On October 10th, 1950, the FCC granted a construction permit to L. C. Harrison to build a new station to serve the Lawrence area. He had set up the Lawrence Broadcast Company to build and operate the station. Soon afterward, however, Mr. Harrison passed away. A consortium led by former WREN personality Arden Booth incorporated as Lawrence Broadcasters, Inc. to acquire the assets and complete the station. The FCC approved the transfer on December 14, 1950; construction of the station began on December 16th. By February 3rd, 1951, construction was considered complete and ready for the station to be licensed. At 7:15 in the morning of February 22, 1951, Arden Booth said to the city of Lawrence, "Good Morning. This is KLWN, Lawrence, Kansas" as the station signed on for the first time as a day time station on 1320 kHz. The location of the main studios and tower was described at that time as "1 mile south of 23rd Street on U. S. Highway 59 near Lawrence, Kansas."
Although the station was substantially completed and was broadcasting by February of 1951, the transmitter was only partially completed - a note on the station's license application stated that the ground system could not be buried due to winter weather conditions.
The summer of 1951 brought a disaster to northeast Kansas in the form of the 1951 floods, causing other stations, including WREN in Topeka and KOFO in Ottawa, to go off the air. Arden lent time to both stations. As David Dary put it in the book Lawrence, Douglas County Kansas: an Informal History:
(at one time) KLWN was on the air continuously for sixty-seven hours. And when KLWN learned that radio station WREN had been knocked off-the-air by flood waters, the Lawrence station let WREN broadcast five minute reports during each fifteen minutes broadcast. Through KLWN listeners in Lawrence and Topeka learned of the havoc and destruction that was occurring along the Kansas River valley. (Dary 232)
[Dary did not mention KOFO in his book - However, the fact that KLWN lent time to KOFO was confirmed to me by Arden Booth]
KLWN had two extensions of its programming day. A radio treaty with Mexico allowed KLWN to sign on at 6 AM, and run two hours past sunset (and 6 AM-Sunrise) at a reduced power. When Canada joined the treaty, KLWN received nighttime authorization at half its daytime power, effective June 1, 1980.