Time to Retire: Bacas Sells KFUN and KLVF Radio Stations | Business






Joseph and Loretta Baca, owners of KFUN-AM and KLVF-FM in Las Vegas, put the radio stations on the market so they could retire.




Joseph Baca repeatedly told his wife, Loretta, two things: one day he would own a radio station and earn $1 million.

He did both.

After 42 years of first working and then owning KFUN-AM and KLVF-FM radio stations on Tower Road overlooking Las Vegas, the Bacas are ready to sign. Loretta Baca will turn 75 this Saturday and her 53-year-old husband will celebrate his 75th birthday on October 29.

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

“I guess I forced Loretta to do it,” he joked.

“We have always worked together and we live together (so we are with each other) 24/7,” added Loretta Baca.

The Bacas had planned for their sons Mike, 51, and JR, 46, to take over the business. Mike Baca, however, suffered from brain tumors resulting in five brain surgeries. JR Baca did not want to go into the business alone. The couple’s daughter, Annette, 50, was also not interested.

Katharine Duke, owner of Duke Realty Group in Las Vegas, listed the radio station, which comprises four acres. KFUN was broadcast 80 years ago on Christmas Day 1941.

As for Loretta and Joseph Baca, they knew each other at West Las Vegas High School, graduating in 1965 and 1966 respectively. The pair began dating after meeting at the Blue Light City teen dance club.

They married on February 25, 1968 and lived in Tucson, Albuquerque and Seattle before returning to Las Vegas in the mid-1970s with their three children.

She got a job at First National Bank and he was hired at KNMX-AM in Las Vegas. About 18 months later, Joseph Baca started working at KFUN as a disc jockey, program manager and in sales. Loretta Baca has joined her husband as office manager.

“I love radio, but I never liked working for anyone else,” said former Las Vegas city councilman Joseph Baca. “For 20 years, I’d come and open and say ‘hello KFUN, I love you and I want to own you one of these days.'”

After the station’s previous owner sold the station, Joseph thought he had lost his dream.

“Loretta said ‘don’t give up on your dream,'” he said.

The new owner appointed Joseph Baca the manager, which turned into 15-hour days. To lighten the workload, Loretta Baca joined the station. The couple finally had the opportunity to buy KFUN.

When given the chance to buy KLVF, the couple were in the process 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 I was watching the news and watching the clock,” he said. “I had forgotten to buy a Powerball ticket. I grabbed a Hawaiian shirt, went to the train station and drove home forgetting 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 of the million-dollar prize. “I think the girls were shaken up more than me. It was in 2008, on my mother’s birthday, August 8th.

They hope to find a buyer who will continue to care about the community because turning off the lights is not an option.

“There’s no way to shut it down,” Loretta Baca said. “The story behind the station and the people still alive are part of KFUN. I think more than anything, it would be like shutting down part of the story.

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