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Longview AM radio station KFRO back on air

Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 3:38 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 8, 2022 at 3:11 PM CST
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - KFRO radio just turned 87 and to celebrate it has undergone a complete makeover. KFRO AM radio is now playing the oldies, and present owner has big plans for the station that is now located inside the house once owned by the man who got KFRO signed on the air.

Scottie Rice now owns KFRO and the home of the man who started it in 1935: J.R. Curtis.

Scottie thought, well why not put the station in the house?

“Years ago, someone told me that FM and TV are just fads. It’s all about the AM. Well, you have to believe it because it’s true,” Rice said.

In 2004 Rice began working for KFRO as an engineer.

“The moment I stepped foot on this property it was electric. I was just excited to be here and I said I have to own this radio station,” Rice said.

Well, that didn’t happen quickly.

“So I tried for 13 years to buy it from Waller Access One. And finally Access One was pretty much in the last swirl of the toilet going down. The station sounded like a CB radio, the microwave STL system, which is how you get the signal from the studio to the transmitter, was dead as a doornail, and they called me up and said, have we got a deal for you,” Rice said.

Well, he took the deal back in 2017, but he said the electronics needed to be completely rebuilt or replaced.

“But being an engineer, I was able to horse trade my way through getting the equipment for next to nothing,” Rice said.

He says the audio board, once a 100 thousand dollars, was trash.

“Big market trash is my treasure. I just love it,” Rice said.

Treasure, since he can fix discarded electronics needed to get KFRO on the air, which happened Sunday, and he’s running:

“Stuff that Baby Boomers like because I wanted to keep a nostalgic feel on the station,” Rice said.

Right now it’s automated but that will soon change. And there will be some talk shows in coming weeks. There is one other reason Scottie set up the station at J.R. Curtis’s former residence: The transmitter tower is in the back yard.

For now, KFRO AM 1370 is transmitting commercial free. And Rice says he has the only stereo AM station in Texas. By the way, Scottie paid $5,000 for the station.

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