KUSH 1600 AM radio, based in Cushing, Oklahoma, is pleased to announce that is has transformed the historic radio station from the analogue days of yesteryear into the modern digital age by re-equipping the “Voice of Oklahoma” with a new state-of-the-art transmitter, boosting its signal to 5,000 watts, and further bolstering its longtime role as a radio broadcast leader of Central Oklahoma.
With a diverse range of programming ranging from news, to sports, to music, KUSH offers a wide range of programming to its large and ever-expanding listenership. With local and regional news coverage from the Oklahoma News Network and Radio Oklahoma Network, enhanced by content from local reporters – to unbiased national news from the AP Newswire and the Salem Radio Network, to up-to-the-moment business updates from Bloomberg Business News, KUSH offers news content to satisfy virtually all interests. There is also local sports coverage and national programming from the Yahoo Sports Network. And, last but not least, KUSH offers a diverse musical playlist which includes Country, and its related genres of Red Dirt and Americana, along with specialty show, “Native Air,” which showcases the best in Native American music.
And, to start the weekdays off on a high note, there is “HOME with the KUSH Girls,” the station’s very popular morning talk show which airs from 7:00-10:00 AM, with the always funny and entertaining duo of host, Molly Payne and producer Joyce Abrams. With a focus on local guests from all walks of life and the business sector who speak to a wide range of topics and issues, the program also showcases live musical performances by the very best entertainers from throughout the region.
KUSH truly caters to the needs of its community and its region. It has always been – and remains – a family-owned and operated business, a rarity in today’s corporate radio environment.
KUSH has its beginnings in 1953, during the Golden years of expansion in AM radio. Originally founded as KWHP by William Howard Payne, Sr., the station roared to life when a then thirteen-year-old W.H. Payne, Jr. pulled the switch on the transmitter to send its signal across the region. His son, Will Payne, III, continues to be very active in Oklahoma radio today.
After a few years, another family headed by Oklahoma radio pioneer, Don Kelly, bought the station. Kelly moved to Cushing and made it his lifelong home, renaming the station KUSH in honor of the town .KUSH was quickly upgraded from its original power of 500 to 1000 watts. The station was an AP affiliate and it continued to grow into a regional powerhouse. The more time passed, the more things remained the same with another young family running the rural station; Generations of Oklahoma families, all dedicated to the same purpose.
Fast forward thru the glory years of the Sixties and the Rock ‘n’ Roll years of the Seventies – and even after the expansion of FM radio in the late ’80’s and ’90’s – the station remained true to its roots and purpose. Regardless of the changes, KUSH continued to anchor and be the reference point for the community and the rural areas surrounding Cushing. In the 2000’s, Kelly’s son, Sean, became the owner. The younger Kelly was the man with the vision, and was the grantee of the recent power increase. Unfortunately, Sean Kelly died in a tragic auto accident in 2014, while en-route to cover a breaking news story for the station. Kelly’s widow, Mary, is now licensee and the torch bearer of the cause.
Over the years, FM expansion had dealt a blow to AM stations. Stereo fidelity was important, but after the initial success of FM, the FCC allowed conglomerates to accumulate the most powerful FM stations, and most of the local flavor and community service was lost. While the Top 40 playlist became Top 30, and the conglomerates began to broadcast the same music over and over, FM Talk radio became more uncomfortably biased and stale. AM Radio has benefitted from the majors’ lack of connection to their audiences and is leading the way back to the roots of community-minded “local and live” radio broadcasting.
Recognizing the interference that has been generated on the airwaves by the computer revolution, the FCC has created a way for enterprising regional AM radio stations to overcome the static.
For more information about KUSH 1600 AM,
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Our mailing address is:
PO Box 791
Cushing, OK 74023