Being an active player in local politics, Russ LaVine hosted Hawkeye Nightline from 1961 into 1969 on KIOA, KWKY, KDMI-FM and KWDM-FM. During the period of time that Russ was on KWDM-FM, the station was having some financial problems and a number of times, the owner's of the tower and transmitter site either threatened to, or shut down the station due to overdue rent payments.
The night of Russ LaVine's last show was one of these situations and it was believed that the station would be shut down for an indefinite period of time. We are not sure if it really did go dark that time, but Larry Vavroch's sign-off message indicated that it may have been the case. S. E. Q. Corporation had been purchasing the station from it's founder, George Webber and not able to meet it's financial responsibilities. George eventually regained control of the station for a short period of time, operating shortened hours and signing off at 9:30PM. Later in 1969, KWDM-FM 93.3 went dark forever. The frequency came back to life as KYNA in 1971.
This program was Russ's last regular nightly Hawkeye Nightline. In the early 70's, during Buddy Tucker's ownership of KDMI-FM, Russ did a weekly program for a short period of time and then became even more active in local politics, becoming a colorful character on the Des Moines City Council.
These cuts represent parts of the last half hour of operation on April 10, 1969.
Russ LaVine taking calls during the last 1/2 hour of Hawkeye Nightline
Russ saying goodby and closing his show the ususal way by calling "Dial a Devotion"
Larry Vavroch reading the sign-off, playing the National Anthem, then the "hiss" after the transmitter was turned off
Audio courtesy of Bill McCombs
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