Pat O’Day as Paul Berg at KLOQ Yakima

But what happened in late 1956 was a last minute surprise which saw McCaw Broadcasting put the KLOQ call letters in Yakima, vice old KYAK. So 1590 AM Seattle became KTIX until it changed to KETO in the early ‘60s. As it turned out, KLOQ (“Clock” ) was Pat O ’Day’s Yakima launch pad for much bigger things to come in Seattle. Using his Paul Berg birth name, he worked for Bill Shela (Shela at KXRN Renton ’48, KOL and KJR early 50s, KAYO ’56 and ’62) at KLOQ in late ‘58 and early ‘59.
The following composite audio captures Yakima-to-Seattle events in the Berg-to-O’Day transition. First you’ll hear Berg on KLOQ (with Shela voice-overs) in January ’59, just a few days before Berg left for KAYO Seattle. Second (recorded some years later by Northwest Radio Voices/Sound Cloud) is O’Day’s own words describing his name change. And third is an O’Day aircheck at KAYO in the summer of ’59, a segment that includes newsman Jim Harrison right before a news getaway intro to the Fabulous Wailers’ “Road Runner.”

Audio runs 5:48
O’Day left KAYO before the end of ’59, firing up the KJR engines during his 15 years as Channel 95’s program director and then general manager. He was one of several who made the move from KLOQ to various Puget Sound stations. Others were Frosty Fowler (KING-AM), the Autographed KAYO promotion photo previously mentioned Bill Shela , Jerry Kay (KOL, KJR, KYYZ, others), Bob Piatt (KIRO, KTNT), Bob [ Tria ] O’Neil (KBRC, KPUG, KGMI) and Lee Hurley (KQDE/KUDY) to name a few. As for KLOQ, it had a pretty good pop music run in Yakima until 1963 brought new ownership.
Aside from KLOQ, there were a number of other one-time Yakima broadcasters who carved out notable careers elsewhere: “the real” Don Steele (KIMA, later KHJ and others), Bill Wippel (KOL, KIXI, KIRO), Tim Hunter (KING-AM, KOMO-AM, KLSY), Ed Howell (KAYO), Darrel Sauve [Dave Allen] (KTAC, KING, KMO, KVI, KOL others), Bill Doane (KASY, KVI), Dave Yates (KJRB, KJR, KLSY), Ron Magers (KAYO, later WLS-TV), Steve Knight ( WCBS, CBS and FOX), Don Riggs (33 years at KMPS), Steve Montgomery (KIMA, KREM, KFKF, KIRO-AM, KISW), Gene Wike (KIMA-TV, KING-TV) and Gary Justice (KIMA-TV, KING-TV and KIRO-TV).

Author: Ronald DeHart

Ron DeHart is a former newspaper and broadcast journalist and a retired Public Affairs Officer from both the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Navy/Naval Reserve. His historical accounts of Pacific Northwest broadcasting are published by Puget Sound Media. View more articles by Ron DeHart  

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