‘Voice of the San Juan Basin’

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‘Voice of the San Juan Basin’

KIUP celebrates 75 years in community that has always thought of it as ‘theirs’
KIUP had just moved into its new three-room facility, which contained a studio and offices on north Main Avenue in this photo dated 1936. The station celebrated its 75th anniversary this year.
KIUP was proud to show off the latest technology in its new broadcasting studio in 1936. The studio contained a mixer console, microphone and two turntables.
Kim Emmanuel listens to a KIUP radio broadcast in thanks of her years of service to the radio station at the celebration of its 75th anniversary at the Durango Arts Center.
Bruce Anderson enjoys being toasted and roasted as another person’s recorded wishes thank him for his 30 years of service at KIUP during the station’s 75th anniversary celebration on Dec. 16 at the Durango Arts Center. Anderson, a familiar voice to listeners, is the engineer at Four Corners Broadcasting.
KIUP has had a number of logos in its 75-year history, proclaiming it the Voice of the San Juan Basin and Where the Good Songs Belong.This was KIUP’s logo in the 1950s.
Everyone was all smiles when owner and former President Gerald Ford, center, visited Four Corners Broadcasting, the umbrella organization that includes KIUP, during the mid-1990s. Group President Allen Brill, left, and Ward Holmes, regional manager, right, gave Ford a tour of the facility. The late president’s family are still part owners of the company.
Shortly after former President Gerald Ford, center, standing, and former Ambassador Leonard Firestone, center, bending down, formed Fordstone and purchased KIUP and KRSJ in 1979, they visited to check out their new business. Dave Bray, second from left, was a broadcaster at the station. Several of the men pictured are Secret Service agents on the president’s detail.
In this photo that ran in The Durango Herald-Democrat on May 30, 1952, the cast of the MGM movie “Naked Spur” is being applauded on stage at the Kiva Theater at a KIUP-sponsored event. Actor Jimmy Stewart, third from left, was named honorary mayor of Durango and is checking out the proclamation he was given. Other cast members included Millard Mitchell and Ralph Meeker, far left, and actress Janet Leigh, far right. Her husband at the time, Tony Curtis, second from right, was visiting her on set. To Stewart’s left are KIUP station manager Pat O’Brien and announcer Don Husted.
Fort Lewis College students often provided programming for KIUP as part of their studies. In this photo, FLC professor Miss Good, right, and one of her students are doing a program about music on-air during the 1940s.
The Voice of the San Juan Basin Milestones

1935 – Ten businessmen led by John Turner raise $5,000 to start San Juan Broadcasting and apply for a broadcast license from the FCC for KIUP-AM, the first radio station in the Four Corners, with 100 watts at frequency 1370.
1936 – The station goes on the air from the Turner Securities office in the Strater Hotel until it moves into its new studio and office two month later. The station is built for $1,540 near what is now the Boys and Girls Club of La Plata County on north Main Avenue. One month that fall, the station shows a profit of $114.15.
1948 – A real “radio man,” R.E. “Pat” O’Brien is hired to be KIUP’s general manager after working for Nelson Rockefeller in creating the Voice of America in Latin America during World War II. The station is billing $1,700 a month in advertising and has four employees. For the first time, the investors begin to earn substantial dividends from the station.
1950 – KIUP moves into its new facility, Radio Ranch, which costs $25,000 and is located where Walmart is now. The station begins transmitting at 1,000 watts and moves to its now iconic 930 frequency.
1952 – Frank Toomey joins the news desk at KIUP and wins numerous Associated Press and United Press International awards. He becomes general manager in 1966 and continues until 1970, retiring in 1972.
1955 – The station begins transmitting at 5,000 watts.
1960 – The station is sold to Ralph Atlass of Chicago for $300,000, and O’Brien leaves. The station is selling $17,000 in ads a month and has 19 employees.
1962 – KIUP gets its first local competition when KDGO-FM (1240) goes on the air with programming that includes that newfangled rock ’n’ roll.
1964 – Doug Morrisson, an industrial Realtor in Denver, buys KIUP.
1970 – Ted Foster, a former coach who made his radio debut as a sportscaster, becomes general manager and part owner of the station.
1972 – Sister station KRSJ-FM (100.5) goes on the air.
1974 – In its first 40 years of broadcasting, KIUP has had just five general managers, Ray Beckner, O’Brien, Atlass, Toomey and Foster. John Mackley joins the station in the 1970s as the programming director, becoming the general manager after the station’s one and only female GM, Karen Maas, in the 1980s.
1979 – Former President Gerald Ford and former Ambassador Leonard Firestone form Fordstone and purchase KIUP and its sister station KRSJ, becoming Four Corners Broadcasting. Today, the stations continue to be owned by their estates.
1981 – Because of Ford’s ownership of the radio stations, he and his wife, Betty, become the grand marshals of Durango’s Centennial Celebration.
Early 1990s – Fordstone purchases KIQX from Harold and Carolyn Greene, who put together the deal to merge the three stations.
1995 – Ward Holmes becomes the new regional manager.
2010 – KIUP celebrates its 75th anniversary, now offering a mix of local programs and ESPN sports broadcasting.

‘Voice of the San Juan Basin’

KIUP had just moved into its new three-room facility, which contained a studio and offices on north Main Avenue in this photo dated 1936. The station celebrated its 75th anniversary this year.
KIUP was proud to show off the latest technology in its new broadcasting studio in 1936. The studio contained a mixer console, microphone and two turntables.
Purchase
Kim Emmanuel listens to a KIUP radio broadcast in thanks of her years of service to the radio station at the celebration of its 75th anniversary at the Durango Arts Center.
Purchase
Bruce Anderson enjoys being toasted and roasted as another person’s recorded wishes thank him for his 30 years of service at KIUP during the station’s 75th anniversary celebration on Dec. 16 at the Durango Arts Center. Anderson, a familiar voice to listeners, is the engineer at Four Corners Broadcasting.
KIUP has had a number of logos in its 75-year history, proclaiming it the Voice of the San Juan Basin and Where the Good Songs Belong.This was KIUP’s logo in the 1950s.
Everyone was all smiles when owner and former President Gerald Ford, center, visited Four Corners Broadcasting, the umbrella organization that includes KIUP, during the mid-1990s. Group President Allen Brill, left, and Ward Holmes, regional manager, right, gave Ford a tour of the facility. The late president’s family are still part owners of the company.
Shortly after former President Gerald Ford, center, standing, and former Ambassador Leonard Firestone, center, bending down, formed Fordstone and purchased KIUP and KRSJ in 1979, they visited to check out their new business. Dave Bray, second from left, was a broadcaster at the station. Several of the men pictured are Secret Service agents on the president’s detail.
In this photo that ran in The Durango Herald-Democrat on May 30, 1952, the cast of the MGM movie “Naked Spur” is being applauded on stage at the Kiva Theater at a KIUP-sponsored event. Actor Jimmy Stewart, third from left, was named honorary mayor of Durango and is checking out the proclamation he was given. Other cast members included Millard Mitchell and Ralph Meeker, far left, and actress Janet Leigh, far right. Her husband at the time, Tony Curtis, second from right, was visiting her on set. To Stewart’s left are KIUP station manager Pat O’Brien and announcer Don Husted.
Fort Lewis College students often provided programming for KIUP as part of their studies. In this photo, FLC professor Miss Good, right, and one of her students are doing a program about music on-air during the 1940s.
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