network was a good decision was the coming of World War II. KGFF was able to bring the latest war news, often from the front itself. The news files of the early war years no longer exist but there were numerous references to the war along with one classic item.
On May 1st, 1944, Maxine Eddy, the station manager, wrote a special memo on how KGFF was planning to cover the impending invasion of Europe by Allied forces. They knew the invasion was coming but not the exact day and time for D-Day:
“To be given on KGFF Newscast in Connection with Invasion Stories—In connection with the invasion date, KGFF and the Shawnee News-Star have made special arrangements to give listeners and readers complete coverage from the moment the invasion begins.
“In the event the invasion comes during KGFF’s operating hours of 6:30 a.m. to midnight, the news will, of course, be announced at once . . . In the event the news breaks after midnight when KGFF has signed off the air, this station will be notified by the Associated Press and the Blue Network, and will return to the air immediately. The News-Star will also be notified by the Associated Press and will serve its readers with the latest news.
“To give listeners and readers warning that the news for which we are all waiting has come, KGFF has made arrangements with the O. G. Harp Poultry and Egg Company, and the
Rock Island Railroad Company for a whistle signal to extend for three minutes. This simultaneous whistle blast will be notice to Shawnee residents that KGFF will return to the air immediately and that the News-Star will keep you informed through your local newspaper of the invasion proceedings. It has also been arranged with the Rock Island Company and the O. G. Harp Co. that the whistle signal will be given at any hour of the day or night that the invasion begins.”
Attached to the script was a message dated June 6th, 1944: “You are advised that this will be your first notice that the invasion has begun. We invite you to set your dial at 1450 and keep tuned to KGFF for complete 24 hour coverage, and to watch your Shawnee News-Star for up to the minute news.”
Other World War II items included this note from the FCC in September 1943 concerning a possible takeover by enemy agents: “The Federal Communications Commission has requested that this office ascertain from you as to what steps, if any, have been taken for immediately rendering your broadcast transmitter inoperative in case of forcible taking over by enemy agents. Such steps could consist of a concealed switch or switches. These could be arranged so that it would be difficult for any non-employee to get the station back on the air, for the purposes of disseminating false information, without a very appreciable delay.” KGFF’s chief engineer, Salvatore Ricciotti wrote back, “We have installed a relay in the main power circuit to the transmitter which when operated from a concealed switch by the operator on duty at the plant, will cut off power to the transmitter and immediately rend it inoperative.” KGFF was ready if the Germans or Japanese invaded Shawnee.
Of all the files still held at KGFF the Maxine Eddy file is the most complete. It contains all the letters between Miss Eddy and Oscar Stauffer from 1944 to 1947. Although Stauffer Communications is now nationwide, not only in the newspaper business, but in radio and television, that growth was not envisioned in 1944. While the prediction that FM broadcasting would become popular and that the company should pursue it was accurate, Oscar Stauffer wasn’t so sure about television. In May 1944 Maxine Eddy went to the National Association of Broadcasters Convention in Dallas. In reply to her letter Mr. Stauffer wrote, “That was a fine report you made of the meeting in Dallas and it confirmed several of the impressions I had with regard to FM. As to television, it, of course, is out of the question for small papers like ours.”
There were too many unanswered questions about television as Maxine reported, “There is still a lot to be done to make television worthwhile from any angle—ownership or listener. Television plans are being made by the networks but it looks as if the commission (FCC) will
have something to say about whether the present networks will be able to form television networks or not.”
The war caused some changes in community life that affected the transmitter at the country club. “The Shawnee Country Club has decided to discontinue its membership and activities for the duration of the war and will rent its club house and grounds to the officers located at the Naval Base here in Shawnee. This will not affect the space we occupy with the exception that they requested that KGFF install its own gas meter.”
Maxine Eddy became manager of KGFF on February 16, 1944. “I appreciate the wonderful opportunity you have offered me.”
Business was booming in 1944. Many businesses were making lots of money in the war years and used it to buy airtime. Libby’s and Falstaff Beer made major purchases at the start of Maxine’s term.
An article in the Pottawatomie County History reported on KGFF’s all woman staff during the war. KGFF’s woman manager said at the time, “Our announcing staff was one of our weakest points. Up to a few months ago we had only women announcers and were getting a lot of criticism on that score. I’ve succeeded in getting two boys under draft age who are turning out fine.”
August 1944—“I thought you would like to know that KGFF has been informed by the Blue Network that our station placed fifth (in the nation) in a promotion conducted by The Breakfast Club. A total of 292 radio stations were included. We have received congratulatory letters from The Breakfast Club sponsors, Swift and Co. and Kellogg’s.”
3 Feb. 1945—Maxine knew how to drum up business. She went to Chicago to personally talk to Montgomery Ward’s advertising group. Once they were back on the air “Sears Roebuck called up and ordered five additional spots per day and Anthony’s Department Store, which had been off three weeks, called and said they were ready to go back on the air. I believe this is fighting fire with fire.”
16 Feb. 1945—“In case you noticed the item in the paper this morning concerning a robbery at KGFF I will relieve your mind by saying that the paper was in error on the amount taken. Only five dollars and fifty cents is lost and the other twenty dollars which the paper mentioned having been lost some time ago was my own personal cash. I think I will get to the bottom of this before the week is over and will recover the five dollars and fifty cents. We had around one hundred-fifty dollars in cash in the drawer but it was the small change that was taken.”
6 Apr. 1945—From Oscar Stauffer: “Thanks for sending me the copies of Conlan’s Study of Listening Habits. I think this report shows us to advantage because it evidences the 47% of the people in Shawnee listening to the radio are tuned to KGFF.”
17 Apr., 1945—“The enclosed letter is a sample of the nice things people have written to KGFF concerning the recent coverage of Roosevelt’s death, the Oklahoma tornados and floods. In addition we have received constant telephone calls and word-of-mouth compliments.”
21 June, 1946—“Tuesday I received a telegram from the Schutter Candy Company advising that we were one of the winners in the promotion-merchandising contest on their Counterspy show on ABC. [In 1945 NBC spun off the Blue Network as an independent operation that became the American Broadcasting Company.] KGFF will be saluted on the Counterspy broadcast at 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
“This morning Tom Brenneman saluted KGFF on his Breakfast in Hollywood show at 10:00 a.m. and announced we had won first place in the Brenneman-Hedda Hopper hat contest publicity.”
Awards like that kept the national business rolling in.
A 1946 program schedule listed other favorites: Walter Winchell, Louella Parson and Drew Pearson, three of the best entertainment reporters of the day. The moment the youngsters got home from school they were glued to the radio. Hop Harrigan, Terry and the Pirates, Dick Tracy, and Jack Armstrong the All American Boy were on the air from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. each day. Nighttime favorites included the Fatman with William Conrad, Gangbusters and Counterspy.
October 1946—Miss Eddy became Mrs. Bowman when she married Roy Don Bowman, the station engineer as well as announcer.
26 October, 1946—Sometimes it was hard to conduct business at broadcasters’ conventions. When KSOK, Arkansas City, Kan., was added to the Stauffer group Maxine was sent to Chicago to try to line up a network affiliation and get a good national sales representative. When it came time to meet with one man, the session did not go well. “When he arrived he was, in my opinion, too much under the influence of certain spirits to intelligently discuss business of that importance.” When she met with another, “This man interrupted what was supposed to be a business conference with the payer of poker debts and arranging to make more as soon as he completed his business with me.”
Otherwise, the convention went well. “KGFF was honored at the ABC affiliates dinner Sunday nite when it was presented with the network’s award for program promotion in 1946 for cities under 50,000.”
January 1947—Early in 1947 Maxine Bowman decided it was time to step aside. She had been at KGFF for 14 years. She recommended her husband, Ray, to take over as manager.
KGFF’s sister stations in 1947 included KSOK in Arkansas City, Kan., KSEK in Pittsburg, Kan., and KTSJ-FM in Topeka, Kan. According to the license renewal forms William A. Weaver was the chief announcer with Dr. Frank McGee serving as sales manager. McGee, who was born in Seminole, went on to become a major news correspondent for NBC.
In 1951 network radio was still big business despite the advent of television. KGFF was ABC, WKY carried NBC programs, and CBS was heard on KOMA but KOMA could only be heard in the daytime. This fact led KGFF’s general manager at that time, E. D. Harvey, to complain about a survey that showed KOMA getting 20.5% of the 6-10 p.m. audience: “This is a physical impossibility because at this time of the year (the first week in February) KOMA cannot be heard in Shawnee.” This is due to the “highly directional signal KOMA is forced to maintain.”
“When there is a big sporting event on CBS, such as a Louis fight or the very recent Sugar Ray Robinson—La Motta Bout, we average twenty to thirty calls per hour in the late afternoon and evening just preceding the fight, from listeners asking us what CBS station offers the best reception. We generally recommend WWL, New Orleans, 870 kc. There are several shows on CBS I like to listen to and I have found WWL offers the best and most consistent signal.”
In March 1951 KGFF ended its ABC affiliation and once again became a Mutual station. That was not a popular move. When relations with Mutual weren’t going well a few years later, as network radio continued to decline, there was some discussion about dropping them as well. Bill Weaver wrote: “I know when we dropped ABC down here there was a terrific uproar around town, some of which has not subsided. Our advertisers like the idea of a network affiliation, although we don’t use it a great deal. We do carry some of their better commentators such as Walter Winchell, Fulton Lewis Jr., Cecil Brown, etc. We carry one audience participation show which is very popular here. Some of the sports is pretty good, and of course, we have the [baseball] Game of the Day during the summer.”
By 1954 KGFF was feeling the pressure of televison. Weaver set the tone which KGFF continued to follow through all the years of his management, “We have found that we must
concentrate more on things here on the local level. Whenever possible, we are making remote broadcasts, adding program where local people participate, going all out for local news. Naturally its more expensive but with television as new as it is, everyone enjoys it and talks about it a lot so it’s the way to recapture the audience.”
1955 was the year KGFF left its studios in the Aldridge Hotel to move most of its operations to the Shawnee Country Club. Some consideration was made about purchasing property east of the city to build new studios and transmitter site but the long-term (20 year) lease at the country club was a better deal.
KGFF Sports was on the air for its first football season in 1931. A program schedule for November 11, 1931, shows that in addition to a special Armistice Day program from a combined meeting of the Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions Clubs at 2 p.m., there was a broadcast of Wolves football: “Shawnee High School vs El Reno High School Football Game.”
The El Reno team arrived by train at the Rock Island Depot. They walked over to the high school to change into their uniforms. Then, the two feams, followed by the student body, marched to the football field.
The following day Coach Vic Hurt had a 7:30 p.m. program to discuss the game.
There was more football on Friday night, college football: “Oklahoma Baptist University vs Phillips University of Enid. Game broadcast through the courtesy of OG&E”.
The earliest record of baseball in the network file was from 1939 when KGFF reported to the FCC that the 1939 World Series was broadcast from the Mutual Network sponsored by Gillette.
During KGFF’s second affiliation with Mutual, baseball was a big part of the broadcast schedule. From 1955: “KGFF is carrying Major League baseball and at the present time we have it completely sold out.” During the 60’s and early 70’s KGFF carried the St. Louis Cardinals switching to the Kansas City Royals in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The Kansas City Royals Baseball Network is a division of Stauffer Communications. In 1990 the Texas Rangers replaced the Royals on the broadcast schedule.
Baseball wasn’t the only successful sport in 1955. “We have been successful in selling all of our local high school football games, our Oklahoma A&M and Oklahoma University football games and several related programs.”
KGFF’s first license application expressed a pledge to cover local sporting events. In 1990 KGFF broadcast more high school basketball playoff games than any station in Oklahoma. In the decade of the 80’s KGFF broadcast the St. Gregory’s Lady Cavaliers as they made it to
the NJCAA National Championship game. KGFF went with OBU to the NAIA Baseball Championship Series in Idaho. KGFF was there was the Dale High School basketball teams played year after in the state finals.
Ed Williams of the News Star broadcast many games of all kinds for KGFF and has covered more local sports events than anyone around at this writing in 1990. Ed has kept detailed records as a premier statistician. He sent his list of KGFF’s top sports events as of 1973 to as he says “file and/or fergit.” Ed, we won’t “fergit” and are glad you didn’t:
- 1932—Shawnee Wolves foots team wins mythical state championship with an unscored-on season.
- 1940—OBU wins their first Oklahoma Collegiate Conference football championship.
- 1951—Wolves win their first state basketball championship.
- 1960—OBU win first conference basketball championship
- 1964—St. Gregory’s play in the finals of the state junior college basketball tournament for the first time.
- 1966—OBU wins national basketball championship.
- 1973—Wolves win first state football championship
KGFF Sports was there for it all.
From 1967 a profile of KGFF programming to a national agency said: “Four 15 min. newscasts at 6:45, 7:45, 12 N and 5 p.m. with all major sporting events of local high schools and 2 local colleges, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University football and St. Louis Cardinals baseball. KGFF emphasizes programs and information of a local nature whenever possible. Our staff has an average of 7 years with the station with two of our people over 15 years. We take an active part in our community and feel that we are an integral part of it.”
That same year KGFF joined the pioneering effort to form a state news network with its affiliation with the Indian Nations Network.
At the end of 1968, after 17 years with Mutual, KGFF wanted to drop its affiliation. Mutual was not pleased and decided to hold KGFF to its official contract to carry broadcasts until May 1st, 1969.
The success of the Indian Nations Network sparked a competitor when in November 1968, KTOK in Oklahoma City announced the formation of the Oklahoma News Network. It went on the air December 2nd, 1968, to compete with the I.N.N.
The new network made an offer KGFF’s management could not turn down. Bill Weaver wrote to I.N.N. manager Lewis Coleman that the addition of the ABC Information Network newscasts and Paul Harvey made the ONN too good to turn down. A few months later the decision didn’t matter since the ONN bought out INN and the networks merged.
KGFF News Director
Dec. 1981—Nov. 1990