new owners will keep
Bill Bradford in mind
In a joint announcement at noon Wednesday, Patsy Bradford, wife of the late Bill Bradford, and her daughter Kelley Bradford Grimes joined with Chad Young and Rhonda Adair in announcing the sale of KSST radio station.
Long an institution and integral part of Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County, KSST had been under the ownership of Bill Bradford until his death last December — a legacy the new owners say they plan to continue.
The Bradford family contacted Chad Young with a proposal that he buy the radio station recently. Young said the proposal was “humbling” and Rhonda initially thought the idea was “crazy.” but both wanted to keep the legacy alive.
“When Chad first came to me with this idea, that the Bradfords had talked to him about this, my first impression was 'Oh my gosh. This is crazy, we have too much to do,'” Adair said. “We want to keep the legacy like it's been with Bill Bradford all through the years and we want to keep that alive in Sulphur Springs. We want the citizens of Sulphur Springs to support us and help us to keep this memory of him and keep this legacy alive.
“I think that's what we are trying to do,” she said. “It's overwhelming that we were even approached to do this, and we are very humbled by that.”
Patsy Bradford, a woman of few words, said she could be nothing but happy about the new owners.
“I'm glad things are happening as they are,” Mrs. Bradford said Wednesday morning. “So, I can't be anything but happy about it with Chad and Rhonda. I think they have good ideas. We are happy.”
Kelly Grimes, daughter of Patsy and the late Bill Bradford, literally grew up at KSST.
“I've never known life without KSST in our family,” she said.
Bradford's daughter said it is hard to imagine not having the radio station in their life.
“I couldn't be happier, just like mother said, with Chad and Rhonda because they have the same vision that I would have with the time and effort to put into the station,” Grimes said. “They
are going to do the things that we would have done — it's like an extended part of our family. So, even though it's bittersweet, it's going to be exciting to see what they do. I feel they are always going to keep daddy as a part of that station — they want to but then do their own thing, too. In a way, I guess, it's going to always be in the family.”
Young said that, other with some additions, personnel at the radio station would not change and there would be additions and improvements to programming on both the radio station and the television broadcasts on Sudden Link Channel 18.
“We're going to have another website presence. We are going to start that back at some point so people can check back on the stories they missed in the noon news,” Young said. “Already Channel 18 is playing a lot of old videos of graduations and other school activities that KSST has been filming for the school for many, many years. A lot of times, those just get played once right after the event and you can't see them again. Now, they've got them on a constant loop showing old graduations, old Dairy Festival pageants and all these things from over the years. We are going to try to increase that programming level on Channel 18 as well.”
Both Young and KSST General Manager Jimmy Rogers say the programming will, essentially, stay the same.
“Everything is going to stay the same, but be only better,” Young said. “We are going to be making minor changes. There are a lot of people listening to the radio station and we want to see those numbers increase, but we want a little more structure to it so that we have weather reports more often and other new stories during the day instead of just around the noon hour — so we are going to be making some of those changes. So, no big, major, wholesale changes for the most part right now.”
For Adair and Young, the purchase of the radio station presents some big challenges.
“We both know what it's like to follow in some big footsteps,” Adair said. “We've both done it. My mom and the business with JB Weld and Chad's grandfather with Master's True Value, so we feel like it's a great honor and privilege for us to try to help the Bradfords continue this legacy.”
“We just feel a responsibility to continue on that legacy,” Young said. “We have a great love of Hopkins County and Sulphur Springs and all things that it's about and KSST has been such an institution, an integral part in the community for a long, long time, and we want to see that continue.”
The sale of KSST and transfer of control of the facility will not become formal until the Federal Co
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