Country 1130 Logo
Broadcast areaBismarck-Mandan
Frequency1130 kHz
BrandingCountry 1130
FormatClassic country
First air date
August 15, 1958 (1958-08-15)
Former call signs
KQDI (1958–1963)
Former frequencies
1350 kHz (1958–1971)
Call sign meaning
Bismarck-Mandan Radio
Technical information
Facility ID2207
Power10,000 watts (day)
24 watts (night)
Transmitter coordinates
46°48′37″N 100°44′11″W / 46.81028°N 100.73639°W / 46.81028; -100.73639
Translator(s)104.1 K281DC (Bismarck)
WebcastListen Live

KBMR (1130 AM), known as "Country 1130", is a radio station located in Bismarck, North Dakota, owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. The station runs a classic country format. It is one of six iHeartMedia-owned stations in the Bismarck-Mandan area.


On June 6, 1957, Dakota Broadcasters—a consortium of Walter Nelskog, Paul Crain, Delbert Bertholf and D. Gene Williams—obtained a construction permit for a new radio station to serve Bismarck on 1350 kHz, with 500 watts during the day. The construction permit was originally known as KBMK before changing to KQDI before sign-on.[1] From a tower near the Corral Drive-In in Bismarck and studios above a drug store on Fifth Street,[2] KQDI signed on August 15, 1958.[3] It was co-owned with stations in Minot and Billings and Great Falls, Montana; like them, it was a music-heavy station without network programming,[2] playing Top 40 tunes.[4] One of the station's first disc jockeys was Mandan native Tony Dean, who later hosted a regional outdoors program on television and radio.[5]

After several changes in ownership, Weldon T. and Betty S. Heard bought KQDI in 1962.[2] The purchase heralded a series of changes. On April 15, 1963, KQDI became KBMR, for "Bismarck-Mandan Radio", and shifted toward a "good music" format.[6]

Another change in business operations kickstarted a regulatory case of interest to electric utilities in the state. The Heards switched electricity suppliers from Montana-Dakota Utilities to the Capital Electric Cooperative, a rural electric cooperative. MDU objected to the ability of Capital to serve the customer, who was not part of the cooperative, and started a series of legal battles over the regulation of such rural associations in the state.[7] Disputes of this kind resulted in a state law intending to restrict the territory of utilities and electric cooperatives in 1965.[8]

Alvin "Andy" Anderson was appointed general manager in late 1963,[9] and later purchased the station in 1965. The format was changed to country music, and the company expanded. September 12, 1968, brought KBMR-FM 94.5, the first stereo radio station in the Bismarck area;[10] by that time, the company also was the Muzak franchisee in the area.[11] An even bigger change was on the horizon for the AM: in 1971, the FCC approved a power increase from 500 to 10,000 watts on a new frequency, 1130 kHz; the boost gave KBMR the highest wattage of any AM station in North Dakota.[12] Along with the higher power, a new transmitter building was built on the site.[13] Anderson additionally purchased a station in Polson, Montana.[14]

By 1981, KBMR was Bismarck's top-rated station, though it was hurt as the 1980s progressed and listeners shifted to FM stations.[15] A final upgrade to 50,000 watts took effect in November 1985, giving KBMR statewide coverage—but still no nighttime signal.[16]

Anderson had planned as early as 1990 to move KBMR to a new license and frequency, 710 kHz, which would enable nighttime service.[17] The 710 frequency would instead sign on in August 1999 as talk station KXMR.[18]

Toward the end of Andy Anderson's life, his company sought to sell the cluster of stations that had developed: KBMR, the FM (now KQDY), and KSSS (101.5 FM), plus the under-construction KXMR. In 1998, the new Cumulus Media began pursuing the Anderson stations. Cumulus had already acquired a cluster of four local Jim Ingstad stations, but its attempt to buy the local Meyer Broadcasting radio stations had failed.[19] A sale was announced in January 1999, and Cumulus took over the stations under a management agreement while it waited for the deal to close.[20] The sale never closed. Concerns over competition effects from the deal prompted the FCC to designate the transaction for hearing in December 2000, a rare move that signaled federal approval was unlikely and led to the deal being scrapped, with Anderson Broadcasting resuming operation of the cluster.[20] During this time, Andy Anderson died at the age of 81.[14]

Anderson Broadcasting was more successful in its second attempt to sell its radio stations, this time to a consortium of general manager Bob Denver, sales manager Terry Fleck and Jim Ingstad.[21] Radio Bismarck Mandan then sold three of the stations to Clear Channel Communications, forerunner to iHeartMedia, in 2004; KXMR had already been sold to the company the year before as part of a transaction that gave Ingstad two stations in southern Minnesota.[22]


  1. ^ FCC History Cards for KBMR
  2. ^ a b c "New Radio Station To Open Here Soon". The Bismarck Tribune. July 26, 1958. p. 12. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  3. ^ "KQDI (Pronounced "Cutie") Enters Your Home Tomorrow, 6 a.m. With Hundreds of $ $ s for Cutie Listeners!". The Bismarck Tribune. August 14, 1958. p. 8. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  4. ^ Quanrud, Ted (November 1, 1984). "Dance brings back favorite disc jockey". The Bismarck Tribune. p. 1D. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  5. ^ Olson, Jeff (February 12, 1987). "Mandan native reels in ratings with TV, radio fishing programs". The Bismarck Tribune. p. 1C. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  6. ^ "Radio Station Has New Name". The Bismarck Tribune. April 15, 1963. p. 17. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  7. ^ Tillottson, Bill (October 14, 1964). "REA Jurisdiction Hassle Back in PSC Hands Again". The Bismarck Tribune. p. 17. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  8. ^ Tillottson, Bill (February 9, 1968). "'No Recommendations' to End REA-Investor Dispute". The Bismarck Tribune. p. 9. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  9. ^ "Anderson Gets KBMR Position". The Bismarck Tribune. December 3, 1963. p. 15. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  10. ^ "New FM Station on the Air". The Bismarck Tribune. September 13, 1968. p. 7. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  11. ^ "KBMR-FM to Be On Soon". The Bismarck Tribune. September 6, 1968. p. 11A. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  12. ^ "500 to 10,000 Watts: FCC Approves Power Hike for KBMR Radio". The Bismarck Tribune. April 9, 1971. p. 15. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  13. ^ "KBMR to Operate At 10,000 Watts". The Bismarck Tribune. September 13, 1971. p. 26. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  14. ^ a b Olson, Jeffrey G. (November 2, 1999). "Broadcasting pioneer Andy Anderson signs off at 81". p. 1B. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  15. ^ Cole, Janell (August 15, 1983). "Rock rules region". The Bismarck Tribune. p. Fanfare 12. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  16. ^ Smith, Frederic (November 26, 1985). "Turntable Wars raging over us: Country music stations battling to conquer local market". The Bismarck Tribune. pp. 1A, 10A. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  17. ^ Conrad, Marc (April 17, 1990). "Country music maven: Andy Anderson celebrates 25 years at KBMR". The Bismarck Tribune. p. 5B. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  18. ^ Gardyasz, Joe; Pierce, Liz; Winter, Scott (September 24, 1999). "A guide to Bismarck-Mandan radio stations". The Bismarck Tribune. p. 1C. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  19. ^ Gardyasz, Joe (August 30, 1998). "Company turns negotiations toward Anderson Broadcasting". The Bismarck Tribune. p. 1F. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  20. ^ a b Gardyasz, Joe (February 6, 2001). "Radio stations return to owner after sale fizzles". The Bismarck Tribune. pp. 1A, 8A. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  21. ^ Hanson, Mark (January 11, 2002). "Anderson sells Bismarck radio stations". The Bismarck Tribune. p. 1B. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  22. ^ "Clear Channel goes into swap mode". RBR Epaper. January 10, 2003. Retrieved April 22, 2021.

Coordinates: 46°48′37″N 100°44′10″W / 46.81028°N 100.73611°W / 46.81028; -100.73611