54 Years ago: World’s Fair Winner – KJR, KOL or KAYO?

One of the hallmarks of Seattle’s history was the Century 21 Exposition, commonly known as the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. It was an extravaganza event on 74 acres south of Queen Anne Hill which put Seattle (and the state of Washington) on the map. The fair ran from April 21 to October 21, hosting nearly 10 million visitors, including dignitaries and personalities from all over the world. The fair’s science/commerce themes allowed Seattle to shine a futuristic light on itself 38 years before the new century. From March ’62, a World’s Fair commercial promoting the upcoming event:

62 Fair Commercial :47

Seattle broadcasters seized the opportunity to attract bigger audiences. For the city’s growing and competitive radio market, the fair’s six-month run was fertile ground for a myriad of promotional venues — remote broadcasts, special events, star-studded stage shows and lots of contest-based publicity. Elvis Presley was among the biggest of stars to attend, pushing the city’s three-way pop music radio race (KJR, KOL and KAYO) into high gear.

Images of Seattle World’s Fair: Left – Pat O’Day in a crowd of his favorite fans. Center – promotional record album “Twist at the Space Needle to Radio KAYO,” including station’s jocks Hal Raymond, Ray Willes, Bob Dean, Chris Lane, Jeff Mitchell, Mike Phillips and Mark Roberts. Right – KOL’s Terrible Tigers Century 21 Survey from September, 62

Here’s a three-part composite aircheck featuring KAYO, KJR and KOL. The first segment is DJ Mike Phillips at KAYO (March 20), a month before the fair began when the station was really big into anything related to the Twist dance craze. The KJR segment is from June 19, ’62 beginning with a Wally Beethoven newscast, then Mr. KJR Pat O’Day doing his afternoon drive program, complete with some of those Fabulous Fifty hits from that wonderful summer. You’ll also hear a Tacoma dance ad (the Wailers) from Dick Curtis and other spots about things now long-gone. The third segment starts with a classic KOL jingle into Ray Hutchinson from Sept. 5, ’62. The newscast intro is a great sample of John Forrest perhaps at the top of his game during what was his 27th year at KOL. The jingle reference to the Terrible Tigers is about the full group of KOL jocks that summer: Ray Hutchinson, Steve Davis, Ron Bailie, John Stone, Gary Todd, Les Williams and Ed Kelly.

KAYO, KJR, KOL Airchecks 9:14

April 30 June 18 September 7

Here’s an audio sample of some top songs during the World’s Fair — from the playlists of

KAYO (April), KJR (June) and KOL (Sept).

Audio top songs montage 5:41

So, which station emerged from the fair as the top Seattle rocker? The same one which led the pack when the fair began: KJR. In many ways, the Seattle World’s Fair was a major milestone in the continued success of KJR. With help from languishing competition and Pat O’Day contests/promotions leading the way, KJR leveraged its Century 21 success and strengthened its pole position where it roared to its destiny.

O’Day wisely saw the Seattle World’s Fair as an outstanding debut opportunity for the now-famous jingle tune “KJR Seattle – Channel 95.” That was the beginning of the station’s listener-alluring theme for the next 19 or 20 years. The period during and right after the fair saw significant change in Seattle pop music radio. KOL and KAYO, by then predictable also-rans in the Top-40 race, were falling farther behind in audience surveys.


Although KAYO held a strong hit music position through the late 50’s, that changed – perhaps in part – with the exits of O’Day (late’59) and Mike Phillips (’62), both to KJR. That led to an inevitable format change. In May of ’63, KAYO began a long and successful run as one of the country’s leading country stations.

KOL, after a lengthy and successful run (34 years with the KOL call letters) under the Taft family, shifted to new ownership when TV game show producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman bought the station – also in 1963. During the two years that followed, KOL sank in the mire of Harbor Island with a programming mix somewhere between what we used to call chicken rock and MOR. Ray Hutchinson, who moved into news, was one of few hangers-on when Buzz Barr and a talented new lineup brought KOL back into the race in 1965. (See earlier post “Space-Age” KOL challenges KJR, 1965 -’66.)

All of that as the KJR machine gathered new steam with a stellar lineup some say got even better in the later 60’s — Lee Perkins, Lan Roberts, Jerry Kaye, Dick Curtis, Bobby Simon, Larry Lujack, Tom Murphy, Jim Martin, Buzz Barr (after ’67), Robert O. Smith, Charlie Brown, Norm Gregory and crackerjack news guys Chuck Bolland and Les Parsons. Make no mistake: the World’s Fair, and events surrounding it, boosted KJR’s market stronghold. And, as they say, the rest is history.

— Ron DeHart

Originally posted on Seatacmedia.com 6/4/15

Looking Back: 2004

just-rock-odayJANUARY – KGHO AM 920 Olympia license assigned [from] Spencer Broadcasting LP to KITZ Radio Inc. [$300,000 sale price]

It Was All Just Rock-’n’-Roll II: A Return to the Center of the Radio & Concert Universe by legendary Seattle DJ Pat O’Day was released.

Legendary northwest sportscaster and KLKI AM 1340 Anacortes Sports Director Bill O’Mara celebrated his 87th birthday on Monday, January 5th. The following day, he did play-by-play for a high school basketball game. He still does regular sports updates for the station throughout each broadcast day, as well
as play-by-play for high school basketball and football.

New York Vinnie, KIRO AM 710 Seattle afternoon sports anchor and The Seahawks Weekly Huddle and Hawktalk co-host has been signed to another three years by the station.


KLSY moved its afternoon team of Mitch Elliott and Lisa Foster to mornings.

KOMO-AM (1000) evening and weekend anchor Art Sanders is one of four people auditioning to succeed the late Rod Roddy as the announcer for the long-running CBS-TV game show “The Price Is Right.”

The on-again, off-again “Producers” show on KVI-AM (570) is now off again.

KNHC-FM (89.5) has launched a new ’80s dance music program at 6 a.m. Thursdays.

KBCS-FM (91.3) has launched the world music program “Daily Planet” at 3 p.m. weekdays, replacing “Roots and Branches.” KBCS has also added a political commentary show hosted by Geov Parrish at 4:30 p.m. Fridays.

KNDD-FM (107.7) has named a new morning host — DJ No Name, currently on in the afternoons, moves to the 6-10 a.m. slot.

The FCC has accepted for filing, construction permit application by Pamplin Broadcasting for a new station on 740 kHz in Redmond. The application is for 50 kW day, 4.5 kW night at 47-39-54 121-54-11.

Western Washington’s “only totally independent radio station” KSER-FM 90.7 Everett has moved to new studios in its official city of license.

Fisher Communications Inc. said yesterday it laid off five people, including two on-air hosts, from its Seattle radio operations. The layoffs included Pamela McCall, a news anchor on KOMO-AM, and James Parker, the evening host on KPLZ-FM, which will use fill-in hosts until a permanent replacement is named. Fisher said the cuts were part of financial restructuring at the company.


Seattle-based KEXP-FM (90.3) is extending its reach to Tacoma and Olympia by taking over the operations of KBTC-FM (91.7). KBTC-FM, which had been owned and operated by Bates Technical College in Tacoma, will be renamed KXOT-FM, and will begin carrying KEXP’s programming.
Bates announced a year ago it wanted to get out of the broadcasting business and announced a deal to sell the station to Public Radio Capital, a Denver non-profit that brokers public radio deals but also purchases stations and arranges for their operation. The deal for Public Radio Capital to acquire the Tacoma station for $5 million is expected to close in late spring.
Public Radio Capital in turn is leasing the station to KEXP, which will program it. Tom Mara, KEXP’s executive director, said the lease amounts range from $50,000 in the first year to $335,000 in the third year. “We hope enough folks in Tacoma and Olympia find value in this to help us pay for it,” he said.
The new KXOT will drop KBTC’s classic rock format for KEXP’s eclectic mix of independent rock, world music, blues and Americana, as well as public affairs programming.

Fisher Communication Inc. reported a profit for the fourth quarter, but the Seattle-based company said that was the result of gains from the sale of two Georgia television stations and two Portland radio stations. After restructuring and cutting debt, Fisher Communications predicts a move back into profitability in 2004.

Air America Radio launches liberal leaning talk next this month in the larger US markets, but Seattle isn’t in the initial plan.


KGHO AM 920 Olympia has changed call letters to KGTK and format from oldies to a simulcast of MegaTalk KITZ AM 1400 Silverdale.

The Seattle Seahawks have officially announced that Steve Raible will move from analyst to play-by-play and former CFL/NFL QB Warren Moon starts as analyst on KIRO-AM 710 live broadcasts.

Seems six years as KCPQ/13′s main anchor was enough for Leslie Miller. The blond mainstay of the Fox affiliate’s news at 10 p.m. is leaving the station after May sweeps, when morning anchor Christine Chen will take over her chair.
“It was a mutual, amicable decision,” said Pam Peterson, KCPQ’s vice president and general manager, adding that Miller’s exit coincides with the end of her contract.

Legendary Seattle morning radio personality Charlie Brown was honored with The Crystal Soundie for his contributions to broadcasting at the Puget Sound Radio Broadcasters Association (PSRBA) 2003 Soundie Awards presentation. Also on hand was his former KUBE-FM/KJR-FM sidekick Ty Flint. The event was emceed by current KJR-FM morning personality Pat Cashman.

Seattle-based Fisher Communications Inc. has reported a loss of $9.8 million compared with a loss in the year-ago period of $2.9 million. Overall revenue has risen two percent and Fisher claims that it’s loss from continuing operations actually declined from a year ago, if non-cash adjustments are removed from the equation.


TBN station KTBW-DT/14 Tacoma has returned to the air after about three weeks due to power failure damage to the station’s digital transmitter. It’s analog signal on channel 20 was not affected by the outage.

State Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt is courting KIRO radio talk-show host Dave Ross to run for Congress in the suburban 8th District, and Ross says he hasn’t ruled out the idea.

Fisher Communications Inc. announced that the morning team of Kent Phillips and Alan Budwill had been signed to a new contract at KPLZ-FM (101.5). The new five-year deal will extend what Phillips says is the longest one-station tenure for a morning show currently on the air in Seattle, now at 18 years. Bill Yeend has been on the air in mornings even longer, although that’s been split between two stations (KIRO-AM and KOMO-AM). Others with extended track records in the market include Bob Rivers (now at KZOK-FM) and Ichabod Caine (now with KMPS-FM).
When Kent & Alan came to Seattle from Portland, the executive who hired the team “gave us at least three years to get rolling.”

The syndicated AC night program Delilah, which originates in Seattle, is moving from Jones Radio Networks. Delilah has signed with Premiere Radio Networks. Jones, meanwhile, is offering a new show
hosted by Alan Kabel for the 7 p.m.-midnight slot. Jim LaMarca, executive vice president at Jones, said Kabel’s show features calls from listeners but is more uptempo and entertainment-driven. Delilah has been doing her nationally syndicated show since 1996. She had been host of KLSY’s “Lights Out” song-dedication show before moving to other cities, then returning to Seattle with the launch of her national show.

All Comedy Radio now has a Seattle affiliate — KQBZ-FM (100.7) is carrying the network 11 p.m.-3 a.m. weekdays.


Q13 KCPQ-TV/13 reporter and weekend anchor Peter Alexander is leaving Seattle to become a national correspondent for NBC News. Derek Wing, who splits his duties between a weekend anchor position with North Carolina Fox affiliate WVBT-TV and reporting for NBC affiliate WAVY-TV in Virginia, will assume Alexander’s weekend anchor position. He’ll also be a reporter three nights a week.
In other moves, KCPQ recently moved reporter Lily Jang to the morning anchor slot formerly held by Christine Chen, who has taken over for Leslie Miller at 10 o’clock.

On the day after Memorial Day of 1973, a University of Washington communications major named Micki Flowers delivered her first television news weather report for KIRO/7. With that first report, Flowers made history, becoming the first African American woman in front of the camera at KIRO, a pioneer for journalists of color who would follow in her footsteps in this market. That probably wasn’t the foremost on her mind. That day, nobody even told her that the red light on top of the camera meant that she was on the air. Worse, she recalls signing off KIRO’s newscast with, “Thank you for watching KING TV.” After 31 years with KIRO, Flowers, 55, the only TV personality in this market who made health and science reporting a full-time specialty, is retiring.

The continuing duel between conservative talk stations KTTH-AM (770) and KVI-AM (570) extends to memorials for former President Ronald Reagan. KTTH is holding a viewing event for the funeral procession at Chapel of New Life Church in Renton; on-air hosts David Boze, Mike Siegel and Michael Medved are scheduled to attend. KVI, meanwhile, is teaming with the state Republican Party for a memorial service at Cedar Park Assembly of God in Bothell. KVI morning host Kirby Wilbur will host the event, which the station plans to carry live.


KVI AM 570 talk-show host Bryan Suits has been wounded by mortar fire while serving with the National Guard in Iraq.

Long-time KUOW-FM 94.9 Seattle personality Bill Radke is leaving the station for Los Angeles to be a host on the nationally syndicated program Public Radio Weekend.

Jeff Smith, a white-bearded minister who became public television’s popular “Frugal Gourmet” before a pedophilia scandal ruined his career, has died, he was 65. Smith died in his sleep of natural causes, said business manager Jim Paddleford. He had long suffered from heart disease and had a valve replaced in 1981.
In the 1960s, Smith, a United Methodist minister, began teaching a course at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma titled “Food as Sacrament and Celebration.” Eventually he got his own program on the local PBS affiliate — “Cooking Fish Creatively” — and his career took off with an appearance on Phil Donahue’s talk show.
“The Frugal Gourmet” became the nation’s most-watched cooking show, and a series of accompanying cookbooks broke sales records for the genre. But in 1997, seven men filed a lawsuit alleging they had been sexually abused by Smith as youths. Six said the abuse occurred while they worked for him at the Chaplain’s Pantry, a restaurant he operated in Tacoma in the 1970s. The seventh alleged Smith abused him after picking him up as a hitchhiker in 1992. Smith denied the charges, but he and his insurance companies paid an undisclosed sum to settle the lawsuit.

Entercom Communications Corp. plans to sell one of its eight Seattle-area radio stations, KNWX-AM (1210), to a Sacramento, Calif., company that will convert it to Spanish-language programming.
That will add to the competition in a market that already has two Spanish-language stations and on Monday will be getting a third.

Salem Communications, which operates KKMO-AM (1360) as Radio Sol, plans to convert KTFH-AM (1680) to Spanish-language programming, according to David Fitts, who heads Salem’s five AM stations in the Seattle market.

The other Seattle Spanish language station is KXPA-AM (1540), owned by Multicultural Broadcasting. It airs 23 hours of Spanish-language shows per weekday.

KNWX is being sold to Bustos Media Corp. of Sacramento. Bustos currently owns four AM stations in Portland and an AM and an FM station in Salt Lake City. In May, it bought OM Media, which distributes Spanish-language programming to about three dozen stations.
KNWX currently broadcasts news and business and investing programs. Bustos said the KNWX call letters will remain with Entercom; new ones haven’t been picked. The sale of KNWX will result in four layoffs.
Until the sale, Entercom, based in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., owned the maximum number of stations allowed for one company in a market the size of Seattle. Its other local holdings are KIRO-AM (710), KBSG-FM (97.3), KISW-FM (99.9), KQBZ-FM (100.7), KMTT-FM (103.7), KNDD-FM (107.7) and KTTH-AM (770). At one time, the KNWX call letters were assigned to Entercom’s outlet at 770 on the AM band. When Entercom decided to convert that station to conservative talk, it gave the station at 770 the new call letters of KTTH and moved the former call letters and format to 1210.

KING-FM (98.1) has parted company with another long-time host. Tom Dahlstrom, who had been with the classical music station for more than 17 years. Dahlstrom said he can’t discuss the reasons for his departure from KING. In a release, station management described the move as part of a “continued effort to expand (KING’s) format to appeal to a broader audience. The departure follows last year’s acrimonious departure of George Shangrow, who had been with the station for 16 years and hosted its “Live by George” series featuring performances by local and touring performers. Shangrow was told by station management it didn’t like his programming and wouldn’t renew his contract.

Well known Seattle radio personality, Alice Porter died at the age of 44 due to a sudden illness. She began in radio at KSWB Seaside OR in 1975, moving to Eugene OR in 1978, KEZX-FM Seattle in 1982 and KLSY-FM, first as an afternoon traffic reporter in 1986, then becoming part of the morning team of Murdock, Hunter & Alice, who entertained Seattle up until December of last year.

Ms. Porter, who had been in good health, fell ill during the Fourth of July holiday while with her husband, Shawn, at the couple’s second home on Hood Canal. She was admitted to the hospital after returning to the Seattle area, and she never returned home.

A private woman, Ms. Porter kept her illness hidden from even her closest friends. She and Hunter had planned to meet for lunch about a week before her death. She e-mailed Hunter — from her hospital bed, unbeknownst to him — about rescheduling it to mid-August. “I didn’t even know she was sick,” said Hunter, who eventually learned of Ms. Porter’s condition the day before she died.


1964-66 KJR Seattle jock Larry Lujack and another favorite of Northwest listeners, veteran NPR host Bob Edwards are among inductees to the 2004 Radio Hall of Fame.

Thor Tolo makes the flip from sports talk in Pittsburgh to Live From Seattle on KGNW AM 820.

Former KUBE-FM 93.3 and KJR-FM 95.7 PD and current Clear Channel Seattle RVP, Bob Case has announced he will exit the company effective January 1, 2005. He will increase focus on his own consultancy, starting this September.

The FCC has accepted for filing, application to move KMCQ-FM 104.5 The Dalles OR to Covington WA.

Seattle police are looking for radio listeners who allegedly assaulted syndicated shock jock Tom Leykis outside a Seattle bar early Monday. Leykis said yesterday that the attack left him with 17 stitches above his right eye. His call-in show originates in Los Angeles and airs afternoons on Seattle’s KQBZ-FM (100.7).
Reached by phone in Los Angeles, Leykis said the attack occurred during one of his regular trips to broadcast from Seattle, where for several years he’s maintained a large fan base. Leykis said he had stepped outside of the Five Point Cafe, 415 Cedar St., near Fisher Plaza, about 3:45 a.m. when a man began talking to him and another kicked him in the head. “I was minding my own business. It was a person who knew who I was from the radio.”


Rusty Humphries, who returned to Seattle to do a local talk show in the KVI-AM (570) slot vacated by Rush Limbaugh’s move to another station, is giving up the 9 a.m.-noon weekday program. KVI program director Paul Duckworth said the three-hour local show and a three-hour nationally syndicated show (carried on 250 stations), as well as a weekend show, proved too grueling, so Humphries will concentrate on the national show.
KVI is moving Fox News commentator Tony Snow’s program into Humphries’ morning slot. Duckworth says Snow’s show will continue in its current 6-9 p.m. weekday slot as well, although a change is planned for that segment.

The Seattle Symphony announced this week a deal with WFMT Radio Network in Chicago for 13 two-hour broadcasts weekly from October through December. Locally, KING-FM (98.1) plans to split each broadcast to run over three nights a week, running after 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The broadcasts will be drawn from Seattle Symphony performances from the past four years, with introductions from conductor Gerard Schwarz. The sponsor is Lilly Icos, the joint venture that markets the drug Cialis. Symphony spokeswoman Mary Langholz said WFMT Radio Network has so far signed up 115 stations to carry the broadcasts.

Tom Clendening returns to Entercom talk stations KIRO-AM and KTTH-AM. Clendening headed Entercom’s three talk stations (including KQBZ-FM, which isn’t in his portfolio this time) from 1994 to 1998; an Entercom release says Clendening’s moves in that period include hiring Dori Monson and Mike Webb as hosts, launching talk on FM with The Buzz, moving Dave Ross to the morning slot and hiring Jane Shannon and Val Stouffer as news anchors. He said he has no immediate plans for changes in the stations.

KIRO AM 710 Seattle talk show host Brian Maloney has been fired for what he claims is criticism of CBS newsman Dan Rather.
KIRO-AM’s general manager disputed allegations that the weekly “Brian Maloney Show” was canceled because of comments Maloney made about CBS newsman Dan Rather. Maloney said Saturday that he was fired for criticizing Rather’s handling of challenges to the credibility of memos aired on “60 Minutes II” about President Bush’s National Guard service. Station manager Ken Berry said that wasn’t the issue.
“The primary reason Brian Maloney’s show was canceled is because KIRO’s broadcasts of the Seattle Seahawks football games significantly reduces our Sunday talk lineup, and we felt the remaining time slots would be better filled by other hosts.” Maloney’s show aired for three years on the station, a CBS affiliate.

Margo Myers is finished with those 2:15 a.m. wake-up calls. After six years of anchoring KOMO/4′s weekday morning newscast, she gave notice on Wednesday. By yesterday morning, she was out of Fisher Plaza. That’s less of a shocker than the news of where Myers is going. In early 2005, Myers will become anchor of KIRO/7 10 o’clock newscast on KSTW/11, currently helmed by Kristy Lee and Steve Raible.

Former Q13 KCPQ-TV/13 Tacoma news anchor Leslie Miller, who left the station last May, will join ABC-TV/7 Los Angeles on November 1 as a reporter and fill-in anchor.


Ancil Payne, who presided over the rise of Seattle’s King Broadcasting to a profitable and prize-winning media empire, died at age 83. The cause of his death was unknown, but in recent years he had battled cancer, said B.J. Paine, a longtime colleague at KING-TV. Mr. Payne spent more than 30 years in broadcasting, most of it directing KING-TV from the late 1960s to the early 1980s, when the station was nationally recognized for its bold, professional approach to television journalism.

Washington state Republicans have filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission against Democratic congressional candidate Dave Ross and KIRO AM 710 Seattle for using the Dave Ross Show to promote his candidacy.

Veteran KIRO AM 710 and KTTH AM 770 Seattle programmer/manager Ken Berry says he will leave the stations on October 10th, take some time off and return to the market in “three or four months”.

Carmen Ainsworth, a former KOMO reporter, will co-anchor “Q13 Fox News This Morning” with Bill Wixey and Lily Jang. Ainsworth worked at KOMO from 1993 to 1997 before moving to Northwest Cable News as a weekend anchor. She returns to Seattle from WDAF-TV in Kansas City, Mo., where she was an evening anchor.

Meanwhile, meteorologist Monty Webb has left Q13 and will be replaced by Walter Kelly, who moves from mornings to “Q13 Fox News @ 10″. Weekend meteorologist MJ McDermott will take over Kelly’s morning gig.

Rounding out the weather team is new hire Mark Coleman, a Seattle native whom viewers may recognize from KING-TV and Northwest Cable News.

Coleman will replace McDermott as weekend meteorologist on “Q13 Fox News @ 10″.

HarperPhil Phil Harper, who brought a distinctive voice and unscripted personality to radio gigs ranging from jazz and country music hosting to advertisements to playing a detective in dramas, died at the age of 64 from complications related to diabetes and heart disease.
Harper would have been well-known for no other reason than the length and breadth of his career locally. At the time of his death, he was juggling a regular weekday afternoon shift as “Buffalo Phil” on KYCW-AM, a classic country station, being the promotional “voice” of jazz station KPLU-FM and performing the role of Harry Nile in the long-running series of radio dramas. He had also been the morning host of
KMPS-FM when it became a country station nearly 30 years ago and had a long career doing radio ommercials. He worked as a disc jockey at stations in Colorado, New Mexico and Oregon before moving to Seattle in 1974, snagging a job at KING-AM playing rock ‘n’ roll.
Right about that time, Jim French sat down and wrote the first Adventure of Harry Nile, and Mr. Harper’s most enduring role was born.

Seattle Mariners’ affiliate Everett AquaSox has announced agreement with NorthSound 1380 KRKO AM Everett to broadcast all 76 AquaSox home and away games for the 2005 baseball season.

Air America Radio is coming to Seattle on what is now Classic Country 1090 KYCW AM with a switch to Progressive Talk Radio. This will be the second time KYCW has moved to talk. The previous change was to Extreme Talk in August 2001 with a move back to country in May 2002. KYCW will be KPTK, Seattle’s new home for the liberal Air America Radio. Air America’s Web site listed 36 local affiliates and XM and Sirius satellite radio, which carry its programming along with its Internet broadcast.

KPTK’s owner, Infinity Broadcasting, didn’t have much to lose by switching formats from the low-rated “classic country” to “progressive talk,” said Dave McDonald, senior vice president and general manager of Infinity Radio Seattle.

Meanwhile, the popular Music with Moskowitz, displaced by the format flip, can be heard Saturday afternoons on community radio KSER FM 90.7 Everett.

The FCC has granted a Modification of Construction Permit for KMNT-FM 102.9 Centralia for transmitter relocation with 70 kW ERP When facilities are completed, the station’s 60 dBu service contour will extend into the southwestern portion of Seattle.

KOMO-TV/4 Seattle has announced that it will add First News @ 4 weekdays from 4-5 p.m. starting Monday, November 1. Kathi Goertzen will anchor.

Democrat and long time KIRO AM 710 Seattle talk show host Dave Ross has conceded his 8th Congressional District race. Ross began hosting a talk show on KIRO in 1987 and moved to mornings in 1995. He also has done commentaries for the CBS radio network.


The FCC has accepted for filing, applications for voluntary assignment of license from Entercom Longview License, LLC to Bicoastal Longview, LLC for the following stations: KRQT-FM 107.1 Castle Rock, KBAM AM 1270, KEDO AM 1400, KRQT-FM1 107.1 Longview and KLYK-FM 94.5 Kelso.

The FCC also accepted for filing is transfer of control of KCTS-TV/9 Seattle from KCTS Association to KCTS Television Board of Directors … and applications for license to cover for KXPB-LP 89.1 Pacific Beach and KGHO-LP 94.3 Aberdeen.

The FCC has granted assignment of license for KNWX AM 1210 Auburn-Federal Way from Entercom Seattle License, LLC to Bustos Media of Washington, LLC. Plans are to convert the station from business and investing programs to a Spanish-language format.
KNWX will become KDDS-AM, the call letters a play on Bustos’ “LaGrand D” format of contemporary regional Mexican music it has used in stations it owns in Portland and Salt Lake City.
KNWX began moving from all news to business talk in 1998 back when it was at 770 on the AM dial. At the time there was another station with the format, KEZX-AM (1150), which that same year switched to classic soul and R&B music (and later changed yet again to a mishmash of talk shows and CNN news). Entercom later moved KNWX’s call letters and format to 1210 to make room for KTTH’s political talk format.


The Washington State Association of Broadcasters has named Dave Niehaus, the Voice of the Seattle Mariners since 1977, as its 2004 Broadcaster of the Year.

The FCC has approved voluntary transfer of control of KCTS-TV/9 Seattle from KCTS Association to KCTS Television Board of Directors.

Phil Harper, who died in October, played the role of the detective in 157 Harry Nile episodes on Jim French’s long-running drama series, currently known as “Imagination Theatre.”
French has announced that Larry Albert, who has appeared in other “Imagination Theatre” dramas, has been chosen to fill the role. Albert won’t try to imitate Harper’s voice or style, French says.

In Tacoma, Gisela Rasmussen-Johnson, host of “Gisela’s Original German Hour” since 1958, plays carols that have earned her several generations of fans. Now in her 70s, she said the music helps quell the homesickness she’s felt since leaving Germany as a child. But keeping the German Hour going is a challenge because there are no ready-made successors — or a paycheck — for the job. [KXPA Bellevue]

Veteran newscaster Tony Ventrella is on the move again, departing KCPQ after more than two years. He said yesterday he expects to leave Q13 sometime in January.

“I am doing some new things, and frankly, I’m not sure which of the new things I’m going to do yet,” Ventrella said. “I’ll certainly do more motivational speaking, a lot more writing. … I may do some radio. There’s a whole new world out there.”

Ventrella, 60, said he probably will not do much television. Ventrella, a former sports director for KIRO, has worked at every news affiliate in Seattle since arriving here in 1981.

Q13 news director Bill Kaczaraba told staff Ventrella was leaving “to pursue a variety of opportunities in broadcasting and politics.”

“We wish him the best,” Kaczaraba said.

Ventrella joined Q13 in August 2002 as co-anchor of “Q13 Fox News This Morning.” He has since contributed to “Q It Up Sports” reports as well as hosting the weekly program, “Tony Ventrella Tonight.”

Dick Curtis: Dylan [VI]

Sinatra I Sinatra II Sinatra III Dylan I Dylan II Dylan III Dylan IV Dylan V Dylan VI The Eagles Leon & Jackson Led Zeppelin Beginnings Odds & Ends [1] Odds & Ends [2] Odds & Ends [3] Odds & Ends [4] Final Story

Copyright © 2006 by Dick Curtis

I had spent months assembling this fall tour and was proud of the end result. We would play Tuesday and Wednesday of every week and then take Thursday off. We would play Friday, Saturday and Sunday of every week and take Monday off. It didn’t always work out that way but that’s what I was aiming for. Rarely a tour goes together as well as this one did but remember when you call a building and ask about availabilities things open up when it’s revealed that the act you’re talking about is Bob Dylan. You can never play more than three hundred miles from the previous night’s gig because of the equipment that must be trucked from city to city. Our equipment filled four semis. We were opening in Augusta, Maine. From there we would travel down the east coast, then back across the Midwest and to the Northwest. We then would move down the West Coast, across the Southwest, the South and end in Miami, Florida. The tour was routed so well that Bruce Springsteen followed nearly the same exact route only three weeks later.

We all arrived separately in Augusta. We would spend a week in the town, rehearsing and preparing to play our sixty-five concerts over the next three months. Tickets had gone on sale weeks earlier and Dylan was selling out everywhere. It’s wonderful to know that ticket sales wouldn’t even be a matter of concern. Bob, the band, Road Manager Mike Crowley and I were traveling in style. We had a BAC-111, pronounced as a Bock One-Eleven. The BAC-111 is a short haul two-engine, jet aircraft built by British Aircraft Corporation. It’s somewhat smaller than a Boeing 737 and was made to seat around ninety people. Our charter aircraft was outfitted for twenty-one. Besides the band we would have our PR people, accountant, photographer and one or two others on board. The crew included a pilot, co-pilot and flight attendant. Meeting the aircraft in every city would be a truck to pick up our luggage. It would be transported to the hotel where everyone was pre-checked in. We would all board a charter bus that would also meet the aircraft and usually go straight to the building for a late afternoon sound check. Following the sound check we would eat a sit-down dinner, lounge around for about an hour and it would be show time! After the concert we would all board the bus back to the hotel. At least that’s how it was planned and usually it worked out that way. We would plan to leave the hotel about noon or one o’clock the next day and do the whole thing all over again.

BAC 111

A BAC-111 identical to our charter aircraft

Inside the aircraft Bob, Mike Crowley and I rode up in the front section. There was a large coffee table in the center of the forward cabin and a padded bench type of arrangement on either side. There were also a couple of rows of seats toward the rear of the front section. Then there was a small partition and then the area for the rest of the band and crew. Our flight crew was great and you could tell they enjoyed show business. They attended most of our shows where they always had prime seats. Of course soon after boarding we were offered a beverage of our choice and food if we wanted any. Usually most of us passed on that. That’s one thing about this tour…no one was going hungry. The roadies, the band and everyone connected with the tour enjoyed the main meal together the nights we had a show. The rest of the time, the band was moving across the country with a generous per-diem allowance and an even more generous salary. For example, sax player Steve Douglas was making five-thousand dollars a week. There was no skimping on this tour. First class all the way.

Dylan Curtis and Mike Crowley

Me, Bob & Mike Crowley relaxing following a show on our BAC-111

It’s hard to kill time in Augusta, Maine. Remember this was in 1978, long before computers became commonplace. One night we rented a downtown theater and all went to see “Animal House.” Everyone really enjoyed it and it was good to let down a little bit, relax and sort of forget everything for at least a couple of hours.

Another day Tom Hulett and Bill McKenzie popped in. Bill was the chief comptroller for Concert West and Kaye/Smith Enterprises answering directly to Lester Smith. Since Kaye/Smith had acquired the concert company Bill’s life had really changed. He kept track of the money with the aid of several other accountants. Keep in mind the tremendous amounts of cash money changing hands on a daily and nightly basis. Show business agreed with Bill and he enjoyed his new life. In fact, he has since moved and relocated to Las Vegas where now days he manages among other acts, Three Dog Night. Anyway, the two of them knocked on my hotel room door. I was surprised to see them. I had no idea they were going to stop by. I think it was a courtesy call more than anything else but keep in mind, Concerts West was a silent partner of Jerry Weintraub. I’d done most of the work as a Concerts West employee posing as a Weintraub employee. While we would be working with several different promoters, Concerts West would be a financial part of nearly every night’s concert.

We kicked it off with the initial concert at the Augusta Civic Center on September 15th then on down to Portland, Maine. Both concerts were well received.

New Haven, Montreal, Boston – the cities were flying by – upstate New York; Syracuse, Rochester, Binghampton; then Springfield, Massachusetts and into Long Island for a date at the Nassau County Coliseum.

Then it was two nights at Madison Square Garden in New York. After my Sinatra experience at the Garden and my Eagles concert in the facility I was better prepared this time around. There were no union problems or irregularities of any kind to deal with. This was the third heavyweight act I’d been associated with in a Madison Square Garden concert and I believe I also had gained a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t, in the words of Aretha, from the folks that ran the Garden. The shows went over well. Backstage, in Bob’s dressing room, I had an opportunity to meet one of my favorite comedians, Bill Murray, at that time, of Saturday Night Live fame. Of course now he’s gone on to star in many, many movies. “Lost In Translation” remains one of my favorites. Bianca Jagger, who was separated from Mick, showed up one night back stage with another jet-setter, a guy from Paris as I remember. Dylan didn’t admit her to his dressing room. Actress Faye Dunaway was also in attendance. At the time she was married to Peter Wolf of the J.Geils Band. As I recall there was some disturbance that involved her. She was very intoxicated and had to be removed. Dunaway had a reputation for dissension in her profession as well. Later in 1984 she was fired just before the opening of the L.A. Stage Production of “Sunset Boulevard.” It would be good to leave New York and get back with the simple folk.

We were off and running; Norfolk, Baltimore, Washington and Philly. Rhode Island, Buffalo (I thought we already played upstate New York…who routed this thing anyway?)

It was a natural, Buffalo then a hop, skip and a jump over to Toronto followed by Detroit the next night. We had a couple of nights off in Toronto. While we were there Bob and a few of us were invited over to Gordon Lightfoot’s house just outside of the city. We mostly played pool and drank beer. I knew very little about Lightfoot but he seemed like a very nice guy. Gordon and Dylan had both been managed by Albert Grossman in the sixties and Bob at one time or another had recorded a few of Lightfoot’s songs.

Both the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto and Detroit’s Olympia were out of yesteryear. Arenas, I mentioned earlier, built primarily for hockey teams. The Gardens in Toronto was built in 1931 but the Olympia Stadium in Detroit goes back to 1927. We headed south to Terre Haute, Indiana, then Cincinnati and into Chicago Stadium. I’d played there so many times with Sinatra it was like coming home. While we were in Terre Haute the sales manager from WLS radio station, a guy who went by the name of Simon T. flew down in his private plane and brought us all pizzas from Chicago. It was a great gesture on his part. WLS received many, many thousands of dollars in advertising revenue from the shows that Weintraub and Concerts West brought into town. Remember that Jerry Weintraub had the exclusive rights to any rock show brought into Chicago Stadium so the advertising dollars over a year’s time were huge. The morning superstar of WLS was Larry Lujack. Larry was one of the highest paid disk jockeys in the country. In fact I once heard that he was number two, second only to Don Imus in New York but that could be an exaggeration. Simon T. knew of my radio background and was aware that Larry and I had been disk jockeys together at KJR. He thought it would be wonderful for us all to get together two days later for lunch when I arrived in Chicago. What he didn’t know was that Larry hated my guts. This goes back to the mid-sixties when Pat O’Day and I were part owners of a minor league football team in Seattle called the Seattle Rangers. Sunday mornings I pulled a 6am to noon shift on KJR – Lujack relieved me at noon for his shift that lasted until 6pm. Lujack was always late. This bothered me a lot because I usually had to get out of the place on Sunday and head for the football game to take care of arrangements there. I had bitched at Lujack several times about being late and finally I talked to O’Day about it. He was KJR’s program director at the time. Larry was chewed out and he never forgave me. That was too bad because I was sort of his mentor. Back in his early radio days in Idaho and later Spokane he listened to my air checks and tried to emulate me. Lujack and I both deal in very sarcastic humor except Larry carried it much farther than I was ever able. I always thought that it was easier for him because that was his persona 24 hours a day. Over the years Larry Lujack has been very kind to me in print. In a “Hamilton Report” interview and also in a “Radio and Records” interview he credited me with being a big influence on him. He also did the same in his book, “Super Jock.”

Lujack autobiography

Lujack from his autobiography Super Jock

It’s too bad that this thing happened and I’ve regretted it over the years but I also have a great deal of respect for Larry for acknowledging me despite his feelings. Our lunch at Mr. Kelly’s in Chicago was a disaster. Larry showed up twenty minutes late, unshaven for days and said, “So why in the fuck should we be getting together?” I said, “I asked myself the same question.” Lunch was over in less than thirty minutes and we were on our separate ways. The next time I saw Larry I was living in Hawaii and was general manager of O’Day’s radio station in Honolulu, KORL. Lujack and his model wife were there on vacation. Pat, Lan Roberts, who also lived in Honolulu, and I took Larry and his wife out to dinner. After dinner Lujack’s wife Judie kissed O’Day on the cheek and said thank you for dinner. Larry got so upset he left Hawaii, ALONE, and headed back to Chicago. Judie, who was left behind, spent a week in Hawaii with all of us entertaining her and trying to sooth her feelings. They survived and are still married and retired in Santa Fe, New Mexico but that’s just a glimpse into the psyche of Mr. Lujack.

Hamilton Report

Lujack in a 1973 interview with the Bob Hamilton Radio Report

and in a 2001 interview with R&R Magazine (Radio & Records) Lujack said…

Radio and Records

So you can see why it was so unfortunate that Lujack disliked me so much. He never got over it. I think we could have been great friends.

I’m sorry I digressed so much. We were talking about Bob Dylan weren’t we? Oh yes, the Midwest and Chicago. Two great shows in front of more than twenty-thousand each night at the old Chicago Stadium and we were again on our way out of town.

Cleveland, Toledo and Dayton, Ohio; the cities were flying by. Louisville, Kentucky, Indianapolis and Kalamazoo, Michigan – first time I’d ever been to Kalamazoo. Carbondale, Illinois; where we played at Southern Illinois University. The Checkerdome in St. Louis and up to the Civic Center in St. Paul. It was there that I met Bob’s mother Beatrice who’d come down from Duluth for the show. She seemed very pleased watching her son and I felt Bob was glad to have his mother there. I didn’t spend much time with Beatty, as her friends called her, but she seemed very nice to me.

We opened November with a concert at the Dane County Coliseum in Madison, Wisconsin then it was Kansas City, Omaha and into Denver Colorado. From there it was a long jump to the next concert which was three days later in Portland, Oregon. The next day it was into my hometown, Seattle. Unfortunately the Seattle Center Coliseum wasn’t available when I routed the tour so I put us into Hec Edmondson Pavilion on the University of Washington campus. Not an easy place to stage a concert but I felt the concert that night was one of the best on the tour. Dylan thought the fans were great and told Seattle Times reporter Pat MacDonald that he had added a couple new tunes for the show. One of them was “Rainy Day Woman Nos. 12 and 35 (Everybody Must Get Stoned),” which Bob told MacDonald he had worked up that afternoon with his band. Dylan said he thought they might like that on a college campus. They certainly did because many were standing and clapping throughout the song. The three background singers had only learned the lyrics that day and Bob seemed very pleased with how they’d brought it off claiming, “They did a great job.” We headed north to Vancouver, Canada after Seattle and then we were California bound.

We played two nights at the Oakland Coliseum with great audiences both nights. Opening night I met well known promoter Bill Graham. Bill patiently waited back stage and asked if it would be okay if he saw Bob. I thought what a gracious way for him to approach that. He’d known Bob many years longer than I had and if he’d wanted to could have been more demanding. In the years to follow, preceding his death in a helicopter crash, he would again produce many Dylan concerts. Next it was Los Angeles where we were set to play the Forum in Inglewood. I planned the tour for us to have a free day in L-A. It was a weird feeling having a hotel room in the same city where I lived. I spent the first night at home, the next day I moved into the hotel to be with the band. I was shocked to see Dylan pull into the hotel parking lot with his beat-up Chevy station wagon, telling a few of us to hop in. Bob was going to drive us to the Forum for the night’s gig. If you think I was shocked, you should have seen the looks on the faces of the guards at the Forum when we tried to enter the backstage area. Bob drove up to the door and said, “I’m playing here tonight.” After a brief conference among the personnel, the door opened up and we drove in. The concert that night at the Forum was much better received than the earlier one that summer at the Universal Amphitheatre. After Los Angeles we played San Diego, Tempe and Tucson, Arizona, El Paso and Norman, Oklahoma where the University of Oklahoma is located. We arrived there the day before Thanksgiving and had a concert scheduled for Thanksgiving night. The university hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for our group the day before Thanksgiving – Turkey, dressing, yams, cranberry sauce; the works. I had also rented a large suite at the Howard Johnson’s where we were lodged and had a big screen television moved in so those that wanted could come in and watch the football games. Remember, this was 1978 and big screens were relatively rare. After Norman we played Ft. Worth, Austin and Houston, Texas then over to Jackson, Mississippi and Baton Rouge, Louisiana to put the wraps on November.

It was during this part of the tour that I noticed the Bible in Bob’s dressing room. Bob had been spending quite a bit of time during the Texas leg of the tour with committed born again Christian, T. Bone Burnette. Burnette, along with other former Rolling Thunder Tour members, David Mansfield and Steven Soles, had been talking to Bob a lot about Jesus. Dylan had inquired about the nature of their faith in detail. Howie Wyeth, former Dylan drummer and longtime friend is quoted as saying, “T-Bone read Bob that line in the Bible that says if you listen to astrologers and people who are into black arts, your family will be taken from you. Bob had just lost the battle over his kids in court. T-Bone says that the thing that really nailed it was when he showed Dylan that quote in the Bible. Upon returning to Los Angeles Dylan’s girlfriend, Mary Alice Artes, herself a born-again Christian, directed Bob toward a West Los Angeles fundamentalist Christian church. In 1979 Bob would become a born-again Christian himself and his concerts would consist mostly of Christian music. The next two albums released by Dylan, “Slow Train Coming” and “Saved” were Christian albums. The third, “Shot of Love” had a heavy Christian influence.

Tragedy stuck the tour while we were in Texas. Keep in mind that riggers are usually a few days in front of the show hanging the rigging from which the lighting for the show is hung. Jim from Greenville, South Carolina was one of our two riggers and he tragically fell while rigging the LSU Arena in Baton Rouge. Jim had died. Following our concert at Baton Rouge a few days later, we took our chartered plane to Greenville for Jimmy’s funeral. I will never forget how upbeat his parents were to see us all. I couldn’t believe how wonderful they were in light of the tragedy they were experiencing. Following the memorial service we said our goodbye’s and headed for Memphis, Tennessee our next stop. After we got on the airplane in South Carolina, the other rigger laid out huge lines of cocaine on the coffee table between the area where Bob and I sat. The line of coke was the fattest I’d ever seen and ran up and down the coffee table three times. You see, Jim was also one of our two coke dealers on the tour. When he fell he had this coke in his possession. His partner said, I’m sorry I can’t remember his name, “Jimmy would have wanted it this way.” Jim also had three-thousand dollars on him at the time of his fall which was never found. We suspect one of the policemen ended up with it but we had no proof. By the time we arrived in Memphis there was a plane full of very high people. Now I realize you’re reading this and saying, how awful to be doing coke and all but in the seventies and much of the eighties, cocaine was a way of life. Many doctors, lawyers and other respected people in their communities were doing coke, not just people in the entertainment business. This coke in no way resembled the crack cocaine that’s used by a different element of people in the new millennium. Okay, that’s enough about coke already.

The next day we had our concert in Memphis then it was on to Nashville, Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama. We then headed north to Greensboro, North Carolina, Savannah, Georgia and into Columbia, South Carolina where Jim’s folks from Greenville showed up to see us and watch the show. We went back into North Carolina to play Charlotte, on down to perform at the Omni in Atlanta, Jacksonville, Lakeland and the Sportatorium in Hollywood, Florida on December sixteenth. And just like that it was all over. Little did I know at the time but December in Florida would be the last time I would work with Dylan.

It was a tired bunch of people who were winding down after that final show in South Florida, letting it all out after one of the most grueling entertainment tours ever undertaken. It had taken a toll. It’s usually customary that bonuses are handed out to key people following a successful tour. This tour moved flawlessly from Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Western Europe and sixty-five concerts in sixty-two cities in ninety days in North America. Never a concert cancelled or even a minute late starting. Word got back to me from our tour accountant that there would be no bonuses. I was flabbergasted. I actually cried to myself in my room, partly out of disappointment for the crew and partly out of exhaustion. I managed to go around to the rooms of the key personnel and tell them that Dylan wouldn’t be handing out any tips. It was hard to swallow for some. Most of them like stage manager Mitch Fennell had received generous bonuses from tours with Fleetwood Mac, Neil Diamond and others. The next morning it started to sink in that it was all over. I was on a commercial plane headed back to Los Angeles.

Arriving home on a Sunday, I checked into the office on Monday. I gave my report on how things went to Weintraub, went home where my wife Karen and I planned a Hawaiian vacation. We made reservations at the Kahala Hilton on Oahu and a stay at the Sheraton Hotel in Maui. A few days later I was told to cancel my vacation plans because there would be a motivational seminar in Palm Springs during those same days of my vacation, shortly after Christmas. This apparently was an idea coming from someone at Concerts West. I never knew for sure but I was pissed-off at the time. I attended the three-day seminar and went through the motions. It was a total waste of everyone’s time. Weintraub had even dropped everything to attend. You could tell he was also faking it. I’ve always felt that most of these feel good get-togethers are bull-shit. I went to one that the last radio company I worked for sponsored and there I was forced to play musical chairs. Honest!! Forty-five people…forty-four chairs.

Following the Palm Springs meeting Karen and I headed back to L-A, not even bothering to go home we grabbed a plane for Hawaii. While I was there, I called my friend Pat O’Day and asked him if he’d heard of any openings for radio station managers in the Seattle area. He said, “No, but why don’t you stay here and manage my station?” He was part-owner of a powerful 10-thousand watt clear channel radio station at 650 on the AM dial. On our way back home we went through Seattle, negotiated my deal to run KORL and went back to Los Angeles. In those days it was so simple to change airplane tickets…ah for those days again.

The next day I went into my office, where I gave Jerry Weintraub a written sixty day notice. He wanted to know why, I told him about Palm Springs and the difficulties of changing reservations, airline tickets and the like. He said, “Why didn’t you ask me, I’d of taken care of that for you.” I said, “I didn’t know you were a travel agent Jerry.” I was shown the door the next day. You’d have thought they would want to know a few things about dealing with Bob, the rest of the crew and the like but I thought, “Suit yourself.”

My concerts years were over just like that. I did get a call from Weintraub’s office about three months later asking me some questions about Dylan. It gave me great pleasure to say, “Figure it out.” About six months after I’d left Weintraub and Concert’s West I got a call from Louie Kemp. He told me Bob was going back to Europe and could I come along. I explained I was now running a radio station and it would be impossible for me to drop everything and head off to Europe. I don’t think they really got the idea that I had a legitimate job and the live entertainment business was a thing of my past.

A few months after that I once again received a call from Lou Kemp. He only said, “Now might be a good time to talk to Bob.” I knew better than most to never try to take an act away from Jerry Weintraub but I had the feeling that Dylan and Jerry were parting. Bob was in his religious faze and I had some ideas on how he could be promoted. A friend of mine managed gospel singer Andre Crouch. He once worked for Pat O’Day and me. When Willie Leopold and I had visited, while in London with Dylan, we exchanged many valuable ideas. I hopped an airplane for L.A. and a Santa Monica meeting with Dylan on the following Saturday. It was just the two of us in “Rundown Studios” playing pool that day. We’d exchanged some small talk and I’d begun moving the conversation toward where he planned on next taking his career when the phone rang. It was his ex-wife Sara. Bob came back and said, “Sara says I can have the kids for the weekend so I have to go.” I said, “Okay, I understand.” I didn’t pursue it further and said to myself, “Didn’t you leave this business once already?” I didn’t have to wait for an answer. I was on the next flight back to Honolulu. Other than disk jockey appearances, show business was now truly behind me. While I enjoyed my concert years and wouldn’t change them for anything, there was something to be said for a job where you wake up in the same bed every morning and aren’t always heading to or coming from an airport. I was back in radio for good.

KJR – Ownership changes from 1928 to present

A rather complete history of KJR can be found at The Radio Historian The site, devoted mostly to San Francisco radio, has a good amount of info, pictures and interviews concerning the early years of a few Seattle stations though. The website is awesome, there is much more background on KJR than just the ownership timeline which follows:

Here are excerpts from the site, mainly just a timeline of KJR ownership:

KJR in Seattle, begun by amateur radio operator Vincent I. Kraft, was the first radio station to be licensed in the Pacific Northwest.

Over the ensuing years, Kraft built or became controlling partner in four radio stations and a small “Network” called ABC – The American Broadcasting Company.

Kraft sold his interests in the four radio stations, KJR, KYA, KEX and KGA, in the Spring of 1928, to Adolph Frederik Linden, who was the co-owner with Mr. Edmund Campbell of the ritzy new Camlin Hotel on 9th Street in downtown Seattle Both men were also directors of Puget Sound Savings & Loan.

However, Kraft continued to own KXA in Seattle, which he had recently acquired. Kraft finally sold KXA, his last station, in 1946.

In 1928, KJR and the other stations KYA, KEX and KGA and the ABC Network, began to expand nationally, as did the balance sheet. Under the direction of Linden, this operation ran into financial difficulties and Linden had scrambled to sell the operation, actually had a buyer lined up, [20th Century Fox] and nearly regained financial footing — until the stock market crashed and the deal with Fox fell through.

On October 1, 1929, receiver-in-bankruptcy Ralph A. Horr took control of KJR, KYA, KEX and KGA.

In October of 1931, all four radio stations and the new Northwest Broadcasting System network, were sold to the National Broadcasting Company. NBC had been operating its Orange Network on the West Coast from San Francisco since 1927, rebroadcasting the programs of its East Coast Red Network in the West. The Northwest Orange Network affiliates were KOMO in Seattle, KGW in Portland and KHQ in Spokane. In the East, NBC also operated a second network called the Blue Network, and it planned to set up a second West Coast network to bring its Blue Network programs out West, to be called the “Gold Network”.

Still the height of the depression years, this NBC West Coast network failed and NBC began leasing the individual stations to other stations in the local markets. KJR went to KOMO – the price, $1 per year. In 1941, Fisher’s Blend Station finally purchased KJR outright, ending its eight year lease of the station.

A year later, the F.C.C. passed a new duopoly rule that prohibited a single entity from owning two radio stations in a single city. This forced the Fishers to divest themselves of one of their stations, and so the Fishers sold KJR to Birt Fisher. He operated the station only two more years before selling KJR to Marshall Field Enterprises in 1947.

Meanwhile, KJR continued to grow and prosper as an independent station in the 1950’s and 60’s. On August 13, 1952, Marshall Field Enterprises sold KJR to the Mt. Rainier Radio and Television Broadcasting Corp., principally owned by Ted R. Gamble of Portland. The company also purchased KOIN AM/FM in Portland at the same time.

The new owners were interested in television, and KJR had recently filed an application with the F.C.C. for the Seattle channel 7 TV assignment, but they lost their bid for the channel to KIRO Radio. They were more successful in Portland, however, where KOIN-TV soon reached the airwaves.

After their unsuccessful Seattle TV bid, KJR and the Mt. Rainier Radio and TV Broadcasting Corporation was sold again, this time to Lester M. Smith and John Malloy, for a reported $800,000. Malloy was the owner of KVSM in San Mateo and KROY Sacramento, both in California, and Smith was the manager of KVSM after starting his career as an NBC page boy in New York. Smith’s arrival in the Northwest began a 44 year broadcasting dynasty that would also involve KXL in Portland (purchased in 1955), and KNEW in Spokane (which became KJRB), and stations in Cincinatti and Kansas City, and with Smith manning the helm for the entire period.

On June 7, 1958 Smith and Malloy sold their interest in KJR, KXL and KNEW to siinger Frank Sinatra and actor Danny Kaye for $2.5 Million. The station was now licensed by Essex Productions, Inc. & Dena Pictures, Inc., a joint venture doing business as Seattle, Portland & Spokane Radio, Inc. (Essex Productions was owned by Sinatra and Dena Pictures was owned by Kaye.) Les Smith became the General Manager of the station group.

KJR’s fledgeling rock and roll format took on new life in 1959 when Smith hired a young disk jockey named Pat O’Day. He was soon joined by other popular disk jockeys such as Larry Lujack, Lan Roberts, Emperor Smith and Dick Curtis .

By March of 1960, the station’s ratings zoomed to number one with an amazing 37% of the Seattle audience. Advertisers who had been reluctant to associate themselves with the new music started lining up at the door.

On October 14, 1964, Sinatra sold his interest in the stations to Danny Kaye and Les Smith, and they formed Kaye-Smith Enterprises, with Kaye having majority ownership. (Smith bought out Danny Kaye in 1981.)

In 1980, at the height of its popularity, Metromedia purchased KJR from Kaye-Smith Enterprises for $10 million.

In 1984, KJR was sold for only $6 million to Ackerley Communications, headed by billboard mogul Barry Ackerley.

Ackerley Communications sold a majority ownership in KJR to New Century Seattle in July of 1994 for $30 million. Michael O’Shea was the new President of KJR and a part-owner of New Century, but Barry Ackerley bought back O’Shea’s shares in 1998.

In 2001, Clear Channel Communications acquired the Ackerley group of stations, including KJR.