Here’s all the news on all-news radio

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May 12, 1968

The nation’s first all-news radio station, WNUS in Chicago, has gone “good music” because it was not making enough money. The station had a “fairly good rating” but since area stations had increased their news, WNUS had not been as profitable as the management would like.
The station discontinued a rock ‘n roll format in September 1964, and went all-news, the first station in the United States to do so.
WNUS is one of five radio stations owned by Gordon B McLendon of Texas

Dick Harris, former KIRO news announcer is now working at WCBS, New York. Ray McMackin, another KIRO newsman, went to KFWB Los Angeles, as an anchorman to help swing that station into an all-news format.

Ray McMackin has since been stolen away by KNX Los Angeles. KNX also hired away Bruce McMichaels from KIRO.

Gordon McLendon had indicated interest in the defunct frequency of KBVU Bellevue, and his plans included beefing up the power of the station and pioneering the news format in Seattle.
He ran into objections from established broadcasters in this area. They said his plans would interfere with the financial operations of their stations. Some objections were to the power, some to the format.
Seattle broadcasters indicated they were already serving this area with all the news that was needed.

McLendon pulled out when drawn-out negotiation seemed likely, and when the Federal Communications Commission began studying his “beautiful music” station in Oakland (for sounding too much like a San Francisco operation.)

KIRO AM groups together a bunch of news programs for its blockbuster beginning at 5 PM weekdays. KXA offers alternated half-hour news blocks in morning and afternoon drive times. No other Seattle station sees fit to offer any news programs over 10 minutes long. Most keep it to three minutes.

This month KAYO is celebrating its fifth year as a country-western station. The celebration coincided with yesterday’s country music show at the opera house.

Norwood J. Patterson, owner of KTW in Seattle, has purchased radio station KGBS in Los Angeles from the Storer Broadcasting Company. This makes his third radio station.

Beginning in July, George Carlin, the comic who does such a good job of imitating disc jockeys on his record album, becomes a disc jockey on NBC radio’s Monitor program.

This is Arthur Godfrey’s 24th year as host of CBS radio’s Arthur Godfrey Time. And there were 10 earlier years with CBS before that program began.

Target date for KOL FM’s format break is June 1. Mountlake Terrace radio station KURB is now planned for mid July.

Chris Wedes, who plays the part of JP Patches, and John Mowbray, another Seattle broadcaster, are seeking FCC permission to buy a radio station in Springfield Oregon. Both would continue to work in Seattle.

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Victor Stredicke

Author: Victor Stredicke

Former radio columnist for the Seattle Times.

2 thoughts on “Here’s all the news on all-news radio

  1. This column from May of 1968 brought back a couple memories for me. At that time I was news director of WHPK-FM, the student-run station at University of Chicago. I would call a number at McClendon’s all-news WNUS to copy down their recorded headlines which I then aired on our station. I lost a major news source when they went back to music.
    Near the end of the column, Victor also mentions a new AM station coming on the air in July of ’68, KURB in Mountlake Terrace. By 1972 I would be the 23-year-old general manager of that 250-watt daytimer.
    Thanks for this short walk down memory lane!

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