(Shelby) – Praise and sadness are pouring in for longtime KSEN radio owner Jerry Black, who passed away at the age of 87 on Tuesday morning November 22nd.
Jerry first joined the KSEN staff in 1955 and became a manager in 1957. In 1976, John Lyon sold his interest to Jerry Black, Bob Norris and Bob Hauser. But before we go on with details, those who knew Jerry knew that he deeply cared about the Golden Triangle as a unique area and he believed that by pulling together as a friend and neighbor more could be accomplished without sacrificing the individuality and competitive spirit in which we all take pride.
In early 2000 after he retired, Jerry reminisced with morning man Jim Sargent about one of the most historic events ever in the Golden Triangle,and KSEN history, the 1964 flood.
Q: “tragic story”………………………news audio…………………………Jerry Black 11-23-22 89150
Many have expressed over the years how they believed that Jerry, Bob Hauser and Bob Norris really saved lives by broadcasting continuously for four straight days. It was the way Jerry managed and he would continue do so throughout his career.
Jerry Black and Bob Norris purchased Bob Hauser’s interest in 1985. Jerry retired in 2002.
Jerry was born in Lewistown and raised in Shelby. He first got into the broadcasting business when he came home while attending MSU and took what he thought was just a summer job at KSEN, but it led to a 47-year radio career.
Under Black’s leadership, KSEN am 1150 went from a 250-watt station to a 10-thousand watt power house. The owners then added our 100,000-watt companion K96 FM. During his time, the stations earned many state and national broadcasting awards for news and public service programming. The national awards included the prestigious crystal award given to only ten stations across the nation each year.
Upon retirement in 2002 jerry entered politics and was elected to the Montana State Senate where he served from 2003 to 2010. He served on numerous committees including taxation, education and as chairman of the senate energy and telecommunications committee, again serving the people of northcentral Montana.
As a boss, jerry was demanding that things get done and get done right, which made it hard some times, but in the end, he was one- of- a- kind and received the end results that he was looking for. Jerry Black will truly be missed for so many accomplishments, achievements and even some mis-guided adventures. The stories will live on. Thank you, Jerry Black and our condolences, to his wife Billiette and the entire Black family.