The History Of KJSK-AM
Radio station KJSK-AM, 900 kilocycles and 1000 Watts non-directional went on the air April 28, 1948 with a 266′ tower, transmitter, and studio facilities on Shady Lake Road just northwest of Columbus, Nebraska. The transmitter and tower site remain there today.
The original owner and manager, George Basil Anderson, had a vision to provide Christian programming and an outreach ministry to the community of Columbus, so construction on the new radio station was begun in 1947.
At the heart of KJSK’s programming was “The Glorious Gospel Hour” which Mr. Anderson had already directed on another Nebraska radio station for five years. The program provided listeners with inspirational Christian music and a timely devotional message for the day. The Glorious Gospel Hour continued to be a daily feature of KJSK for over 30 years.
Much of the programming was performed live in the studio in the early years and featured many popular Christian radio preachers and musicians, as well as regional polka artists and their music.
Some of the original staff of KJSK-AM included George Basil and Florence Anderson, Gertrud DeGroot, Eugene and Alicia Jones, Carl Rafferty, Max and Marjorie Reeves, E.C. Becker, polka artists Amil Kubal and Frank A. Podraza.
KJSK-AM was the original “Heart Of The Nation Station”, but the organization later owned stations in Kansas and Colorado which became know as “Heart Of The Nation Stations”.
KJSK-FM went on the air in 1964 and gave the organization a new audience and a new frequency, 101.1 Megahertz, for its programming.
In 1977, KJSK-FM became KOXI-FM with a new format of “beautiful music”. The other Heart Of The Nation Stations also aired traditional Christian programming on the AM and beautiful music on the FM.
In 1983, KOXI-FM was broadcasting from a new 700′ tower site 12 miles south of Columbus with 100,000 Watts ERP.
KOXI-FM became KLIR-FM in 1984 with a format transition to Adult Contemporary music which has remained until the present.
Heartland Broadcasting, Inc. purchased the stations from the Anderson family in 1992.
In August of 1994, the format of KJSK-AM was modified to “News/Talk”…emphasizing news, talk, sports, markets, and family issues programming.
In 2001, KJSK-AM and KLIR-FM were purchased by Three Eagles Communications of Lincoln, Nebraska.
In 2014, KJSK-AM, KLIR-FM, KZEN-FM, KKOT-FM, and KTTT-AM were purchased by Digity Companies, LLC of West Palm Beach, Florida.
In 2015/2016, KJSK-AM, KLIR-FM, KZEN-FM, KKOT-FM, and KTTT-AM were purchased by Alpha Media, LLC of Portland, Oregon.
George Basil Anderson’s 50th Anniversary Statement–Passed away April 6, 1998
“Over 50 years ago, God gave me a plan for radio through the Glorious Gospel Hour. Several Christian men loaned me money and we built KJSK here in Columbus. The call letters, K-J-S-K, stand for “Know Jesus Saves and Keeps”. God also gave us workers, managers, engineers, and singers that were most helpful.
The main purpose for the station was to bring honor and glory to His name, and to help support missionaries around the world. The Glorious Gospel Hour was a program for radio started on November 11, 1941. A man who had recently accepted Christ as his Savior urged me to start by radio to reach many people in northeast Nebraska. He said that he would pay for one day’s program if I would pay for the other. Well, God blessed the preaching of His Word, and soon funds were enough to buy more time, and support more missionaries.
At the beginning, KJSK was only a daytime station. We could operate only from sunrise to sunset. We spent a lot of effort to have the rules changed so the time could be extended.
We also received a license to broadcast on FM. This made it possible to air Beautiful Music, and more local sports and events.
I’m most thankful to God for permitting us to build KJSK and then to operate it for over 40 years.
My prayer is that God will continue to bless and use this station, KJSK, for His glory until He comes for His own.”