KMEM Radio celebrates 30 years on the air

Original KMEM employees

Tri State's Real Country 100.5 KMEM FM is celebrating its 30 years on the air. The locally owned radio station began broadcasting on Mar. 29, 1982.

KMEM Radio prides itself on its unique status as a locally owned radio station.

""Especially in this day and age, when radio stations are owned by corporations that aren't anywhere near the communities that they're licensed in," said Chuck Porter, the original Chief Operator of KMEM Radio. He helped build the station from the ground up.

Currently, the radio station is owned by Mark and Karen McVey of Ottumwa, and Mark and Lisa Denney of Memphis, Mo. The original owners were Sam and Sheila Berkowitz.

Employees who have been with the station since the beginning said it's the music and the focus on the local community that has helped the station stay on the air for the past three decades.

""The difference is we play the older country music. It's real country, they call it, " said David Boden, who has been with the station since the beginning and now serves as the Music Director, Salesperson, DJ, and Sports Announcer.

"The main focus on KMEM when we went on the air was to focus on the community and we have maintained that focus ever since," said Rick Fischer, who has also worked for the station since it first broadcast on the air. He now serves as the station's News and Programming Director.

KMEM radio broadcasts in 25,000 watts. It can be heard as far north as Mount Pleasant, Iowa, as far west as Unionville, Mo., as far south as Macon, Mo., and as far east as Carthage, Il.