November 1968 Radio Highlights

November 1, 1968
Tom Murphy was honest about it yesterday afternoon on KJR. Pres. Johnson’s bombing halt announcement had caused programming problems. He then informed listeners he had to catch up and begin triple-spotting commercials between occasional records for the next half hour.

November 3, 1968
The ABC network splits four ways on Tuesday. The information network is on KOMO. The FM network is on KETO FM. The entertainment network is on KTAC. Contemporary network is on KJR.
This is the first acknowledgment that KJR is toying with network affiliation.
The four services share lines and news sources, but the length of reports, manner of presentation and personalities used will vary.

For the past two years Ron MacArthur has been host to KIRO AM’s Public Pulse. It was MacArthur’s task to moderate the call-in show, draw out his guest, handle the kooks and, for the past dozen months attempt to hold his own against the Irving Clark talkshow on KING AM.
In a program with Dr. Benjamin Moore, Baptist minister, early last month, MacArthur encountered a woman caller who seem to blame all civic turmoil on the fact that Negro children start all the fights at her children’s school. She also indicated that, as for “the Negro problem,”… “We have the answer…”
As MacArthur disconnected the call he urged the caller, “go shine your iron cross and lace up your tennis shoes.”
Next day, MacArthur was on his regular afternoon music show, but not on Public Pulse. He has not been on Pulse since.

Jerry Holzinger, working as a research assistant at Western State Hospital in Steilacoom, found out that there was a radio station in nearby Lakewood. Therefore, beginning tomorrow from 6 AM to 9 AM, Holzinger will be moonlighting (if you can call it that at 6 AM) again, on a telephone talk show on KOOD 1480.

KFKF AM in Bellevue has asked for an increase in power from 1000 Watts to 25,000 Watts.

November 7, 1968
Squire Worthington is no longer with KSND.

Mark O. Marks short-term morning man, takes the KSND night spot and Don Kay takes over the morning time. Midnight to 6 AM, the announcer is Ron Olson, late of KBLE.

November 8, 1968
On October 29 the KAYO staff previewed a new record by Jan Howard, called “My Son.” The narrative ballad described a mother’s concern for her soldier son on his way to fight a war.
The KAYO disk jockeys agreed that the song had a great deal of warmth and reflected the anxiety of those who knew a man of fighting age. They began playing the release the next day.
Bobby Wooten, program director, now reports that Jan Howard’s son was killed October 31 in Vietnam.

In order to secure a writ of attachment which would tie up KTW’s equipment and put it off the air today, the former owner was required to put up a $25,000 bond. The station will apparently stay off the air until the lawsuit filed in Superior Court demanding payments of $203,163 is resolved.

Four stations refused to break format for the election. With the exception of an acceptance speech and an extra two minutes or so on the half-hour, it was business as usual for KOL, KJR, KSND and KIXI.

Particularly disappointing was KJR’s network coverage. The big network stations, KIRO, KOMO and KING, performed admirably, with information and personnel from their TV affiliates. KAYO’s local coverage was enough, but KVI superior. It was particularly nice to hear Dick Stokke’s voice on Seattle radio again, even if only temporarily.

November 10, 1968
Other than milk cows, daytime only radio stations are about the only ones left who really get uptight about daylight savings time switches.
Limited broadcast day stations must sign off at local sunset to avoid skywave interference with stations thousands of miles away: KTW AM must sign off to protect KWSC Pullman. KXA must sign off to protect WABC New York. KBLE AM must sign off to avoid interference with Mexican stations.
The time jump, coming at the same time as one of the years shortest day months, hurts.
KBLE’s talk show with Ward Lucas used to come on at 4:30. Lucas’s show now begins at 3 PM since signoff time this month is 4:30. Next month, 4:15.
Dick Harris attempting to do a driving home show on KGDN operates from 3:05 to sign off. During the winter at least, Harris directs the first hour of his program to teens. Features and interviews for youth are scheduled and the music is with a gospel emphasis that Harris hopes teens dig.
He is considering offering membership cards, teen advice booklets, and news of teen get-togethers. At 4:15, Harris turns attention to the frustrated freeway type and to the sweet young thing who is waiting at home for him. Again, he seeks to complement the bright gospel music sound with traffic reports. He also offers safe driving kits including a road flag, an emergency pair of sunglasses, (in case of sun,) and a booklet offering solutions to dilemmas bigger than just traffic fighting.

For more technical reasons the same sort of problem affects many limited time stations in the mornings. The FCC has now stabilized sign-on times for most at 6 AM. In doing so, however, the FCC took away 4 AM sign-on times for some stations, such as KGDN. KGDN individually, and with four large radio station chains, last month lost an appeal to the Supreme Court for the earlier airtime, and KGDN is now following lawyers’ advice to conform to the FCC rules.
The FCC has informed KIRO that it faces a possible $2500 fine for operating at daytime power too early in the morning. Presumably stemming from the same kind of sign-on rules.
A KIRO spokesman insists that the apparent rule violation was not done deliberately; neither was it done through stupidity. As we said, it gets technical.

The FCC has received an application for transfer of KUJ Walla Walla, from H.E. Studebaker (owner since the station went on the air in 1926) to VBR Broadcasters Inc. Vern Russell, the primary stockholder in the new Corporation, has been affiliated with the station for the past 20 years.

November 14, 1968
With a borrowed transmitter and the power line across the street, KTW has limped back on the air. A Superior Court writ of attachment by a former owner shut down the station Friday morning.
The 250 W transmitter, borrowed from Elroy McCaw has been eking out an AM signal covering only downtown Seattle. Lou Gillespie, station manager, said the station will be back with full power within the next few days.
Norwood Patterson, station owner, said every legal procedure was being used to get back into use the station’s AM and FM transmitters. The station’s scheduled programs remain 98% intact, Gillespie said.

KSND takes exception to those who refer to the station as a rock and roll outlet. Riley R. Gibson, owner, says the station has been completing a gradual format change, planned before the first broadcast, to an upbeat middle-of-the-road format.

November 15, 1968
Expect departure from KJR soon by Charlie Brown, now manning the all-night shift. He will return to KJRB Spokane, for more respectable hours.


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Author: Victor Stredicke

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

2 thoughts on “November 1968 Radio Highlights

  1. Lots of memories and some familiar names in these classic Stredicke columns. Former Seattle radio greats Dick Stokke and Al Clarke, cast aside by the big stations, came to work with me at little ol’ KURB in South Snohomish County. Two fun and funny guys! Fast forward a few more years, and Jack Bankson had moved from KVI management to become my boss’s boss at KTNT/KNBQ. Not quite as much fun.

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