Hidden away in the in the quiet hills of Texas is the birthplace of Country, Texas, Rockn’ Blues – Texas Rebel Radio. It is radio that never existed before its creation. Radio that broke all the rules. Radio untamed and uninfluenced by all the corporations. It is a radio format that duplicated the way people listen to their own music.
Radio with choice, for the listeners, the deejays, the musicians, the singer / songwriters, the advertisers, and for us. Radio with no charts to rule it. Creating its own charts, first Americana then Triple A. No one, no other radio station, no other program director, no other company, no chart, no other person could really duplicate what has been created here at Texas Rebel Radio Network. It is in the heart mind and soul of true Texans.
TRRN started in 1947, bought out by Norbert and Alene Fritz in the 1950s. The Fritzes started with one signal, KNAF 910am. Norbert was born and raised in Fredericksburg so it was natural that he build a business in his hometown. He had two children, both he raised in the radio station.
Eventually, the Fritz family purchased multiple signals in Bandera, Johnson City, Kerrville, and San Antonio. Together, their signals covered every inch of the Texas Hill Country.
Alene and Norbert met at a dance, before he went into the service in WW2. They fell in love, but were separated when Norbert was called to duty. The military sent him to UT for electrical engineering. Wanted to be a pilot, but couldn’t communicate over the coms because of thick German accent, so he was made an engineer. He succeeded in his new field and eventually completed his service. When he returned, he and Alene didn’t miss a beat, they married almost immediately.
The Newley weds moved to Gonzalez where Norbert opened up a radio repair shop. They visited Fredericksburg frequently to see parents and friends, on one of those trips Norbert ran into Arthur Stehling, the owner of KNAF 910am. Arthur offered him a job as an onsite engineer. Soon after he began working at the station, Arthur took Norbert under his wing. From that point on he groomed Norbert to takeover the station. At that time the signal was low powered, just enough to cover the city limits. Norbert became a manger, a salesman, and eventually an owner when Stehling sold him his share. Soon after Norbert bought out the rest of the partners.
Early on Norbert put Alene on the mic after a DJ walked out. She had never been on air before, but she ran with it and was natural. From that point on she was on as a regular DJ shift, she ran the Polka Party (a 4 hour a day program) she even started the Trading post which remains a popular program on the AM station today. She was breaking down barriers being a woman on air so frequently. One of the first woman DJs in the country and later one of the first woman program directors in the country.
Alene and Norbert gave birth to Jayson in 1953. Alene stayed working the entire time she was pregnant, right up to the day she gave birth; Norbert took a recorder up to the hospital so that Alene could record his birth announcement. After she got out of the hospital, she would bring him to the station and take care of him while she was on the air. At 18 months she had trained him to announce records on air. The station continued to grow and prosper while Jayson was growing up, and he was there for all of it. He met celebrities like Elvis, Shep Wooly. In his younger years Jayson would spend the majority of his time with Alene learning to DJ and work as a radio announcer. He watched as his mother went about her duties as program director. When he grew up a bit, he began to gravitate towards his father where he picked up his love for engineering and sales.
When Jayson turned 17, he met the love of his life, Jan Jenschke. They met in school, coming from Houston Jan was ahead academically, and attended higher level classes. She happened to share a class or two with Jayson. He had just had his birthday the day before and came to school hungover. The class was assigned homework the night before and rather than grade all the homework individually, the teacher asked that they answer one question each out load. In class, Jayson knew this was coming and thought he could get away with counting ahead to his place and only answering the one question he would be asked. Jan was eager to show she had done the homework and she answered the wrong question, Jaysons question. This caused him to get in a bit of trouble, but more importantly it caused him to notice Jan.
Jayson’s dad Norbert had also started the cable company and he installed the cable in Jans family home. Jayson got her phone number that day and the rest was history. They married August 4th, the year of Jan’s Graduation and went to college in Austin.
After college, in 1976 they were both working in Austin when Norbert called – he had had multiple employees quit and needed them to come back to Fredericksburg and help with the station. Jayson was doing sales, and on air, within 6 months he was sales manager, Jan was plugging holes in the office. Before long Jayson became station manager and Jan became sales manager.
At some point in the 80s Jan and Jayson moved the companies easy listening station to San Antonio. They moved to the city with the station to manage it, they eventually sold the station to KONO.
In 1981, Jan and Jayson had their first child Ariana, in 1987 they had their second child Sean. They raised their children the way Jayson was raised, in the station. Their grandchildren now visit the radio station on their trips to Fredericksburg.
Just before Alene became ill, they sold the San Antonio assets and consolidated the business back to Fredericksburg. After Alene passed away, Norbert wanted out of the business so Jan and Jayson bought them out and began burning a legacy of their own with the creation of KFAN (Alenes favorite call letters) Texas Rebel Radio December 16th 1991.
Texas Rebel Radio would be a new format, different from anything out at the time. Jayson developed the format to play. Bit of everything, the way people listen to their own music. Jan had the idea to embrace the internet and went online almost immediately. They were one of the first 10 stations in the world to broadcast online and had millions of monthly listeners worldwide. They added KEEP (a dark station) and then KNAF FM.
7pm – 8pm (CT)
Tuesday – Friday
7am – 11am
5am – 1pm
Tuesday – Friday
9am – 2pm
5am – 2pm
We serve our communities by covering events like Stock Shows, Parades, ball drops, Fireworks, Queens contests, and most importantly by holding our annual New Horizons fundraiser.
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