Talk of the town: 1950

JANUARY

JOHN RHYS EVANS JR., formerly northwest representative for Frederic W. Ziv Co., joins KOMO/Seattle as account executive.

FEBRUARY

SEVEN Seattle Stations cancel Hooper participation effective April 30 due to 30 percent rate increase. KING has not yet acted. Dr. Sidney Roslow, head of Pulse Inc., New York, is to meet station executives today. McLeod & Assoc. and Joseph B. Ward have made survey presentations to Seattle outlets.

IDEA MAKER
KIRO Airs Student’s Show
AN idea that originated in the classroom will be introduced to the public Feb. 24 over KIRO/Seattle in a 15-minute program called Mystery Movie Star. The show, which offers a $100 prize to a listener guessing a star’s name was conceived in Prof. Milo Ryan radio avertising class at the U. of Washington.

When Prof. Ryan assigned term paper-to study needs of Seattle business concern and work out a hypothetical radio advertising campaign – Student Harry Schmidt plunged into the project with high fury. Harry’s “problem firm” was the Hamrick Theatres Seattle chain, for which he works. Prof. Ryan was so impressed with the results that he took the program idea to KIRO.

From there, the program started rolling. Account Executíve Tom Chase, of KIRO, presented the details to Hamrick, the sale was consummated and the show scheduled. Mr. Chase helped Harry polish for broadcast. Promotion tie-ins are being used by the station and the theater.

Douglas M. Johnston, formerly with KXA/Seattle, joins KTBI/Tacoma, as account executive.

KING MITCHELL, formerly commercial manager of KTBI/Tacoma, joins sales staff of KOMO/Seattle as account executive.

JORDAN BAKING Co., Tacoma, appoints O’Connel Regan Agency, Tacoma, to handle regional advertising. Spot radio wiII be used. Howard O’Connel is account executive.

A SURVEY of 300 advertising experts was launched Feb. 1 by the Seattle AFRA group to discover why greater use is not made of local talent in radio programming. Directed at station executives, advertising agencies and advertising managers of local business firms, the 28-item questionnaire asks types of programs used, why, determining factors in choice, constructive criticism, etc.

The survey, expected to take two months, will be conducted through personal visits by a corps of between 20 and 30 AFRA members. The resulting yes-no answers then will be tabulated. In each case, additional comments also are invited. The findings later will be a vailable for examination by all interested persons.

Sam Pearce, KOMO/Seattle announcer and president of the AFRA group, explained that there has been a growing concern among Seattle radio talent that the dearth of locally produced programs.

Preparation of the questionnaire was in the hands of a committee under the chairmanship of Bob Hurd, KOMO producer. Other members are Carl Person, KJR/Seattle writer; Dick Keplinger, freelance commentator and newscaster, and Scott Easton, KOMO announcer.

MARCH

SICKS’ SEATTLE BREWING & MALTING Co. (Rainier Extra Pale Beer) launches six-month regional campaign using all Seattle stations and 21 other in Western Washington. In Seattle, spots are scheduled to be aired 20 to 30 times daily with other advertising, including television, carrying out theme, radio spots. Agency: Western Agency, Seattle. Tom Jones Parry is account executive.

APRIL

COLUMBIA BREWERIES Inc., Tacoma (AH Heidelberg Beer), places quarterhour, three-a-week Heidelberg Harmonaires–Raye and O’Dare on seven additional stations. Show has been aired on KJR/Seattle for past six months, and additional placements now on KPQ/Wenatchee, KIMA/Yakima, KWWB/Walla Walla, KPKW/Pasco, KREM/Spokane, KGW/Portland and KASH/Eugene, Ore. Agency Howard.J. Ryan & Son, Seattle.

MAY

THOMAS S. LEE Enterprises Inc., Los Angeles, including Don Lee Broadcasting System, KTSL (TV) and other accumulated properties, will be offered for sale effective today (May 15) at the direction of Public Administrator Ben Brown of Los Angeles and at the request of R. D. Merrill of Seattle, 83-yearold sole heir of the late Mr. Lee.

Competitive bids will be received but the offers will not be opened until a date to be determined-possibly 10 days or two weeks hence. Ray Wright of Seattle, attorney for Mr. Merrill. last week entered separate negotiations having to do with disposition of the Cadillac dealerships held by Thomas S. Lee Enterprises. Conferences were held in Detroit last week looking toward sale of these California agencies to General Motors Inc. The figure mentioned was in the neighborhood of $2,500,000, with the likelihood that certain of these dealerships would be turned back to present executives of Don Lee Motor Corp.

Because of the nature of the California law, there can be no formal bidding until the Public Administrator so declares. A number of interests, however, it is reported, have conferred informally with the Public Administrator and Mr. Merrill’s associates.

While no formal list has yet been released, it was variously reported that among organizations interested are CBS, primarily for KSTL (TV) and possibly certain real estate; Music Corp. of America, said to be acting as agent for other interests; Ed Pauley, oil magnate, Col. A. L. Lintner, capitalist and businessman who maintains his headquarters in Anchorage, Alaska, and two brokerage houses acting on behalf of clients, Dean “Titter & Co. and Blyth & Co. Both Lewis Allen Weiss, chairman of the board, and Willet Brown, president of Don Lee, are understood to figure prominently in a number of the offers on a management basis. Mr. Brown has also directed certain of the Cadillac operations and it was expected that he would retain the Hollywood distributorship.

Reports were current that bids under $8,700,000 for the entire Don Lee structure would not be entertained. Involved are 5,750 shares of stock in Thomas S. Lee Enterprises Inc., issued in a single certificate and held by Public Administrator Brown. Separable sale of the various properties, however, is regarded as not only permissible, but likely. Don Lee Broadcasting System, embracing the four AM stations (KHJ Los Angeles, KFRC San Francisco, KDB Santa Barbara, KGB San Diego), the TV station and one FM outlet (KHJ-FM), as well as 19% interest in Mutual, [not a separate entity but does business under that style as a unit of Thomas S. Lee Enterprises Inc]. The radio properties, which in addition to those enumerated include Pacific Northwest Broadcasting System Inc., have a book value of $3,700,000. The overall properties are understood to have a book value of $8,700,000. Thomas S. Lee Enterprises Inc. is said to have several million in cash assets. The inheritance tax liability is believed to be in excess of $4 million.

LOUIS K. LEAR, 64, president and treasurer of the Queen City Broadcasting Co. from 1935 to 1946, died in Seattle May 1. At the time of his death, he was chairman of the board of directors of the company, licensee of KIRO Seattle.
Born in Iowa, Mr. Lear had gone to Seattle 45 years ago, and was active in business and civic affairs there. A long career in banking was climaxed with his election as a member of the board of directors and a vice president of the Seattle Trust and Savings Bank, a post he held until his death, He also was at one time a member of the Seattle Advisory Board of the Reconstruction Finance Corp.
Active in Civic Affairs Active in community affairs, Mr. Lear was a member of the threeman ‘Municipal Transportation Commission, having been appointed by Mayor William F. Devin in 1947. Prior to this service, he had been chairman of the City Planning Commission for seven years, and had also served on the city’s Charter Revision Commission.

In addition to operating KIRO Seattle, the Queen City Broadcasting Co. is majority stockholder in the Boise Valley Broadcasters Inc. (‘KDSH Boise) and a minority stockholder in the Symons Broadcasting Co. (KXLY Spokane).

“My interest in radio,” Mrs. Bullitt says, “was in its possibilities and in the service a station could render to the community and still be a sound investment, I have a firm belief that both can be done. There need be no conflict between running a commercial station and render-ing public service.” At the outset, Mrs, Bullitt was president of the company, with Henry B. Owen as vice president and general manager. Then, in the spring of 1949, when Hugh M. Feltis was appointed as station’s manager fresh from his national experience as BMB president, Mr. Owen became president of the company and Mrs. Bullitt stepped down to vice president. “They wanted to make me chairman of the board,” she says, “but there was no such title, and I didn’t think it was worth the trouble to create it.”

The spring of 1949 was a busy time for KING. The appointment of Mr. Feltis, the increase in power from 10 to 50 kw, and the addition of an FM affiliate, all occurred in the space of a few weeks. Then, effective Aug. 20 of last year, KING took over operation of the state’s only television station, which had been established less than a year before as KRSC TV Seattle.

KING-TV is now on from late afternoon through the evening, seven nights a week. This regular schedule is supplemented by special daytime coverage of such events as a high school basketball tournament, and at the other end of the broadcast day, the station likewise stays on if the situation warrants. An example was the recent telecasting of what is believed to be the longest professional tennis match in history, for the March of Dimes. The match continued until midnight, and KING-TV stayed with it. As Mrs. Bullitt put it, “We don’t go off the air if we’ve got something to do.”

On the radio side, the program pattern emphasizes sports, music, children’s progr arns and public service. Actually, while the AM and TV operations are separately staffed and scheduled, many of the same policies obtain on both. “To do the best possible job for children,” Mrs. Bullitt says, by way of example, “we called ‘in people interested in better programs for children.” The consultants included representatives of the school system, the Seattle Public Library, the PTA and other organizations. One result was KING’s Circus, built as a sustaining feature and launched last September.

For two months before the broadcasts started, it was promoted by cooperating groups through all available media, including some that the station itself would have been unable to reach. An announcement that the show was approved for children’s listening went to 60,000 youngsters, with posting on bulletin boards in every school classroom.

For children’s programs on television, Mrs. Bullitt explains the same machinery is being used, with the committee passing on serial films and other programs. Time for Beany was promoted through the same channels as KING’s Circus, even though the video show is sponsored locally by Buchan’s Bread. Neither Mrs. Bullitt nor the cooperating agencies see any inconsistency in pushing as public service a program which has a sponsor.

Mrs. Bullitt also cites as an example of KING-TV policy the station’s recent action on the Encyclopedia Britannica film about atomic
power, Where ~Will You Hide? After consultation with the mayor, the Episcopal Bishop, representives of the American Assn. for United Nations, and other leading’ citizens, the station postponed its scheduled telecast of the film until they were able to arrange, full cooperation with the U. of Washington Adult Education Division, a thoughtful discussion to round out the program into a full-hour.

“This approach does rnore than a public service,” Mrs. Bull it explains. “It will sell television sets to people who realize that the medium is more than a gadget for screening wrestling matches” Her theory is that special Programs must be built for the type of person who turns on a set onlv when there is a particular program he wants to hear or see.

Mrs. Bullitt is not at all afraid of competition. The launching of new television stations in the Seattle market, she believes will help KING- TV by helping sell additional sets, although it will necessarily, in her opinion, dilute the program content of each station. Television requires a technique of its own, she contends. It is not like radio, the movies or anything else, and just as the early broadcasters found that they couId not carry drama to the radio intact so acting techniques and other television requirements are different from all other media.

Will television eventually replace radio? Mrs. Bullitt is convinced it will not. KING entered television because the management considered video a companion medium to radio, but she believes some people will always prefer one medium to the other.

RADIO DAY Marks Seattle Awards
AWARDS were presented last Tuesday to two advertisers, four programs, and three agencies for excellence in radio advertising at the Radio Day presentations of the Seattle Advertising and Sales Club’s third annual advertising competition. Keynote speaker at the meeting was Rogan Jones, president of KVOS Bellingham and KPQ Wenatchee. Presented in five categories, the awards were as follows: Best live announcement copy broadcast and designed to sell merchandise and/or service in the Seattle-Puget Sound area·—-’Washington State Fruit Commission (Pacific National Advertising Agency) . This award was based on an aircheck recording of announcements via HouseWives Protective League on KIRO Seattle. Best transcribed announcernents designed to sell merchandise and/or service in the Seattle-Puget Sound area —Sicks’ Seattle Brewing’ Co. for Rainier Extra Pale Beer (Western Agency). The transcriptions were produced by KJR Seattle. Best
program designed to sell merchandise and/or service in the Seattle- Puget Sound area – Scandia Barn Dance, aired Saturday, 6-6:30 p.m , on KOMO Seattle. Co-sponsors of the show are Old Yankee Foods, Williams Potato Chips, Meadow Brook Butter, Red Arrow Crackers, Krusteaz Pie Crust, and Northwest Blueberry Growers’ Assn., Best transcribed announcements promoting public relations a ncl/or community service campaigns-the “Sell Optimism” campaign developed by KOMO last August.

JUNE

AM APPLICATIONS
Tacoma, Wash.-Tribune Pub. co., 1400 kc, 250 w unlimited. Estimated construction cost $18,900. Tribune Pub. Co. is licensee KTNT FM outlet in Tacoma. Alton F. Baker, stockholder, is also president, director and minority stockholder KERG Eugene, Ore. Filed June 12.

TENDERED FOR FILING
AM-850 kc KTBI/Tacoma,-CP AM station to change from 310 kc 1 kw D to 810 kc 1 kw-D 500 w-N DA-N.

JULY

KRSC Gets Radio Right:;
THE SEATTLE School Board July 14 awarded to KRSC/Seattle independent, a new contract covering radio broadcast rights of all high school athletic events during 1950-51. Decision on television coverage was deferred. Exclusive rights were granted in acceptance of the KRSC bid of $2,655. An earlier contract with KING/Seattle for radio and TV coverage had been cancelled. Still pending in King County Superior Court is a suit brought against the School Board by Bruce Bartley, Seattle attorney and owner of KBRO Bremerton, challenging the board’s right to arrange any exclusive contract for broadcast coverage of the school athletic events.

AUGUST

…some radio leaders look forward confidently to a good season. J. Archie Morton, general manager of KJR/Seattle, sounded the theme of optimism.
“The outlook for both national spot and local business looks good for the 1950-51 season in the Seattle, Tacoma and Western Washington market,” he said. National advertisers and their agencies seem impressed by this area’s population growth as shown in the 1950 Census for example, where Seattle shows as the nation’s 17th city. They also are impressed by the high per capita buying income available throughout this area. “Local advertising volume should continue in increasing volumes because of increased payrolls occasioned by defense contracts in addition to the normal business caused by increased population.”

A recent innovation in Seattle radio has proved so successful in the past few months that the pattern is being extended. Scandia Barn Dance, the weekly local live show on KOMO/Seattle which won top honors at the annual convention of the Advertising Assn. of the West, is now running under a year’s contract from March 1950 and will continue indefinitely, according to Frank Taskett of the Taskett Advertising Agency, which bought the show for six co-sponsoring members of the Northwest Food Mfrs. Assn.

Meanwhile, association members, pleased with the effectiveness of the Scandia show, banded together earlier this month to sponsor the new Hobnail Square Dance, aired Tuesday !t-9:30 p.m. over KOMO, and the association is considering television time under the same group-sponsorship format. Speaking of Scandia Barn Dance, bellwether of the trend, the agency says: “It is certainly doing a job for the small food manufacturers who join in merchandising the show as well as sponsoring it. This program gives the sponsors a type of radio the 30 association members could not afford separately. It is now the best-known food manufacturers show for grocers in the area.” Station executives with equally specific news on the bright side include Earl T. Irwin, commercial manager of KVI/Seattle, and Roger Rice, national sales manager of KING/Seattle.

Mr. Irwin forecast that his station’s business will beat last year’s, with network, national spot and local business all up. He also reported the station has sold practically all its cooperative programs. National business is up 60% at KING, according to Mr. Rice, and local business is also well above last year. The station recently sold a schedule of six five-minute newscasts daily, six days a week, on a one-year contract to Ford Motor Co., through J. Walter Thompson Co., San Francisco.

Although Frederick & Nelson, Seattle department store affiliated with the Marshall Field Co., will continue its 17-year-old sponsorship of the daily Concert Hour on KRSC/Seattle, the store is holding extensive radio and television plans in abeyance at least until spring, it was reported by C. J. Byrne, sales promotion manager. Current multi-million dollar physical expansions, however, wil! eventually result in bigger promotion through all major media, he indicated.

On the basis of transcriptions currently on order at the John Keating Recording Studio, regional and national radio business coming out of Seattle will be up about 15%, according to James A. Mclaughlin, Seattle manager, who also noted that accounts in the area are becoming much more interested and active than ever before in exploring the use of Northwest radio. With Keating also representing 41 stations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, Mr. McLaughlin commented: “Regional and national business has leveled off after a period of indecision. There is every indication that radio business will be more solid and stronger than ever before.”

He reported, too, that the Washington State Grange will renew its Grange Forum, long-running quarter-hour discussion program heard on seven Washington stations, starting the first week in October. Several station and agency executives have noted an increasing interest in newscasts, growing out of the tense international situation. Largest tangible evidence is the exclusive contract signed by Shell Oil for Dick Keplinger’s services as newscaster on KJR, on a full-year contract.

Sports-wise, the picture is clouded in Seattle as weIl as throughout Washington. KRSC has received exclusive rights for radio coverage of high school athletic events from the Seattle School Board, and discussions are under way with other school officials around the state. The Washington State Assn. of Broadcasters and many of its members have had repeated altercations with the Seattle School Board and the Washington State High School Athletic Assn., and indications are that the question of whether a school system has the right to sell radio rights on an exclusive basis will not be settled around the conference table. The decision of Judge Theodore Turner in King County Superior Court against Bruce Bartley, owner of KBRO/Bremerton and WSAB attorney, in his case against the Seattle School Board, is still subject to appeal.

However, that the association’s main reliance will be on action in the State Legislature when it meets next January. Whatever the outcome, it will have significant implications for radio business in the state, for high school athletics represent an important area of listener interest.

Because the Pacific Northwest still has only one television outlet -KING-TV Seattle-the radio-vs-video conflict is not as acute as in other sections of the country. Nevertheless, advertisers and agency officials have kept abreast of national TV developments. The consensus is that by and large television will not hurt radio in the Northwest; certainly it has not so far. Accounts moving into television in most cases are maintaining their radio budgets as well, or at least cutting them no more than other media. The exceptions, while important individually, are minor in the aggregate.

[NAB 17] The Tuesday morning session opened with a presentation by Mr. Batson, who declared: “The competitive factor between radio and television has been vastly overemphasized. Television offers a threat to the printed media as great as or greater than its effect on radio.” Cites TV Progress Television, “he asserted, can now be stopped in its rapid progress only by capricious action of the FCC, by another war, or by a crippling depression. With half of the people in the United States living within the range of a television transmitter, one in four within this range already has a set, he said. Unless the international situation becomes considerably more serious than it now is, Mr. Batson predicted that TV sets will shortly reach the 9-to-10 million mark. No new stations are in sight, he said, with the possible exception of Portland, Ore., and Denver, if national authorities decide that facilities would be valuable in those areas for civil defense and other national purposes. Mr. Doherty supplied figures on the average expenses of video stations throughout the country.
In the ensuing discussion, Hugh M. Feltis, stations manager of KING Seattle, reported the total operating cost of KING- TV this year is not far from the $l,OOO-a-day average cited by Mr. Doherty for the country’s video outlets. Costs are increasing as the Seattle station continues on the air, Mr. Feltis said. The manager of the Pacific Northwest’s only TV outlet explained that KING-TV started with heavy network programming but since the first of the year more emphasis has been placed on local station production. “When your cameras are operating,” he said, “you’re on your full card rate, and can better meet operating expenses.”
Lee Schulman, KING-TV program director, reported that the station’s local programming consists of 15% film, with the remaining 85% live studio

UNLIKE MOST OTHER AGENCY executives in the Northwest, W. H. Sandiford, account executive in charge of radio activities for Mac Wilkins, Cole & Weber, Seattle- Portland, sees television taking radio money not only in the future but right now.
The agency has stepped up its use of TV for clients about 25 percent over last year, with Fahey-Brockman (men’s clothes) and Buchan Bread relatively new to the medium, and Sunny Jim Products Co. (food processors) currently developing video plans.
Floyd Flint, J. Walter Thompson Co., Seattle, account executive for the Washington State Apple Commission, forecast tentatively that the account will be using more radio and television this fall. The decisions are not definite, however.
Among department stores, The Bon Marche will continue to put most of its eggs in the television basket, on the same budget as in the recent past, with radio secondary. The store would continue its substantial advertising program even if shortages develop in some lines, according to Henry Ross, sales manager. Department Store Plans Frederick & Nelson, Seattle affiliate of Marshall Field Co., has extensive radio and television plans growing out of its physical expansion program, but they are on the shelf at the moment with only the long-established Concert Hour on AM continuing.
C. J. Byrne, the store’s sales promotion manager, indicated that it would be next spring or later before the big promotion efforts are started. Seattle Gas Co., a client of Honig-Cooper, Seattle, recently started participations on a women’s television show, and Warrren E. Kraft, agency vice president and Seattle manager, foresees other accounts moving into the medium in the year ahead.
That television business generally is bright is indicated by the disclosure at the NAB District 17 meeting in Seattle Aug. 15 that KING-TV will go to a seven-day program schedule in the fall. At the same time, Hugh M. Feltis, station manager, noted a shift in emphasis from network film to local live programming.

OCTOBER

William M. Bunker and Tribune Pub. Co., Tacoma, Wash.; KBRO Bremerton, Wash.-Designated for consolidated hearing at Washington Dec. 19, applications of Bunker and Tribune, each requesting CP new station, 1400 kc, 250 w and of KBRO to change frequency from 1490 kc to 1400 kc (250 w unl.). [December – William M. Bunker, Tacoma, Wash. -Granted petition requesting dismissal without prejudice of application]

NOVEMBER

The WSAB Legislative Committee is headed by Tom Olsen, past association president and owner manager of KGY Olympia. Other members are J. Elroy McCaw, KELA Centralia-Chehalis; Rogan Jones of KVOS; Bruce Bartley, KBRO Bremerton; H.J Quilliam of KTBI, and President Fred F. Chitty.

PETER LYMAN, radio-TV director and account executive Frederick E. “Baker & Assoc., Seattle, named chairman Seattle Advertising and Sales Club’s advisory committee on public information for civil defense. Others named to committee are: ARTHUR E. GERBEL Jr., KJR Seattle commercial manager A. F. MOITORET, Seattle manager Braun & Co.; WALLACE MACKAY Jr., Wallace Mackay agency, and BOB WARREN, Seattle Times.

‘STURDY GERTIE’ •••
KTNT (FM) Tacoma, Transit Radio., Oct. 14, broadcast opening new Tacoma Narrows bridge. Station received permission from president Tacoma Transit Co, to change regular broadcast schedule so riders could hear ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Bridge, called “Sturdy Gertie” by natives, replaces old “Galloping Gertie” that blew down in 1940. Program carried interviews of people who saw old bridge fall.

DECEMBER

Jerry Geehan, manager of KMO/Tacoma, expects a banner year as the Northwest continues to expand, with 1951 to exceed the record gross of 1950.

KTBI·Tacoma, Wash.-Designated for hearing application to Change facilities KTBI from 810 kc 1 kw-D to 850 500 w-N, 1 kw-D. change trans. location and install DA-N, In a conlolidated proceeding with application of KOA for CP to replace vertical ant. of station KOA Denver, and to mount FM ant. on AM tower; said hearing to be held in Washington on Feb. 14, 1951

GEORGE GLAVIN, commercial department KING Seattle, to TV sales department. BOB KILPATRICK, commercial manager KXA Seattle, to, KING sales staff.

[Broadcasting Magazine]
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