|Broadcast area||Longview-Marshall area|
|Slogan||The Heartbeat of East Texas|
|Translator(s)||98.5 K253CE (Henderson)|
|First air date||1955|
|Power||5,000 watts day|
|Affiliations||NBC Sports Radio|
|Owner||Jerry T. Hanszen
KWRD (1470 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a sports format with programming from NBC Sports Radio. Licensed to Henderson, Texas, United States, the station serves the Henderson-Longview-Marshall area. The station is owned by Jerry T. Hanszen through licensee Hanszen Broadcasting.
Licensed in 1955 1470 KWRD was started by Wesley R. Dean, who was a former local TV star at KTVE in Longview, Texas. Dean went to Henderson to start his station, only to find that there was already one radio station in the city, KGRI AM 1000. KGRI was owned by country music star Jim Reeves. Dean applied for a license and got one in 1955. The station was assigned (by request) KWRD. The call letters stand for Dean's name.
K-West of the Mississippi W-Wesley R-R. D-Dean
Originally KWRD was licensed as a class D AM daytime only station at 500 watts with one tower. Dean had bought a complete turn-key RCA transmitter and studio facility. For many years Henderson operated with 2 AM stations. In the 1960s KGRI signed on with an FM, 99.9 (so that both stations on an analog dial would be 100). After Jim Reeves death in 1964 his partner Tom Perryman and Jim's wife Mary moved to Murfreesboro, TN and bought WMTS AM/FM. Reeves and Perryman eventually sold KGRI AM/FM to Wesley Dean. Dean was offered a large amount of money to turn off AM 1000 so that another station could raise power. This left KWRD as the only AM station in Henderson.
After Wesley R. Dean's death his son Chipper took over operation of KWRD and KGRI-FM. In the mid 1980s the owners of 100.7 in Dallas were looking at building a Christian FM. They wanted the KWRD call letters so that it would stand for "The Word". Dean sold them the rights to the KWRD-FM side of the call letters, and used the money to buy KWRD a new transmitter. It was at this point that 1470 KWRD was raised to 5,000 watts, and got authorization to run 90 watts at night.
In the 1990s Chipper Dean lost interest in owning the stations and sold the AM to Witko Broadcasting (Dick Witkowsky). Dean sold KGRI-FM to Hunt Broadcasting of Colorado (Hunt wanted the station as they were moving 12 stations to move 2 into Dallas). The 99.9 was traded with KMOO in Mineola (as they were on 96.7 the frequency that the Hunts Sherman move in was on). 99.9 was turned into 100.3 and the call letters changed to KXAL. Today KGRI-FM is 100.3 KZQX, a bigband and standards station serving East Texas, and is completely locally owned and operated by Chalk Hill Media.
KWRD was owned by Witko for a short time and was sold to Jerry Russell of Kilgore. Russell also owned 690 KZEY Tyler, 1060 KOFY Gilmer and stations in several other small markets. During Russell's ownership the station went dark for over a year due to a burnt up plate transformer in the transmitter. While the station was off the air Russell entered into an LMA with an option to buy with Phillip Burr. Subsequently, KWRD was sold to Jerry T. Hanszen's Hanszen Broadcasting at a purchase price of $100,000. The purchase was consummated on August 5, 2012.
Under the Hanszen Family's operation of KWRD, 1470 has once again turned it into a local family run station that is completely community focused. Hanszen completely rebuilt the facility on 259, and has once again made KWRD THE Henderson, Texas radio station. KWRD also has an FM sister station again with KPXI-FM 100.7, Overton, Texas.
KWRD carries The Bob Griffin Radio Show, broadcast from KEEL (AM) in Shreveport, Louisiana, a program of travel reports, features, area personalities, and uplifting human interest stories, often with Christian testimonies.