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The full-service radio station at Redfield: Tuning into a warm community

Thursday, December 16, 2021

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Ron and Denise Schacht owned a radio station in Pennsylvania in the early 90s’.   The problem was it was too mid-sized of a market with a lot of competition.  Operating a “mom and pop” radio station with corporate competition was “different” at best.  It was like a small corner grocery store, trying to make its way, so they sold the station, and decided to own a smaller one in a smaller town. It was then that the couple moved, from Pennsylvania to Iowa in 1995 -  to get away from the crime, crowds, and poor school systems.

Today, the Redfield KQKD station 1380 AM and 99.9 FM operates from a small studio in Redfield’s Main Street Plaza.  The new full-service station began operation in late April of 2021 and covers everything from local sports and news, from talk shows to a wide range of music. It has four full-time staff: Denise and Ron Schacht; General Manager, James Shaman; and Sales Manager, Traci Samelson. The station also has several part-time staff. 

Offering Redfield the advantage of immediacy

The couple chose Redfield for their station because it presented a valuable opportunity to provide a service to the community and the entire area by bringing it back to life as a local radio outlet.  Aberdeen and Huron stations have fine operations but thought they could provide a local service to small towns between the two large cities.

Before purchasing the station they spent a few weeks in Redfield and most of the people they spoke to - churches, organizations, and business owners said it would be great to have a local radio station in town again.  Since there are no “local” televised channels for Redfield, local information is shared mostly by the Redfield Press newspaper, which is a weekly publication. This makes items that need immediate attention wait until the paper is published.  Although radio doesn’t go with a great length of detail, the KQKD station does offer the advantage of immediacy.  

Great scope for business owners in Redfield

Traci Samelson, the Sales Manager at KQKD feels that there is a tremendous opportunity to grow as a business owner in Redfield. “There are obvious needs in town for activities for youth.  A small group of community volunteers have created Tot Gym every Saturday morning and serve as program leaders.  This is an example of what can be done on a community level when we work together to serve a need in our town and the goal is met in that families have an opportunity to “play” together for free, keeping people local on the weekends”, she says. She states that the Spink County Coalition in conjunction with Park/Rec and the City is great at creating programs suited to the needs of the community’s parents and students/Youth in Redfield, however, they can only do so much so quickly.

James Shaman, KQKD’s GM said that he wants to grow the reach of the station and listenership. James created a specific program that runs twice daily during prime air times called, “KQ-Tips”.  This is a segment where the station lifts up and gives details of upcoming fundraising events, non-profit organizations, and community events in Spink County all without charging a dime.  As an affiliate of the Dakota News Network, KQKD provides local news through them. The station is also affiliated with the Town Hall Radio Network (for national and international news). Allen Scott announces play-by-play on KQKD for Redfield Pheasants football, basketball, volleyball, and updates for wrestling. Ted Price announces the play-by-play for local baseball. And Ray Dunn “runs the board during ball games,” in addition to working on the station’s computers.

Serving the community with “good radio”

For Ron Schact, they are not in the business to make a “bundle of money”!  “ We want to have fun and serve Redfield and the surrounding towns with “good radio”.  Good radio that provides information, news, companionship, and entertainment, we want to be a necessary part of Spink County.  We not only plan to keep integrating into the community of Redfield but also branch out to surrounding areas, all the while, promoting Redfield and Spink County and related events within our 100-mile signal radius and also sharing community events through our Facebook and via our www.kq1380.com website. We are Redfield’s home for news and information!” he says, proudly. 

For more information, stop into KQKD Suite #8 in the Main Street Office Plaza (on Redfield’s Main Street), call 605-475-3001, or check out the KQKD Facebook page. KQKD also receives mail at P.O. Box 251 Redfield SD 57469.  The station is streamed live on www.kq1380.com

Category: News, Notices and Announcements, News and Announcements

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