|Branding||ESPN 1230 Bozeman|
|First air date||September 14, 1949|
|Power||1,000 watts (unlimited)|
|Former callsigns||KBMN (1949-1993)
|Owner||Reier Broadcasting Company, Inc.|
|Sister stations||KBOZ, KBOZ-FM, KOBB-FM, KOZB|
KOBB (1230 AM, "ESPN 1230 Bozeman") is a radio station licensed to serve Bozeman, Montana, USA. The station is owned by Reier Broadcasting Company, Inc., which operates as the KBOZ Radio Stations Group.
The offices and all the studios are located southwest of Bozeman at "Radio Ranch", 5445 Johnson Road. KOBB's transmitter is on the south side of Bozeman, on West Kagy Blvd.
KOBB broadcasts a sports talk format as a nominally full-time affiliate of the ESPN Radio network. KOBB also airs the syndicated The Dan Patrick Show on weekday afternoons. The station also broadcasts play-by-play for the Belgrade Bandits, an American Legion Baseball team, as well as Belgrade High School Panther football and boys and girls' basketball.
The station began regular operations on September 14, 1949, broadcasting to Bozeman, Montana, with 250 watts of power on a frequency of 1230 kHz. The station was assigned the KBMN call sign by the Federal Communications Commission. Under the ownership of the Penn Engineering Company, KBMN was led by G. Norman Penwell as company president, Gerald E. Tyo as program director, and Jack Penwell as chief engineer.
The original KBMN radio studios were located in a building in the northern part of Bozeman next to its original broadcast tower site on North 7th Avenue. The original tower was torn down in 1992 and the studio building now serves as a small casino.
Dale G. Moore acquired Penn Engineering, license holder of KBMN, in June 1958. Moore served as the station's general manager while Harold "Hal" Phelps took over both program director and news director duties at KBMN. In 1962, the FCC granted the station authorization to increase the strength of its daytime signal to 1,000 watts while keeping the nighttime signal at the previous 250 watts.
Penn Engineering sold KBMN outright to William A. Merrick who formed a new company called KBMN, Inc., to serve as the license holder. Merrick served as company president and general manager of KBMN while Ray Styles assumed the program director role. Hal Phelps stayed on as news director and had regained the program director duties by the end of the 1960s.
Throughout the 1970s, KBMN broadcast a mix of middle of the road and contemporary music. The station was acquired by Western Media, Inc., in a transaction that was consummated on September 1, 1975. Len Kehl became the station's general manager while Don Tuggle handled both program director and music director duties.
Decade of change
In June 1989, Western Media agreed to sell the station to Tony Kehl and general manager Leonard Kehl. The deal was approved by the FCC on June 21, 1989, and the transaction was consummated on November 16, 1989. One year later, in June 1990, Leonard Kehl and Tony Kehl, doing business in partnership as Western Media, announced a deal to sell this station to Robert F. Pipinich and Cathryn L. Pipinich, a joint proprietorship. The deal was approved by the FCC on July 26, 1990, and consummated on the same day.
Just over one year after that, Robert Pipinich and Cathryn Pipinich agreed in July 1991 to transfer the broadcast license for KBMN to Buz Cowdrey's Cowdrey Broadcasting Company. The deal was approved by the FCC on August 20, 1991, and the transaction was consummated on August 27, 1991. This change would also be short-lived as in February 1993 the Cowdrey Broadcasting Company contracted to sell this station to Reier Broadcasting Company, Inc. The deal was approved by the FCC on April 28, 1993, and the transaction was consummated on June 21, 1993.
After more than 43 years as KBMN, the station was assigned the new call sign KZLO by the FCC on March 22, 1993. The change accompanied a format change to adult standards and a branding as an "older oldies" station. The station was assigned the call sign KOBB by the FCC on September 15, 1994. This matched a branding shift to "Bob, Sr." while maintaining the "older oldies" adult standards format. By 2004, the station had shifted to a more modern soft adult contemporary format under the name "Lite 1230" that persisted until 2008.
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- Fybush, Scott (May 30, 2008). "The Big Trip 2007, part V: Bozeman, Montana". Tower Site of the Week.
The old KBMN building still stands, not far from the I-90 on-ramps from North 7th, and is used as a small casino[...]
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- "Application Search Details (BAL-19930219EA)". FCC Media Bureau. June 21, 1993.
- "KOBB-AM, Bozeman". Montanavision, Inc. March 8, 2009. Retrieved May 26, 2009.