Anyone who has tuned their radio to 103.3 KGRO between 1969 and March of 2023 has heard the legendary voice of Darrell Sehorn. In fact, most residents of Pampa and the surrounding area are quite used to hearing his voice whether it be in their car, at home, or in the background while they shop and engage in in their daily activities. This voice, which has been speaking to Pampa for 54 years now, can’t help but make a Pampan feel ‘at home’ when hearing it.
Sehorn managed three radio stations in his time in Pampa, including KGRO-AM 1230, KOMX-FM 100.3, and KDRL-FM 103.3- which was named after him.
While Sehorn recently retired, or rather, graduated, from his career in radio- he hasn’t exactly put down the mic yet. As soon as Sehorn left KGRO in March, he began recording weather reports and posting them on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (X).
“It had come time for a change and after so many years (in radio). I hate to use the word ‘retirement.’ I guess I retired only to go back to work,” Sehorn laughed.
“The walls would close in if I did not stay active and keep the passion of my life going, and my wife kind-of welcomes me to stay busy.”
“So, what I shifted to was social media. To be honest with you, for years I was against social media because I thought it was somewhat of a threat to local radio. But I have enjoyed joining social media and I believe that local radio has still got a good future.”
With the help of his daughter, Shannon Stevens, he set up his social media accounts and got to work.
“I’d like to give a big thank you to my daughter, Shannon Stevens, for helping me set all of that up. I update it (accounts) at 7 a.m. every morning, a lot of the time in the evening, or if severe weather is happening I will update,” he said.
“The main thing with technology- you can be local wherever you are. So I’m gonna carry on weather work, and even more so as time goes by, build an audience.”
“The numbers are growing. I think as I expand that I’m going to get good numbers. My goal is to have as much of an audience as I estimated I had on the radio.”
“I feel that if Tucker Carlson could migrate from a big national TV network to social media and do very well, that I could do the same thing on a small scale.”
So far, many of Sehorn’s daily listeners have already started following his accounts, but they aren’t the only ones. After building relationships with advertisers over the decades, Sehorn has retained most of his advertisers.
“The advertisers I dealt with over those years are sponsoring me still, and I have other sponsorships available,” he said.
While Sehorn is currently busying himself building his social media presence and audience, he eventually wants to expand and do live weather broadcasts on his social media accounts in order to keep pursuing his passion of meteorology and storm-chasing.
“You know, when I was a little boy, I had a fascination with the weather. So by the time I was in high school, a junior, I picked up the nerve to go to the local radio station in Childress, Texas,” Sehorn shared.
“I told the owner of the station (KCTX) that I wanted to do weather on the radio. He was out in front of the building swaying his golf club and he turned around and said ‘When do you want to start?’, and it scared me,” Sehorn laughed.
“I said I was good to go, and that would have been about 1961.”
“So I got the weather going in Childress. I would get up early all through my junior and senior year, go to the Federal Aviation Agency in Childress and prepare my weather report. (Then) I’d go to the radio station, record it, and go to school. It would play after I was already in class.”
After high school, Sehorn carried on with KCTX and did a number of different jobs until he moved to Pampa in 1968. Shortly after, he started doing televised broadcasts in Amarillo.
“Later I did television weather in Amarillo- I did a couple of stints from 1968 until 1971,” he said.
In 1969, Sehorn received a call from Jim Hughes, the owner of the Pampa radio station at the time.
“The owner called me and said ‘I’ve heard about you and I’ve seen you. We place a lot of emphasis on weather in our operations and I’d like for you to come up here as a meteorologist and weather forecaster.’ So I (started at the) Pampa (radio station) on May 1, 1969.”
In 1976, when Hughes moved to Carlsbad, NM, Sehorn assumed all responsibilities pertaining to the radio station and was ultimately with KGRO for 54 years.
“I calculate that I’ve hired around 1,100 people over that 54 years. About 700 of them were out of Pampa High School as Trainees,” he said.
Sehorn was willing to train so many people as he himself was self-taught in his field.
“Most all of my training is acquired. I’ve got an extensive background in meteorology, but never got a formal degree. I’ve always acquired an equivalency. There’s nothing better than on-the-job training.”
Sehorn’s wife, their two daughters and grand-daughter were among those estimated 1,100 people he employed and trained over the years.
“My family, even the grand-daughter, Shaye, did commercials. We also employed, for many years, our two daughters Shannon Stevens and Stacey Sehorn. For generations, our family has been involved with the Pampa radio,” he said.
“Linda Sehorn, my wife, I give her a lot of the credit. (During) that 54 years, 30 or so years we worked side by side at the radio stations. She ran the front desk, did the book-keeping, billing- all of that. I am blessed.”
Sehorn’s involvement with the community of Pampa doesn’t stop at his work at the local radio station- He has been on the board for the Pampa United Way for many years, even serving one of those years as a Chairman. He has also been heavily involved with the Pampa Chamber of Commerce, and has served as a Gold Coat for “more years than (he) can remember.”
“I’d also like to mention that I’ve been a realtor in Pampa since 1980. My real estate sales license is currently active with REMAX,” he said.
Sehorn is also a long-time member of his church in Amarillo, which he does audio and video work for.
“When I came to Pampa, I was connected with a church in Amarillo- Christian Church of God. They had a vast broadcasting network which went right along with what I did. So, to this day, I’m still associated with that church and I do the audio-video work for them,” he said.
Sehorn has also been an official observer for the National Weather Service in Amarillo for the last 52 years.
While Sehorn misses his time in radio, he is enjoying his current pursuits and getting to be near his daughter, grand-daughter and son-in-law.
Sehorn expressed how grateful he is to the Pampa community for their loyalty over the years.
“I’ve had a lot of people give gratitude and I certainly want to thank Pampa- all these people and the many advertisers I have dealt with over the years. The audience was a loyal and faithful audience. When the storm clouds gathered, they turned that radio on because Darrell Sehorn was going to be out there storm-chasing,” he said affectionately.
“Going forward, you can still get Darrell Seahorn weather on those platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter-X). I have a lot of gratitude for Pampa. Thank you.”
To keep up with Mr. Sehorn, be sure to follow him on his various social media accounts (handles @sehornsays). The Pampa News wishes Mr. Sehorn the happiest years yet.