Lisle Leslie Longsdorf, son of Charles and Emma Carpenter Longsdorf, was born January 1, 1901 in Arkansaw, Wisconsin. He attended Durand High School and the University of Wisconsin where he earned both A.B. and M.S. degrees in Journalism in 1925 and 1926 respectively, specializing in advertising. He also served as 2nd lieutenant in the Reserve Officers Training Corps.
Longsdorf arrived at Kansas State College, Manhattan, Kansas, to assume the Extension Editor position on July 1, 1927. Prior to his arrival, he worked at various jobs including the Harrison-Guthrie Advertising Agency (Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1926-1927). He served as the Head of the Department of Extension Information, a Service Unit of the Kansas State College Extension Service (a cooperating Federal-State program) which was designed and organized to interpret and disseminate scientific research of the US Department of Agriculture, the Kansas State College and its Branch Experiment Stations in topics including fields of agriculture, home economics, rural youth work (4H Club), veterinary medicine, agricultural engineering for mass education via newspapers, and radio.
Longsdorf's work included supervising a Visual Aids program. This work included the responsibility for supervising and directing the distribution of USDA motion picture film library located at Kansas State College. He also directed the flow of educational press and radio services originating with such cooperating agencies of the US Department of Agriculture as the State Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service as well as recognized cooperative agencies of State Government such as the Kansas State Board of Agriculture. Longsdorf also supervised and participated in a series of Communication Training Schools for Extension Service personnel at State and County levels entitled the "Balanced Information Program."
Longsdorf participated in various committees as part of his work for the Extension Service. For example, he chaired the Foreign Exchange organization, a committee responsible for placement of Foreign representatives assigned to Kansas; and academic advisory for numerous foreign students and foreign representatives who came to Kansas State College for scientific study. Other committee assignments included Extension Service Executive Council, All-College Radio and Television Policy Committee; radio and press representative for Kansas Committee of Agricultural Agencies.
Longsdorf served as manager of station KSAC from 1927 to 1953. This administrative job included financial, production and broadcasting, and research work. As part of the Extension Service until 1954, the station served all branches and was used as an effective outlet for research of the United States Department of Agriculture and its various agencies. Longsdorf also directed the preparation and production of a daily 15-minute script service to seventy cooperating commercial radio stations in Kansas. He planned and broadcast about 25 to 30 field programs each year in covering educational meetings, field days, and tours. In addition, he scheduled and supervised about 100 taped educational radio shows on campus for visiting commercial radio station interests and served on study committee in proposed development of education by television from a college-owned television outlet.
In 1953, Longsdorf spent three months in Tehran, Iran as Information Specialist. There, he helped establish an extension service organization for the Ministry of Agriculture. From 1954 to 1955, he worked for the United States Department of Agriculture as Assistant Director of Information. In 1960, Longsdorf coordinated the U.S. International Agricultural exhibit in Cairo, Egypt. During summers, Longsdorf taught at University summer schools in Oklahoma, Colorado and Arizona. Longsdorf left Kansas State University in September, 1961, and went to Cornell for a short-term assignment. His membership activities included a business membership in NAEB and in the Kansas Association of Radio Broadcasters. Longsdorf died August 10, 1991.
KSAC STATION HISTORY
KSAC's history began in 1912 as the Physics Department of Kansas State Agricultural College did experimental short wave broadcasts on 9YV. In 1921, the wireless station was converted to radio- telephone station WTG. A station in Milford, Kansas, KFKB had started broadcasting experimental teaching programs using long distance telephone lines. In 1924, E.R. Lyon, Samuel Pickard and L.C. Williams donated fifty dollars each to rent long distance phone lines to KFKB. Early programs helped with the financing of KSAC which went on the air on December 1, 1924 as the first educational broadcasting station in Kansas. In 1928, the Federal Radio Commission approved the station request for a change from 880 kilocycles to 580 kilocycles. In 1947, the original 500 watts the station was using was increased to 5,000 watts. On March 8, 1954, a separate radio department was established for the sake of facilitating improvement in radio broadcasting. In 1984, the KSAC call letters were bought by a Sacramento, California station. Kansas State University's first choice for new call letters was KKSU. However, those letters were already assigned to a merchant marine ship which was reluctant to give them up. The Federal Communications Commission then granted the letters KEXT (Kansas Extension) with an effective date of July 26, 1984, but efforts to get KKSU finally prevailed, and the new call letters were in place on July 30, 1984.