Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame
2001 Charter Inductee
Don Linder has been an important figure in broadcasting in southern Minnesota for more than sixty years. Like his brother, he began broadcasting as a teenager at KWLM Willmar, the station his father founded. To prepare for a career in radio, he studied electrical engineering at Iowa State University, graduating in 1946. After serving in the US Navy, he returned to Minnesota, and in 1950 he and his father and brother, Bill, built a new station in Mankato. When they learned that an Arizona station already held the call letters they wanted, KATO, they signed the station on as KTOE. He designed KTOE's directional antenna and became manager of the station. A sister FM station, KDOG FM, took to the air in 1985. Through the years he also had ownership interest in stations in Marshall, St. James, Montevideo, Worthington, and Hutchinson, as well as in Pella and Fort Dodge, Iowa. He was active in many community organizations and has stressed his stations' important role in community life, emphasizing local news and sports, and choosing announcers who are active in the community.
Don Linder passed away Tuesday, March 10, 2015, at the age of 89. Services will be held on Saturday March 21 at 2:00 (visitation at 1:00) at Grace Lutheran Church in Mankato. Memorials may be given to Grace Lutheran Church or to a charity of the donor’s choosing.