KBTX turns 60: 1987-1997 KBTX expands

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - The late 80's saw a large amount of growth on 29th Street.
As television grew into a more powerful medium, KBTX was pushing the envelope

"It was a time of absolutely tremendous growth and fun at the television station. We were just pushing the limits," said Jeff Braun, former KBTX news director.

In the early 80's, the station added morning news with Brazos Valley This Morning. The 5 pm newscast was also added to the line up.

"It got very busy and obviously we had to increase the number of people in the news room and the production department," said Braun.

Working with the Bryan/College Station community has been a priority for KBTX since the beginning.

These relationships prove vital during big breaking news events, like when a tornado hit Caldwell in 1987.

"We were broadcasting live from the Red Cross center over there providing vital information to the residents," said Braun.

The sports department was growing right along side the news department. In 1987, Darryl Bruffett joined the KBTX family.

"When I got here, the sports department had one type writer and you had a feed machine you could roll one a game," said Bruffett

In 1992, KBTX Sports expanded their Friday Football Fever show to a 30 minute format. The move allowed KBTX to cover local high school football in a way never seen in the Brazos Valley.

"I think we were able to prove to management that if they gave us more tools, we would be able to produce more in the end result," said Bruffett.

One of the biggest sports stories during that decade was when the Aggie baseball team was ranked in the country, but lost in a Super Regional to LSU in 1989.

"I can probably name the 7 games they lost that year when they went 58-7. I know you're not suppose to be emotionally attached to stories. I wasn't able to go back to Olsen Field for a month because I just got a pit in my stomach. That was the big story," said Bruffett.

As KBTX celebrates 60 years, Bruffett has been here for half of that.

"I'm pretty proud of what KBTX is, and how they have helped this community grow because it's an outstanding community and KBTX is just growing right along side it," said Bruffett.