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City Salina, Kansas
Broadcast area Salina-Manhattan area
Branding NewsRadio 1150 KSAL
Frequency 1150 (KHz)
First air date June 1937
Format News radio
Power 5,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 28471
Transmitter coordinates 38°53′03″N 97°31′05″W / 38.88417°N 97.51806°W / 38.88417; -97.51806Coordinates: 38°53′03″N 97°31′05″W / 38.88417°N 97.51806°W / 38.88417; -97.51806
Owner Alpha Media LLC
(Alpha Media Licensee LLC)
Sister stations FM 104.9, Y93.7 FM
Website www.ksal.com

KSAL (1150 AM "NewsRadio 1150") is a radio station that broadcasts a news radio and talk format. Licensed to Salina, Kansas, United States, it serves the Salina-Manhattan area. The station is currently owned by Alpha Media LLC.


Early legends[edit]

Salina's most enduring radio station, KSAL was originally KSJS - the "SJ" standing for Salina Journal, its parent company. Its first owner was R.J. Laubengayer, who not only was president of the Salina Journal and KSAL, but director of Consolidated Printing and Farmers National Bank in Salina.

The station went on the air in June 1937 at studios in the former Salina Journal building at the southwest corner of Seventh and Iron (today it's a parking lot).

It was in that building that local radio personality Ken Jennison started his professional radio career (after 4 years at Kansas State University) in 1949. He began as a copywriter, putting together daily "logbooks" that tracked each day's broadcast from the moment the station went on the air at 6 a.m. to when it signed off with the "Star-Spangled Banner" at midnight (24-hour radio was in the future).

"Everything was written down -- programs, commercials, introductions, music selection -- everything was in that book," Jennison said. "It would be given to the announcer, and he would follow it exactly. If you had a news break at 3 p.m., you had to time it out right."


In the early 1960s, tape was introduced. Announcements and commercials would be prerecorded on cassette tapes, Jennison said, and that took some of the pressure off disc jockeys.

Live music also was a staple in the early days of radio. A popular program of the 1960s was the Sonny Slater show, which featured musicians playing live at the studio at noon on Saturdays. Live music programs didn't last long on local radio.

"It was difficult to fill up a program with live music all the time," Jennison said.

KSAL switched to news-talk in April 1996. During the mid-80's it was the only radio station in the area that had their own color weather radar that could actually predict when thunderstorms were entering a certain area.


Today, KSAL continues to be the area's only 24-hour staffed newsroom. They feature local morning, afternoon and weekend programing. Program Director Rich Alexander has organized a team of meteorologists who provide weather coverage on the station.

KSAL-AM is also very involved in local and regional sports. In addition to area high school sports coverage, they are the Kansas State University sports & Kansas City Royals baseball affiliate for the Salina area.

Ken Jennison, who celebrates his 83rd birthday in 2010, continues to work at KSAL as their public service director. In 2012, KSAL celebrated its 75th anniversary of broadcasting to the Salina area.

Former hosts[edit]

  • Jim Rose, Rick Mach, Greg Martin, George Pyle, Dan Robins, Bob Sheldon, Bob Davis, Brian Collins, Tom Mulligan, Jeff Comfort, Sonny Slater, Larry Mohlenbrink, J. Steven Smethers, Phil (Grossardt) Ross, Jim Robertson, Bruce Steinbrock, Don (Schwartz) Bradley. Steve Kohl. Despite rumors to the contrary, Paul Harvey was never employed by KSAL. He worked for KFBI, which had studios in Salina in the late 1930s.

External links[edit]