KWHI HISTORY TIMELINE
May 10, 1937 – Tom S. Whitehead Sr. purchases ½ interest in The Brenham Banner Press newspaper from R.C. Barnes and relocates to Brenham from Austin where he was an editor for the Austin American Statesman paper.
May 5, 1947 – Program tests begin on KWHI AM. Transmitter site is located North of Brenham on property leased from Fritz Kugle. Studios are located in downtown Brenham on the North side of the courthouse square, on the second floor above Jaster’s Jewelry.
May 8, 1947 6:00 am Thursday – KWHI officially signs on the air for the first time. Authorization arrived overnight via telegram from the FCC in Washington D.C. The first remote broadcast occurred that Sunday with a live broadcast of the First United Methodist Church service.
June 7, 1947 2:00 pm Saturday – KWHI holds its Grand Opening on the south side of the courthouse. Speeches are presented by Texas Attorney General Price Daniel, former Senator Albert Stone and Mayor Reese Lockett. Live music is presented by Prof. F.J.Navratil’s Concert Band, John Baca’s orchestra, Jesse James and His Boys, Lad Janda’s Orchestra, Raymond Baca’s orchestra, and Dickie McBride’s orchestra with Laura Lee. The program is broadcast live on KWHI and tours of the new studios are given.
June 5 1947 Banner Press with special KWHI Grand Opening insert (large PDF file)
January 31, 1962 - Tom S. Whitehead Sr. sells the Brenham Banner Press to Ben Blanton. Whitehead was hired by Blanton to help with the transition, but their relationship quickly soured and the two spent many years attacking each other though their media outlets.
February 27, 1962 – Tom S. Whitehead Incorporated is formed and ownership of KWHI is transferred to the family held corporation.
Dec. 26, 1963 – KWHI granted a construction permit from the FCC to build and FM station to be known at KWHI FM.
March 23, 1964 – KWHI requests to modify the construction permit for KWHI FM to move the transmitting antenna from the KWHI AM tower north of Brenham to a tower located atop the KWHI studios in downtown Brenham.
Spring 1964 – KWHI studios are relocated to the second floor of the Banner Press Building at the corner of Main and Market streets in Brenham. This has been their location ever since.
September 11, 1964 Friday – KWHI-FM signs on the air on 106.3 Mhz. KWHI-FM broadcast the Brenham Cub football game that evening live. This was a first because KWHI AM had to sign off and sunset due to FCC regulations.
September 24, 1964 - Short article appears in the Banner Press about KWHI FM causing interference to the TV reception on Channel 13 out of Houston. This began another multi-year battle between Ben Blanton and Tom Whitehead Sr. played out through the local media. KWHI FM installed additional filtering on the transmitter to meet FCC guidelines and the full license for KWHI FM was granted on August 9th, 1965.
Summer of 1968 - KWHI AM tower relocated to its current site on North Dixie Street.
Early 1970’s - Brenham Banner Press relocates to their new location at the corner of North Austin and Vulcan streets.
July 25, 1971 TV Cable of Brenham begins service. The company, founded by Tom Whitehead Sr., had spent two years planning and constructing 48 miles on cable throughout the city. The service offered 9 TV channels for $5.95 per month.
June 8, 1973 – KWHI files with the FCC to raise the tower on North Dixie St. from 212 feet to 316 feet and place the KWHI FM antenna at the top.
July 1974 – Call letters KTTX are granted to KWHI FM
October 31, 1975 – Vandals cut a guy wire to the KWHI tower during the early morning hours and topple it. They cut a guy wire attached to the midpoint of the tower. This caused that portion of the tower to fall away from them, while the top of the tower scissored and fell toward them. The top section of the steel tower landed just a few feet from where they were cutting with the top beacon light buried into the ground. KWHI AM and FM returns to the air the next day at reduced power utilizing a temporary tower. The tower is rebuilt at the same location in the coming months.
March 2, 1992 KTTX (KTEX 106) signs on the air for the first time from a new 500 ft. tower located near Lyons Texas. The new station is 50,000 watts and broadcasts on 106.1 Mhz.
July 20, 2018 6:00 AM - K269GU goes on the air from the KWHI tower site on Dixie Street in Brenham. The FM translator broadcasts the same programing as KWHI AM on 101.7 FM. The tower on Dixie Street is replaced with new tower of the same height and location due to rust issues with the old tower that went up in 1975.