The first radio station in Billings has been on air for 90 years.
KGHL started on June 8, 1928.
The station celebrated on Friday at the Pub Station.
“The call letters have been the exact same call letters since day one,” said Taylor Brown, who owns the station with his wife Shannon. “ It’s been KGHL since the very first day.”
“That’s the cool thing about this industry is you’re only limited by your imagination,” Brown said. “A radio station is based on the sound of the human voice. It’s having guys like Nick Tyler, who has been on the air here since 1994, or Lonnie Bell who came here 1995 or Conrad Burns who started in 1975 and is really the whole reason that I’m even in this business. The sound of the human voice is the magic that makes radio stations like KGHL last for 90 years.”
The party on Friday was for the advertisers, who help keep the station on the air.
Four of those advertisers and KGHL are still in business.
“Certainly part of success is commitment,” Brown said. ”It’s dancing with the person that brought you. It’s staying committed to the people in that community. And I think part of it is you have to be smart enough to realize when things are tough, that’s when you need to promote. That’s when you need to advertise.”
Brown compared being an owner of a radio station to a farmer or rancher taking care of the land.
“I’m just the owner for the last eight years of this 90 year station,” Brown said. “(Our) role is just take care of this grand old brand and pass it on to the next generation.”
The four companies still in business today that advertised in 1928 are the Billings Laundry Company, North Star Auto Body Works, the Great Western Sugar Company and the Northern Hotel.