Charles C. Bolland – That’s The Way The Ball Bounces

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His name became a household word in 1960s Seattle radio. His “That’s the Way the Ball Bounces” feature was a real listener-grabber for KJR. And his authoritative on-air delivery elevated channel 95’s news product well above most run-of-the-mill rock ‘n roll radio stations of the day. Charles C. Bolland, whose title was news director, cut a pretty big swath from 1964 to 1970. But his career certainly went deeper, wider and farther than KJR. Like many of us in broadcasting, Bolland needed to move on to other pastures. An opportunity in Cincinnati took him to another well-established Top-40 giant. That WSAI assignment led to a taste of radio management and later on-air work at Cincinnati’s WKRC AM-TV. His Ohio experience, including a year at WIXY in Cleveland, lasted six years. He returned to the Pacific Northwest in 1976 and for 10 years was Tacoma’s KTAC news director. But, sure enough, high interest in his bouncing ball sports opinions (although not always about sports) again led to a daily sports commentary. Always fresh, bold and acerbic. Yes, even scarcastic — but incisive in telling it like it was, often amusing and certainly enlightening.
Here’s a composite aircheck of Bolland from his KJR and KTAC days. Running time about 4:02.
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Again, as most of us found out, there is life AFTER broadcasting. Bolland left KTAC in 1986 for a six-year public information officer job with the Washington State Legislature in Olympia. He then moved over to what became a 16-year position at the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife where he produced audio-visual products and a monthly cable TV program. And, to no one’s surprise, Bolland has for several years continued producing and distributing weekly sports commentaries for a sizeable group of Northwest broadcast outlets. And the ball just keeps bouncin’. . .
(Some audio clips from the Shanaman Sports Museum of Tacoma.)

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Ronald DeHart

Author: Ronald DeHart

Ron DeHart is a former newspaper and broadcast journalist and a retired Public Affairs Officer from both the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Navy/Naval Reserve. His historical accounts of Pacific Northwest broadcasting are published by Puget Sound Media.  

5 thoughts on “Charles C. Bolland – That’s The Way The Ball Bounces

  1. I often used to listen to KJR radio while at university in Vancouver, British Columbia.
    I found it amusing that when Mr Bolland reported the news, he called himself “Charles C. Bolland” “; however after reading the sports he called himself “Chuck Bolland” … an attempt I assumed to identify as a sports jock.

  2. Clark Kent only needed to lose the eye glasses to fool Lois, Jimmy and Mr. White. Chuck Bolland had his way to alter his identity.

  3. When KJR,S Jerry Kay did the news, he was JFK. The same initial as President Kennedy. When Robin Mitchell worked in Lebanon, Org
    His dj name was Jerry Mitchell and his newscasting name was J.J. Mitchell. His P.D. told him to use JJ for now on. Some broadcasters like to give their news more dignity. Al Mac did weekends as a jock at KOL and during the week he was news reporter Alan McKenzie. He would go on to be Gary Mitchell at KRKO, KING, KUUU and KAYO.

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