VICTOR STREDICKE – January 17, 1988 – Ownership of KRKO, Everett, is due to change this week, as new investors bring the troubled station out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Principals are Art and Marianne Skotdal, real-estate investors, and Roy Robinson, an auto dealer. Despite rumors of a quick fix with an imported music service, Skotdal said he will seek a station manager, ask remaining employees to help plan the station’s future, and listen to listener opinions for the first two months. Sparky Taft, general manager and former principal owner, said he sought approval to sell the station for $600,000 to resolve the bankruptcy, and to rescue his relatives’ investments in the station. From 1941 to 1976 the station was operated by the Taft family, primarily Taft’s father and uncle. After the 1976 sale, KRKO meandered through a number of owners and call letters. Taft arranged a repurchase of the station, but got booted out by his partner in 1985. Taft sued and recovered the station, but eventually placed it in bankruptcy, he said, because of lingering debts from the partnership. Next week Taft expects to leave the station and join a competitor, a three-station chain of small stations, including KWYZ, Everett. He will be vice president of sales and marketing. “That’s pretty tumultuous decision, for both me and Marty Hamstra. For dozens of years we’ve been head-to-head competitors,” Taft said.
Taft said it has always been difficult to operate a local station under the umbrella of dozens of Seattle frequencies.
Bytes in the sky
The lap computer has wings. Up above it all, KIRO’s helicopter traffic reporter, Paul Brendle, is using a computer to estimate driving time between designated points, and comparing it with “historical data” _ such as rain or snow, or opening-day of classes or a football game nearby. This, says Brendle, allows him to compare travel time on different routes, which bridge is faster to the Eastside and by how many minutes. Brendle flies morning and afternoons on KIRO, 710 khz.
Twisting the dial
Broadcast veteran Jack Morton has joined KIRO Radio as a feature reporter. He will continue his role as skipper of the Newsradio Marine Patrol, broadcasting on-the-water reports during boating season . . . Joe Michaels, formerly of KLTX, has the afternoon-drive shift at KNBQ, 97.3 mHz. . . . At KVI, 570 kHz., Janice Kayne and Jim Martin have shuffled shifts with Kayne on 9 a.m. to noon, and Big Jim midnight to 6 a.m.