CLASS OF 1972
L.L “Les” Hilliard was the founder and president of KOLT Radio in Scottsbluff. He was born in Illinois and graduated from Iowa State University in 1925. He traveled all over Nebraska in sales and settled in Scottsbluff where he took a job selling GE household appliances. While there, one of his radio servicemen built a transmitter out of an old receiver. For three days the transmitter aired music and commercials for the Rexall Drug Store before the Federal Radio Commission ordered the station to be shut down. Hundreds of letters followed, asking for a radio station in Scottsbluff.
The FRC turned down Hilliard’s application for a license twice, but finally, KOLT went on the air at the beginning of the Great Depression (Initially the calls were KGKY until 1947).
KOLT became a service to the community. The station helped conduct a successful World War II Bond Drive in one day. In the blizzard of ’49, the station kept the public informed about the storm, sending out emergency messages, keeping track of the lost and found, and sending out airplanes with hay for cattle when the weather moderated.
The favorite expression at the Hilliard household when anything went wrong was, “Dad can fix it.”
The date of Mr. Hilliard’s passing is unknown to the NBA. We encourage anyone with this information to contact us.