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In 1922, a handful of energetic Electrical Engineering students established the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology's very first campus radio station. WCAT, or Wildcat Radio, began operating from the school's Physical Education building on the commercial AM band. Initially airing mostly news and informational programming, the station's popularity grew steadily through the 1940's and 50's with the inclusion of basketball games and music that was unique and popular for the era. Unfortunately, WCAT's rich broadcasting history met an abrupt end in 1952 when it was pressured off the air by a competing commercial station.
In 1969, after a nineteen year broadcasting hiatus, student body president Jim McGibbney spearheaded an effort to broadcast a program of current events on the Tech campus. With the assistance of announcer Greg Carey, McGibbney gained Student Association support to form the Tech Educational Radio Council (TERC). Plans for Tech's second fully-operational radio station were set in motion. In following two years a mountain of triplicate forms were filed with the FCC, space was secured for a new studio in the Surbeck Center, and tower space for the new station's antenna was donated by KBHE. Then on August 7, 1971, KTEQ touched the airwaves surrounding the SDSM&T campus, breaking nearly two decades of radio silence.
For further details about KTEQ's early years, read the report prepared by a former manager, Thomas Aldrich. Aldrich's report covers KTEQ's inception in 1969 through December 1975.
The History of KTEQ,1969-1975: The Aldrich Report
Dec. 1981 Black Hills Monthly Magazine Article on KTEQ (PDF)
KTEQ Frequency Change, 88.1 → 91.3 MHz (
Early KTEQ History According To Gary Brown Before KTEQ came up, we had a weekly radio show called "Hardrocker
Highlights" on KOTA. From '68 to '71 I did it with Karl Gerdes.
I worked with Greg back in '71 to get KTEQ up on the air, and was its first
To get our license, we went up to Skyline Drive and had the religious
station (it's call sign escapes me now) reduce its power to 10W. We put a
homemade antenna on a broomstick and then travelled around Rapid seeing how
the signal was.
To get our original record library, I called up the VPs of marketting for
all the major labels in the US. I called collect and, amazingly, they
almost all accepted!
I was the first person on the air.
The first broadcast opened with "Also Sprach Zarathustra" as the signon
theme (instead of the Star Spangled Banner). Remember..."2001 A Space
Odyssey" had just come out!
The "Alternative Radio for the Black Hills" slogan dates right from the
The on-air auction was modelled after the auctions on Chicago radio stations.
When we started off, we broadcast tapes from Radio Moscow! You can bet that
hacked off a lot of people...and probably got me on an FBI list of some sort
Using the old state CENTREX lines, KTEQ was the originator of the first
all-state radio broadcast. There was a panel discussion on prison reform.
I patched through Surbeck Center into our panel, and then used the CENTREX
lines to send a feed out to the other college stations in the state.
Geo. McGovern was interviewed on the air for the '72 election. You should
have seen the secret service spooks go through the office!
The cost of KTEQ's operation including licensing fees, royalty fees, supplies, and equipment repair and replacement can add up to a substantial sum. We are partially supported by the SDSMT Student Association but any assistance that can be provided is appreciated.
Tax deductible donations can be made through the SDSMT Foundation (
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