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KDSJ 980 AM Serving The Northern Black Hills Of South Dakota And A Five State Region With The Best News, Weather, Sports, Information, Features, And Solid Gold Hits Since 1947!

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KDSJ History


During it's long history, KDSJ has only had two owners. Harry and Eli Daniels, who came here from Sheridan, Wyoming in 1947, started the station in the historic Franklin Hotel on Main Street in Deadwood.

Al and Jeanne Decker bought the station from the Daniels brothers in 1982. Al has continued the format of the station that is the voice of five states on 980 AM and, now, here on

Fires in Deadwood caused KDSJ to move it's studios several times. After leaving the Franklin Hotel, the station moved to what was then the Deadwood City Hall and is now the Franklin Hotel parking lot.

A fire destroyed that building and the station moved to another building which was behind Deadwood City Hall. After two months, the station was burned out again and was forced to operate from their radio tower in Boulder Canyon for a while.

The station later moved to a vacant building on Lee Street and finally moved to it's present location, a former funeral home, at 745 Main Street in Deadwood in 1952.

In 1953, the Daniels brothers increased the station's power output from 250 watts to 1000 watts. KDSJ also moved from 1450 AM to 980 AM. That same year, they also started radio station KRSD in Rapid City. This made them the dominant broadcasters in the area at that time (the only radio stations in the region were KDSJ in Deadwood, KRSD in Rapid City, and KOTA in Rapid City).

In 1957, the Daniels brothers got into the television business and started KRSD-TV in Rapid City. A year later, they launched a satellite television station in Lead.

They sold KRSD-TV in 1976 and sold KRSD radio in 1977 to concentrate on KDSJ radio in Deadwood. Eli Daniels engineered and installed all of the equipment when KDSJ went to 5000 watts in 1980.

Because of Eli's declining health, the Daniels brothers decided to sell KDSJ to Al Decker in 1982. They made it clear that they wanted to continue with the news and information format they had established, which includes interviews with local officials, political figures, and the local people and organizations which are part of our community.

They also wanted to be sure that Al continued the station's extensive coverage of high school and college sports.

Al Decker was born in 1952 as the youngest of 9 children and grew up on a farm south of Emery with his parents Ed and Mable Decker.

He attended Emery High School where he was Homecoming King and was active in baseball, football, basketball, and track. He made all-conference in football and basketball. He made all-state in football. He was also named to boys-state and was an honor graduate.

Al attended Career Academy School Of Broadcasting in Kansas City, Missouri.

In 1972, Al married his high school sweetheart Jeanne Winter.

After working as a weekend announcer at KJAM radio in Madison for a month, Al got his first full-time job in broadcasting in 1971 at KIJV radio in Huron. He did quadruple duty as announcer, salesman, sports director, and station manager.

In 1982 Al and Jeanne Decker purchased KDSJ from Harry and Eli Daniels.

Al and Jeanne have four daughters: Heidi, Lisa, Bridget, and Hayley. They also have eleven grandchildren: Spencer, Grace, Wilson, Max, Jack, Owen, Cooper, and Emma Ellis; Quincey Norris; Alex and Blake Weaver.

Al has received the South Dakota Sportscaster Of The Year Award in 2003, 2009, and 2018 voted on by the South Dakota Sportswriters and Sportscasters in the state. He has also received the Distinguished Service Award from the South Dakota High School Activities Association. He was named a friend of football by the South Dakota Coaches Association, and friend of soccer by the South Dakota Soccer Association.

Al has also been inducted into the Huron High School Athletic Hall Of Fame for his broadcasts of the Tigers from 1971-1982 as well as being inducted in the Spearfish High School Athletic Hall Of Fame for his broadcasts of the Spartans from 1982 through the present.

Uncle Al's morning show can be heard each weekday morning from 6 am until noon with news, weather, sports, information, interviews, features, humor, and great music.

KDSJ is a 2013 inductee to the South Dakota Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

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