July 11, 1982 — “I’ve been too comfortable here,” Charlye Parker said, peeking out past the pillars of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. From the control room at KMPS, she can look out at Elliott Bay sunsets.
So, last Friday she quit as the 7 PM to midnight personality at KMPS-FM.
“I want to program a radio station”, Parker said.
Following the advice of the KMPS program director, Ron Norwood, and the formula Parker teaches to neophytes at a broadcast school, she will seek a new career in what they call a “medium market” — smaller than Seattle, bigger than Walla Walla.
At 5’4″ tall and blonde, she is afraid “I’m still going to fight the female thing.” In 1962 when she entered radio, there were no openings for on-air females. So, Parker accepted secretarial and administrative jobs. By 1972 she got on air in Santa Fe, New Mexico. That’s where she picked up the on-air name, Charlye Parker. Later, on vacation in Seattle, she stumbled into KMPS and won what would become a five year job.
Ron Norwood gave Seattle country listeners their first chance to hear a female country announcer. Others followed.
“But there’s still a struggle,” Parker said. “There are 52 radio stations in this area, most needing 8 disk jockeys to fill the day, and there are only 11 women on-air.”
“I hate to see Charlye go,” Norwood said. “Longevity of air staff is one of the advantages of our station sound. But she’s learned enough that she can go out on her own.”
For the past two years Parker had been restless, but reluctant to leave the folks at KMPS. She decided the only way to make a career change was to make a career break. She quit before her first application for program director went out.
Whatever happened to Scott Burns, the short-term morning man at KJR a year or so ago?
He had an auto accident and broke his jaw, the ultimate disability in the radio business. While recuperating, Burns lost his time slot, later his job. Last week he returned. Morning man on KPLZ.
“I really do fancy myself an entertainer,” Burns said. “I do believe in having fun on the radio.”
Before KJR, Burns worked at several stations, including WRKO, Boston, and KREM, Spokane.
Also new this week on KPLZ: seven to midnight announcer Bill Maier. He comes to Seattle after a variety of California stations, including ones in Fresno, Escondido, and San Diego.
Dave Stone will anchor a series of special reports from the state penitentiary at Walla Walla during morning drive time periods Monday through Friday on KIRO. Stone expects to interview prison officials, guards, inmates, and Walla Walla citizens, exploring issues of overcrowding, criminal justice, and administration-inmate conflicts.
Matt Reidy, “the commissioner” on KZAM, gave up the early morning grind, he says, to focus on freelance commercial work, maybe some part-time air work. He got it. Weekends on KJR.
KENU, Issaquah, really focuses on the back woods on Friday. It airs brief forest service reports 11 times that day.
“It’s your basic information on slash burns, trail reports, campground conditions,” said Vern Foster, KENU news director. Reports are prepared by Debbie Norman of the White River Ranger District.
KASY, Auburn, carries a single forest service report Thursday afternoon, Friday and Saturday mornings. KJUN, Puyallup, carries the reports at 12:30 PM and 5:30 PM Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.