June 27, 1982 — On Thursday, KING-AM will return to the folds of NBC Radio. The station dropped the network during its hit music format of 1972. For years KING ran without a network, and only this year became an affiliate of the RKO II Network, a new service.
The affiliation will return such familiar NBC features as “Meet the Press,” John Chancellor’s commentaries and Gene Shalit’s “Man About Anything,” plus regularly scheduled news, sports and business news.
“NBC rounds out our information services with a quality national product,” Edith Hilliard, KING-AM general manager said. “The affiliation is also a natural, in that KING TV is an NBC affiliate.”
All RKO features will be dropped, including Sunday morning “Newsweek,” “Saturday Night Oldies” and the all night talk show, “America Overnight.”
Hilliard said KING had had discussions with NBC a year ago. Timing was right for the affiliation now, she said. The new KING, with a commitment to information segments, including two airplanes for commuter traffic reports, called for better news from a recognized source.
The change comes at a time when a half dozen flashy “lifestyle networks” are trying to find affiliates in Seattle. CBS Radio and ABC Super radio, targeted to young listeners, are not placed in Seattle.
Hilliard dismissed the value of target audience networks, at least when it comes to news. “When you want the news you want the news, not features,” she said.
And NBC is delighted. “KING Broadcasting is a nationally respected company,” said Nancy Cook, regional director of NBC’s affiliate relations. “We appreciate their 50,000 W signal, and hope to draw on KING news reporters to build our coverage of news from the Northwest.”
September 5, 1982 — Radio, particularly AM radio, has rediscovered the remote broadcast as a way to keep in touch with listeners. Music stations and mainstream information stations suddenly want to be involved in, or on display at, community events.
The Western Washington Fair in Puyallup, which begins next weekend, is a case in point. Booth space has been reserved for KOMO, KMPS, KTNT, KLAY, KNBQ, KPLU, KRPM, plus KCPQ TV and KOMO TV.
Describing the sites, sounds and smells of America’s seventh-largest fair is a challenge for any radio broadcaster who routinely is isolated in a small booth, surrounded by only records or cartridges. This year, there’s plenty to compare.
“We are committed to being visible,” Ken Kohl, KOMO radio program director, explained. KOMO is also broadcasting today from Bumbershoot. More out of studio experiences can be expected at KOMO. “We hope to supply a sense of what the event is all about.”
Kohl said his air staff, including Don Chapman, Joe Coburn, Keith Jonasson, and Larry Nelson, will broadcast 64 shifts at the fair, from a mobile unit under a para-wing tent. When the adjacent stage is not being used by the TV crews, KOMO will invite fairgoers to use the picnic tables. KOMO plans recipe card giveaways.
Ron Norwood, program director of KMPS AM and FM, believes it is important disk jockeys meet people at concerts and contests. From a permanent cabin at the southwest corner of the fairgrounds, KMPS daytime personalities, Jim Williams and Ed Dunaway, will be “meeting the folks and shaking their hands.” Window stickers will be distributed.
KMO, Tacoma country music station, has been broadcasting from the fair “from the very beginning,” said Jim Baine, owner-manager. A bit philosophical, Baine said KMO’s fair broadcasts are little more than habit, although they once boosted revenue and provided excellent exposure of their personalities. “Frankly, disk jockeys are mechanics nowadays, not personalities.” Baine said.
Nevertheless, Baine promises “a feeling of fun” during KMO’s fair segments, with Greg O’Neill, morning man, and Cliff Wilson, afternoon announcer. KMO’s booth is beneath the grandstand, a great place to commandeer guests. KMO is one of those stations asking the FCC for a frequency switch and power increase. If it ever happens–it’s been 10 years or so already–Seattle listeners might well become more familiar with KMO.
KTNT doesn’t fare so well in fair locations–or signal penetration. That’s why it stays true to the slogan, “Tacoma’s information station.”
Dewey Boynton, said KTNT’s mission at the fair is to “reinforce the call letters.” But what visitors find most fascinating is Jerry Dimmitt, a former KAYO talkshow host, running full-bore from 9 a. m. to 2 p.m. On KTNT. “Dimmitt breeds plenty of listener curiosity,” Boynton said. KTNT is likely to have the most interview segments.
KNBQ, Tacoma’s FM rocker, has a booth, but does not intend to broadcast from the fair. KRPM is the Tacoma FM station that is buying billboards in Seattle to promote its country music format. KLAY is a limited power Lakewood station.
Paula Swenson and Craig Hansen, host of Artsplace and Afternoon Fantasia, will broadcast on KPLU, classical FM station, from 10 AM to 6 PM. This station will be near the Blue Gate.
Space for the media at the fair is free. Travel time, line charges and engineering overtime figure into remote broadcast costs. But for a chance to be seen and heard by half a million potential listeners, the fair is a bargain.
KING-AM will quash the soft rock format and become an all-news radio station on October 4th.