Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Delilah’s KDUN Notes Second Anniversary

We caught up with Chief Engineer Bob Larson

Wednesday will mark the second anniversary of Delilah bringing KDUN(AM), the station where she started her career, back to Reedsport, Ore. We caught up with the station’s Bob Larson to see how things are going.

Radio World: Bob what is your role at the station and what is your history with Delilah?

Bob Larson: I am the chief engineer but I wear multiple hats. I do commercials, announcing and sales. What a combo!

Since the 1970s we have crossed paths at various radio stations, even when “Lars Larson” was doing the news for KBDF Eugene, Ore. I once missed meeting Delilah by just a few feet at a remote.

When she bought KDUN I called her, chatted with her for a bit and met her in Reedsport in May of 2021. She asked if I could rebuild the transmitter and put it back on the air. We did!

Delilah and Bob Larson in front of the 50 kW Nautel transmitter.

RW: Tell us how things have been going for the station.

Larson: It’s been super busy. Running a standalone AM station is tough! But with our 50,000 Watts we go all over, even to areas 75 to 100 miles away. Everything has to be focused locally and to the rest of our coverage area.

Our music is what they call “Feel Good Music,” from the ’70, ’80s and early ’90s, the hot hits of that era and a few select hits thrown in from the 1960s like the Beatles, Rolling Stones and the Monkees.

Smokey Rivers is our program director, working remotely from Washington state. We have a live daily morning show with C.C. from 6 to 10 a.m., Leslie Lois from 10 to 2, Ken Cocker from 2 to 6, and Delilah from 6 to midnight. We have a special extra hour with Delilah from 6 to 7 p.m. that no one else has, and she does her show here seven days a week.

Molly Anne does our Reedsport and area news daily. I have my nationally syndicated show “The 80s Meltdown” on Sunday at 3 p.m., and we have Casey Kasem ’70s from noon to 3 p.m. on Sundays.

We call the station “Kay-Dune,” or Dune Radio. 

RW: Is it hard to keep the station profitable, given all the challenges we hear about for AM operators? 

Larson: It’s tough, but you have to focus on our coverage area. If we did not have 50,000 Watts and local community involvement I don’t think we would have made it.

RW: What technical work had to be done to get KDUN on the air?

The transmitter building.

Larson: We had to build a new studio. When we came to Reedsport there were no studios, no production rooms or even offices, all had to be built new. It was like Les Nessman’s tape on the floor where the walls of WKRP were to be.

Our 1997-era Nautel XL60 transmitter had to be taken totally apart, cleaned and parts replaced. Some had to be hand-made to fit. We installed new remote control and audio processing equipment, new tower lights and fiber. We are digital in the studio and production room; we have new PlayoutOne automation and a virtual console. 

At night we reduce power and use a 1997 Nautel Ampfet 1 kW transmitter, also from 1997.

RW: You’ve had some interesting radio experiences of your own prior to KDUN.

Larson: I am the weatherman for Pacific Cascade Communications, with headquarters in Redding, Calif. It airs on their network of four stations in California and Oregon. I also am the engineer for their Oregon station, KGRV, which I’ve done for 34 years.

In the early 1980s I helped create low-power television; I had the first two licenses, for K31AD in Roseburg, Ore., and K19AE in Tri-City/Myrtle Creek. I made it possible for a mom-and-pop operation to own a TV station for under $300,000, not millions of dollars. It got the attention of Fox and they tested out this new technology in Roseburg, a forerunner to the Fox TV network.

I also was in the U.S. Air Force from 1985 to 1989 and produced and own a Bob Hope USO show.

RW: And of all things you were involved in the making of “Animal House.”

KDUN coverage map.

Larson: I was Tim Matheson’s stand-in. He has done an interview with me on the air for every radio station I have ever worked at, including KDUN.

He called me up last summer and said, “Bob, I want to stop by the University of Oregon and see where we filmed the food fight.” That was the EMU ballroom and cafeteria on the campus. We met at U of O as Tim stopped by Eugene on his way to location filming for Season 5 of “Virgin River” in Vancouver. I gave him a KDUN T-shirt at the exact spot where John Belushi said “I’m a zit! Get it?”

My only line in “Animal House” was when they were picking out the pledges. Pinto’s picture was on the screen and I said, “We need the dues!”

RW: How often do you see Delilah and what is it like working for her?

Larson: I talk with Delilah on a regular basis, almost daily. She is here once a month on site and then as needed. Working for her is great. As radio personalities we like to tease each other. She says she is on 139 radio stations, and I wave my hand and say “I’m on 29,” with my syndicated “80s Meltdown.” It’s a real-life WKRP and a whole lot of fun.

You can hear the station on the KDUN website and the iHeartRadio and Audacy apps.