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Orange radio station KOGT will broadcast for the last time Friday after 73 years

The announcement came from KOGT Owner Gary Stelly during his morning show on Tuesday.

ORANGE, Texas — KOGT, a longtime locally produced radio station out of Orange, is shutting down for good on Friday.

The emotional announcement came from KOGT Owner Gary Stelly during his morning show on Tuesday.

He cited a number of factors, including changing media, as the reason for ceasing all operations. 

“I look forward to reminiscing during The KOGT Morning Show the next couple of mornings and having the opportunity to thank the people that have been there for us,” Stelly said.

Stelly was one of the first media operators in the region to start a website with KOGT.com, but he said radio was always his first priority.

Stelly is an Orangefield High School graduate who worked at KOGT when he was in college. He then bought the station in 1992 from a small out-of-town company.

Through the years, their content has covered hurricanes, crime, sports, elections, scandals, and of course, music.

1600 KOGT began its first broadcast, Friday, Jan. 16, 1948. On that day, listeners heard local news, a Stark High basketball game, Bing Crosby, and organ music, according to the KOGT website.

MORE | KOGT website

When KOGT started, its antennas were installed on land at 5304 Meeks Drive, which at the time was three miles outside the Orange city limits, according to their website.

The first production studio was in a building owned by Joe Molley on 10th Street between Green and Elm avenues. Later, the studios moved to the downtown building across the street from the Fair Store at Main and Fifth.

Since then, all the station operations have been back at Meeks Drive, which is now surrounded by houses.

Many hosts and fans shared their goodbye messages to Facebook following the announcement. 

I’m losing part of my soul, but everything has changed in the business since my salad days of newspapers. 🥂To Gary Stelly for keeping locally-owned news going this long.

Posted by Margaret Toal on Tuesday, December 28, 2021

🎼 HOWDY EVERYONE! It is with Very Sad Heart that I write this. WEDNESDAY- 4-7PM CST 🎵 BRITT GODWIN...

Posted by Britt Godwin on Tuesday, December 28, 2021

😢 I have very sad news!! 🍊KOGT announced this morning on their morning show that they will be closing their doors on Friday, 12/31/21. They are surely a fixture of Orange, Texas and will be missed so much.

Posted by Sharon Schrieber Stephenson on Tuesday, December 28, 2021

SAD WEEK FOR THE FRUIT! God Bless Gary Stelly Margaret Toal and all who brought us so much, from desperate to good times. Its definitely a huge loss for all…….

Posted by Jim Sichko on Tuesday, December 28, 2021

I will always try and support Community radio over #Spotify or #pandora because it's usually a slice of Americana that...

Posted by Charlie Ramsey on Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The voices and brains behind KOGT include Garry Stelly, Clay Williams, David Ingram, Iva Odom, Marty Monogue, Margaret Toal, Janet Johnson, Dan Perrine, Glenn Earle, Russ Ingram and Ralf Mims. 

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