July 1982 – “I’ve been too comfortable here,” Charlye Parker said, peeking out past the pillars of the Alaskan Way viaduct. From the control room at KMPS, she can look out at Elliott Bay sunsets.
So, last Friday she quit as the 7 PM to midnight personality at KMPS-FM. “I want to program a radio station,” Parker said. Following the advice of the KMPS program director, Ron Norwood, and the formula Parker teaches to neophytes at a broadcast school, she will seek a new career in what they call a “medium market”–smaller than Seattle, bigger than Walla Walla.
At 5’4″ tall and blonde, she is afraid. “I’m still going to fight the female thing.” In 1962, when she entered radio, there were few openings for on-air females, so Parker accepted a secretarial administrative job. By 1972 she got an air shift in Santa Fe New Mexico. That’s where she picked up the on-air name, Charlye. Later, on vacation in Seattle, she “stumbled” into KMPS and won what would become a five-year job.
“I had meant to make a follow-up call at another radio station, got lost and ended up at the KMPS studios,” Parker said. “KMPS wouldn’t even speak to me, before.” But that was before Norwood. He gave Seattle country listeners their first chance to hear a female country announcer. Others followed.
“But there’s still a struggle,” Parker said. “There are 52 radio stations in this area, most needing eight disc jockeys to fill the day, and there are only 11 women on-air.”
“I hate to see Charlye go,” Norwood said. “Longevity on the air is one of the advantages of our station sound. But she’s learned enough that she can go out on her own.”
For the past two years Parker had been restless, but reluctant to leave the folks at KMPS. She decided the only way to make a career change was to make a career break. She quit before her first application for program director went out.
Short-term morning man at KJR, Scott Burns, recovered from an auto accident that broke his jaw, has returned to radio as morning man at KPLZ.
[Burns took over mornings at KPLZ after the departure of Mark Ellis]
Dave Stone will anchor a series of special reports from the state penitentiary at Walla Walla during morning drive-time periods Monday through Friday on KIRO. Stone expects to interview prison officials, guards, inmates and Walla Walla citizens, exploring issues such as overcrowding, criminal Justice and administration-inmate conflicts.
Matt Riedy, “the Commissioner” on KZAM, gave up the early-morning grind, he says, to focus on free-lance commercial work, maybe some part-time air work. He got it. Weekends on KJR.
KENU, in Enumclaw, really focuses on the backwoods on Fridays. It airs brief Forest Service reports 11 times that day. “It’s your basic information on slash burns, trail reports, campground conditions,” said Vern Foster, KENU news director. Reports are prepared by Debbie Norman of the White River Ranger District. KASY Auburn, carries a single Forest Service report Thursday afternoon, Friday and Saturday mornings. KJUN Puyallup, carries the reports at 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
March 6, 1983
Ichabod Caine left KNBQ Tacoma last week. He squeezes in a week of vacation, then on March 17 joins KPLZ as a morning personality. “I love my Tacoma listeners,” Caine said. “That’s why I’m going to take them all with me.”
Caine came to Seattle in 1980, from Spokane, to fill a void at KJR when a big Morning star sought greater fortune in Texas. Whoops! Texas fizzled. Caine moved back to afternoons. But that didn’t work. So, he signed on “for six months” at KNBQ, then a struggling FM station. After 2 1/2 years, and continuing success, Caine has decided to try Seattle again.
Todd Bitts, general manager of KPLZ, sees Caine’s return as especially significant. “This is our effort to bring back personality radio,” Bitts said. With remarkable candor, he continued: “What KJR used to be… What KVI used to be… That’s what we want to be.”
There probably will be more flexibility granted Caine than any other KPLZ staffer. He’s likely to be less hemmed in by format limitations. If you savor distinctions, KPLZ is an adult contemporary station, KNBQ is a hit radio station; thus it’s likely Caine may approach his new listeners in an adult fashion.
“I can do it,” Caine said. “I’m an adult.”
Twisting the dial
The convocation honoring Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh at Edmundson Pavillion, on the University of Washington campus, will be broadcast on KUOW beginning at 2:30 PM Monday. Queen Elizabeth, University Pres. William Gerberding and Gov. John Spellman will speak. KOMO will report the Queen’s visit with live news coverage of such events as the Boeing Field arrival, welcoming ceremonies, and visit to Children’s Orthopedic Hospital, and plug-in for a broadcast of her Edmundson Pavilion speech in the two o’clock hour. The KOMO air patrol will observe the motorcade and other traffic reports. KOMO reporters will continue Royal coverage Wednesday from Victoria.
Several KIRO AM news reporters will also follow the Queen’s itinerary.
Bob Eldred will continue KVI’s State High School Basketball Tournament coverage Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
September 25, 1983
They’ve gone back to ‘Plus’ at KPLZ
When Shannon Sweatte takes over station management, watch out. Two weeks ago, he was named general manager of KPLZ. Now we have a new KPLZ. Sweatte and Jeff King, program director, ripped the pages from “the Music Magazine,” the old identity, tossed aside the schmaltzy music and eliminated some of the familiar names.
The station is now known as “K-Plus,” a throwback reference to its frequency of 101.5; the .5 is a plus if you compared with 101, which is KSEA. Unfortunately, P L Z is as close as they could spell P L U S.
Some other changes. The station is minus Ichabod Caine, relatively new morning personality; Jeff Hanley, the very new Friday-night jazz host; and longtime newsmen Bill Rice and Dave Sloan.
The new music focus is called contemporary hit radio (properly abbreviated to CHR, so it’s compatible with MOR, AOR and other radio-format designations). What CHR most closely resembles in pacing and presentation is top-40, only nobody wants to be known as top-40 this season. Previously, KPLZ’s music was adult contemporary.
This moves KPLZ a notch or two past the bulk of contemporary-music stations proliferating on the FM band.
King remains program director, but now also does the morning shift. Sky Walker moved from KJR to take over the afternoon shift and do some promotion work. “It’s exciting,” says King.
Gone are all the blocked features, including “Friday Night Jazz” and “60s at Six.”
Running on empty
Hank Mann, general manager, and Chet Rodgers, air personality and program director, left KSPL in a dispute that includes lawsuits being filed against partners in the investment group that owns the station.
Wally Christiansen, president of KSPL Incorporated, has taken over management of the station and has named Steve Nicolet operations manager, Joe Michaels program director and Harve Allen sales manager.
Bill Simpson, organizer of the investment group, apparently ousted as chairman of the board, has filed for reorganization under Chapter 11, bankruptcy act.
New manager at KGDN
Robert L Powers has been named general manager of the broadcasting division of Crista Ministries. Powers will be responsible for operations of KGDN and KBIQ Seattle, and KLYN FM Lynden.
Powers previously was sales manager at KSEA. He is a graduate of the University of Washington.
Incidentally, Crista Ministries appeal for radio funds was successful and the FCC has authorized 24-hour broadcasting for KGDN, limited to daytime operations the past 35 years.
Twisting the dial
Dennis Shannon and Karyl Levinson are morning news co-anchors at KLSY; Larry Snider became more evident the past week, weekday afternoons on KLSY, as the station expanded its personality-and-information offerings; coming soon, Snider’s feature, “True Animal Stories.”……Darl Stuvick, formerly affiliated with KENU Enumclaw, is new manager at KGAA-Kirkland; his arrival — and the stations new nighttime allocation — signal more sports involvement, including broadcasts of Juanita, Lake Washington and Redmond high school football games.… Andy Thompson, former KGAA manager, has gone to work for an electronics firm…… Ken Southern, former morning man at KGAA, has moved to WBOS, a Boston country-music station.… KIRO has added a regional business feature, focusing on Pacific Northwest news. The 90-second reports by Mike Parks, publisher of Marple’s Business Newsletter, air Monday-Wednesday-Friday at 6:51, 9:50 and 11:50 AM…… Another satellite-stereo first: the October 10 Country Music Association Awards Show will be supplied in stereo on KMPS AM, simulcast with the televised version on Channel 7. Hosts for the award show will be Anne Murray and Willie Nelson.… Readings from a new book begin today on “Radio Reader,” at 8 AM on KUOW. Dick Estel begins “Blue Highways,” a back-roads tour of America by William Least Heat Moon.
Noreen Smith working as Sunrise Smith when she was morning announcer and as Sundown Smith when she was transferred to evenings, has left KRPM after four years, looking for work “in Seattle, or Portland, or California.”
April 22, 1984
Ichabod Caine is a new afternoon personality on KMPS AM. Caine should be familiar enough to listeners, with 10 years at such stations as KJR, KNBQ, and most recently at KPLZ.
Caine comes to be “not a disc jockey, but a country music singer-songwriter, looking for a place to play my own songs.” Caine said he will provide KMPS listeners with a “hefty helping of country hits and
two tons of fun.”
In free time, Caine sings, writes songs and plays guitar. He has also hosted the Easter Seal Telethon annually on Channel 13.
Ray Kelley has been named general manager, again, of KQIN. Kelley has been with the station for 13 years, rotating between sales and management — or more correctly, combining them. “Old Ray dips in and dips out,” Kelley said. The station (and Kelley) still is awaiting FCC action on it’s long-standing request for a new dial position and night-time authorization.
KLSY has announced a series of “classy music weekends” through June, best songs from a chosen artist and will be featured between 9am and 9pm Saturday and Sunday.
KEZX’s Sunday-night feature, “Home Grown,” gets new emphasis by going “live.” Cyndi Bemel is host of the hour which includes a profile or interview of a local musician, plus music designed to show the diversity of Northwest Performers. Producer, Nancy Love, says Home Grown guests will reflect a wider range of music
styles than might be programmed on a radio station.
Charlie Burd is new morning man at KRPM. He has spent 30 years in broadcasting, mostly at small stations in the Pacific Northwest.