JIM HOWE – PORTLAND'S SOLID NEWS VOICE

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    Craig_Adams
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    On February 21, 1939 James Owen “Jim” Howe was born in Redfield, South Dakota to Mr. & Mrs. John Howe. Jim had two brothers William & John Jr. Jim spent most of his youth in Boonesville, Arkansas. From age 10, he had his heart set on radio. News legends such as Lowell Thomas and Edward R. Murrow inspired him. In 1952 his family moved to Portland.

    In 1957 Howe graduated from Tigard High School, spending a few terms at the University of Portland where he met his future wife, Marilyn. He set a goal: Get a radio job in Portland or another big city within five years, or find another career.

    In 1959 Jim landed his first radio job in at KCRE in Crescent City, Calif. Then he moved to an unknown station in Billings Mont. On February 6, 1960 James Owen Howe (20) married 19 year old Marilyn Theresa Fay in Portland. In July 1960 Jim Howe became News Director at KUMA Pendleton.

    On January 2, 1962 Jim Howe joined the KEX news staff. In June 1962 Jim was a traffic reporter aboard the new “KEX Hoverbird.” By December 1963 Howe was covering the downtown beat for KEX News.

    In March 1965 Jim Howe Became KEX News Director. By 1969 Jim & Marilyn were living in Beaverton with a family of five daughters. On October 3, 1969 Jim Howe & Art Eckman began Metro League Football broadcasts on KEX.

    In 1970 Howe founded the Mount Hood Nature Society and Rhododendron Blight Eradication Society which began as a station poker group. Each July, the group of mostly radio and television broadcasters spent a rollicking night encamped on Mount Hood.

    By March 1972 Jim Howe was President of the United Press International Broadcasters of Oregon. From 1972 to 1986 Howe began serving as the color for Darrell Aune on Oregon State Beaver football broadcasts on KEX. On October 23, 1977 Jim began hosting the KEX public service interview program “Access” Sunday mornings at 9:45am.

    On June 10, 1978 Jimmy Hollister & Jim Howe emceed KEX’s coverage of the “Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade” from Memorial Coliseum at 10am. On January 2, 1992 Howe 52 years old, marked his 30th year at KEX. He has survived four station owners, 10 general managers and 12 program directors.

    On June 10, 1994 KEX announced Jim Howe News Director would be stepping down from that post, but will remain as the station’s morning news anchor. In April 2001 the Oregon Associated Press Broadcasters honored Jim with a lifetime achievement award.

    On June 15, 2001 Howe retired from KEX after 39 years. The date was declared “Jim Howe Appreciation Day In Oregon” by the Governor. After retirement Jim and Marilyn then spent much of their time at their cabin on the Santiam River.

    Jim Howe covered many of the significant stories in our region. Everything from the birth of Packy the elephant, to Oregon Prison riots, the Columbus Day Storm, the United Airlines DC-8 crash and Mt. Saint Helens eruption.

    On February 6, 2015 Jim Howe passed away at age 75 after a battle with cancer. On February 17, 2015 a funeral mass was held at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, in Beaverton. Howe said in 1980 “Radio news always has been able to offer something neither TV news nor newspapers have been able to beat: immediacy.”

    References: The Oregonian.

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