About KMOE 92.1 FM and KMAM 1530 AM
Established in 1962 by two brothers, Bill and Jerry Thornton. Bill Thornton began his career as a DJ, continued his career in the United States Navy as an engineer, then graduated from Arkansas State with a degree in Journalism and a dream to build his own radio station.
On May 11, 1962, the first broadcast from KMAM AM 1530 began at 6 AM. The Bates County Broadcasting Company, located at 800 East Nursery Street in Butler, may be the last radio station in the country of its age, still under its original ownership.
The FM frequency was added on January 15, 1975 and KMAM/KMOE became two stations, simulcasting in FM and AM. In the beginning, the radio station could only broadcast during daylight hours. The station has gone from reel-to-reel tape, to cartridge tapes, then cassettes, and now there is full automation and no tapes required. Local broadcasters had to come to the radio station in person to perform and be on air. Music was on vinyl. Now programs can be recorded anywhere at any time and brought to the station to be aired at a scheduled time. From noisy teletype in a soundproof room, to satellites receiving programs from 24,000 miles in the sky, KMAM/KMOE-FM 92.1 brings the Kansas City Royals, ABC World News, Farm Market Reports and a variety of other shows to listeners. Bill and Louise Thornton still own the station, but they have retired from working there, and the General Manager is their daughter, Melody Thornton. Melody has been announcing since 1980 and she has made positive changes to the format and programs at the station. The station continues to move forward into a competitive and up-to-date venue of music, news, and entertainment for the ever expanding broadcasting area.