Phantom Stations: KNBS-TV Walla Walla

This is the first post in a new ongoing series exploring “Phantom” radio & TV stations.  These we define as stations licensed, but never issued a CP or other indication of build-out,  stations licensed but with unbuilt CPs, or stations that existed for a specific duration, then went silent & licenses deleted.  Such deleted stations occupied radio frequencies or TV channels that had later occupants with no connection or relation to the earlier “Phantom” station.  First up is a suggestion from regular contributor Mike Barer who made mention of Walla Walla’s brief commercial television channel.  KNBS-TV channel 22 was an ABC affiliate & according to both Wikipedia & the excellent  History of UHF Television  This station was only on air from Jan 3, 1960 to December 14, 1960.  The station left the air at that time & the license deleted.  Here are the listings from the 1960 editions of “Broadcasting Yearbook” “Radio Annual”

Visited 68 times, 1 visit(s) today

Author: Mike Cherry

retired broadcaster: on-air, MD, PD, asst PD, Prod Mgr, IT, station technician/engineer, pioneer Internet webcaster, station installation/maintenance; 12 years in commercial radio, 17 years volunteer in campus/community radio in B.C., Alberta & Wash. Amateur radio operator & "DXer" specializing in AM night-time DX, short-wave DX/listening & remote SDR DXing/listening

15 thoughts on “Phantom Stations: KNBS-TV Walla Walla

  1. Another station, which had a much longer life was KVOS in Bellingham. It used to be able to be viewed at night on the cable when I lived in Walla Walla.
    TV Guide featured it in an article, saying because of the small Bellingham market. Most of it’s sales where in the Vancouver area, so viewers would see ads for Canada Dry and Red Rose Tea.
    I guess the station is off the air now.

  2. Hello Jason ,

    Thank you for your message ! I was so surprised to see the articles yesterday about KNBS. Looking back on that time , it was a very significant part of my life , not to mention my dad’s life !
    My sister, Joy , and I have maintained a significant relationship with Susan “Susie” Bond, Lyle Bond’s daughter, whom we had only met briefly before we all moved to Walla Walla !
    When we all returned to Southern California, Susie would spend time with us during the summers in Simi Valley and Joy and I would ride a Greyhound bus to San Diego and stay with the Bonds , all the way through high school ! We are “bonded” , I guess that’s a pun ( ! ), and are greatly appreciative of the way we became “family”.
    Dad gave us “jobs” at KNBS. We had a huge library of The Three Stooges films , I have no idea where they came from. The 3 of us had to review every reel to see if there were any problems, splices needed or other issues before they would be “aired” ! I love the 3 Stooges!
    There are a zillion stories! Some so unique and special!
    I live in Scottsdale , AZ , and we are going to be in San Diego next week and we will be getting together with Susie and her older brother, Allen Bond at a musical event ! Yesterday I forwarded the story I saw to Joy (my sister) and to Susie. They are also tickled to read your article !
    We have a unique perspective on growing up with fathers who were a part of the beginnings of the television industry. They were part of the pioneering group who were there from the beginning.
    Dad worked up into his 70’s , the majority of his career was at KHJ/KCAL , channel 9 , although he did work at a couple other stations early on.
    I’ll be sure to have Joy and Susie send you some stories too !
    Yours, Gail Garvin.

  3. Our dad , Warren Gray was the President of KNBS channel 22 in Walla Walla.
    I was surprised and delighted to see your article about channel 22.
    Dad was an electrical engineer and worked his adult life in radio and television in Los Angeles ( except for the time we were in Walla Walla !). He was a native “Angelino”, as my sister and I are , my kids are 3rd generation Angelinos.
    Our time in Walla Walla was bittersweet. Dad had a vision and worked hard to make it happen. A lot of research deciding where a television station would be located and getting a license from the FCC to broadcast on the air , and much more !
    Please contact me if I can answer any questions you might have. BTW , I was 13 years when we moved to Walla Walla.

    1. Thank you for contacting us Gail. We would be happy to post any memories you have of the KNBS effort and other projects your father may have been involved with.

    2. Gail, I’m posting this in my group, Old Walla Walla Radio Remembered. It is a Facebook group I started on a whim and it took on a life of its own. I’m too young to remember KNBS, but heard bits and pieces from my elders.

  4. First listing of execs shows Chuck Connor and second says Connors. The Rifleman?

    We were at a convention in a fancy hotel in SF or LA around 1980 and walked into the atrium bar and restaurant to eat and drink lunch. Twenty feet away was Chuck Connors and some other guys at a table and he was super plastered and making a real racket. We staggered out after about two hours and he was still pouring ’em down. What a capacity! I wonder if he ever took Johnny Crawford along.

    1. THE RIFLEMAN reviewed in Broadcasting Magazine, 1958. (I don’t think Connors made enough to buy radio stations at this early stage in his career.)
      Odds are that The Rifleman will be just another bright face to mill in the crowd of westerns. With television already over-saturated with this fare, ABC -TV’s new offering comes at a time when only exceptional scripting, acting, and production could save a horse opera from anonymity. While good by western standards, The Rifleman doesn’t rate these superlatives.
      The particular gimmick in this series is star Chuck Connors’ prowess with the rifle. As a widower, he disdains the familiar six-shooters in teaching his 12- year -old son the proper use of firearms. If the theme of the first program is a criterion, the series will have its quota of showdowns on the main street, in the saloon, etc. In casting Mr. Connors in the lead, the producers have fallen back on the clean-shaven, handsome features too typical of western tv leading men. This stereotype selection only tends to make The Rifleman just one of the crowd. Whatever happened to the scraggly -chinned, bowlegged waddies of Clarence Muldoon’s writings; the heroes who lent believable qualities to early western fiction?

      1. From Wikipedia:

        Connors had a rare comedic role in a 1955 episode (“Flight to the North”) of Adventures of Superman. He portrayed Sylvester J. Superman, a lanky rustic yokel who shared the same name as the title character of the series.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.