VICTOR STREDICKE – September 27, 1987 – Jim French’s day has been shortened to just a midmorning segment, 9 a.m. to noon. Ross promises imagery from time to time on his segment, from 1 to 4 p.m. “I don’t want to do a `talking heads’ show,” he said.
“I asked Andy Ludlum (KIRO’s director of news and programming) to give me a long mike.” He gets that for the first show on Monday. Ross will walk through the first floor of Broadcast House, KIRO’s Third Avenue home, describing the newsroom layout and interviewing some of the people behind the scenes.
Ross might be best known for his brief features, “A Minute With the Arts,” a series of condensed interviews with ambient sound that has grown to a 2 1/2 minute show, and “Chip Talk,” a brief program about computers. (“A Minute With the Arts” is picked up by the CBS Radio Network, and “Chip Talk” is distributed to other stations by AP Radio.)
Ross has been KIRO Radio’s afternoon news anchor for the past five years and was part of the station’s broadcasts from China and the Soviet Union.
“Actually, the Russia trip solidified my thoughts. In addition to big stories, we reported on shopkeepers, workers, average citizens.
“If we can find a story in a fish market in Russia, why not in Seattle?” Ross filled in on “Midday” while French was on vacation, and the two discussed the new show while on the air last week. With the two short midday programs, KIRO eliminates weekday music, which frequently bridged the daylong “Midday” show.
Less news, more talk
More staff positions were eliminated at KING-AM last week.
Frank Catalano, who moved to morning news anchor only three weeks ago, and Randy Rollin, sports director, were laid off in a staff reduction. “The station is moving toward news talk,” said Bob Gallucci, general manager. Also gone are references to “Sky Twins.” The lease on the two traffic planes will be canceled at month’s end. “Good, accurate traffic reports will continue,” Gallucci said. Catalano’s Sunday morning “Northwest Computing” is gone. But the Saturday morning “Everyday People” talk show that Rollins and John Westphall produced for the Presbyterian Church continues. With a news emphasis on science and technology, Catalano said he hopes to stay in Seattle. “I will continue my writing,” he said. Rollin said the reductions made “good business sense” and that he is ready for a midlife career change. He has been studying for the ministry.