470-KONO

For decades the KONO Contest/Request Line number was Capitol Four Nine Two Two Two (224-9222).

A KTSA Jingle stated 'Taylor Six Nine Six Three Five Calls Nick (St John)!'

The Phone Company (Southwestern Bell at the time) loved the revenue generated by the banks of phone lines associated with contest/request lines. What they did not like was that a major contest could take down one or more of their telephone switches when thousands of people attempted to call a single telephone number simultaneously.

The Phone Company (TPC) knew a change was required because necessary emergency phone calls must always go through.

In the middle 1970s TPC finally got a telephone switch installed in the San Antonio area that could handle a massive influx of telephone calls. Once the new switch was up and operational TPC mandated that ALL San Antonio Contest/Request Lines be moved to the new telephone switch. The required change did not affect regular office phone numbers.

The new telephone switch would receive all the phone calls and then redirect them to the legacy local telephone switch where each radio station was physically located. The main precaution was that the new telephone switch would never forward more phone calls to the local telephone exchange switch then the legacy switch could handle.

The first requirement for all new contest/request line phone numbers on the new telephone switch was they had to start with 470. Additionally the fourth digit in all the phone numbers had to be a 5. There was a very logical reason requiring the fourth digit to be a five. It allowed radio stations to have their call letters be the phone number. For instance the KKYX phone number became 470-KKYX and the KONO phone number became 470-KONO. The question still is...Why did TPC not additionally allow the fourth number to be 9 in order for 470-WOAI to work?



The above audio by Tony Raven announces that the new KONO contest/request line number is 470-KONO.

Editors Note: Special thanks to retired Southwestern Bell/AT&T telephone technician Walter Stiles, who worked on telephone lines for a number of KONO Alamobile remotes, for help with the above telephone history.

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