Oldest Northwest Radio Stations

1922 It was a big year for broadcasting in Washington. The first radio station in the State of Washington was not located in Seattle or Tacoma, but in Spokane. 590 KAQQ, later KHQ, now KQNT, [Feb 28].

Next was Vincent Kraft’s experimental station, which became KJR, the first radio station for Seattle and Western Washington [Mar 9].

South Sound residents got their own station on March 30, as KGY 1240 began broadcasting. Those original call letters were used by the station until the Kerry family sold the station in 2014 to Sacred Heart Radio.

Tacoma’s KMO 1360 took to the airwaves on March 30. The station dropped those great call letters in 1984, for KAMT. The station later went with the call letters KKMO.

KTW 1250 Seattle started programming on April 22. The station is now KKDZ.

Finally, another station for Seattle on May 23, 1300 KDZE, which later became KOL. The station became KMPS in 1975, and was acquired by Salem in 1997, changing call letters to KKOL [not quite KOL].

Milestones

January 1981 – Michael O’Shea named GM at KBLE FM. O’Shea previously was group PD for Golden West Broadcasters…
February 1981 – Ken Kohl is appointed Program Manager for KOMO, coming from Denver where he headed his own consultancy, replacing Larry Nelson, who concentrates on his morning show…
KZOK hires Larry Snider away from KGON Portland as Asst. PD, and Michael Knight from KKSN Portland as MD, while KZOK MD Brad Hoffman steps down…
KZAM AM switches format from Modern Music to Soft AOR…
March – KZOM Beaumont PD Dave Scott exits for middays at KZAM Seattle..
April 1981 – Former KJR morning man Charlie Brown to program First Media’s KBLE- FM ..
KTAC PD Tom Jeffries and air staffer Kirk Russell walk Washington state coastline for March of Dimes…
May 1981 – KYYX MD Sean Lynch promoted to Special Projects Assistant and is replaced by Elvin Ichiyama…
Tom Jeffries out as KTAC PD replaced by Bruce Cannon …
June 1981 – Bonneville Broadcast Consultants and the newly-created Satellite Music Network team with plans to take Bonneville’s Beautiful Music format nationwide via satellite…
KMPS-AM & FM GM Jim McGovern adds VP responsibilities at Affiliated Broadasting…
July 1981 – . Ivan Braiker named VP /GM for the Satellite Music Network, coming from his previous post as GM at WIRE Indianapolis…
KZAM -AM switches from Soft AOR to Jazz…
KZAM PD Paul Sullivan exits and MD Marion Seymour drops MD title…
Bob Sharon takes on the VP /GM duties, which include supervising KZAM -AM & FM, at Bellevue Radio Inc. ..
Former KAYO News Director Jay Johnson returns to rival KVI as AM news anchor…
August 1981 – Ric Hansen, formerly Station Manager at KTAC, forms Champion Broadcasting Management Services and purchases KMED Medford, OR …
Peyton Mays exits as PD of KZEL Eugene for PD post at KEZX Seattle…
KZAM -AM switches call letters to KJZZ…
Joe Martell exits PDship of KVI; he is replaced by Jack London, most recently PD of KDWN Las Vegas…
September 1981 – Monty Grau promoted to VP /GM for KOMO from his previous post as Station Manager there …
October 1981 – Edie Hilliard takes the GM post at KING, coming from her GSM position at KJR ….
Tim Williams is promoted to Operations Manager for KEZX. Williams had held the position on an interim basis for the past four months ..
Dave Scott takes on MD post at KZAM …
Tom Mann moves from middays at KAYO to all-nights at KVI
November 1981 – Gale Johnson becomes GM at KZOK from GSM at KING …

Ratings Book Identifies Listener Favorites

ratings race Morton-Kevin August 10, 1975 / The Arbitron ratings, as mentioned a few weeks back, reported KOMO as the most popular radio station overall, but that Bob Hardwick, KVI morning personality, has the more listeners in his day-part than any other disc jockey in the Seattle-Tacoma-Everett area. Requests followed for information on other segments of the listening day. Prefacing with the reminder that ratings were designed to be used by advertisers to get an idea of the indefinable radio audience, here are some simplified answers.
Teen-agers, naturally, want to know who is the most popular in the “after school” timeslot. According to the April-May figures from the rating service, it was a neck-and-neck race.
KJRs Kevin O’Brien, since departed, had a full quarter (25.1 share) of the area teen-agers listening to him. KING AM’s Gary Lockwood had a close 24 share.
A 12 share of Seattle-Tacoma-Everett teens were listening to KTAC’s Robert O Smith, since defecting to KVI.
Decidedly lesser in teen listeners were KOL AM, KOL FM, and KZOK. Incidental teen listeners were reported on such stations as KISW, KLAY, KOMO, KUUU and KGDN.
The survey shows that teenagers, in this rating, at least, were not to be caught dead listening to such stations as KAYO, KBIQ, KETO, KMO, KWYZ, KXA and KYAC. The stations had no reported afterschool teens.
Adults in the afternoon drivetime (Same thing as afterschool–3-7PM) also like KJR but favored KOMO and KVI. KOMO had an 8.4 share of women and a 10.9 share of men listening to Don Cannon, ace afternoon announcer. KVI’s Jack Morton had an eight share of women and 11 share of men listeners–his best ratings ever.
Continuing a stereotyped demographic description: most men “driving home from work” were tuned to KVI or KOMO. But others were favoring KIRO FM (obviously the ones already home since FM car radios art that evident) and KJR (7.4 each) and KIRO AM (seven point). KIXI’s combined figures show that it’s News 90 news block drew a male audience of 7.9 compared to KIRO AM’s NewsRadio block with 7. — Both healthy figures for quantities of news-listeners. Women’s afternoon favorites were overwhelmingly KOMO, KVI, KIRO FM and KIXI AM and KIXI FM.
Back to total audience figures, nighttime radio saw KING AM get it’s only strong daypart. From 7 PM to midnight, KING AM’s 8.3 edged out KJR’s 8.1. The third most popular station at night was KVI with the 7.8 share. (KVI’s usual fare in that time included Theater of the Mind and soccer.) FM listeners massed faithfully around KIRO FM’s beautiful music to make it forth, beating out KOMO. KOMO Had a 6.9 Share, equal to combined 6.9 share of KIXI AM and KIXI FM at night.
With the exception of KING FM’s classical music toting up a respectable 4.6 share, the 32 other radio stations surveyed in the period ranged in the threes, twos and (gulp) less-than-ones at night.

KOL’s license-transfer to Hercules Broadcasting has been approved by the FCC and most folks expect that by September 1 you’ll be hearing the new format… Rich Erickson left KOL last week to take a midday disc jockey slot at WLCY Tampa…Bob Oxarat, KOL station manager, has moved to KPOK Portland… Roy H. Park has agreed to purchase KEZX, subject to approval of the Federal Communications Commission. Park Broadcasting properties include AM-FM-TV combinations in Tennessee and Virginia and two Portland stations, KWJJ and KJIB… Rick Evans from Salem, has joined the staff at KZOK. He’s on the air from 7 PM to midnight weekdays.

Unexpected interest in Wally Nelskog’s radio station call-letter tinkering finally got Nelskog himself into the act.
The president of KIXI, affirms that call-letter predecessors of his Renton station were both KQDE and KUDY.
Nelskog says his “cutie” radio stations were as follows-KUTI Yakima; KUDI Great Falls Montana; KQDY Minot, North Dakota; KQDI Bismarck North Dakota; KQTY Everett; KUDE Oceanside, California; KQDE and KUDY Renton.
KUDY became KIXI Seattle in the fall of 1961, after 2 1/2 years of litigation and 12 months zoning for towers in the Mercer Slough.
If KIXI AM gets permission to move to 880 on the dial there will be no call letter change.

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