There's nothing like small town, hometown, Montana radio. We got a chance to catch up with Bonnie Simon as KATQ Radio in Plentywood, Montana celebrated 60 years on the air here in 2022.

Bonnie Simon: In June of 1962 KPWD became the first FM station in Montana, and then later was changed to KATQ.

How'd it all get started?

Bonnie Simon: A gentleman by the name of Ed Krebsbach had started a radio station in 1926 in Vida, and he was one who teamed up with Mary Lou Nelson and her husband Morris in 1962 and worked with getting KPWD on air. And then, like I say, in 1978, it went to AM. So we we do 100.1 FM and 1070 AM.

We got to talking about Montana radio stations and how the Malta, Montana Mustang football team recently celebrated 100 years- and how KMMR Radio's Greg Kielb has done play by play for 49 of those years in Malta.

Local sports is huge on KATQ in Plentywood also.

Bonnie Simon: Sports Director Jim Nielsen has been doing sports on KATQ radio for 35 years. Of course, we cover five schools they cover Grenora-Westby, Plentywood, Med Lake Medicine Lake and Froid. So he's a busy guy, high school sports season.

Bonnie interviewed Mary Lou Nelson back in the mid 2000's. Mary Lou was there for the start of KATQ. Here's part of there conversation from several years ago:

Bonnie: Mary Lou did you have any prior broadcasting experience?

Mary Lou: Before we started KPWD I worked for KGCX. We had a satellite station up here. And the reason we had this satellite sation was that I wanted something more to do than just be a farmer's wife and mother. So we went to Williston and talked to Claire Krebsbach and I said, 'I'd like to start a woman's program.' He said, 'Fine. You sell it, you've got it.' I came home sold it.

Full audio of our chat with Bonnie Simon on the Montana Talks with Aaron Flint statewide radio show:


Here's the interview clips that Bonnie shared from her conversations with Morris and Mary Lou (shared with permission from KATQ):

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