Ed De La Hunt is one of Minnesota’s broadcasting pioneers. In 1962, he moved from the Twin Cities to Park Rapids. His mission was to build the area’s first radio station. The result was KPRM which of course signifies Park Rapids, Minnesota. If you’ve spent any time “up north” during the past 61 years, you’ve no doubt heard Ed on the radio at one time or another.
KPRM was what my family would listen to when we visited our lake cabin. We considered it to be our “cabin station” for many years. Ed, his wife Carol, daughter Bernie, plus sons Ed Jr. (“Butch”) and David all took turns behind the microphone. Their family is still active in the business today. Collectively, they own and operate several radio stations in northern Minnesota.
KPRM-AM began operations on 1240Khz with 100 and then 1,000 watts of power. The coverage of that signal was rather limited. In the early 1980s, it moved to 1270Khz and increased power to 5,000 watts. During the late 1980s, KPRM-AM moved again, this time to 870Khz with 25,000 watts daytime and 1,000 watts directional nighttime. Today, KPRM operates at the maximum permitted power output of 50,000 watts during daytime hours.
KPRM-FM was originally on 103.7Mhz. In the late 1970s, it moved to 97.5 where it remains today. Now known as “StarStation KDKK”, the 100,000 watt signal covers a large portion of northern and central Minnesota.
These days, Ed is still on the air at KPRM/KDKK. His long-running “Coffeetime” program attracts callers from all over the region. In 2006, Ed and Carol De La Hunt were inducted into the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
Here’s how Ed sounded in June, 1983. I recorded the AM signal while at my cabin, using a Pioneer AM/FM/Cassette stereo “boombox” and TDK-D90 tape: