CLASS OF 1986
John Powell was Vice President and General Manager of KHAS Hastings for 28 years. His longevity stems from the experience he built over seventeen years in radio since 1940, in positions ranging from announcer and sales to program director and general manager at nine different stations.
Powell came to KHAS in 1957 from KSMN in Mason City, Iowa, where he had been station manager. KHAS was called “The Good Companion Station” and Powell continued to build on this theme. During 1961, Powell said, KHAS personnel traveled over 20,000 miles to broadcast nearly 150 basketball, baseball, and football games, gaining a state-wide reputation for outstanding coverage of local sports events.
In 1964 Powell approved a new transmitter and tower when the station was authorized a daytime power increase from 250 to 1000 watts.
In 1980, market research indicated KHAS was number one in the region under Powell’s leadership. KHAS took home numerous Ak-Sar-Ben awards, including a gold in 1981 and a gold and silver in 1983.
John Powell was part of the Nebraska Broadcaster’s Association’s early core group that included other well-known Nebraska broadcasters: Dick Chapin, Jim Ebel, Bob Thomas, Bud Pentz, Max Brown, and Joe DiNatale. They were the men who held the Association together as it grew in strength and service. Powell served on the NBA Board, sports committee, and resolution committee.
When Powell retired in August 1985, he became a self-employed consultant and troubleshooter, providing interim management for stations undergoing ownership change.
The date of Mr. Powell’s passing is unknown to the NBA. We encourage anyone with this information to contact us.