Flashback 1984: No dramatic rescue for stumbling KSPL; Glenn Beck @ KUBE

August 19, 1984 – Victor Stredicke… For a while, it looked like KSPL, a contemporary-music station, wouldn’t even get a Christian burial. The station, more likely to be recognized under its old name, KAYO, has been signing off at 6pm to save labor costs and power bills. The reduced broadcast day was approved by bankruptcy court, as the debtor-in-possession, William L. Simpson, sought additional investors or a new purchaser.
Simpson is the majority owner, along with five other investors of KSPL Inc. They bought the KAYO license from Obie Communications, Eugene, Or., in 1982 for $1, 909, 284. Despite heavy losses the past two years, a purchaser has been found. Edward G. Atsinger III, a California broadcaster, has agreed to purchase the station for $2, 450, 000. The sale is subject to FCC approval and action may not happen for three months or more, as the commission routinely takes long summer vacations.
Atsinger owns religious stations in Oxnard and Carpinteria, Calif., and is partners with relatives in other stations in Boston, New York, San Antonio and Columbus, Ohio.
Atsinger has not been contacted, but it is logical to assume that KSPL will shed the contemporary music for some form of sponsored religious programming, although one might also have assumed Seattle has a fair share of such stations already.

More news, more talk, more hours

With a new 24-hour broadcast schedule to play with, KCIS has shuffled religious programs away from morning drive time and instituted morning and afternoon drive-time news blocks, each entitled, appropriately, “Newsblock.”
Dick Harris will be morning host, Glen Lambertz morning anchor, Loren Hoy afternoon host, and Roger Grossenbacher, anchor. Brief health, interview and inspirational reports will be included with the news blocks.
KCIS, formerly KGDN, has been a daytime-only operation since sign-on in 1954.

The #1 national network-level news personality is Paul Harvey.

Barry Beck is the new midday announcer at KUBE. He had been filling the 10am to 3pm slot on an interim basis.

Seattle Times – September 2009 – Dean Kahn /
BELLINGHAM — Sehome High School’s most controversial graduate just made the cover of Time magazine. Glenn Beck — described by Time as “the hottest thing in the political-rant racket, left or right” — visited Mount Vernon on Saturday to receive the key to the city, a decision by Mount Vernon’s mayor that further heightened debate about the conservative radio and TV commentator. Beck lived in Skagit County when his folks ran a bakery in downtown Mount Vernon, but he spent three years in Bellingham at Sehome High, graduating in 1982. … Beck, 45, has written that his fascination with radio began at age 8 when his mother gave him an album set of classic radio programs, including “War of the Worlds.” He landed a radio gig in Mount Vernon as a 13-year-old contest winner. Later that year, according to Beck, his mother, whom Beck has said abused alcohol and drugs, committed suicide. However, a recent article at Salon.com says Beck’s mother died two years later, when her son was 15, in a possible boating accident near Tacoma.

Radio start on KPUG

While just a sophomore, Beck worked part time, nights and weekends, as a disc jockey at KPUG/Bellingham, a Top 40 station then on Sunset Drive. He picked and played records and took requests from listeners, including schoolmates.

“A great voice, a great delivery,” said Keith Shipman, a 1979 Sehome graduate who worked as a DJ at KPUG while on summer breaks from Washington State University. “The argument could be made that he was the most talented guy among the weekenders.”

During his last two years at Sehome, Beck worked weekends as a disc jockey at Seattle’s KUBE, a Top 40 station. Michael O’Shea, now general manager of Cascade Radio Group in Bellingham, was general manager at KUBE when he heard Beck’s audition tape and called to give him the job.

“He was good,” O’Shea said. “He was also willing to work for minimum wage.”

What O’Shea didn’t know was how young his new employee was.

“I had no idea that he was 15,” O’Shea said. “I figured he was a college student. He … had a good, mature sound to him.”

Author: Victor Stredicke

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

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