Yakima Station Swap

October 5, 1986 — Yakima listeners will someday experience the station switch, but one which might pass almost unnoticed. A group including Martin Hammstreet and other principles, with interest in KWYZ Everett, is buying KENE AM and KZHR FM in Toppenish. The investment group, Sunshine Valley Broadcasters, then plans to sell KENE, a 1000 W station at 1490 kHz, to Richard Knapp and purchase instead KYXE, a 5000 Watt station at 1020 kHz in neighboring Selah. Sunshine Valley says it has no plans to make format changes on either of the new stations, so Yakima County listeners will still have their daily doses of country music and CHR music.

Sparky Taft, general manager of KFRE Everett, doesn’t mind anybody knowing he’s coming in second. “We’re second in sports,” Taft said, “second only to KIRO.” Obviously no station competes with all the pro sports on KIRO. But KFRE, 1380 kHz, carries Notre Dame Saturdays, the NFL game of the week on Sundays, high school sports and in seasons such features as the Indianapolis 500 auto race, and come December, five of the major bowl games, including the Sugar Bowl broadcast.

“Blues in the Night,” a weekly show, has been added to KQIN, 820 kHz, at 11 PM Saturdays. Host is Roberta Penn, an area music journalist. New and classic jazz will be featured; an album side will be played late in the to our program.

Stacy Taylor left the KING AM afternoon talk show to take a job at KSDO, San Diego’s number one news talk station.

The University of Washington student station, KCMU, plans to increase its range by making a slight move from its 90.3 MHz frequency, all the way to 90.5 and to a tower site on Capitol Hill. By late January, maybe.

Author: Victor Stredicke

Former radio columnist for the Seattle Times. --- View other articles by Victor Stredicke
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13 thoughts on “Yakima Station Swap

  1. One problem back then was that KTW was a daytime only station playing rock and signing off in the early afternoon in the winter Then signing back on at 11:15 pm when their share time station KWSU Pullman signed off. If the FM permit for 102.5 had been built before they switched to rock that might have helped, but it was a shoestring operation with an out of state owner.

  2. I did a few of those sign on’s. Here’s some more about the operation there. In the control room, there was a shelf above the board that had a unattached rack of the current singles. After one of the dj’s played one disc and removed it from the turntable, he shoved it in a little too hard and knocked the rack off, breaking some including two new ones that we only had one copy. I had to go down to The Warehouse of Music to buy replacements. Then the rack got fastened. Sometimes. we didn’t get many copies from the distributors and back cuing made the start pretty rough at the beginning of the songs. The PD set it up so that the top 8 songs got played every two hours on the top :00 #1 & #2, :30 #3 & #4 :15 #5 & #6 and :45 #7 & #8. The way the rest of the top 40 were played randomly by writing on the the back of playing cards, the number of the other 32 songs left in the top 40. After you ran though the deck, you would shuffle the cards again. 🙂

    1. I remember “Where Did Our Love Go” opening every hour for a week when it was #1. So you were Sam Kelly?

      Really funny that club deejays get their cookies with those scratch cues that we in lower budget stations had to put up with.

      Why do I always have to pick three bridges, buses or traffic lights? Please add something like bowling monkeys.

      1. The alternative is the crazy alphabet or arithmetic. Yes, they do need to come up with something new on these recaptchas.

  3. No, I was not Sam Kelly, I was myself. I worked weekends and filled in on Holidays or if Kelly got time off. I quit when I joined the National Guard and had monthly meetings. I told Art Jacobson, the manager, it would be better for him if he didn’t have to get someone else to fill in when I was at a guard meeting. That was it for my radio career for several years until I got the not so bright idea to build my own radio station. Enough about that. 🙁

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