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KACO History

KACO 107.7 mHz

KACO was granted a construction permit October 20, 1965 as an 82 kw station broadcasting at 107.7 mHz. Several extensions of the completion date were granted to owners Apollo Radio, and by the time the station went on the air in 1969, the power was 100 kw.

Joan Colegrove was hired as the station’s office manager, and studios were on the second floor of a vacant nightclub building in Gaslight Square on Olive. She remained the company’s only local employee, except for an engineer, and the middle-of-the-road format was broadcast about 36 hours a week. The owners, based in Houston, had told the F.C.C. their format would feature classical music.

Colegrove was told prior to the station’s sign-on that they wanted her to handle the broadcasting chores, so she studied the F.C.C. license handbook, took her exam and received her third-class license. Then, when the station signed on, she was in charge of running the tapes and occasionally spinning records.

Although she was not aware of it, the F.C.C. was unhappy with Apollo’s activity, fining the company $1000 in 1969 for failure to demonstrate the ability to expand operations. Joan Colegrove says the corporate executives who occasionally visited the St. Louis station had been telling her they were trying to find a buyer for the property.

In January of 1970 the commission granted Apollo the authority to suspend operations after two fires destroyed the studios and much of the equipment.

The station signed on March 16, 1970 from its new facilities at 12th and Cole under the call letters KGRV.