Our History

KPWD

KATQ began as an FM station in June , 1962. The original call letters were KPWD and holds the reputation of being the first FM station in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Morris and Mary Lou Nelsen along with broadcast engineer Dale Wilson from KGCX in Sidney set up the studio and transmitter. The FCC allowed Morris and Mary Lou to “practice” on air after midnight until they felt they were comfortable with the whole process. The daily broadcasting became so expensive that the broadcast hours were reduced from 7AM until 1PM daily and then they would come back on air for PHS sports broadcasts. The first FM antenna was installed by the Plentywood Golf Course and then later moved to the current airport location. Some difficulties Morris and Mary Lou encountered were that in the 1960’s FM radios were very rarely used in homes, but used in vehicles and then KPWD FM was not reaching surrounding communities.

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