Channel 13 began broadcasting as KGGM-TV in October 1953, controlled by the Hebenstreit family's New Mexico Broadcasting Company, along with KGGM radio (610 AM, now KNML). In the late 1960s, the Hebenstreits sold a minority stake to Chicago-based Harriscope Broadcasting, which operated WSNS-TV at the time (among other stations). Many early Westerns were shot, at least in part, at KGGM. [Citation required] Its former huge studio is now KRQE's "Newsplex," a hybrid newsroom and news studio. [Citation required] Earnest "Stretch" Scherer, better known as Captain Billy, joined KGGM from KOB in the mid-1950s and produced a children's show called Captain Billy's Clubhouse. The premise was similar to Bozo's Circus, with a kids' peanut gallery on bleachers containing around 50 seats with games and banter between cartoons. Captain Billy was a sea captain with a Dutch boy white hair poking out from behind a sea captain's hat and a huge brush moustache. Scherer was shot in the station's foyer in late October 1972 following a dispute with a jealous spouse (Scherer, who was anchoring the station's local parts of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, had supposedly wrapped his arm around a female volunteer on-air, angering the woman's husband). Scherer died at a hospital that December. Ray Rayner, a former children's television personality at WGN-TV in Chicago, is one of several KGGM/KRQE graduates. He spent the previous few years at KRQE before retiring.