On March 1, 1979, the Federal Communications Commission issued a construction permit to the Dakota North Plains Corporation (L. T. Lausten, President and 81.99 percent owner along with five other stockholders) to operate a new AM broadcast station on 910 kilocycles at Volga, South Dakota. While a daytime power of 500 watts was authorized, a night power of 1,000 watts was permitted, using a two pattern (day and night) directional antenna array. Estimated construction cost was $191,555; predicted first year operating cost was $40,000; while $100,000 was anticipated as the station’s first year advertising revenue. Call letters KVAA were assigned in late June 1979 (the firm owned KKAA at Aberdeen.)
KVAA was placed on the air Wednesday, May 6, 1981 from studios located at 605 Kasan, with transmitter and towers near Volga (a town located on U. S. 14, eight miles west of Brookings). David S. Lausten was Vice President of the licensee while General Manager of KVAA was Larry Bauer. The new “MOR” music-formatted station was an affiliate of NBC’s “The Source” young adult network. It aired farm programming 13 1/2 hours weekly. In 1982, KVAA switched to a “Top 40” music format. It’s format became “Adult Contemporary/Country Music” in 1983. Also in 1983, Russell R. McGuire became General Manager.
On May 15, 1985, KVAA was sold by the Dakota North Plains Corporation (L.T. Lausten, President et al) to the Sioux Valley Broadcasting Company (Robert Ingstad, sole owner) for an undisclosed purchase price. Also included was KVAA’s FM sister station, KKQQ (FM). Jeffrey N. Hilborn then became President and General Manager. In mid-May 1985, call letters were changed from KVAA to KJJQ. In 1985, the station affiliated with the ABC Information Radio Network and the regional South Dakota News Network (its liaison with NBC’s “The Source” was then dropped.) In 1985, KJJQ debuted a new full time “Country Music” format.
Today, KJJQ The Ranch, has carved a unique approach, blending News, Sports and Ag/Farm Information with proven country music. We have just the right mix of news and information which is pertinent to not only ag producers, but also a broad based audience. Including updates from the Brownfield Network and NAFB member Susan Littlefield. They also feature the locally originating “Sports Show”, weekdays from 9-11am, focusing on all local/regional sports with guests, special features and some “on-location” broadcasts. The Ranch/KJJQ is also the home of South Dakota State University Jackrabbit Athletics.