KTW 1250 & The Multiple Personalities, 1963-1964

Brian Lord sent this story and pics from a period when KTW 1250 had a teen-oriented format.

Brian Lord 1963
KTW AM, prior to their sale to David M. Segal of Denver, Colorado in 1964, was a daytime only station and owned by the First Presbyterian Church with studios at 710 Madison Street. KTW played “beautiful music”, and the two full time radio personality’s were Hal Links and Lee Knudsen. Prior to the sale to Segal, the Church had bought a construction permit for an FM on 102.5. Segal hired three radio personality’s from Butte, Montana’s KOPR AM and one who said he had worked at KISN in Portland. Later, it was found out that he had lied about that. Segal thought he was being funny when he gave the 4 radio personalitys their names. He called them Tom Morgan, Dick Jones, Harry Smith, and Sam Kelly. So it was Tom, Dick and Harry….and of course, Sam. At midnight on Aug. 1, 1964, Segal took control and KTW switched to top 40. At the time, only KJR was playing top 40. A funny thing did happen right away. Segal was listening to Harry Smith stumble over the news in his afternoon till sunset slot, got fed up and two nights later he had switched the radio personality known as Sam Kelly with the one known as Harry Smith.
Dave Hebert and Brian Lord-1964 – prior to KTW being sold.
So the guy called Sam Kelly became Harry Smith and visa versa and they switched time slots. Another thing that happened was the station fired the guy known as Tom Morgan after a few months and brought in another guy and he became Tom Morgan.
Unfortunately, KTW had to sign off at local sunset. A teen station signing off in the late afternoon shortly after kids got home from school was a real ratings killer. The stations hours were 11:15 PM until local sunset average the following day. They were a shared time station with KWSU in Pullman which had priority over them, but they signed off at 11:15 PM.
Pic of Rees Berryman. Known on KTW as Harry Smith, was previously known for three days as Sam Kelly.
Segal hoped that when they signed on KTW FM on January 1, 1965, simulcasting the format would bring in more listeners. But there weren’t that many FM radios out there, so KTW struggled. It also didn’t help that the FM antenna was installed on the AM tower at Pigeon Point in West Seattle. It should have been installed at a higher location from the start. “The Wonderful Sound of Seattle” lasted only 9 months and the format was changed to a so-called “Nashville Sound” country station. The only radio personality holdover to the new format was Dick Knapp, the Dick Jones of KTW rock, then the Rick Richards of KTW Country.
Brian Lord [A part-timer at KTW during this period; Later a part-timer at KSCR, Renton]

Author: Jason Remington

Creator, Admin, & Editor of PugetSound.Media, former broadcaster at KAMT/Tacoma, KRPM FM/Tacoma, KJUN/Puyallup, KASY/Auburn, KTAC AM/Tacoma, KBRD FM/Tacoma, KMTT FM/Tacoma, and KOOL FM/Phoenix. - Jason Remington Airchecks

12 thoughts on “KTW 1250 & The Multiple Personalities, 1963-1964

  1. The best version of KTW was KKFX in the 80s. Great music and a morning show from a bedroom closet. How can you beat that?

  2. Geez, Louise. I believe my 75 year old mind has slipped another cog. At the top of every hour songs #1 and #2 were played. The rest of the top 8 were played every other hour at :15, :30, and :45.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.