Monday, October 25, 2021

Las Vegas, NM Radio: The Bacas Ready To Sign-Off At KFUN, KLVF

Loretta and Joseph Baca
After 42 years of first working and then owning KFUN 1230 AM and KLVF 100.7 FM radio stations on Tower Road overlooking Las Vegas, NM, Joe and Loretta Baca are ready to sign off, reports The Las Vegas Optic.

Loretta Baca turned 75 Saturday and her husband of 53 years will celebrate his 75th birthday on Oct. 29. 

“The station has been good to us,” Joseph Baca said. “It was a big risk and a big commitment, but owning the station was my dream.”

The Bacas had planned for their sons Mike, 51, and J.R., 46, to take over the business. Mike Baca, however, has suffered with brain tumors resulting in five brain surgeries. J.R. Baca didn’t want to go into the business alone. The couple’s daughter Annette, 50, also wasn’t interested.

Katharine Duke, owner of Duke Realty Group in Las Vegas, has listed the radio station, which includes four acres. KFUN went on the air 80 years ago -- on Christmas Day 1941.

As for Loretta and Joseph Baca, they married on Feb. 25, 1968, and lived in Tucson, Albuquerque and Seattle before returning to Las Vegas in the mid-1970s with their three children.

“I love radio, but I never liked working for someone else,” said Joseph Baca. “For 20 years, I would come in to open and say ‘good morning KFUN, I love you and want to own you one of these days.’”

After the station’s former owner sold the station, Joseph thought he’d lost his dream.

KFUN 1230 AM (1 Kw)
However, the new owner named Joseph Baca the manager, which turned into 15-hour days. To ease the workload, Loretta Baca joined the station. The couple eventually had the opportunity to buy KFUN. 

When given the chance to buy KLVF, the couple was in the midst of arranging the $1.2 million financing when Joseph Baca remembered to buy a lottery ticket.

“It was a Friday night. I had gone home and was watching the news and looked at the clock,” he said. “I’d forgotten to buy a Powerball ticket. I grabbed a Hawaiian shirt, drove to the station and went home forgetting about the ticket.”

Three days later, he returned to the store and asked the clerk to check his ticket. 

“I found out I had the winning ticket,” he said about the $1 million prize. “I think the girls were more shaken up than me. That was in 2008, on my mother’s birthday, Aug. 8.”

For now The Bacas to find a buyer who will continue caring about the community because turning off the lights isn’t an option.

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