2011 - Radio Station
KKOJ Radio 1190 AM, signed on the air July 10, 1980. Owner Les Kleven of Sturgis, SD was traveling on I-90 a couple of years earlier and stopped in Jackson, MN and after driving through town he thought that would be a great place to start a radio station.
Kleven discovered that a license did exist, but for a daytime station only. That “minor detail” did not dampen his spirits and he went ahead with the project. He brought in Doug Johnson from his station in Milbank, SD to be the station manager.
KKOJ started with and continues to feature a country music format, with loads of local information, weather, sports and much more, including posting rock and roll happenings for IRRMA.
Being a daytime station, KKOJ was limited in its ability to broadcast play-by-play sports…a staple of local stations. This problem was solved in 1994 when Kleven launched KRAQ FM, 105.7, a full time station. KRAQ, “Your One and Oldies” station immediately became a hit with area listeners with their oldies format. They continue to play hits from the past today.
Johnson also loves to play the many hits of local rock and roll artists from the 60’s and early 70’s. You can hear many IRRMA Hall of Famers “on the air’ every day. The station continually supports the goal of the Iowa Rock ‘N Roll Music Association to preserve the history of rock and roll and is a lifetime member of the Association.
Being a full time station, KKOJ/KRAQ was able to broadcast local sports play-by-play and has always been committed to local coverage first; knowing that in the Northwest Iowa/Southern Minnesota area what is happening there is what is most important to their listeners. An example of that is the fact that the station has covered every race at the famous half-mile Jackson Speedway track and will be inducted into the Jackson Speedway Hall of Fame this year as well.
As with any small business, having loyal, hard working employees is the key to success. The stations have been blessed with quality, full and part time workers. Three of the original employees from 1980 are still with the duo station: General Manager Doug Johnson, News Director Dave Maschoff and Office Manager Jerre Johnson.
The station has covered the Easter Seals Great Walleye Weekend in the Iowa Great Lakes Region and the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener every year…filing live reports and well as broadcasting live from the IRRMA Hall of Fame Induction Spectacular every Labor Day weekend.
KKOJ/KRAQ is a part of the International Broadcasters Idea Bank, a 100-member organization representing 400 stations in small to medium sized markets. Ideas are shared online and in monthly reports. Another major player in the stations’ service to music lovers is their website at www.kkoj.com.
KKOJ/KRAQ Radio is proud and humbled to join the Class of 2011 in the IRRMA Hall of Fame.