North Platte’s first radio station

Throwback Thursday
North Platte's first private radio station was created in 1930.
North Platte's first private radio station was created in 1930.(Marresa Burke)
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 5:00 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - The first radio station in North Platte started as a way to support the United States Postal service (USPS). Radio communications allowed the planes to fly safely and notify pilots about weather conditions. As technology developed, North Platte is where they tested two-way communications.

In 1920, the USPS wanted to utilize radio communications more. They began giving farm reports, which helped the agricultural industry know how to price their crops. By 1930, the first private radio station is created and is the precursor to a station known today as KODY.

During the Great Depression, the radio helped connect residents to essentials. Many people tuned in for the swappers, a way to trade items with others.

The radio station also provided a plethora of entertainment. Live bands would travel to North Platte to perform live and increase their audiences. Talent such as the Bob Hope Show, Lone Ranger and more became part of programming.

As the radio increased its signal, more people tuned in for various reasons.

“Later on, when KGNF was purchased by WOW in Omaha, they changed their call letters to KODY,” said Jim Griffin, Curator Director from Lincoln County Historical Museum. “Why KODY? Because we are home of Buffalo Bill. This was North Platte’s ability to be a part of the national scene and know quickly what was happening around the United States.”

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