KTW 1250 & The Multiple Personalities, 1963-1964

5
(5)

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]

Did YOU enjoy this post?

Give this a thumbs up to rate it!!

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. View other articles by Jason Remington

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

  1. I would have sworn that that era of KTW lasted more than a few months. I really liked that station! They opened every hour with the #1 song on Billboard’s Hot 100. The Supremes’ first #1 record, “Where Did Our Love Go”, spent two weeks at the top, so opened every hour from August 16th through the 29th. KTW probably signed off at 8:15 P. M. in August, so “Where Did Our Love Go” got twenty-one plays a day for two weeks. Somebody must have carted it, what do you think?

    FM reception in cars was atrocious in Seattle back then. Maybe that was before the antenna farm sprouted on Tiger Mountain. I bought a brand new 1965 Plymouth Fury III convertible from S. L. Savidge and ordered it with an AM-FM radio. They replaced the radio twice and even hired some electronics nut to tinker with it. He even put on one of those grounding chains like oil trucks dragged underneath to keep from exploding. I finally gave up and went to the stock AM radio.

    David M. Segal also owned a hotel on Fourth Avenue between Jackson and Main Streets which advertised on the station.

    My FM-less Fury:
    http://classiccardb.com/uploads/postfotos/1965-plymouth-fury-convertible-383-v-8-6.JPG

    1. Reception of KTW was spotty in Tacoma, as I recall. The Top 40 format was not on my radar. Marty Loken, of the Seattle Times didn’t call attention to the format, or I wasn’t paying attention. Loken was anti-pop/rock music anyway.

      I think playing the #1 hit each hour was a great idea. (For those times)

      1. Thanks, Ed. It was a good car and only $2,400.00 brand new with a ten year, 100,000 mile factory warranty. They made a Fury I, II, III and the Sport Fury, which I would have bought except the front seats were buckets, so I bought the III. Drove it for ten years. Bucket seats killed the drive-in theater.

  2. The #1 song through #8 played every two hours at the top, bottom, :15 and :45. The rotation for the rest of the current survey was done using a deck of cards with numbers written on the back. After you got through the deck, you shuffled it and started over. All of the current music was played on 45’s. We didn’t get that many copies and cue burn was a problem. Right above the console was a rack of the currents and new releases. A couple of days after we switched to the format, our “Dick Jones”, later known as Rick Richards when KTW switched to country, reached up to pull a 45 and knocked the rack off the top spilling its contents breaking 2 of the currents. I was sent down to the Warehouse of Music to buy replacements. When I got back the rack was secured.

  3. I think their are businesses that make decisions using a deck of cards or a coin flip. I deal with them daily.

  4. From the Broadcasting Yearbooks–
    Owned by the First Presbyterian Church since 1920–

    KTW Aug 20, 1920: 1250 kc; 5 kw. 710 Madison St. (98104). MAin 4 -6226. Wonderful Sound of Seattle (acq 8.1 -64). Rep: Devney. David M. Segal, pres & gen mgr; Lee Minton, prog dir; Rick Knapp, prom mgr; Bill Barr, news dir; James Ross, chief engr.
    KTW -FM December 1964: 102.5 mc; 16.5 kw. Ant 320 ft. Dup KTW 50 %. (1965)

    KTW Aug 20, 1920: 1250 kc; 5 kw. S -KWSC. 710 Madison St. (98104). MAin 4 -6226. Wonderful Sound of Seattle (acq 8- 1.64). See David M. Segal Stns. Rep: Devney. David M. Segal, pres & gen mgr; Arthur H. Jacobsen, stn & coral mgr; Rick Richards, prog dir; Bill Wade, prom mgr; Dick Byrd, news dir; James Ross, chief engr.
    KTW -FM December 1964: 102.5 mc; 16.5 kw. Ant 320 ft. Dup KTW 50 %. (1966)

    KTW Aug 20, 1920: 1250 kc; 5 kw. S -KWSC. 110 Madison St. (98104). MAin 4 -6226. Wonderful Sound of Seattle (acq 8- 1 -64). See David M. Segal Stns. Rep: Devney. David M. Segal, pres & gen mgr; Stan Levine, stn & coml mgr; Burt Light, prog dir; Bill Wade, prom mgr; Dick Byrd, news dir; James Ross, chief engr.
    KTW -FM December 1964: 102.5 mc; 16.5 kw. Ant 320 ft. (1967)

    KTW Aug 20, 1920: 1250 kc; 5 kw. (S- KWSC). 710 Madison St. (98104). MAin 4 -6226. Nordawn, Inc. (12- 28 -66). Norwood J. Patterson, pres; Louis Gillespie, stn mgr; Joe Armey, opns mgr; Jim Ross, chief engr.
    KTW -FM December 1964: 102.5 mc; 16.5 kw. Ant 320 ft. Dups KTW 100 %. (1968)

    KTW Aug 20, 1920: 1250 kc; 5 kw. (S- KWSC). 710 Madison St. (98104). MAin 4 -6226. Nordawn, Inc. (12- 28 -66). Norwood J. Patterson, pres; Louis Gillespie, stn mgr; Joe Armey, opns mgr; Jim Ross, chief engr.
    KTW -FM December 1964: 102.5 mc; 16.5 kw. Ant 320 ft. Dups KTW 100 %. (1969)

    KTW Aug 20, 1920: 1250 kc; 5 kw. (S- KWSC). 710 Madison St. (98104). MAin 4 -6226. Nordawn Inc. (acq 12-28-66). Norwood J. Patterson, pres; Louis Gillespie, stn mgr; Joe Armey, opns mgr; Jim Ross, chief engr.
    KTW -FM December 1964: 102.5 mc; 16.5 kw. Ant 320 ft. Dups KTW 100 %. (1970)

    KTW Aug 20, 1920: 1250 khz; 5 kw. (S- KWSC). Northern Life Tower, 3rd & University Sts. (98101). MAin 4 -6226. Nordawn Inc. (acq 12- 28 -66). Norwood J. Patterson, pres; Bill LeTourneau, gen mgr; Louis Gillespie, stn mgr; Joe Armey, opns mgr; Jim Ross, chief engr.
    KTW -FM December 1964: 102.5 mhz; 16.5 kw. Ant 320 ft. Dups KTW 40 %. (1971)

    KTW Aug 20, 1920: 1250 khz; 5 kw. (S- KWSC). 505 Northern Life Tower, 3d & University Sts. (98101). MAin 4 -6226. Walter E. Webster Jr. (acq 4- 23 -70). Rep: Savalli /Gates. Format: Talk /News. Jay Johnson, gen mgr; Don Robinett, coml mgr; Jim Ross, chief engr.
    KTW -FM December 1964: 102.5 mhz; 16.5 kw. Ant 320 ft. Dups KTV 25 %. Rep: Gates. Format: Relig. (1972)

    KTW Aug 20. 1920: 1250 khz; 5 kw. (SKWSU). 1505 Seattle Towers. (98101). MAin 4 -6226. Walter E. Webster Jr. (acq 4- 23 -70).
    Rep: Savalli /Gates. Format: Talk. Jay Johnson, gen mgr & prog dir; John Dayle, coml mgr /prom mgr; Jim Ross, chief engr.
    KTW -FM December 1964: 102.5 mhz: 16.5 kw. Ant 320 ft. Dups KTV 25%. Rep: Gates. Format: Relig. (1973)

    KTW Aug 20, 1920: 1250 khz; 5 kw. (KWSU). 1505 Seattle Towers. (98101). 624 -6226. Walter E. Webster Jr. (acq 4- 23 -70).
    Rep: Savalli /Gates. Format: News /Talk. John Dayle, gen mgr; Tom Bowman, spts dir; Martin Tobin, news dir; Jim Ross, chief engr.
    KTW -FM December 1964: 102.5 mhz; 16.5 kw. Ant 320 ft. Dups KTV 50%. Rep: Gates. Format: Relig. (1974)

    KTW – Aug 20, 1920: 1250 khz; 5 kw. (KWSU). 1426 Fifth Ave. (98101). (206) 223 -3900. Sterling Recreation Organization Co. (acq 10- 13 -73). Rep: Meeker. Format: Talk. Fredric A. Danz, pres; David R. Newton, gen mgr; Curtiss M. Hanson, gen sls mgr; Nancy Shannon. prog dir; Peggy Brittell, prom mgr; Phil Cogan, news dir; Norman J. Fish, chief engr. (1975)

  5. Broadcasting Magazine

    July 1964 – KTW -AM -FM Seattle: Sold by First Presbyterian Church of Seattle to David M. Segal for $250,000. Mr. Segal is majority owner of WGVM Greenville, Miss. KTW, founded in 1920, is on 1250 kc with 5 kw day and 1 kw night. KTW -FM is on 102.5 me with 16.5 kw.
    Art Jacobsen, sales manager of KTW Seattle, joins KOL- AM -FM, that city, as account executive.

    September 1964 – KTW Seattle- Granted license covering increase in nighttime power to 5 kw, and specify type trans.

    December 1964 – Northwest John R. DiMeo, general manager, says the KAYO Seattle format of “country & western music 24 hours a day with five minutes of Mutual and five minutes of local news each hour is ‘exclusive in our market’.”
    At KETO Seattle, the format is a “sweet album sound.”
    KING Seattle is “personality oriented middle -of- the -road music with heavy emphasis on news, sports and community involvement.”
    Art Kulman, sales manager of KJR Seattle, refers to the format as “popular contemporary. KJR introduced contemporary music to Seattle in 1954, went middle of the road in 1958 and returned to the present format in 1959.”
    KMCS(FM) Seattle gears its format to the “25 -55 -year bracket with strictly standard instrumental, the emphasis placed on cafe -society type music,” L. E. Collins, manager, says.
    At KTW Seattle, the format is “tight top 40 and rhythm and blues; no un- necessary talk.”
    Buddy Webber, KVI Seattle program director, says “we are a nonrock ‘n’ roller featuring strong personalities and modern, happy familiar music; news on the hour, headlines on the half -hour, plus sports news. We have been using this format successfully for many years.”
    KXA Seattle programs “good music with all programs uninterrupted except four times hourly.” The music format is primarily “concert music and short works and Broadway show music.”
    KMO Tacoma, Wash., programs “upbeat middle -road music, news in depth and variety discussion.” James L. Blaine, vice president and general manager, finds “it provides an excellent balance between the listener quotient and the commercial acceptability while perfectly satisfying our public and community service roles.”

    July 1965 – KTW -FM Seattle -Granted license for FM.

    November 1965 – Stanley LeVine, former general man- ager of KSAN San Francisco, named manager of KTW -AM -FM Seattle.

    May 1966 — David Cline, account executive with KTW Seattle, appointed to same position with KOL Seattle.

    November 1966 – KTW -AM -FM Seattle: Sold by David M. Segal to Norwood J. Patterson and wife for $250,000.

    *These dates are the publication dates of the magazine.

  6. 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?

  7. 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. Required fields are marked *