TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — On December 28, 1967, KSNT Television, with the original call letters of KTSB, hit the airwaves at 5:00 p.m.
KSNT’s first Chief Engineer Bill Keegan says there were challenges getting the station on the air.
Months before the station was set to air, rain filled the basement of the unfinished building halting construction numerous times.
“It was just delayed and delayed and delayed, but eventually we got it going,” said Keegan.
Rain wasn’t the only thing that got in the station’s way.
“When you first went on you didn’t have very many viewers,” said Keegan. “I can remember going off the air and the phone didn’t even ring, we didn’t even get a call.”
The new station faced an uphill battle taking on the established TV station that shared ownership with AM and FM radio stations and the Topeka newspaper.
“It was a battle, but it was exciting for us,” said Keegan.
To win over viewers the station prided itself on local productions, which included news, and other programs like “Romper Room”.
“We did a lot of good productions and we tried some interesting things,” said Romper Room host Nancy Perry. “We had good newscasters, we had good weather people and as the popularity grew those people became important to the people at home.”
The challenges actually brought the original team closer together.
“It was exciting, and I think the better we became the more proud we were that we were part of this team,” said Perry.