- Main contributors:
- Kaspar, Vern
- Video bio of Vern Kaspar, inducted to Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame in 2004; Vern Kaspar owned, with his two sons, four radio stations and an online newspaper. He was the station’s CEO and senior political analyst. Born in 1922 in Sioux City, Iowa, Kaspar obtained his first FCC license at age 13 as an amateur radio operator, building and operating his own amateur radio station — the use of part of the radio frequency spectrum for recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages and emergency communication that is still used today. Back in the days before Teletype news was available, he would copy Morse code at 33 words per minute to obtain national and international news for local radio stations. After serving in the Navy in World War II and stints at Princeton and Columbia University, he became an executive for WOI-TV, the first TV station in Iowa. In 1953, he helped with TV coverage of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidential campaign. In 1959, as a minority partner in a radio station in Nebraska, he decided he’d like to own one of his own. In addition to WILO-AM in Frankfort, Indiana, Kaspar Broadcasting owned WHSW-FM, and two Missouri stations: KWRE-AM and KFAV-FM. Kaspar died Jan. 5, 2018, in Rossville, Indiana. He was 95. --Words from the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers
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