Morton is shuffled to middays at KVI; Religious station uses Christian name

May 7, 1984
Victor Stredicke

Emergency surgery may be necessary to save the patient. But the incisions hurt nonetheless.
Wrong metaphor. We’re talking about KVI, “the Mariners station.” So switch to baseball.
“We’re making a change in the batting order to ensure a winning team,” said Scott Burton, KVI’s new vice president of program management. Burton moved Jack Morton to middays last week, from the afternoon drive-timeslot in which he has been ensconced for 15 years.
“It’s the first time I’ve had the mid-day shift since 1967,” Burton said. And that’s all he would say about the change.
Morton appears not in the mood to make projections or reveal expectations.
KVI’s overall ratings are bad, especially for station which once had such great presence in the marketplace. Bob Hardwick’s morning show traditionally has had the best ratings on the station. Hardwick’s hanging on.
In a spartan office bereft of the usual radio station decorations such as Linda Ronstadt posters or pictures of kids and golf-mates, Burton clasped his hands steeple fashion while explaining changes. He eliminated one sports announcer; shortened J. Michael Kenyon’s night-time sports show; advanced the air time for Mutuals “Larry King Show.” Burton says “minor changes” are still to come.
“There’s a natural Hardwick-Morton pairing.” Burton believes. He hopes morning listeners will stay tuned longer if Morton follows Bob Hardwick. Burton moved Gary Ryan and Bobby Ryan, a saucy two-man team which joined KVI last summer, into afternoon drive. “Philosophically, two-man teams are used in drive-time periods. Mornings here have enough ‘teams,’ so afternoons should be a fertile field,” Burton said.
Ryan and Ryan have been no great shakes in the ratings, at least in the mid-day slot — but then middays have always been KVI’s weak spot. A faster pace and shorter time frames may force the Ryans to tighten their material. By the same token, Morton’s casual old-shoe approach may be suited better to the mid-day pace.
(Addenda: Hardwick has scheduled a week of vacation, so this week Morton will do mornings, and Jerry Kay will fill in at Morton’s new mid-day shift.)

More maritime material

KING AM beefs up its “Boating Northwest Reports” and other outdoor features for Memorial Day weekend, including additional Skytwin traffic reports. Most of KINGs maritime features will be at: 20 min. past the hour.
KRKO’s weekend features will include “Water Watch,” reports from a boat cruising North Puget Sound waters. Airplane reports on Marine traffic from North Seattle to the San Juan’s will air regularly.

March 18, 1984

Crista Ministries, licensee of KBIQ, the FM station at 105.3, has changed the name of the station to KCMS. The decision was hard reached, but it’s an improvement. The change more accurately reflects the format of the station. The “C M S” corresponds to the stations format description, “Christian Music Station.”
The letters were adopted in 1967. Some folks recall that the original request was for K B I G, but those letters were in use, so KBIQ was a second choice. In its earliest days, 1960, the station was KGFM, which stood for “King’s Garden FM.”
Since 1967, the station had been programming adult contemporary music with a Christian message. Robert Powers, general manager of Crista broadcasting, said the call-letter change reflects Crista’s dedication to that format.

Cagey confrontation

Want to see to radio stations lock horns? Watch KIRO and KOMO.
As the CBS affiliate, KIRO will pick up Curt Gowdy’s play-by-play coverage of NCAA Basketball Tournament, Including the Final Four games at the Kingdome March 31 and April 2. The coverage will begin at 8:55 AM Saturday, with the East Regional final from Atlanta.
But KOMO has discovered a loophole that allows the Husky station to originate Final Four coverage also.

KIXI FM sale canceled

Wally Nelskog, owner of KIXI AM and FM, said the announced sale of KIXI FM was canceled in February.
Nelskog previously announced a sales agreement with Duffy Broadcasting of New York. He intended to retain KIXI AM.
“KIXI has been a part of my life for nearly 25 years,” Nelskog said. “I just don’t want to break up a great combination.”
A yellow-lined legal pad prominently placed on Nelskog’s desk adds the details. It contains “notes” for Nelskog to remember, apparently dictated by his accountant. “By low, sell high,” the pad says. “Buy on terms, sell for cash,” it continues.
Nelskog said his accountant calculated that half of the projected sales price would’ve been eaten up by taxes.

Twisting the dial

Beginning Monday, KIRO-FM moves the weekday start time of its nighttime talk show, “Talknet,” to 9 PM. Sally Jesse Raphael will be host for the first two hours; Bruce Williams will run from 11 PM to 2 AM, and repeats will air at 4:30 AM.
Sunrise Smith, formerly of KRPM Tacoma, has moved to a mid-day shift at KGAA-Kirkland.
A replacement for the tower damaged by vandals has been constructed, and KGDN is predicting little delay in its plan to begin 24-hour broadcasting at the end of April or in the first week of May.
Terry Rose, operations manager at KSEA, has produced a musical tribute to Gordon Lightfoot which will air at 6 PM April 1 on KSEA. Lightfoot will be in concert at the Opera House that evening at 8:00 PM.
The radio version of “Star Wars” will be repeated beginning April 5 on KTOY.
The Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, “The Yeoman Of the Guard,” simulcast on KUOW and KCTS TV at 8 PM Wednesday, is the first of five live presentations this season, part of a three-year cycle of the operettas.
Whoops! “Monitor Radio,” from the Christian Science Monitor, is at 6:30 AM Sundays on KPLU, not 6:30 PM.
KIRO’s afternoon news team, Dave Dolacky, Dave Ross and Lynn Olson, has received the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation for there four-day broadcast from Washington DC last Fourth of July weekend.
KIRO-FM increases the frequency for “The Northwest Business Report,” with Mike Parks, beginning Monday. The 90-second news report will air Monday through Friday at 6:51, 9:50 and 11:50 a.m.

and now, from the Way-Back Machine, comes…

The KAYO Ark
C. J. Skreen

In this era of the hard-sell, glib-talking press agents usually rate little public sympathy, but consider the sad case of one Robert N. Ward, promotion chief of KAYO radio, the “folk-speak” station.
Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of KAYO’s operation as a country-music outlet and Ward thought some kind of ceremony was in order for a station that has managed to survive and thrive on such cactus classics as “Bless Them Machines and Please Help the Working Man” and “Gimme me an R. C. Cola and a Moon Pie.”
It was Ward’s grandiose idea that fans of Seattle’s rustic radio station should be rewarded with a suitably bucolic celebration. He decided to lease the Kalakala, the nation’s original streamlined ferryboat, and stage the “world’s first floating hayride” for 3000 of KAYO’s loyal listeners.
Negotiations with the ferry system were tentatively approved for three cruises tomorrow, but things went awry when the Coast Guard said the hay is a fire threat.
Still undaunted, Ward next decided to hold a rodeo on the ferries card deck. Dubbing this project, “Kountry KAYO’s Kalakala Korral,” or “The Floating Four-K Ranch,” Ward lined up a platoon of horses for the excursion.
As a city slicker working for a country-music station, however, Ward has a lot to learn about animals. It was left to a ferry system official to inform him that the vibration of the boats metal decks on the horses hooves would drive the noble steeds berserk.
undaunted by these setbacks, Ward decided on another plan that received official -if wary- approval. The peerless press agent reasoned that “very few barnyard animals have known the joys of a boat ride” and decided to do something for the underprivileged ducks, rabbits, chickens, cows and sheep of the Seattle area and their owners.
The Kalakala would be turned into Ward’s Ark for the day, with hog-calling in the lounge, sheep-clipping competition in the engine room, square dancing on the upper deck and a greased pig to keep things lively.
Ward was knee-deep in his “pet” project when cooler heads, alas, prevailed. The station’s co-owners, Jessica Longston and Vicki Zaser, who had originally approved the plan, developed second thoughts about sponsoring a latter-day ark. They reluctantly washed their hands of Wards floating farmyard.
Through all of his trials and tribulations for Kountry KAYO, Ward has maintained a stoic outlook. Though wounded in spirit, he has one consoling thought: “At least,” he says, “I escaped the cleanup detail.”

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Author: Victor Stredicke

Former radio columnist for the Seattle Times (1964-1989). --- View other articles by Victor Stredicke
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