4/5/87-KIRO’s birthday inspires audio memories

VICTOR STREDICKE – April 5, 1987
To mark its 60th birthday, KIRO-AM will begin broadcasting brief features that recall events of the past.
In “The Best of Times,” a series of two-minute features, listeners might hear a 1941 wartime “blackout” in Seattle, the news report of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsing or a family discussing the adoption of a Vietnamese child as part of the 1975 Babylift.

Jim French, who first joined the station as morning disc jockey in 1958, narrates the features. They were written by John Chelminiak.

The series of 60 reports will include music of the time, old-radio excerpts and interviews with some who remember the good old days. (Air times are 8:23 a.m. and 1:55 and 4:23 p.m. weekdays.)

KIRO began in 1927 as KPCB, named for the Pacific Coast Biscuit Co., a firm owned by Moritz Thomsen, president of Centennial Flour Mills. Centenial’s major competitor was Fisher Flour Mills, which had put KOMO radio on the air in 1926.

In 1933 the station was purchased by Saul Haas, a former newspaper editor. He changed the name of the station to KIRO so it could be pronounced as a word, and a year later, boosted power and moved to the 710 frequency. KIRO became a Columbia Broadcasting System affiliate in 1936, with a variety of locally produced programs, news reports and network entertainment programs. KIRO carried CBS radio programs through the very last dramatized series, “Gunsmoke,” in 1961, and “The Arthur Godfrey Show” in 1972.

KIRO-AM-FM-TV was purchased by what would become Bonneville International, the broadcast division of the Mormon church in 1963. In 1974 the radio station changed to an all-news format.

A LEGEND ARRIVES

Humble Harve, a legend of Los Angeles rock radio in the ’60s, will be the new afternoon drive-time announcer at KVI, 570 kHz, beginning tomorrow.

With the full name, Humble Harve Miller, he comes to Seattle from KRLA. He previously worked for the hot top-40 stations in the ’60s, and has worked at other contemporary-music stations in Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

Denny MacGougan, former columnist for the Tacoma News Tribune, has begun a Monday-night commentary, “MacGougan at Large,” at 7:05 p.m. Mondays on KTAC, 850 kHz. . . .

Author: Victor Stredicke

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

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