Talk of the Town – 1930s [Part 1]

April 1939—Disaster Coverage – When the huge Boeing Stratoliner crashed some twenty miles south of Tacoma in March, killing its 10 passengers, KVI, Tacoma, was quick to act. Realizing the anxiety with which Northwest listeners would await authoritative information on the disaster, KVI Program Director Wade Thompson, Chief Engineer Jim Wallace and Announcer Norm Runions grabbed their portable shortwave transmitter and hurried to the scene. Equipment was set up and a broadcast aired, bringing a picture of the scene, accounts of the tragedy by eyewitnesses and a list of passengers, the first to be released.

May 1937 – Ruben Gaines, formerly business manager of the Tacoma Philharmonic Orchestra, has joined the staff of KVI Tacoma, as announcer and music director. Dorothy Ann Simpson has been appointed secretary and receptionist at KVI.

June 1938 – Advertising plum fell into the lap of KVI, Tacoma recently when the local Rhodes Department Store bought 31 hours to promote its 46th anniversary, concentrating its entire advertising budget on KVI. Novel slant was the fact that each of the programs was devoted to some particular department of the store, such as an Aloha show of Hawaiian music in the interests of the Rhodes Surf Shop. Highlight of the day’s series was an hour program from the store’s auditorium featuring a fashion show which contrasted styles of the Victorian era with modern fashions. Included were Mike Men’s Mixup, a quarter-hour show dramatizing mistakes made by announcers, and Sports Slants, featuring Jerry Geehan, KVI newscaster. The program schedule was worked out by Ed Jansen, KVI commercial manager, and directed by Kay Kelly, editor of KVI’s Woman’s Page of the Air.

June 1939 – To build good will between business men and the city’s two radio stations, KMO, Tacoma, recently conducted a Radio Day at a Tacoma Chamber of Commerce luncheon, with representatives of both stations participating. Larry Huesby, KMO special events announcer officiated, and Carl E. Haymond, president of KMO. Mr. and Mrs. Earl Irwin, heads of KVI, and Jim Wallace, chief engineer of KVI, spoke at the meeting, each covering a different phase of the industry.
[source: Broadcasting Magazine]

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