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KDLM, KRCQ consolidated

KDLM's General Manager Jeff Leighton says the consolidation of the two local radio stations will provide listeners with expanded news coverage. (Riham Feshir / Tribune)

Consolidating the two local radio stations has been a long time coming.

KDLM 1340 AM and KRCQ 102.3 FM are now operating under the same ownership, and instead of competing, the two are now working together.

KDLM bought KRCQ in March and KDLM's General Manager Jeff Leighton said the company now has double the effort to reach a broader audience.

"The nice thing was we were able to maintain the full staff of KRCQ," he said. "If you listen to KRCQ, you won't know that it changed ownership."

By the purchase date, KRCQ's manager Bob Spillman decided to retire, Leighton said. No future staff cuts are anticipated.

The only difference is the expanded coverage the two radio stations are now able to provide.

Instead of having one news director at each station, there are now two working together and dividing up the coverage.

In the past, the two radio stations were unable to share news and information, now a news director can cover one event in Detroit Lakes, while the other covers another in Frazee simultaneously.

That way more live audio will be featured on both stations.

"Hopefully we can actually serve our community even better," Leighton said.

Sports coverage will stay the same. KDLM will continue to cover Laker sports, while KRCQ will continue to hit all of the regional sports from the Highway 10 corridor -- New York Mills to Moorhead.

The two radio stations will maintain operation in separate buildings for now but Leighton said it will be more convenient to have everybody under one roof in the long run.

KDLM will celebrate its 60th anniversary next year. It's owned by Leighton Enterprises, Inc. and has been on the air since 1951.

Al Leighton, Jeff Leighton's father, bought the station in 1958. He's a Detroit Lakes man who has lived here for many years, persistent to maintain ownership of the radio station locally.

"Detroit Lakes always has a soft spot in his heart," Leighton said of his father.

KRCQ has been on the air since 1994. It was previously owned by Lake Lida Broadcasting of Wisconsin.

In addition to news and sports coverage, KRCQ's traditional country music programs will stay the same.

"It's got great listenership, great following," Leighton said.