Bob Hale Fired, Listener Supported Talk Radio & Another Nixon Runs for Office

April 25, 1969 – Friday is a good day for making out lists. Here are three:
Notes about KSND:
Ward Lucas now signs on the station. Lucas runs the first hour of music, beginning at 5 a.m., and it in no way reflects what he offers on his talkshow on KBLE AM in the afternoon.
Norm Clark continues to bat around the one-liners from 6 a.m. He has enlisted the talents of Lynda Campbell, receptionist, to voice dumb blonde parts. Further note: she’s not.
KSND’s program director is Mark O. Marks– Or, as he also spells it, mark-o-marks. Two of his bits are Cajun Cal’s Crafty Kitchen, in which recipes are offered for fried watermelon rinds dipped in buttermilk and Dialing for Ding a Lings, a good satire on other radio station telephone giveaways.
New afternoon personality is Bryan Lewis, formerly of KGA Spokane. Lewis has one of the best new voices in town.
Danny Holiday remains at KSND from 7 PM till 1 AM sign off, but he will be departing soon. Holiday has developed into an authority on the golden oldies. Which brings us to an interesting point. How come the KSND ads continue to say 24 hours a day and the station signs off at 1 AM?

WHAT’S NEW — When it comes to promotion, there are not too many ahead of KVI. Here’s what the KVI staff has been up to to remind folks that the Pilots are here:
Hardwick organized the Ray Oyler fan club, which, among other things, made Page 1 of the Detroit News.
Four KVI disk jockeys were involved in the reception and parade for the new team.
Ray Court invited listeners to guess the opening game score, with winners getting foul balls hit in the first game.
Jack Morton has introduced a “very irregular program feature,” called “Look That Up in Your Dudley and Schonely.” Morton explains such Jimmy Dudley descriptions as “three ducks on the pond,” “can of corn” and “frozen rope.” Learn about baseball lingo from 3:30 to 7 PM.
Ray Court offers player horoscope readings.
Rod Belcher, part-time sportscaster, of course, wrote the Pilots’ fight song.
KVI could still be considering: The station’s disk jockeys against a Western Airlines stewardesses baseball team; sending Dave Clarke into the stands to sell peanuts– he could reach four rows back; full coverage of the clam digging contest at Ocean Shores (clams will have Pilots’ names painted on the shells); a time capsule (maybe); a rabbit contest (to pack the stadium); a Chico Salmon night light promotion. It was canceled when the ballplayer who admits to sleeping with the lights on was traded.

April 30, 1969 — Bob Hale delivered a somber weather forecast at the 5 PM spot Monday on KIRO TV. But at the 11 PM weather break, the cartooning weatherman had blustered up a storm on the set.
Hale said he was told by a channel 7 director that if he mentioned he was fired while on camera he would be cut off the air.
Hale said he elected not to appear in that case.
“I have a right to tell the public I was fired,” Hale said. “I don’t want Puget Sound residents to think I left them.”
Hale said he was summarily dumped because “cartooning weather shows are old hat.”
Hale drew and developed his folksy patter for 12 years on KING TV, took a short stab at Chicago TV and returned to the Seattle area to KIRO TV 1 1/2 years ago.
“I’m going to stay in Seattle,” Hale said. “I will probably never go on TV again.” He runs a cartoon sign shop and does occasional freelance advertising work.
“I’m really not trying to get back at KIRO,” Hale said “they say they want dignity, and I’m apparently not dignified.”
Lloyd Cooney, KIRO general manager, said the dispute was merely a matter of giving one week notice.
“It was purely a result of research,” Cooney said. “The question is not one of talent, but of information viewers expect. A cartooning weatherman is not the answer.” The station plans to unveil a revised news-sports-weather package next Monday. Another KIRO employee said the schedule was delayed a week for set design and a new weatherman.
Channel 11 has booked Mark Lane, author of the controversial best-seller, “Rush to Judgment,” for an interview. Lane will discuss his critical views of the Warren Commission report on the death of Pres. Kennedy in an interview with Bob Gleason at 10:30 o’clock Sunday night on KTNT TV’s We Believe program… Channel 11, incidentally, will expand its nightly news show to 45 minutes beginning Monday night. 11-Star News, with Bill Wippel as news editor, will run nightly from 10:30 PM to 11:15 PM. Monday night will also see the debut of Sandra Vlahovich as channel 11’s new weather girl. They say the 20-year-old Tacoma miss is better looking than Bob Hale.

Puyallup’s KAYE 1450 kc, insists the station is being boycotted and harassed.
For the past nine months, the station says, it’s Round-Table Forum, a 7 PM talk show hosted by Jon Gold, has built “a fantastic audience despite the low, low power of the station and the crowded airwaves around 1450 kc.”
“The program has engendered more complaints to the Federal Communications Commission than any station in the state,” a statement from KAYE says. “All the commotion is due to the continuous and steady pounding of Gold upon the fallacy (as he sees it) of the “counsel-manager” form of city government.
After losing all sponsors, except one, the station says, Gold was ready to leave the air. Listener support was requested. The station, which should logically be expected to pay its way with commercials, is now receiving pledges from listeners in the amount of about $650 per month.
“This is the first time in radio history that a political commentator has been supported on the air by those who want to hear his opinions,” the station says.

UP NORTH – Three Whatcom County radio stations are cooperating again to promote National Radio Month. Don Bevilacqua, station manager of KERI FM, said his station, KGMI FM and KLYN FM would be advancing the theme that FM radio is “the wonderful new world of sound,” static free, with high fidelity and with fewer program interruptions.

NEW SHOW – in the days when bigger stations are dropping “women’s programs” in favor of hit parade music, KURB, Mountlake Terrace, is adding a program. In a 25 minute segment, weekdays, Verna’s Variety offers chitchat, community bulletins and music.
“Because she is so nice,” so the story goes, the disk jockeys give Verna, the hostess, first crack at all new records at the station. Verna feels particularly secure, she insists, because most mail and phone response at the daytime only station is from women.

Edward Nixon, of Lynnwood, younger brother of Pres. Nixon, announced yesterday he will run for Republican state committee been from Snohomish County, but said, “I’m not looking at this as a stepping stone” to any higher office, the Associated Press reported.
Edward Nixon, 38, said he had been asked by a “group of Snohomish County citizens” to run for the post vacated by Lynnwood mayor Merle Hrdlicka, who resigned after conflict with the state Republican organization.
The state committee vacancy will be filled at a meeting of precinct committeemen Monday in Everett.
Edward Nixon recently withdrew from a $30,000 a year federal appointment as chairman of the federal Field Committee for Development Planning in Alaska because of possible conflict with the 1967 federal nepotism law. Nixon, formerly in a staff position with Pacific Northwest Bell telephone company, has had his leave of absence extended indefinitely. It was to expire this month, a year after he left work to campaign for his brother. A spokesman for the firm said Nixon had not yet made up his mind about returning.

Author: Victor Stredicke

Former radio columnist for the Seattle Times (1964-1989). --- View other articles by Victor Stredicke
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13 thoughts on “Bob Hale Fired, Listener Supported Talk Radio & Another Nixon Runs for Office

    1. Probably not who you recall…but I remember how sad the KOMO people were, when Bruce Caldwell, their 29yo weatherman, died in his small airplane, back in June of 1960…he had been on his way to visit his wife’s relatives, and had his small family with him…he basically made a pilot error, turning right after taking off from a small airstrip in Idaho, with the wind behind him, losing lift…the plane dropped like a rock…a witness said that Caldwell had time to turn off the engine, to reduce the chance of fire…but the force of impact killed his family, and he died a few minutes later, after staggering out of the wreck….There is only one article about this on the Net…published in a small town newspaper in the area….no youtube video of Caldwell at all.

        1. Thank you for that info…I had no idea there was a photo of the wreck….it looked like the passenger compartment took the major hit, as most of the plane looked intact…it seems that pilot error is responsible for most aircraft accidents, no matter the size….John Denver died when his semi-experimental plane ran out of gas…he could not reach the release valve on his auxiliary tank in time, and plunged into the ocean off the California coast.

    1. Sounds like Ray Ramsey, but I think I would remember that, and I don’t. It’s not Harry Wappler. I give up.

  1. The info on Bob Hale was appreciated…growing up, he was my favorite weather guy! I knew he was a KING mainstay for a long time…I remember one incident, back in the late 50s, where Bob was apologizing for blowing the previous forecast….instead of rain, we had received several inches of snow!…in the middle of his apology, some studio guy dumped a large amount of snow on his balding head!…local tv back then was more fun!..also, Bob made some great signs for local businesses…his works for Dag’s Burgers, on Aurora Avenue, stand out in my memory.

    1. I managed a Radio Shack in the 80’s at about 3rd and Pine. We had to close for remodeling and I called Bob Hale to make a “We’ll be back!” sign. We decided what size sign and what kind of message. I said, “Make it funny”. He showed up a little later in great humor and unrolled a blank white glossy canvas about six by three feet, fastened it to the store window and went to work with his paints and brushes. About a half hour later Bob beckoned me with a twinkle in his eye and we both looked on admiringly at his latest masterpiece. I wish I’d kept it. I know I didn’t toss it in the trash. Bob was a nice guy and he kind of reminded me of Santa Claus.

  2. “Because she is so nice,” so the story goes, the disk jockeys give Verna, the hostess, first crack at all new records at the station.”

    Verna was KURB’s receptionist so she was there all day. I had the afternoon air shift. There was some new record we were playing that she liked. She came in when I went on the air and asked me to play it so I did. The next day she came in and asked me to play it again and I said I’d play it as soon as I can. Before I got to it, she came in again and asked why I hadn’t played “her song”. Next day – same. I told her I couldn’t play the same song at the same time every day but I would work it in as soon as I could. She got upset and walked out, slamming the door. I guess she told her husband I wasn’t being nice to her or something because he came to the station when she got off work. They both came into the control room and he started yelling. He called me Turntable Tom. He said I was a nobody (true) and nasty to his wife (false). In a minute or two he called me Turntable Tom again and they left, slamming the door. Verna never spoke to me again.

    1. Sounds like favoritism toward Verna by the staff. But it sounds like it might have been a directive from management, or it went to Verna’s head?

  3. John Gold was the on air name of a bizarre man named Fred Lee Crisman, author of “Tacoma, Death of a City”. Google his name and prepare for some fascinating reading!

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