Happy 75th Birthday to 560 KMON!
You read that right! September 27th, was 560 KMON's 75th birthday! Or was it an anniversary? One or the other.
In honor of the occasion, I've put together a rough timeline of KMON's history. All dates, with a couple exceptions that I have noted down below, are taken from FCC records, which you can view for yourself here (for pre-1980 records) or here (for 2001 and later).
- FCC grants Construction Permit to begin construction of tower(s) and transmitter building.
- Original assigned call letters: KVMT
- Original Owners: Montana Farmer Broadcasting Network
- Call Letters changed from KVMT to KFMR
- Call letters changed from KFMR to KMON.
- Original studio located at 113 4th Street North. The address no longer exists, but as best I can tell, appears to have been in the Tribune Building across from the Cascade County Courthouse, now home to the Cascade County Treasurer/Clerk & Recorder’s office .
- FCC Broadcast License granted on September 27,1948
- Ownership changed to KMON, Inc..
- Ownership changes to Copper Broadcasting Company.
- Studio moves to 1200 10th Avenue South, better known as the Great Falls Holiday Village Mall.
- Ownership changes back to KMON, Inc.
At this point, there is a gap in the FCC records from about 1980 to 2001. The FCC itself attributes this to them starting to move from paper records to computer records, along with the agency moving to a new physical location.
Thanks to former KMON General Manager and long time Great Falls public figure Jim Senst for providing the following three dates.
- At some point in this date range, the studio moves to the 2nd floor of the Rainbow Hotel in downtown Great Falls, now Rainbow Senior Living, where it stays for several decades.
- Ownership transfer to STARadio, which now owns the stations located on Central Avenue West, across from Ford's.
- Ownership transfer from STARadio to Commonwealth Communications.
Again, thanks to Jim Senst for the dates.
- Ownership transfer from Commonwealth to Cherry Creek Radio, later Cherry Creek Media
- Studio moves to present location, 914 13th Avenue South, behind Holiday Village Mall
- Cherry Creek Media is purchased by Townsquare Media
- KMON-AM's 75 birthday.
There you have it. Obviously, there is a whole lot more to KMON's history than just these dates (a few individuals like Charlie Heit, Dave Wilson, and Skip Walters spring to mind). So please help me flesh out the timeline. Check us out on social media and share your favorite 560 KMON memories!