Steve Smith Archive: Les Cole


Ken Bertrand worked at KGMI in Bellingham. I believe he was the news director, not sure on that but one of their main newsmen. I do not have a photo of him, but you could probably copy the one at facebook. Again, this is March 1972. I worked for him for awhile at KBFW in Bellingham, after his KGMI days. I think he ended up in communications at the state legislature and retired from that. He is in the Seattle area.

Ken Bertrand mp3

As a young tradesman, Les Cole had been a stained glass artisan in Seattle-Tacoma. He fell from a ladder, probably working on a window at a church, and shattered his hip. A career change was essential. I think it was in the 1960’s, he went into broadcasting. He worked at KTNT, KMO and KOMO. In 1970 he arrived in Bellingham as program director of KOQT, a station coming back on the air after bankruptcy. That lasted a short time and then he resigned. Not long afterwards, he became news director at KBRC, an established 5kw station, in Mt Vernon’s Skagit Valley. This 1972 newscast, slightly scoped, is a great example of the way a well-crafted newscast could integrally tie a radio station to its community. Cole worked at KBRC for a few years, then he became an announcer at KVOS TV in Bellingham. He was at KVOS until he retired and Les passed away several years ago.

The photo was taken in 1998. That is me to the right, sitting with Les, who had become a personal and family friend, at my father’s 100th birthday.

Les Cole-KBRC mp3


  • Steven Smith

    Jason….If you did not get the upload, I have an audio section from a Ken Bertrand newscast to go with the bio.

  • pugetsound

    Found it. That directory is loaded with files,. I will need to do some housekeeping. Thanks for the heads up. Updated the post above.

    • mikec

      Jason – that reminds me, I uploaded 2 jpg files a onth or so back & got the confirmation these had been received. However, they’ve never appeared. These are 2 letterheads from KBFW that I beleive are from the “SRO era” I uploaded specifically for Steven. These have been in my digital archive for over a decade now & I have no idea where I acquired them from. If they show up, could you kindly post these for Steven. I’ve got some more logos & goodies I’ll send if I know these are getting through to you. Thanks Jason

  • mikec

    Steven – I’m just lovin’ these files & the personal history lessons to compliment my own memories and recollections of these stations!

  • Steven Smith

    I will have to post Terry Allen long-time KPUG news director.

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