Image by/from Eagle Communications
KFEQ (680 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station in St. Joseph, Missouri. It is owned by Eagle Communications and airs a news-talk-farm reports radio format. The studios and offices are on Country Lane in St. Joseph.
KFEQ broadcasts at 5,000 watts using a directional antenna. The transmitter is on Miller Road, near Interstate 29 in St. Joseph. Due to the station’s low frequency and 5,000 watts of power, it can be heard in Kansas City and Topeka during the day, and provides at least secondary coverage to portions of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. At night, four towers are used in a directional pattern to protect Class A clear-channel station KNBR in San Francisco. KFEQ concentrates its nighttime signal toward the St. Joseph and Kansas City areas. KFEQ is also heard on a 230-watt FM translator station, 107.9 K300DV.
Weekday mornings begin with a mix of national and local news, including farm reports. KFEQ carries “America in the Morning” and “This Morning, America’s First News with Gordon Deal.” In late mornings, there are local talk and agricultural shows. Afternoons and nights, nationally syndicated shows are heard on KFEQ, including Rush Limbaugh, Dave Ramsey, Jimbo Hannon and “Free Talk Live.” Weekends includes the syndicated “AgriShop” program with host Gene Millard, “The Midwest Outdoors” with Fred Ramsey, 1940s and 50s radio comedies and dramas on “When Radio Was” and shows on money, health and guns. In sports, KFEQ carries Missouri Western State University football and basketball, as well as Kansas City Royals baseball and Kansas City Chiefs football. Most hours begin with Fox News Radio.
Bob Orf is Program Director, after beginning his career at KFEQ in 1975. Orf is also the Voice of the Griffons for Missouri Western State University sports, beginning football broadcasts in 1975. Orf began calling men’s basketball in 1989 and women’s basketball in 1992. Barry Birr is News Director and hosts “The Hotline” each weekday from 8 – 10 a.m., a local talk show. Tom Brand came to KFEQ in 1996 to serve as Farm Director from KMA in Shenandoah, Iowa. Brand also hosts “The Mid-Day Farm Report” weekdays and “The Saturday Morning Get-Together” from .
KFEQ was founded by John L. Scroggin, head of the Scroggin & Co. Bank. It signed on the air on February 16, 1923, from Oak, Nebraska. Scroggin moved the station to St. Joseph in 1925 where it was noted for its live remote daily broadcasts three times each day from the St. Joseph Stockyards and four times each day from the St. Joseph Grain Exchange. During this time it moved initially from 833 kilocycles, to 1120, to 1300, to its present location at AM 680 in 1930. During its early years, it was a daytimer, powered at 2,500 watts and required to go off the air at night.
In the 1940s, the station was allowed to stay on the air around the clock, powered at 5,000 watts. It was an NBC Blue Network affiliate, running its schedule of comedies, dramas, news and sports during the “Golden Age of Radio.” The Blue Network became ABC in 1945.
KFEQ also had a TV station for a time, Channel 2 KFEQ-TV, which went on the air on September 27, 1953. Even though it was based in St. Joseph, KFEQ-TV took out an advertisement in the 1957-58 Telecasting Yearbook to say it was powered at 100,000 watts and covered 37 counties, including part of the Kansas City media market. In 1955, KFEQ-AM-TV were sold to the Midland Broadcasting Company. Midland Broadcasting was headed by singer-actor Bing Crosby and previously owned Channel 9 KMBC-TV in Kansas City.
In 1969, the two stations were sold to different owners. The TV station switched to the current KQTV call sign. KFEQ kept its original call letters as it was acquired by Connie B. Gay Enterprises, using the title “KFEQ, Inc.”
From the 1960s through the 90s, the station played country music, in addition to its farm reports, sports and news. It called itself “Country Sunshine.” It also broadcast St. Louis Cardinals baseball games. Thorugh the 1990s, KFEQ added more talk programming and cut the amount of country music it was playing, until it made the transition to a full time format of talk, news and farm reports. It was acquired by Eagle Communications in 1991.
One of the station’s four towers was toppled in a farming accident on June 16, 2009. All four towers were rebuilt and placed into service in 2010.
Coordinates: 39°49′43″N 94°48′20″W / 39.82861°N 94.80556°W / 39.82861; -94.80556