KBWG   ~   107.5 FM
"Voice of Browning"

'Voice of Browning’ radio station KBWG expanding
Glacier Reporter, By John McGill, January 19, 2011

Browning area residents and drivers through Blackfeet Country can hardly help but having heard the “Voice of Browning,” expanding and growing as radio station KBWG 107.5 FM acquires a large group of DJs and commentators. Everything from music programs to sports reporting and more have graced the radio dial over the last several months, and there’s more to come.

“So far we have broadcasting Monday through Friday from around 6:30, Indian time,” quipped station manager Lona Burns, “to around 11, Indian time.” The station now sports a full list of DJs, and while they are still accepting applications, no further DJs will be needed at present.

  KBWG LP - the Voice of Browning Montana - Thunder Radio 107.5 FM
With a full stable of DJs and local commentators, Browning’s radio station KBWG 107.5 FM is on the air with many live offerings, including music, sports coverage, local news events and cultural programming. Photo by John McGill

Morning broadcasters at “Thunder Radio” include Gayle Skunkcap of Wind Dancer Tunes, Joe Cornelius, Jim Barth, Everette Armstrong, Arlan Edwards and June McCracken.

In the afternoon, listen to Kellen Hall, Robert Hall, “Scuba” Steve Running Crane, John “The Captain” Davis, Veldon Calica, Sheldon and Sheridan Ground, and Wendy Running Crane. Finally, on the list of special programming, KBWG boasts Gene Rutherford with the “Country Jamboree,” Julene Kennerly with “The Legacy Report,” Woody Kipp with news from Blackfeet Community College and Lockley Bremner’s “Mayor’s Report” on Fridays.

“We’re featuring live play-by-play coverage of most home games and out of town games,” said Burns of KBWG sportscasting. Funding to send a crew off to away games has been an issue, she said, and fundraising efforts are planned to send more crews out on more games. So far, the sportscasters have included Armstrong and Edwards, Running Crane, Kellen Hall and Skunkcap. (To listen to live play-by-play coverage of sporting events on the Internet please visit http://www.streamingaudiosolutions.com/).

“We have the equipment for live broadcasting,” said Burns, “and we’re trying to sell sponsorships for the games to cover the costs.” Burns said the station plans fundraisers in the near future to cover not only sports coverage costs, but also the cost of running the station itself and for improvements. Look for something around this Valentine’s Day.

“It’s a good thing for the community, that we have not just news but good news from around here,” said McCracken.

“It’s great how the volunteers came together, expecting to do something for the community,” said Kennerly, “and [Mayor] Lockley [Bremner] and Lona [Burns] have gone out of their way to support the community.”

“I think it can go pretty far because we’re a sovereign nation,” said Robert Hall. “It’s an opportunity to broadcast language and culture in the modern media.”

“It’s Indian radio,” agreed Running Crane. “Where else can you hear today’s hits with traditional music?”

“We’re very lucky because Lockley and Lona allow us the freedom to express ourselves,” added McCracken. “And the people are so supportive. Some people even brought me breakfast the other day.”

While future events will likely include summertime street dances, this winter listeners can enjoy a new show called “Welcome Home,” to be aired on Saturdays. The show, which will also be live-streamed on the Internet, will allow family shout-outs and call-ins. Its aim is to connect off-reservation listeners with their local friends and relatives.

Finally, Marvin Weatherwax Sr. of Blackfeet Community College will begin presenting Blackfeet language classes four days a week on KBWG. The show will run from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday every week. “We’re hoping the schools can utilize the show as a learning tool,” said Burns.

To contact KBWG 107.5 FM, call 406-338-KBWT (5298), or email them at KBWG107.5@gmail.com to get information on the station. Businesses and local organizations are encouraged to sponsor the programs and take a tax deduction for donating to a nonprofit.