CLASS OF 1992
Dietrich Dirks Dirks was born and raised in Nebraska. He was one of the founders of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association and its first president in 1934 and 1935.
His broadcasting career began in Lincoln after graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1924. He started out as sports director but a year later became general manager of KFAB, licensed in Lincoln at the time.
While manager, Dirks was one of the early play-by-play announcers for Nebraska Cornhuskers football. In 1930 he sought to increase KFAB’s power to 25 thousand watts noting in his application that Lincoln’s central location would nicely serve the rest of the country with a clear channel. When approved but with limited hours of operation, Dirks declined, calling it unacceptable. However, it got the ball rolling for KFAB’s eventual upgrade in the coming decade.
Dirks headed the state’s first duopoly in 1931 when Union Holding Company added a second Lincoln station, KFOR. In 1932 Dirks opened an Omaha studio for KFAB. The following year, Central States Broadcasting was formed as a subsidiary and Dirks expanded it to Omaha by leasing KOIL Council Bluffs.
He was moved to radio research for Central States in 1936 but soon left for Sioux City where he started stations KTRI and KMNS, and in 1954, KTIV, that city’s first television station. He remained manager and president of KTIV until retirement in 1968.
Dirks died in 2003 at the age of 101.