|Broadcast area||Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska|
|Branding||NewsRadio 1110 KFAB|
|Slogan||Omaha's News, Weather & Traffic|
|Frequency||1110 kHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1924 (in Lincoln, moved to Omaha in 1948)|
|Affiliations||ABC News Radio|
|Owner||iHeartMedia, Inc. |
(Capstar TX LLC)
Due to its transmitter power and Nebraska's flat land (with near-perfect ground conductivity), KFAB provides a strong signal to most of eastern Nebraska during the day, and at least grade B coverage as far as Kansas City, Topeka, Sioux City and Des Moines. At night, the station's signal reaches most of the western half of North America. KFAB's transmission towers are located southeast of Papillion, while its studios are located on Underwood Avenue in Omaha.
KFAB was licensed in Lincoln in 1924. The station's call sign was issued sequentially by the United States Department of Commerce and has no meaning. On November 11, 1928, under the provisions of the Federal Radio Commission's General Order 40, KFAB was reassigned to a "clear channel" frequency of 770 kHz, in an unusual nighttime-hours shared-time arrangement with Chicago's co-channel WBBM.
KFAB switched network affiliation from NBC to CBS the week of January 5, 1932. Beginning in 1934, KFAB and WBBM synchronized their transmissions via a telephone line that ran from the WBBM transmitter outside Chicago to the KFAB site near Lincoln, thus providing a nearly coast-to-coast CBS signal on that frequency. In March 1941, as part of the implementation of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement, KFAB and WBBM were shifted to 780 kHz.
In 1948, KFAB relocated to Omaha, and also moved to 1110 kHz, so that WBBM could boost its power to 50,000 watts on 780 kHz. KFAB also boosted its power to 50,000 watts, allowing it to still be heard with city-grade strength in Lincoln. However, at night it only provides a grade B signal to the Iowa side of the Omaha market because it must direct its signal north-south (via a three-tower array) in order to protect WBT in Charlotte, North Carolina, another clear-channel station located on 1110 kHz. Even with this restriction, KFAB's signal still reaches most of the western half of the continent.
KFAB is host to such national shows as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Buck Sexton and Coast-to-Coast AM. KFAB also broadcasts local radio shows hosted by Gary Sadlemyer, Jim Rose, Scott Voorhees, Chris Baker, and Thor Schrock.
From the beginning, KFAB has delivered news, weather, ag information and traffic reports. In the station's heyday of the 1960s and 1970s, it was made famous by legendary newscaster Walt Kavanaugh's school closing reports. It was believed that virtually every school aged child in the area would listen intently as Kavanaugh reported which districts were cancelled and which were not on snowy mornings.
For most of the time from the 1960s to 1990s, KFAB dominated the Omaha market, and according to many publications was one of the highest-rated radio stations in the country.
From 1926 to 2015—except for a short break from 1996 to 2001—KFAB was the home of Nebraska Cornhuskers sports. After 1948, it shared flagship status with Lincoln's KOLN/KLIN. However, in February 2015, the Cornhuskers moved their games to KXSP. School officials had long felt chagrin that KFAB was not willing to air all Olympic sports. For instance, volleyball and women's basketball games were shunted to KFFF, while baseball games were pre-empted altogether. School officials wanted to ensure that all Husker sports would air on a single, powerful station; KXSP's daytime coverage is roughly comparable to that of KFAB.
Even with the loss of the Huskers, KFAB continues to be the highest rated station in the Omaha/Council Bluffs/Lincoln markets as measured by persons 12+.
In addition to Johnny Carson, KFAB was and continues today to be the home of the state's most popular personalities. From "Mr. Football" Lyell Bremser, Ken Hedrick, John Coleman, Walt Kavanaugh, "Texas" Mary, Gary Sadlemyer, Kent Pavelka and Jim Rose, most if not all are inducted into the Nebraska Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Sadlemyer, a Minnesota native celebrated his 40th anniversary on the station in December, 2016 and continues as the morning show host.
- KFAB history, studio and transmitter site
- United States Callsign History
- "Broadcasting Stations" (effective November 11, 1928), Commercial and Government Radio Stations of the United States, June 30, 1928 edition, page 172.
- "CBS Adds Two", Broadcasting, January 15, 1932, page 6.
- "Present Practice in the Synchronous Operation of Broadcast Stations as Exemplified by WBBM and KFAB" by L. McC. Young, Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers, March 1936 (vol. 24, no. 3), page 440 (durenberger.com)
- "Controlling Interest in WBT Goes to KFAB in 3-Way Deal", Broadcasting, February 7, 1944, page 16.
- Johnny Carson at KFAB
- Cordes, Henry (2015-02-10). "Tuning in to a new era of Husker radio: NU switches Omaha affiliate from 1110 KFAB to 590 KXSP". Omaha World-Herald.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KFAB
- Radio-Locator Information on KFAB
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KFAB