Highsmith pursues country music KRPM

August 12, 1984 – –
Highsmith Broadcasting Company Inc., a new firm, has announced intentions to purchase KRPM, Tacoma’s high-rated country music station, from Ray and Sherry Courtmanche and is seeking FCC approval for the transfer.
The purchase price was not disclosed in a station announcement, but other sources indicate it was $4 million. Highsmith recently purchased KREM AM & KHLT FM in Spokane from KING Broadcasting Company.
William Highsmith, an Arizona businessman, is chairman, but Ivan Braiker is president and operating chief of Highsmith Broadcasting. Braiker will live on Mercer Island and work at KRPM’s office in Tacoma, making occasional jaunts to Spokane. Braikers’ broadcast career has included management of radio and TV stations in Las Vegas, Dallas, and Indianapolis. Most recently he was senior vice president of TranStar, a firm, which supplies music formats to radio stations by satellite.
Braiker said there will be no change in format at KRPM and, for that matter, few staff changes. “Our primary goal will be to improve the station’s market position,“ he said. Braiker said that would include more station promotions, and beefing up the sales department.

What grounded KVI’s eye in the sky traffic reporter Cliff Murphy last week? Nobody’s talking.
Murphy, a 14 your fixture in the Seattle traffic scene, said he was still under contract, but would no longer be broadcasting daily traffic reports. “If they need me for a special event, I’ll be there,“ he said. The change follows KVI’s recent Independence Day fireworks when most of the station’s personalities were let go. Murphy had been scheduled to continue.

With the departure of News Director, John Erickson, KING AM has had a full change of administrators since it adopted the all-news format two years ago. Since Tim Davidson moved over from KING FM to be General Manager, the stations, Operations Manager, Promotion Director, Sales Manager, and News Director have resigned or been fired.
Davidson said he is assembling a new team to continue with the news format. His first appointment is Diane Simmons as the Sales Manager; she most recently was an account executive at KVI. An Operations Director is next. Meanwhile, through the Democratic convention, Olympics and Seafair planning, the news staffers are directing themselves. Erickson, KING News Director even before the news format change, has accepted the job of News Director at KTRH Houston, Texas. The station has a news-talk format, and a strong presence in the marketplace, Erickson said. Among new job advantages: Erickson will refer to his real name, Bill Calm. The Erickson moniker was thrust upon him in music radio days when the real name was adjudged too sober for rock radio.

Twisting The Dial

Jennifer James‘s weekly advice show moves to the evening beginning Saturday on KIRO. It will air 5 PM to 9 PM and be followed by TalkNet’s Bernard Melzer.

The new mid-day disc jockey on KISW, David Perry, may sound very familiar to regular listeners. Perry is a Seattle native and first worked at KTAC in the early 1970s. His voice has been heard on nationally syndicated rock radio features such as “The Rock Years“ and “Rock Chronicles.“ He also was the weekly host of “Power Cuts,“ the first nationwide satellite show designed for rock radio.
“The Gabbie Gourmet,“ a 90-second syndicated cooking-tip show, has been added to the weekday schedule on KIXI AM, at 10:50 AM.

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Author: Victor Stredicke

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