KNHC Historical Background From Sam Lawson


It is well documented that KNHC went on the air as a very low power AM station, broadcasting with 100 milliwatts on 1210 kHz, in December 1969. It turns out that this low power AM station has a history of its own that began several years earlier that Puget Sound Media readers might enjoy.

As a teenager I operated a low power AM radio station from my bedroom. I would come home from school each day, sign on, and play disk jockey for a few hours. Influenced by CFUN in Vancouver, I named the station “KFUN 1210.”
Back in those innocent pre-internet days of 1967, I actually sent a letter to the FCC asking about rules pertaining to my station. I am including a picture of the response I received from the FCC.

During my senior year at Nathan Hale High School, KFUN gained some notoriety when the school newspaper, The Sentinel, ran a story about my extracurricular activity. During electronics class I worked as a student assistant to Mr. Larry Adams, Nathan Hale’s electronics instructor, who had the idea of starting an FM educational station. Knowing that getting an FM license would take some time, and being aware of my home station, Mr. Adams asked if I would move KFUN to the school and rename it KNH. I agreed of course, since it meant I’d then be able to play around with the radio station during school hours.

KNH immediately had a schedule of student announcers on the air. The following school year Seattle Public Schools received its FM license for KNHC 89.5. Even though I had already graduated (class of 1970), Mr. Adams invited me to return to do a show just for fun on KNHC which I appreciated.

I am also including an article about KNH that appeared in the Northgate Journal in January, 1970.

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Author: Sam Lawson

Student engineer at pioneer Nathan Hale High radio station KNH 1210 in 1970, (prior to KNHC ), also attended LH Bates radio broadcast technician program where he obtained his First Class FCC License; Sam's career includes time as a KRKO radio personality and engineer in the mid-1970s, also KRLC in Idaho, In 1976 Sam worked overnights at KTAC (as Cory Landon), and then moved to weekends at KING. In Spokane, Sam was Program Director of Solid Gold Hits KJRB (1986). Lawson also worked as a voiceover artist and announcer at KISC FM and TV station KAYU-Spokane. He moved to LA in 1989 as an engineer and announcer at KZLA/KLAC. Also engineered for KFI, KOST, KBIG, Premiere Radio Networks, and the CBS radio cluster (now Entercom), Currently retired and living back in the northwest.

8 thoughts on “KNHC Historical Background From Sam Lawson

  1. I remember Sam walking around the block where he lived with his transistor radio checking the distance of his broadcast signal during the summer of 1969. A few months later I was on the microphone of KNH during my sophomore year at Hale. I enjoyed working on KNHC until I graduated in 1972.

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