Seattle Weekly Reviews KIRO Radio

“When I first came to KIRO in 1978, our role was to tell people what happened that day,” says Dave Ross, who hosts the station’s morning drive show from 5 to 9 a.m. and is the unofficial dean of KIRO radio. “Now, everyone knows what happened. It’s on their phone. So what we have to do is help people understand it. We have to basically deliver more than we used to. We have to deliver perspective.” More at SEATTLE WEEKLY
*Though other stations, including KNKX FM, were mentioned as NEWS sources – missing is KOMO Radio 1000/97.7 FM. That station lacks the personality and variety of KIRO or even KNKX FM. Looking for a buyer, Sinclair? How about Family Life Radio [National Ministry Headquarters PO Box 35300, Tucson, AZ 85740, (800) 776-1070] You’re welcome!

Sinclair Memo Has Effect On Local SBG Employees

Some SEATTLE [KOMO] people within the Sinclair Broadcast Group have deleted their anti-Trump slurs/posts from Facebook feeds and Twitter. This happened after the recent memo CITED HERE, [memo first divulged by FTV Live] was released. We have screenshots of their original posts, but choose not to use them on this blog. These particular posts go back to as far as early 2016 and up through January 2017. It is interesting to note that the political bias of these reporters, as negative and enthusiastically vehement as they were, could not stand against the threat that they might lose their jobs with SINCLAIR. These are people that report the NEWS. What do they stand for now? Can you TRUST them? What is their agenda and how does that still affect their reporting? This will be interesting to watch as developments occur.
Elsewhere, the SINCLAIR edict has had an effect on certain station employees: WWMT executive producer Randy Lubratich was fired from the Sinclair-owned station last week after violating the station group’s social media guidelines. 12/14/2017 TV SPY
*PugetSound.Media is not Wiki-Leaks, but we have screen shots of many other such posts and Tweets from OTHER local media folks. — more to come

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

KOMO’s New Weekend Anchor Dies

November 2012 – (Blatherwatch) KOMO and CBS Seattle reports the death of KOMO TV weekend anchor, Joel Connable, 39 who was found dead in his apartment. According to family members, Connable’s insulin pump malfunctioned without his knowledge and he suffered a fatal, diabetes-related seizure.

The Miami New Times says Connable had just married his longtime girlfriend two weeks ago.

“He called in sick Monday, saying he was very, very sorry but he had caught a bad bug,” KOMO news director Holly Gauntt told Gossip Extra. “When he didn’t show up for work late Tuesday, we called police and asked them to do a welfare check. Joel was found on the floor in his new apartment.”

Connable had been out of the news business since 2009; he was last with Miami’s NBC affiliate before coming to Seattle.

Goodbye Lan Roberts, Hello Wolfman Jack

June 23, 1974
The phone rang. It was Lan Roberts with a surprise message:
“I just wanted to say goodbye,” he said. Lan holds the honor for the most heavily promoted one day show in Seattle. Just as he transferred to mornings on KISW a wave of reevaluation and family crisis engulfing. KISW has granted him a with pay “compensatory vacation for 12 years of service” on KJR radio.
“I do need to get away,” Robert said. “I want to find out what it is that’s calling me and where I am going.
“I sold my airplane, but I couldn’t part with my parachute,” Lan said as he announced plans to visit relatives in New Orleans and Texas that he hasn’t seen for years.
“You know, I know a lot of people who say they’re going to build a boat in the basement and someday sail to a South Sea island.
“That’s one of the things I’m going to do.” He said it as if island life suited him, he might never return. “I just hope I don’t get seasick,” he said.

No competition . . .
KIRO AM has informed its sales representatives in New York and other cities that the station has “no competition” in Seattle as it changes from a music and personality station to a news station.
The obfuscation may be clear to New Yorkers than it is to KTW, KIXI and KOMO listeners, but as KIRO sees it, there are three distinct “news formats.”
“There is news music, news talk and all-news, Phil Syrdal, sales manager, explained.
“In 20 cities out of 21 markets, Newsradio is number 1…or number 2… or number, 1 and, 2, or-like Los Angeles-number 1, 2 and 3,” Syrdal said. “Every city, but Seattle.”
Jack Adamson, station manager, said the station had acquired the services of Norm Woodruff, California news consultant.

Wolfman calling…

Wolfman Jack was on the telephone last week to explain that his agreement with NBC radio precludes a station affiliate, or not, from carrying his voice against his own syndication efforts. Thus, KING AM is not at liberty to carry NBC radio rock concerts with the Wolfman voice as long as KJR is carrying the Saturday Wolfman Jack show.
Wolfman said he was taking a few days off (“to be with my wife, you know,”), but was eager to greet folks in Seattle. Earlier this month, he was confined to a mechanically troubled airliner and missed a scheduled appearance at KJR’s Marathon Dance contest.
“I’m going to get to Seattle, someday,” Wolfman rasped.

Limited Broadcast Choices In The 1950s

As TV was just being introduced to the Seattle area, a typical broadcast day for KING TV 5, in 1949, started at 5pm and ended after the News Reel which usually closed the schedule out at 10:30pm most evenings.

[1952] Seattle FM stations would broadcast for only a few hours each day. There were a limited number of FM radios being purchased [sort of like HD radio theses days]:
KIRO FM 2pm – 10:15pm
KOMO FM 6am to Noon
KING FM 2:45pm – 10pm
KISW FM 3pm – 10pm

[1953] The Seattle Radio Dial included stations:

1050 KRKL [religious] 1150 KRSC [Music, religion, International programming] 1200 KLAN [Music, news and a daily Swap & Shop program] [1956] Chuck Bras and Bob Salter deejayed Saturdays on 950 KJR, followed by a program called “Candlelight Serenade” at 6pm, Dance Party at 9pm and Party Line at 11pm.
Sundays were wall to wall religious programming on 950.
Platters and chatter each weekday, with Dick Stokke, Chuck Bras, and Bob Salter. Candlelight Serenade every evening at 6pm, and Dance Party at 9pm

KISW FM [at the time owned by E.W. Lippincott] played a mix of “Fine music”, Chamber music, Concert Hall and studio concerts. Music choice included some jazz programming on Saturday night. KISW closed each broadcast day with The Lord’s Prayer.

KUOW, broadcasting at 90.5 FM, carried University of Washington sports broadcasts on weekdays and Saturdays, in addition to Classical music, International music programming, educational/community focused features and some dramatic presentations.

A daily feature on 1300 KOL was DOG FINDER at 4:55 each afternoon.

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