The Birth of KNEW
KNEW (now KJRB) was born, not in Spokane, but in Coeur d'Alene as KVNI in 1946 when the Federal Communications Comission (FCC) issued a license to the Coeur d'Alene Broadcasting Company to broadacast on 1430 kHz from Blackwell Island on the west side of the town. In 1947, the Coeur d'Alene Broadcasting Company then moved the 1430 kHz allocation to Spokane and changed the callsign to KNEW. At about the same time they built a station on 1240 kHz in Coeur d'Alene with the callsign KVNI at the same Blackwell Island site as the earlier version of KVNI.
So, the bottom line is according to the FCC records, there are two radio stations called KVNI both broadcasting from the same site, but on different frquencies, and KJRB (ex-KNEW) was first licensed in Coeur d'Alene, not Spokane.
You can read this interesting story in detail by looking at the FCC records below. (Click on the thumbnails for a larger image.) Enjoy!
KVNI's first construction permit. It is dated 9 January 1946. The main studio was located in the Desert Hotel and the transmitter was located "about 2000 Ft. due west of Forest Cemetery," which would put it squarely on Blackwell Island where Lake Coeur d'Alene empties into the Spokane River. The frequency was 1430 kHz and the power was 1000 watts day and night. (National Archives)
Coverage maps and a ground radial sketch. Note that the first coverage map has the callsign KVNI whited out and the callsign KNEW handwritten on top, and the ground radial sketch has the callsign KVNI on it. (National Archives)
This 8 August 1947 letter from the FCC acknowledges Coeur d'Alene Broadcasting Company's request to change the callsign from KVNI to KNEW, and the reassignment of the callsign KVNI to a new station on 1240 Khz (National Archives)
A 6 August 1947 letter from the Coeur d'Alene Broadcasting Company's requesting FCC to change the callsign of the station on 1430 moving to Spokane from KVNI to KNEW, and the reassignment of the callsign KVNI to a new station on 1240 Khz in Coeur d'Alene. (National Archives)
Compiled and edited by Bill Harms - updated 28 July 2007
- Various Construction Permit License Documents, National Archives