December 14, 2011 at 4:45 am #37
This from All Access:
KXL Turns 85
ALPHA BROADCASTING Talk KXL/PORTLAND is celebrating its 85th birthday TODAY (12/13).
The station, founded by HARRY READ, launched on DECEMBER 13, 1926 from a 250-watt AM transmitter at the MALLORY HOTEL. The call letters and format moved from AM to FM this year.
Director of Programming BRIAN JENNINGS said, “KXL radio has a rich heritage in Portland’s history. As one of the first stations licensed in the U.S., we have always focused on covering local news and being a proud member of the community. For years KXL broadcast on AM 750, but in 2011, our 85th year, we moved to FM 101.1. We look forward to beginning the next 85 years by serving the PORTLAND area with the most news, the most traffic, and the most weather 24/7.”December 14, 2011 at 5:46 am #2107
Congratulations to KXL !!!December 15, 2011 at 2:27 am #2108
Craig, I’d say a History of KXL column might be in order. Best, M. 8)December 15, 2011 at 3:43 am #2109
And there is a 1957 KXL record survey on sale on eBay right now with one bid for $300.December 15, 2011 at 3:50 am #2110
msndrspdx: Here you go. The KXL History has been updated a great deal since originally posted. Whenever I run into more information, or additional info. such as previous stations personnel worked for, it’s added into the history. There’s an entirely new paragraph on the release of the John Salisbury Record Album. The paragraph is listed in the time-line as: November 4, 1967.
KXL’s Journey: Full-Timer To Day-Timer & Back To Full-Time
On November 12, 1926 Koo Radio Service Co. (Harry B. Read, former owner of 7ZA, KQP/KOIN; Cecile L. Herheim, a stenographer; Julius N. Hart, a lawyer) was incorporated in Portland, Oreg. The company was based at The Pantages Building (171 Broadway. now: 743 S.W. Broadway). On November 19, 1926 the Radio Division, Bureau of Navigation, U.S. Department of Commerce inspected and passed the new apparatus for granting a license. The following day (11-20-26) Harry Read had the “KXL” call letters reserved under the company name “KXL Broadcasters”. Read’s 2nd & 3rd call letter choices were: KVO and KVI, if KXL wasn’t available.
On November 27, 1926 the Radio Division granted a license to KXL Broadcasters with calls “KXL” for a 250 watt station on 400 meters or 749.6 kilocycles. 400 meters was a “class B” wavelength, the highest class. KXL calls were originally assigned to the vessel “City of Taunton”. Calls were deleted and available in June 1925. On December 3, 1926 KXL was unveiled to Portland in a newspaper announcement. On December 12, 1926 it was announced Otis E. Yates was President & Business Director of KXL Broadcasters with Harry B. Read, Secretary-Treasurer. KXL studios & transmitter were on the top floor of the Mallory Hotel (171 Lownsdale St. now: 729 S.W. 15th Ave.). In the announcement, KXL would begin tomorrow.
On Monday December 13, 1926 KXL began operation at 6:30pm. The inaugural broadcast commenced with a concert from the Mallory Orchestra. At 7:30pm the Lyle Lewis Orchestra presented dance music. At 8:30pm entertainment was featured from Professor P.A. TenHaaf, baritone; Mrs. P.A. TenHaaf, contralto; Bessie McFarlane, soprano; Eleanor Dana, soprano; Stanley Ingram, tenor. Rollie Truitt was the announcer. Harry’s brother, Walter L. Read was also present. KXL broadcast: 6pm to 8pm Mondays; 6:30pm to 7pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday; 2pm to 3pm & 6:30pm to 8pm Fridays; 4pm to 5pm Saturday & Sunday. There were no official program names listed at this time.
On December 21, 1926 Koo Radio Service Co. officially changed its name to KXL Broadcasters (Otis E. Yates, President & Commercial Director; Harry B. Read, Secretary-Treasurer, General Manager & Chief Technician; Julius N. Hart, stockholder). On February 17, 1927 KXL was moved temporarily to 770kc (class B). Hours of operation had expanded: 2pm to 3pm Monday thru Sunday; 6:30pm to 7:30pm Monday thru Saturday & 4pm to 5pm Sunday. All listed as “music”. 7:30pm to 8:30pm Mondays featured a “studio program”. On Wednesday’s a “Dance Orch.” On Thursdays a “Girls Orch.” Fridays were a “Trio”. 8:30pm to 9:30pm Wednesday’s featured a “vocal & instrumental program” and Friday’s a “studio program”.
In April 1927 KXL was inspected by the new Federal Radio Commission. The FRC Inspector described KXL as a “very haywire operation” and its operator as “an experimenter (who) would be tearing it apart in the belief he could improve it”. On May 25, 1927 KXL reduced power from 250 watts to 50 watts. On June 15, 1927 KXL was moved to the lower “Class A” frequency of 1360kc. Also in June 1927 KXL Broadcasters was reorganized with Harry B. Read as President and continuing as Chief Technician. Roy C. Hunt was brought in as Vice-President, General Manager & Commercial Director; Julius N. Hart was named Secretary-Treasurer.
By July 1927 KXL’s schedule was; 9am to 10:30am Tuesday thru Friday & 9:30am to 10:15am Saturday, plus 9am to 11am Sundays with “Morning Music”. Noon to 3:30pm Monday thru Saturday & 6pm to 8pm Monday thru Friday, plus 7pm to 8pm Saturday “Music & Amusement Guide”. 11am to 12:30pm Sunday “1st Methodist Church Service”. 1pm to 1:30pm Sunday “music”. 1:30pm to 2pm Sunday, 8pm to 8:30pm Monday & Wednesday, plus 9pm to 9:30pm Friday “Lucien Becker, Organist”. 5pm to 6pm Sunday “Twilight Hour”. 8pm to 8:30pm Tuesday, 8:30pm to 10pm Wednesday & 8pm to 9pm Friday “Studio Program”.
On September 20, 1927 KXL moved studios & transmitter to the 7th floor, suite 715, at The Bedell Building (130 6th St., now: 520 S.W. 6th Ave.). KXL’s transmitter was adjacent to the operating room and the “Rose Studio”. The entire studio wall facing the reception room was plate glass for public viewing. KXL’s antenna was a single wire atop the building. The station celebrated the move with a 40 hour broadcast dedication. “KXL, The Voice of Portland, maintains a continuous daytime schedule, 7 days a week. During daylight, mechanical music is offered and at night regular studio programs are presented.” KXL operated 7am to 1am Monday thru Saturday & 9am to 10:30pm Sundays.
On October 3, 1927 the program “Musical Matinee” debuted 2-3pm weekdays. On October 31st, “Portland Early Birds” debuted 9-10am weekdays. Then on November 14, 1927 the “Dress Up” program” started 8-9am weekdays and the new novelty show “The Moo Cow Hour” 9-10pm Mondays. On November 28th “Early Risers” program began 8-9am weekdays and “French Lesson” 4:30-5pm weekdays. January 30, 1928 saw the debut of “The Mountaineers” 5-6pm weekdays. February 13, 1928 “Night Squawkers” began 10:30-Midnight Mondays and “The Moo Cow Hour” moved to Tuesdays 9-10pm.
On March 1, 1928 KXL increased power to 100 watts. On March 19, 1928 KXL began carrying the “Serenaders” program 8-9pm Mondays from KMO Tacoma. In April 1928 KXL moved offices to The Multnomah Hotel. On April 23, 1928 programming from KMO switched to KFJI Astoria during the Monday night hour. On April 26, 1928 KXL was granted another power increase to 250 watts. By May 1928 “Rollie” Roland A. Truitt was Program Director & Chief Announcer (later moving to KEX in 1933, then KPFM, KWJJ/KPRA(FM) Sports Director & KEX-FM, KVAN-910, KPOJ AM/FM) and Georgina Ryan was Musical Director.
On May 26, 1928 “The Portland Telegram” newspaper announced it had entered a working relationship with KXL. Beginning on June 4, 1928 at 7:00am KXL celebrated the partnership with 161 hours of continuous programming. The Telegram for its part made available thousands of dollars in prizes from its advertisers as trade. Grand prize was an “Auburn Sport Sedan”. The Telegram also gave KXL an Associated Press teletype machine. KXL slogan: The Portland Telegram Station. Also still used was: The Voice of Portland.
Also on June 4, 1928 KXL began carrying the “Sperry Flour Children’s Hour” weeknights at 6:30, sponsored by Sperry Flour Mills. “One of the leaders in children’s programming in the Northwest”, was hosted by “Grandpa” Bulger (Corliss F.Bulger). The program had moved from KEX after The Telegram severed ties. Children were invited to come watch the broadcast and were treated with a sweet snack from Carnation.
On June 15, 1928 KXL debuted the weekend overnight program “Sandy’s Sleepwreakers” sponsored by Sandy’s Camera Shop. The phonograph program ran 1am to 7am Sunday mornings, hosted by Chester L. “Chet” Blomsness who was also Asst. Technician. On June 19, 1928 KXL debuted “The Telegram Variety Hour” Tuesday nights 10:30 to midnight. Also on this date KXL began carrying Beaver Baseball with announcer Chet Blomsness (later on KOIN, KGW Sales Manager & KRUL GM). On July 2, 1928 KXL became a member of the new “Evergreen” chain (network), which consisted of KMO Tacoma, KFOA Seattle (later aka KOL) & KFJI Astoria. All members contributed programming. The most noteworthy was “The KMO Novelty Hour” Monday nights 8-9pm from The Winthrop Hotel.
On November 6, 1928 KXL moved studios & transmitter to The Multnomah Hotel (269 Pine St., now: 319 S.W. Pine St.). The glass enclosed studio was visible to visitors on the mezzanine floor (7th floor). The new “Rose Studio” was twice the size of the former. Folding doors were installed for dividing the studio. “The Record Studio” was adjacent to the transmitter room. A new transmitter had also been installed. This was an all new KXL. Two 70 foot towers held the antenna wire atop the hotel. KXL offices faced Pine street on the mezzanine. First to perform from the classy looking studios was Herman Kenin’s Multnomah Hotel Orchestra.
On November 11, 1928 the FRC’s frequency re-allocation plan went into effect at 3am. KXL was moved to 1250kc and power was increased to 500 watts, sharing nights with KIDO Boise. On November 26, 1928 the program “Nosey Ned, The Reporter” debuted on KXL “An inquisitive individual who makes it his business to pry into other peoples business.” 9:45pm to 10:15pm weeknights. By December 1928 Victor S. Carson was Senior Technician & staff announcer (later KOIN C.E.); Harry Read continued as Chief Technician & President; Gene Baker, staff announcer & Louise J. Peck, Office Manager.
On January 3, 1929 KXL debuted one of its most memorable early programs “Howling Order of Portland Tom Cats” variety show (similar to the popular KGW Hoot Owls) broadcast Thursday nights at 10 to midnight from the “Rose Studio”, featuring Billy Emerick & The Tom Cat Serenaders, with Emmet Bernstein & The Tom Cat Orchestra. Rollie Truitt was “Imperial Tom” and Grandpa Bulger as “Laughing Felix”.
By February 1929 the KXL additional schedule featured “Morning Radio Clock” at 9am; “Early Birds” at 9am; “Lillian Casten, Telegram Home Economics Service” at 10:30am; “Dinner Music” at 6pm (“Dinner Concert” Sundays from The Gold Room of The Multnomah Hotel); “Sperry Flour Children’s Hour” (later known as: Grandpa Bulgers Children’s Hour) at 6:30pm; “The Rose City Beavers” at 7:30pm; “Heatmakers” at 9:30pm; “The Rendezvous Coffee Dan Program” at 10:30pm and “Hippodrome Frolic” 11 to midnight Monday thru Wednesdays.
On March 9, 1929 KXL began 24 hour operation with the over night weekend program “Sleepwreakers” expanded weekly 1am to 7am. Jack Nichols was hired from Seattle as “announcer and technical man”. Sleepwreakers featured phonograph music and novelty entertainment. KXL was Portland’s only 24 hour station and purportedly the Northwest’s only 24 hour station at this time. KXL’s new slogan: The Telegram Station.
On May 10, 1929 “Moo Cow Center” debuted on KXL. “It’s the romance of a stuttering farmer boy and a Swedish milk maid.” Written & directed by Grandpa Bulger. The program was on Friday nights 9:30 to 10:30pm. On August 26, 1929 KXL began carrying “The Columbians” program Thursday nights from 9 to 11pm via postal telegraph wires from KAST Astoria. This program featured Frank Vaughn’s Columbian’s, which were: Jiggs Jennings, Hyman Breslow & Mel Blanc. Blanc was also a regular on KGW’s Hoot Owls and a rising star. It’s thought Blanc was the reason KXL picked up the show. KXL was on a roll with its popular comedy and entertainment programming.
On October 23, 1929 it was announced the FRC had denied license renewal of KXL, “citing violation of radio ordinances as cause”. This after an inspection on 7-26-29 and setting 1-9-30 as time for a final hearing. (KXL license would expire on 11-1-29). As testament to KXL’s broadcast service in the public interest, none of the four Portland newspapers printed any details of the FRC accusations. Only now after information retrieved from the National Arrives in Washington D.C., can the story be told.
The FRC had accused KXL of “Excess Power”. KXL transmitter was not capable of producing the power level the FRC accused the station of broadcasting. Only after multiple visits did the inspector discover KXL was using its back-up transmitter, capable of broadcasting as high as 10kw. It’s believed the station used its full power at night, interfering with KFOX Long Beach, Calif. It should be noted, this was not an isolated incident in Portland radio. Both KEX & KGW were also caught violating power levels in this time period. However the FRC was noticeably harsh on KXL, possibly because the station wasn’t a network affiliate and not owned by conglomerates, as KGW & KEX were.
The FRC told KXL it would have to shut down after its license expired on 11-1-29, until the hearing on 1-9-30. Harry Read asked permission for KXL to move temporarily to 1420kc with KFIF (now KBPS). The FRC permitted this until the hearing, stipulating KXL would have to reduce power from 500 watts to 100 watts. Harry Read’s thought was, with KFIF’s limited Benson High School broadcast schedule, KXL shouldn’t be off the air many hours.
On October 31, 1929 KXL 1250kc left the air at midnight (11-1-29). The FRC wanted to inspect KXL before the station began on 1420kc. KXL sat silent. The inspector showed up on November 5th. KXL passed the inspection but still had to wait for its license to arrive. On November 11, 1929 with temporary license to operate on 1420kc, KXL signed on the air at 7:00am. KXL’s schedule was 6am to 3pm & 6pm to 1am weekdays. Saturdays 7:30am to 3pm & 5:30pm to 1am. Sundays 7:45am to 3:45pm & 7:30 to midnight. KFIF would change KXL’s schedule from time to time since KFIF had priority over the frequency. There would be times when KFIF would broadcast from Noon to 12:30pm, KXL would then shut down for that period, or the 7pm hour. KXL ad: “Have you heard KXL on their new wave?”
Harry Read signed an FRC affidavit stating he would never violate the ordinance again. KXL received its license renewal on 4-5-30 but would remain a share time station with KFIF on 1420kc and remain 100 watts of power. On May 12, 1930 KXL expanded its schedule 7:30am to Noon & 1pm to 3am Monday thru Friday. Saturday 7:30 to 3am. Sunday 7:30am to 12am. “Midnight Matinee” ran 11:30pm to 3am weeknights. On June 7, 1930 KFIF, now KBPS, left the air for the summer vacation period, leaving KXL exclusively on 1420kc in the Portland area. Nightly Beaver Baseball games were broadcast with Rollie Truitt as play-by-play announcer at 8:30pm and telegraphic reports during road games.
On July 21, 1930 “The Multnomah Hotel Orchestra” program began weeknights at 7 to 7:30pm. KBPS returned to the air on October 6, 1930 using the hours Noon to 12:30pm & 4pm to 5pm weekdays. On November 5, 1930 KXL became an affiliate of UBC “The Silver Network”. United Broadcasting Co. was based in Los Angeles. UBC’s inaugural program was heard on KXL at 7pm. On December 1, 1930 “Bobby Mac’s Radio Night Club of The Air” debuted on KXL midnight to 3am sign off. This program was scaled back to 11:30pm to 1:30am sign off on February 10, 1931 and again on June 1, 1931, 11:30pm to 1am sign off.
On March 7, 1931 KXL presented a “DX Program” Sunday morning 1:30am to 7am. This program was for distant listeners. KXL most likely offered a verification card with KXL’s special “Ekko” stamp affixed, if listeners wrote in. This collectable item said: “This card acknowledges receipt of your very kind communication and verifies your reception of KXL. It carries with it the cordial good wishes of our Underwriters, Management and Artists. We trust you will continue to hear and enjoy our offerings and aid us with constructive criticism and suggestions as to our program and your reception. Cordially yours, KXL BROADCASTERS, INC.”
By March 1931 KXL programs included: “The Telegram Happy Hour” at 6pm and the “Telegram KXL Radio Frolic” Thursdays at 10pm. Harry’s brother, Walter Read was back at KXL but left in 1932 for KOOS. On April 1, 1931 the UBC Network folded. On April 2, 1931 KXL severed ties with the Portland Telegram newspaper. KXL slogan once again solely: The Voice of Portland. On May 25, 1931 psychic Anna Lee Snyder (later on KGW & KEX) began her Q & A radio show on KXL at 2:30pm. KBPS returned to the air on September 14, 1931 after its Summer hiatus, taking two more hours out of KXL’s broadcast day than last year. (11am to 12:30pm & 3pm to 5pm weekdays). KXL programs included: “Horoscope of The Air” at 2:45pm to 3pm; “Private Detective” 8:30pm to 9pm; “Effle Walker’s Dance Band” 10:30pm to 11:30pm weeknights & transcription programs.
On November 27, 1931 KXL was reported testing its new transmitter in the afternoon with “Little Mary Z.” doing the announcing. On June 27, 1932 KXL shortened its sign off from 1am to 12:30am. KXL sign on was still 7am, signing off Saturday nights at 10:45pm and Sundays 6am to midnight. On July 18, 1932 KXL again shortened its sign off to midnight Sunday thru Fridays. KXL programs included: “Vagabond Troubadour” 1:30-1:45pm; “Tom, Dick & Harry” at 5:15pm; “The Opportunity Boys” 5:30-5:45pm; “Yodeling Cowboy” 6:00-6:15pm; “Al Pierre’s Orchestra” 6:30-7pm & transcription programs. On September 19, 1932 KBPS returned to the air at 11:00am after its Summer hiatus. On December 19, 1932 KXL shortened its sign on from 7am to 7:30am.
On January 1, 1933 KXL shortened its sign on again to 8am. During this proceeding period, sign offs fluctuated from midnight to 2:30am at times. On July 24, 1933 KXL sign on reverted back to 7am with the debut of the hour program “Early Birds” with organist Jean Anthony and announcer Maurie Harris. Early Birds would take phone requests at AT-5124. Other programs were: “Allen Daniels” 1:15-1:30pm; “Smiling Chuck Hawley” 7:00-7:30pm and the 5 minute “Police Reports” at 9:30am, 1pm, 6pm, 9pm. On December 23, 1933 KXL sign on moved back to 7:30am with the debut of “Cinema Serenaders”.
On January 6, 1934 KXL sign on moved to 8am. Between April 2, & 16, 1934 KBPS dropped its 3pm to 5pm broadcast leaving more time for KXL to fill. On May 21, 1934 KXL expanded its morning sign on back to 7am with the debut of the hour program “Voice of Astoria”. The name was changed to “Vacationland” after a few weeks. Other programs on the KXL schedule: “Sunshine” 8:00-9:30am; “News” 5:45-6pm; “Ed Popick – Sports” 6:45-7pm. KBPS left the air for the Summer on May 29, 1934. On June 8, 1934 KXL sign on fell back to 9am with “Records & Studio” 9:00am-12:30pm.
On June 15, 1934 KXL was granted a daytime power increase from 100 watts to 250 watts, continuing with 100 watts at night. This increase was carried out immediately. In August 1934 Ruth Mangold joined the KXL staff. On September 10, 1934 KXL sign on moved back to 8am with “Organ” music. The KXL schedule was: “Wranglers” at Noon, followed by “Religious” 12:30-1pm; “Round-up Rascals” at 5:15pm; followed by “Ernie & Bob” 5:30-5:45pm; “Richard Steel” 7:15-7:30pm and “Wrestling from Vancouver” 9:00pm to 11pm. The rest of the schedule was filled with “Records” including “Records Jamboree” 11:00pm to 2am sign off. On October 3, 1934 Harry B. Read inaugurated KSLM to Salem listeners. Mr. Read owned 100% of KSLM. By December 1934 Harry B. Read was also KXL Commercial Manager & Carroll Hansen (formerly on KGW & KSLM PD) was KXL Program Director & S.W. “Mac” McCready (later KVAN CE/CM/coGM, KUGN AM/FM GM) Chief Engineer.
On November 11, 1934 KXL sign on moved to 7am with “Records” to 10am. On December 3, 1934 KXL simulcast with KSLM a program which debuted 2:30-2:45pm. On January 1, 1935 KXL sign on moved back to 8am with “Records” to 11:30am. On April 13, 1935 KXL debuted the “All Niter” Sundays midnight to 8am. On April 23, 1935 KXL expanded sign off from 12:30am to 1am with “Dance Music”. Sign on would fluctuate between 7:00, 7:30 & 8am into the Summer. On September 16, 1935 KXL sign on moved to 6am with “Popular Records” to 7:45am. Other programs were: “Lee Mayer, Organist” 6:00-6:30pm & “Dance Music” 8:45pm to 1am. The rest of the schedule was now filled with transcription programs.
By October 1935 Harry B. Read gained controlling interest in KXL Broadcasters, Inc., with 94% ownership. Other stockholders were: Roland A. Truitt; Julius N. Hart; Judge John C. Kendall; The Multnomah Hotel; Love Electric Co. Also by this time KXL was operating a composite VT transmitter. On November 8, 1935 Paul Harden was announced as Program Director & Chief Engineer, plus Allyn Roberts (formerly on KFWB, KSLM) was a new announcer and Tommy Hoxie was also an announcer at KXL.
On January 4, 1936 KXL sign on moved to 7am with “Records”. On September 21, 1936 KXL sign on moved back to 6am with “Records” to 7:45am. Most of the programming during this time consisted of records or transcription programs. Exceptions were: “Fire Reports” (& suggestions for fire prevention) 10:45-11am; “The Kiwanis Club” 1:00-1:30pm. Sundays featured a live broadcast from “First Baptist Church” 11am to 12:15pm.
By October 1, 1936 Harry B. Read was a minority stockholder in Pacific Radio Corp. which owned KOOS Marshfield Oreg. (brother Walter L. Read was majority owner). It was reported in this time period KXL had approximately 110 advertising accounts with 30 spot announcements per day. KXL operated 14 hours daily. By December 1936 Allyn G. Roberts was Program Director. On January 5, 1937 KXL sign on moved to 7am with “Records” and sign off moved to midnight.
On March 9, 1937 Thomas W. “Tom” Symons, Jr. who was 66% owner of KFPY Spokane, Wash. (later aka KXLY) and 49 1/2% owner of KGIR Butte, Mont. (later aka KXLF). Edmund B. “Ed” Craney who was 49 1/2% owner of KGIR Butte, 40% owner of KPFA Helena, Mont. (later aka KXLJ), 50% owner of KRBM Bozeman, Mont. (later aka KXLQ) purchased Harry B. Read’s controlling interest in KXL Broadcasters, Inc. (222 shares or 88% of stock outstanding) for $20,000. The remainder of the stock was held by Walter L. Read (Harry’s brother); Julius N. Hart; Judge John C. Kendall & Eric Hauser who was President of The Multnomah Hotel, Inc. (FCC approval: 3-9-37; transfer of control: 5-11-37).
Thomas W. Symons, Jr. became President & G.M., 49 3/5% owner; wife Frances R. Symons, Asst. Secretary-Treasurer, 2/5% owner; Edmund B. Craney, Vice-President & Secretary-Treasurer, 50% owner. Symons & Craney had both been in broadcasting for 14 years as business partners. Symons wife Frances had a younger sister, network radio and movie actress Gale Page who had also sung with the Ted Weems Orchestra.
On May 10, 1937 Symons & Craney arrived at KXL to take charge. On May 12, 1937 Duncan Macleod (later on KOIN) joined KXL as a staff announcer. A change to “United Press” or UP was made as teletype news service. On May 25, 1937 Gordon Bambrick (formerly on KFXD, KIDO & KIRO) became KXL staff announcer “Gordon Kelly” (later co-owner of KBKO). KXL also announced on this date, it had ordered a new Western Electric transmitter and was looking for a suburban transmitter site and new studios. KXL was currently using a composite transmitter with crystal control. (250 watt Western Electric 212-D vacuum tube for high level modulation). By this time Robert Prather was Chief Engineer.
On July 3, 1937 KXL sign on moved back to 6am with the debut of the program “Time of Day” 6 to 7am. On July 24, 1937 KXL expanded its Saturday night sign off from 1am to all night with the program “Records All Night”. (Sunday sign off was at 10pm).
On July 30, 1937 KXL, KFPY, KGIR & KRSC Seattle formed the “Northwest Network”. The inaugural program broadcast at 8pm featured studio pickups from all NWN stations. KXL’s contribution was a musical program from the Claude Brereton’s Orchestra. By August 1937 KXL had opened an additional studio at the Castee Theatre (address unknown) in Vancouver, Wash.
On August 14, 1937 KXL filed an application with the FCC for 1110kc with 5KW directional day & night (2 towers) protecting WRVA Richmond Va. (5KW). KXL’s transmitter site would be located 2 miles N.E. of Vancouver Wash. KXL was currently on 1420kc with 250 watts day & 100 watts nights. On September 27, 1937 KXL sign off was moved from midnight to 1am. By this time the new owners had beefed up KXL News with 5 minute newscasts hourly. “Records” were heard 6 to 7am; “Facts & Fancy” at 10:05am, followed by “Voice of Experience” at 10:45-11am; “News” at 12:30pm followed by “The Kiwanis Club” at 12:45 to 1:30pm; “The Vancouver Hour” 2:05-3pm; “Records” 5:05pm to 9pm; “Sports Parade” 9:00-9:05pm; “Records” 9:05 to 1am sign off. Plus transcription programming.
On October 25, 1937 KXL sign off moved back to midnight. In November 1937 Ralph C. Mifflin (former KFPY Operator) became KXL Chief Technician (C.E.) and Harold J. Collette was hired as a Technician. Also in November 1937 KXL leased additional studio space at the former “Telegram Building” (1101 S.W. Washington St.) re-naming it “The KXL Building”. Main studios & transmitter remained at The Multnomah Hotel, although plans were to eventually move entirely to The KXL Building. On November 22, 1937 KXL extended sign off to 12:15am with a 5 minute newscast at midnight.
On November 25, 1937 KXL & KALE became Portland’s first stations to carry “The Cinnamon Bear” holiday program on its national broadcast premiere. KXL ran the transcription episodes at 7:00pm. On November 29, 1937 KXL was granted “Special Temporary Authorization” to operate experimental mobile relay station W7XAC for special programs from various high schools (Christmas Choirs?) through 12-28-37.
By December 1937 KXL facilities were utilizing an “RCA MI 4850-A” turntable; An RCA permanent magnet speaker; Two “RCA Junior Velocity” microphones; A “Shure” adjustable microphone stand; A pair of “Automatic Electric Co.” headphones. Remote broadcast equipment included: An RCA 62-A amplifier and power pack with tubes; Two “RCA Inductor” microphones and an “Electro-Voice Velocity” microphone; A “Bud” black crackle finish microphone stand; Two pairs of “Brush Crystal” headphones; 30 & 50 foot microphone extension cords with “Hubbell” plug and inductor fittings. By December 1937 George Wilhelm (later on KWJJ, KXRO) was Program Director & Chief Announcer. On December 10, 1937 KXL expanded its midnight news to 15 minutes, all the way to sign off.
On April 22, 1938 KXL changed its main studios designation to The KXL Building, making the Multnomah Hotel studios an additional. By mid 1938 KXL had added these staff members: Lloyd A. Sutherland, announcer. (later on KBKO & KOIN Radio-TV Tech.); Donald W. Green, Jr., announcer. (later President of Point-O-Salescast, Inc.); Eldon H. Sauers, a licensed operator.
By October 1938 the KXL schedule was filled with transcription programming leased from “C.P. MacGregor”, “Lang-Worth Transcribed Music Library Service” & “Standard Radio” library service. KXL local programming included: “The Kiwanis Club” 12:45-1:30pm, “Peter McGregor” 2:30-2:45pm, “High School News” at 6pm, followed by “Theatre News” 6:15-6:30pm, “Records” 11:05 to midnight, plus news hourly. By December 1939 Ruth C. Mangold was Program Director. In December 1938 Laurence R. Kirk (formerly with KAST) became Commercial Manager, after working in KXL sales first.
On April 12, 1939 KXL filed an application with the FCC for “Cleared Channel” 730kc with 10KW non-directional day & night. There were no U.S. stations licensed on this frequency, a bold move. KXL must have had some indication in advance that the FCC was going to deny them 1110kc. On May 5, 1939 this became reality. On June 5, 1939 KXL sign on was moved an hour later to 7am, beginning with 15 minutes of news. KXL signed off at 11am for KBPS, then returned at 12:30pm with programming to a 3pm sign off for KBPS. Returning to the air at 5pm with programming to 11pm and signing off after a 5 minute newscast at 11:05pm. Saturdays KXL signed on at 7am with continuous programming to midnight and continuing on with “Broadway All Nighter”, Sunday morning. KXL signed off Sunday night at 10pm.
On September 20, 1939 KXL purchased property in Harmony, Oreg., off Cascade Hwy. (82nd Ave.) for $12,000. The deed was registered under the name Frances R. Symons, Tom Symons wife. On September 25, 1939 KXL began airing 5 minute newscasts within the KBPS broadcast time, on the hour, then signing off with KBPS continuing. In the new agreement, KBPS gained an extra hour daily. (KBPS: 11:05am-1pm & 3:05pm-5:30pm). War in Europe was heating up. Stations were beefing up news coverage. KXL must have felt a bit on the side lines, not able to report on timely developments. The rest of KXL’s schedule consisted of transcriptions throughout the day with music and more transcription programming in the evenings.
On October 24, 1939 KXL was granted a night power increase from 100 watts to 250 watts, matching daytime power. By December 1939 Thomas W. “Tom” Symons, Jr. was President, G.M., P.D., Commercial Manager & Promotion Manager. Thomas W. “Tom” Symons, III (son of Tom, Jr.) was a KXL staff announcer. On June 14, 1940 it was announced KXL Portland & KAST Astoria were the first Oregon stations to join the Keystone Broadcasting System. Keytone’s sponsored and sustaining electronic transcriptions began on KXL around August 15th. KBS was offering stations 16 quarter hours a week of Hollywood produced shows. 45% dramatic and 55% music. In July 1940 Fred Eichhorn joined KXL as a staff announcer. In August 1940 Lynn S. Hadlock joined as a Technician.
On October 1, 1940 KXL debuted “The 1420 Club” at 7:15am to 9am, after 15 minutes of news, beginning at the 7am sign on. Other programs were: “Rumba Songs” 9:05am, “Organ Music” 9:45am, “Concert Master” 10:05am to 10:30am sign off. “Dance Music” 1:05pm-2:45pm, (No KBPS Afternoons), “Maddox Family” 3:00-3:15pm, “Your Neighbor” 3:30pm, “Carol Leighton” 3:45pm, “Dance Music” 4:05pm, “Salon Music” 6:05pm, “Hit Tunes” 6:30pm, “Alpine Troubadours” (via KBS transcribed) 6:45pm, “View From Here” 7:05pm, “Salon Music” 7:30pm, “Hawaiian Music” 7:45pm, “KXL Concert Hall” 8:05pm, “Round Up” 10:05pm, “Organ Music” 10:30pm, “News” 11:00-11:05pm sign off. (plus hourly news, most hours and transcription programming).
By December 1940 Thomas W. “Tom” Symons, Jr. was President & G.M. only; Stuart L. Hannon was KXL Program Director & Howard S. “Jake” Jacobson, Commercial Manager. By January 10, 1941 Harry S. Grannatt (former KGW Hoot Owl) was hosting the “KXL Concert Hour” weeknights 8 to 10pm.
On March 29, 1941 KXL & KBPS changed frequency from 1420kc to 1450kc, (Granted on 3-24-41) as a result of the N.A.R.B.A. Treaty (North American Region Broadcast Agreement). A large portion of U.S. stations moved several frequencies up the dial, as the AM Band expanded from the end at 1500kc to 1600kc. With this change, KXL’s Application for 730kc was also moved up to 750kc. In KXL programming “The 1420 Club” became “The 1450 Club”. In April 1941 Paul J. Robinson became Promotion Director.
On April 16, 1941 the FCC granted KXL a construction permit to change frequency from 1450kc to 750kc. (Class II), increase power from 250 watts to 10kw directional and change hours of operation from share time to a limited time basis. The transmitter site would be built on land purchased in 1939 at 82nd Ave. & Sunnyside Rd. On April 18, 1941 KXL announcer Gordon Kelly aka Gordon Bambrick left to become Production Manager at KGW for 7 years, then joining KARV as C.E. in 1946, before co-founding KBKO, later becoming KLIQ under Bambrick name.
On June 3, 1941 KXL purchased an RCA model 10-DX transmitter from RCA Manufacturing Co. in Camden, New Jersey. By mid 1941 Tom W. Symons III was in KXL Sales. On July 16, 1941 KXL debuted the long running program “The Scandinavian Hour” at 7:30pm. The program originallly began on KFJR as “Echoes of Scandinavia” in 1933.
In July 1941 two “Windcharger” 280 foot towers were erected. (285 feet with element). “Spider web wire network at base of each tower and 120 radials 500 feet each radiating from each tower buried up to a depth of ten inches. The line of towers were due east and west”, where “Sears” stands today as part of “Clackamas Town Center” mall at: 11800 S.E. 82nd Ave. On July 24, 1941 KXL debuted “Dusty Records” with Ol’ Dusty (aka Stan Pintarich) weekdays 10:05am to 11:00am. (later on KEX, KALE, KVAN-910, KWJJ, KGW, KKEY). In August Harold “Hal” Starr became KXL Chief Announcer (later KEX, KPDQ PD, KGW, KHFS/KKEY, KGW PD).
On September 3, 1941 KXL tested its new broadcast plant on 750kc for the first time. Testing was completed on September 6th. On September 24, 1941 Virginia P. Symons & Thomas W. Symons III were both given 53 shares of KXL stock, as a gift from their father.
By October 1941 KXL programming included: “The 1450 Club” 7:15-9am, “Parade of Values” 9:15am, “Morning Serenade” 9:30-10am, “Dusty Records” 10:05-11am sign off. 1:00pm sign on with “News” to 1:05pm, “Birthday Party” 2:05pm, “Dance Time” 2:30pm, “South American Way” 2:45pm, “Western Music” 3:00-3:15pm sign off. 5pm sign on with “News” to 5:05pm, “Jive At Five” 5:05pm, “Dance With America” 6pm, “Alpine Troubadours” (via KBS transcribed) 6:30pm, “The Adventures of Superman” (Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday, via WOR transcribed) 6:45pm, “Vocal Interlude” 7:15pm, “War Commentary” 7:25pm, “The Scandinavian Hour” (Wednesday & Friday, hosted by Victor Rangner, program began on KFJR in 1925, later on KGW, KPOJ & KKEY) 7:30pm, “KXL Concert Hall” 8:05-10pm, “Evening Intermezzo” 10:05pm, “News” 11:00-11:05pm sign off. (Hourly news, most hours and additional transcription programs.)
On October 2, 1941 station personnel were shocked to hear that President & General Manager of KXL Broadcasters, Tom Symons, Jr. had died of a heart attack Thursday morning, he was 52 years old. Tom had complained a week earlier of dizzy spells while in Chicago and was going to see a doctor when he got home but never did. Most likely there was little time with the new KXL less than two weeks from beginning operation. On October 4, 1941 KXL reported all equipment tested and awaiting FCC authorization to change frequency.
On October 11, 1941 Frances R. Symons was elected President and Edmund B. Craney, elected Vice-President. Mrs. Symons was also now General Manager. Also on this date, the FCC gave KXL authorization to change frequency to 750kc and boost power to 10,000 watts with its new RCA 10-DX transmitter (Serial No. BC-1802).
On Sunday October 12, 1941 at 6:30am KXL began broadcasting on 750kc until 5:30pm (sunset). The following day, it was reported KXL had excellent reception over a wide area during its first broadcast day on the new frequency. This also ended a 13 year connection with The Multnomah Hotel, where the old transmitter had been. On October 14, 1941 KXL announced if tests show the station doesn’t interfere with WSB Atlanta, Ga. which is on the same frequency, KXL may apply for Full Time status. Also on this date, KXL ad: “Tune to 750 on your dial. *KXL* Oregon’s Most Powerful Radio Station.” On October 17, 1941 KXL began its broadcast day a half hour earlier, at 6:00am.
On October 20, 1941 KXL began night broadcasts after its 5:30pm sign off, at 11:05pm, beginning with a newscast until 11:30pm when music was played until the 2:00am sign off. The night schedule was seven days a week. On October 22, 1941 Elmore Vincent was named KXL Program Director. On November 7, 1941 U.S. National Bank of Portland acquired 18 shares of KXL stock “as administrator of the estate of T.W. Symons, deceased.” On November 19, 1941 KXL was granted its first 750kc license. By late 1941 Virginia P. Symons (daughter of Frances) was Program Director. She would later move to sister station KFPY in 1942. By December 1941 KXL was Portland’s only station equipped with both AP and UP news services.
On December 7, 1941 KXL sent an overnight letter to the Chairman of the FCC just after the Attack on Pearl Harbor, asking “for Special Authority to make this service a full time operation of KXL, available on a 24 hour a day basis for the next 30 days. KXL with its 10,000 watts is the only Oregon station that can be consistently listened to by some 200,000 people along the Pacific Coast. Because no other radio service than KXL is available along the Oregon, Northern California and Southern Washington Coast.” The next day the FCC telegrammed: “Denied your request for authority operate unlimited time for period thirty days” (12-8-41). On December 8th all stations in the Pacific Northwest were silenced at 7:00pm, except for KIRO Seattle.
By January 1942 the KXL schedule was: “News” 6am, “Barnyard Follies with Cousin Elmore” 6:05am, “Top of The Morning” 8:05am, “Demitasse” 8:30am, “Dusty Records” 9:05am, “Musical library” 10:05am, “Dance Music” 10:30am, “Defense Parade of The Air” 11:05am, “Border Town Cafe” 12:15pm, “Luncheon Melodies” 12:30pm, “Today’s Bandwagon” 1:05pm, “Today’s War Commentary” 1:30pm, “Voices Blending” 1:35pm, “Concert Hall” 2:05pm, “Waltz Time” 3:05pm, “Hawaiian Serenade” 3:30pm, “Mutiny On The High Seas” 4:15pm, “Western Music” 4:30 to 4:45pm sign off. (plus hourly news & transcriptions). Sign on at 11:05pm with “Sports Page of The Air” with Wayne Osborne, “Variety” 11:15pm to 2:00am sign off. Weekends: “KXL-Land Editorials” (Saturday & Sunday’s) 12-12:15pm, “You And Your Uncle Sam” (Saturday’s) 3:30-4pm, “The Scandinavian Hour” (Sunday’s) 9:05-10am, “KXL-Land Forum” (Sunday’s) 1:30-2pm.
On January 26, 1942 KXL discontinued night broadcasts, except for Saturday night/Sunday mornings. WSB had begun 24 hour operation for the War effort, broadcasting to overnight factory workers. On January 27, 1942 KXL’s 28 year old Chief Engineer, Ralph Mifflin was close to being drafted, having been already called for a physical. Frances Symons telegraphed the FCC Chairman this information and stated: “Absolutely indispensible to us in operation and maintenance of station. Have had no satisfaction on deferment from the draft board. What do you advise. Is there anything you could do?” There was no FCC reply in the KXL file. KXL Technician, Lynn Hadlock was also drafted (U.S. Army).
On April 18, 1942 KXL discontinued its remaining Saturday night schedule, when WSB added the night to its schedule. On May 18, 1942 KXL debuted the “750 Club” 2:05pm to 3pm. Also by this time the Keystone transcription service was dropped. In June 1942 Reuben H. “Rudy” Lachenmeier became KXL Sports Editor (later KGW Sports Director).
On July 1, 1942 H.W. “Hal” Wilson was appointed KXL General Manager. Hal had built WWPG and was working last at WGTM. He began in radio in 1930. On July 13, 1942 KXL debuted “For Ladies Only” with Betty Todd, 9:30am to 10am, Monday thru Saturday. On August 17, 1942 Hal Wilson acquired 12 1/2 shares of KXL stock.
By October 1942 the KXL schedule was: “News” 6am, “Good Morning” 6:15am, “Along The Oregon Trail” 6:30am, “Morning Serenade” 7:05am, “Shop The Clock” 7:30am, “News” 7:55am, “For Ladies Only” 8am, “Music” 8:30am, “Dusty Records” 9:05am, “News” 9:55am, “For Ladies Only” 10am, “Government Speaks” 10:30 to 11am, “Music” 11:30am, “News” 12pm, “Agriculture Today” 12:15 to 12:30pm, “Music” 1pm, “750 Club” 2:05pm, “Symphony” 3:05pm, “Organ Music” 3:30pm, “Music” 3:45pm, “Trio” 4:30 to 4:45pm, “Billboard” 5:05pm, “Sports Page of The Air” 5:30pm, “Border Cafe” 5:45pm, “Music” 6:05 to 7:15pm. (plus news on the hour, most hours & transcriptions).
On November 1, 1942 KXL moved studios to the 5th floor of “The Orpheum Theatre” building (743 S.W. Broadway). The station occupied the entire floor including a large auditorium studio and a smaller studio, a control room, reception room and offices. This move gave KXL staff more room to produce its live programs including talent shows. By December 1942 Frederick J. “Fred” Eichhorn III was KXL Program Director & Louis K. “Lew” Ballinger was Acting Chief Technician (while Ralph Mifflin, C.E. served as a Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy. Ballinger was also KBPS C.E. at he time). In October 1943 Merrill Meade became News Commentator. On December 11, 1942 KXL began plans, to go full time. This marked the beginning of a 38 year quest with the FCC & WSB.
On January 31, 1943 Victor Oscar Rangner collapsed and died of a heart attack in The Orpheum Theater lobby while on his way to KXL studios to broadcast “The Scandinavian Hour”. Mr. Rangner was 40 year old, born in Sweden and had lived in Portland for 19 years. On March 6 1943 it was announced Barbara Forest, Program Director; Frederick J. “Fred” Eichhorn III, Production Manager & George Heimrich (later on KPRO), Coordinator of Government Programs & Director of Public Relations; Arthur Stoulit, Announcer & Dorothy Arthaud bacame a script writer. On August 10, 1943 Howard S. “Jake” Jacobson, Commercial Manager also became General Manager as well as serving as Secretary of KXL Broadcasters. He acquired 12 1/2 shares of KXL stock, relinquished from H.W. Wilson, former GM. Co-Owner Ed Craney increased his holding in KXL additionally.
By October 1943 the KXL schedule included: “News” 6am, “Along The Oregon Trail” 6:05am, “Voice of Mallory” 7:15am, “Amen Corner” 7:30am, “Album” 8:05am, “Glen Grey Dance Music” 8:15am, “Morning Melody Album” 8:30am, “Name The Tune” 9:15am, “Dusty Records” 9:30am, “Music In 3/4 Time” 10:05 to 10:45am, “Under The Sun” 11:15 to 11:30am, “Highlights of The Days News” 12pm, “Agriculture Today” 12:30pm, “Midday Band Parade” 12:45pm, “Victory Varieties” 1:30pm, “750 Club” 2:05pm “KXL Air Tribune” 3pm, “Concert Gems” 3:30pm, “Dance Matinee” 4:05pm, “Melody Mustangs” 4:30pm, “March of History” 5pm, “Sports Page of The Air” 5:15pm, “Music” 5:30pm, “Nova Moods” 5:45pm, “War Commentary” 6pm, “Five of A Kind” 6:05pm, “Roland C. Bartlett” 6:15 to 6:30pm sign off. (plus news on the hour, most hours & transcriptions).
By October 7, 1943 the KXL staff announcers were: Byron “Barney” Keep (formerly on KOAC, later KEX Sports Director), 6am-1pm; Robert Rudolph, 8am-1pm; Jesse Leonard, 12:30pm-12:45pm & 1pm- 6:30pm; Rudy Lachenmeier, 4pm-6:30pm. By this time Mrs. Symons son & daughter were serving in the Armed Forces. Tom Symons III in the Royal Canadian Air Force and Virginia Symons in the U.S. Marines as a Corporal. On November 7, 1943 Bob Anderson became the new host of “The Scandinavian Hour” for the next 55 years. By November 16, 1943 Merrill C. Meade was News Editor. Peggy Williams (former KGW-KEX Secretary) was Woman’s News. Harold J. Collette & Vernon Totten were Technicians. On June 27, 1944 it was announced James A. Mount (formerly with KEX) was KXL Sales Manager (Later KGW Station Manager).
On October 2, 1944 KXL debuted the long running program “KXL Tune Shop” at 1:30pm Monday thru Friday. Ad: “Hot Tunes – Sweet Tunes – Hit Tunes – Old Tunes. Tune Shop. KXL 750 on your dial.” By October 1944 the KXL schedule looked like this: “News” 6am, “Along The Oregon Trail” 6:05am, “News” 6:55am, “Heaven & Home” 7 to 7:15am, “Amen Corner” 7:30 to 8am, “Old Corral” 8:30am, “Spotlight” 9am, “Music As You Like It” 9:15 to 11am, “Variety” 11:05am, “Highlights of The Days News” 12pm, “Agriculture Today” 12:45 to 1pm, “KXL Tune Shop” 1:30 to 3pm “KXL Air Tribune” 3pm, “Dance Matinee” 4:05pm, “Melody Mustangs” 4:30pm, “Final Edition Sports” 5:15pm, “Dance Time” 5:30pm, “Music” 6:05 to 6:30pm sign off. (plus news on the hour, most hours & transcriptions). In November 1944 Harry Schoolfield, Jr. was hired as a Technician.
By January 15, 1945 KXL was carrying one program from The Blue Network, “Bible Institute” weekdays 8 to 8:30am. By June 7, 1945 this had changed to the “Blue” program “Haven of Rest” in the same time slot. Also by January 15, 1945 the KXL staff announcers were: Jack Valleye, 6-Noon; Rudy Lachenmeier, 9:15am-12:30pm; Richard Robbins, 11am-5:45pm; George Anthony (formerly on KBPS) 1pm-5:45pm; Jesse Leonard (later KEX ND, KGW) 1pm-7:15pm. In March 1945 Edward J. “Ed” McGown became a KXL staff announcer. By April 25, 1945 the KXL staff announcers were: Jack Valleye, 9am-11:30am; Rudy Lachenmeier, 9:15am-11am; Fred Eichhorn, 12:45pm-6pm; Ed McGowan, 11am-1pm; Wally Johnson, 3pm-6pm; Jesse Leonard, 2pm-8pm (later KEX PD).
On August 1, 1945 Jackson M. “Jack” Fleming became Production Director. By August 24, 1945 the KXL staff announcers were: Wally Johnson, 6am-12:15pm; Rudy Lachenmeier, 9:15am-11am; Jim Davidson, 11:45am-6pm; Fred Eichhorn, 12:45pm-6pm; Bernie Merriman, 2pm-8:15pm; Ed McGowan, 5:45pm-8:15pm. In September 1945 Rudy H. Lachenmeier became KXL Sports Editor, heard daily on “Sports Page of The Air” at 12:30pm.
By October 1945 the KXL schedule looked like this: “News” 6am, “Along The Oregon Trail” 6:05pm, “Wings of Healing” 7 to 7:15am, “Amen Corner” 7:30 to 8am, “Signal Serenade” 8:30am, “Music As You Like It” 9:05 to 11am, “Under The Sun” 11:05 to 11:45am, “Highlights of The Days news” 12pm, “Music” 12:15pm, “Sports Page of The Air” 12:30pm, “Farm News” 12:45pm, “KXL Tune Shop” 1:05 to 5pm, “Music” 5:30pm, “Sports Edition” 6:15 to 6:30pm. (plus news on the hour, most hours & transcription programs). Saturdays included network programming from PNB “Pacific Northwest Broadcasters” (formally Northwest Network): “What The Northwest Thinks” at 3:15pm and “Fort George Wright Hospital” at 3:40pm to 4pm.
As of October 25, 1945 stockholders in KXL Broadcasters were: Frances R. Symons, President; Edmund B. Craney, Vice-President; Howard S. Jacobson, Secretary-Treasurer; Virginia Symons Seeger (now married); Thomas W. Symons III; Agness McGillvra (acquired 8-17-42, living in N.Y.C.); C.P. MacGregor (acquired 6-26-44, transcription co. owner in L.A.); Spokane & Eastern Bank (acquired 12-30-44 from U.S. National Bank of Portland). By December 1945 Harrison H. “Harry” Schoolfield, Jr. was Acting Chief Technician & Glora Mousley KXL continuity & music.
On April 13, 1946 KXL Broadcasters announced it was one of four Portland stations with engineering plans for FM broadcasting. By June 19, 1946 Ralph Mifflin had returned from the U.S. Navy to continue as KXL Chief Technician. By July 1946 Benjamin “Ben” Buisman was Farm Editor; Jean Donahue was traffic; Martha Carlson, bookkeeper & Donna Ryan, stenographer. On July 27, 1946 KXL filed its first application for a power increase to 50kw. Also reporting to the FCC it had “the highest Hooper daytime rating of any independent station on the Pacific Coast.”
On October 1, 1946 KXL resumed night operation seven days a week, signing on at 10:05pm to 2:00am sign off. (WSB was now back to its pre-war hours). By October 1946 the KXL schedule was: “News” 6am, “Along The Oregon Trail” 6:05am, “Voice of China” 7 to 7:15am, “Amen Corner” 7:30am, “Faith Builders” 8am, “Nylon Club” 8:25am, “Clockwise” 8:30am, “News” 9 to 9:15am, “Music As You Like It” 9:15am to 11am with “Nylon Club” 9:25 to 9:30am, 10:25 to 10:30am & 10:50 to 11:00am, “Under The Sun” 11:05 to 11:30am, “Highlights of The Days News” 12pm, “Cowboy Caravan” 12:15pm, “Melody Merry Go Round” 12:30pm, “Farm Forum” 12:45pm, “Tune Shop” 1:05 to 5pm, “Disc Hit Party” 5:05 to 5:30pm sign off. (plus hourly news & transcriptions). Night sign on at 10:05pm with “Music”, then “Sports Page of The Air” at 10:15pm & “Club 750” 10:30pm to 2:00am sign off.
By November 1, 1946 Tom W. Symons III had died, most likely during WWII. (might have been in Feb 45). Within the last five years, Frances Symons had lost her husband to a heart attack and now her only son was gone. By November 1946 KXL slogan: The Voice of The Columbian Empire. On December 11, 1946 KXL stock from Tom W. Symons III was transferred to his widow Katherine Symons Battle.
On January 4, 1947 KXL co-owner Ed Craney started the XL Group, also known as “The XL Stations”. Call letters in the group of owned stations were simultaneously changed on this date to an XL call combination. They were: KXLE Ellensburg, KXLF Butte, KXLJ Helena, KXLK Great Falls, KXLL Missoula, KXLO Lewiston, KXLQ Bozeman & KXLY Spokane. These stations were linked together at times as the PNB Chain. Pacific Northwest Broadcasters, was a sales organization based in Portland at KXL with additional offices at: 79 Post St., San Francisco 4, Calif. & 6381 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood 28, Calif. Represented by The Walker Company in New York & Chicago. PNB officers: Howard “Jake” Jacobson, President & Director, 10% owner; Ed Craney, Vice-President & Director, 50% owner; Frances Symons, 18% owner. Stationery had the chain of station calls listed as such: K XL Y, K XL F, K XL, etc. (XL in red).
On January 11, 1947 Howard S. “Jake” Jacobson became KXL President and continued as G.M. Frances R. Symons, who was President became Secretary-Treasurer. On January 13, 1947 KXL ad: “Tune to “Tune Shop” afternoon program of variety music, 1:00 – 4:30PM. KXL 750 on your dial.” By May 16, 1947 George Anthony’s “Club 750” program was reported to have a large night following, 10:15pm to 2:00am with Del Olney (formerly on KHON) on weekends.
On September 13, 1947 Pacific Northwest Broadcasters won the “Overall Promotions Award” at “Billboard’s 10th Annual Promotion Competition” held in New York. The award was for switching call letters on their stations so that the first three letters were “KXL_” and then promoting the outlets as the “XL” stations.
By October 1947 the KXL schedule looked like this: “News” 6am, “Along The Oregon Trail” 6:05am, “Voice of China” 7 to 7:15am, “Clockwise” 8:30am, “News” 9am, “Music As You Like It” 9:15 to 11am, “Under The Sun” 11:05 to 11:30am, “Highlights of the Days News” 12pm, “Music” 12:15pm, “Farm Forum” 12:45pm, “Tune Shop” 1:05 to 5:30pm sign off. (plus hourly news & transcriptions). Night sign on at 10:05pm with “Music” then “Sports Page of The Air” at 10:15pm, & “Club 750” 10:30pm to 2:00am sign off.
On October 28, 1947 KXL’s Rudy Lachenmeier was named President of “The Oregon Sportscasters Association”, succeeding Johnny Carpenter of KOIN. By February 1948 Paul J. Robinson was KXL Program Manager (returned after being drafted into the U.S. Army, where he became a Captain).
On May 31, 1948 KXL began broadcasting 24 hours a day for the first time on 750kc. These additional night hours were part of the emergency information KXL was transmitting to citizens effected during the Vanport Flood. (KGW had been knocked off the air when one of its towers fell). KXL continued 24 hour emergency information thru June 3rd., ending when the crises had passed. By June 1948 KXL slogan was: Radio Oregon. On June 30, 1948 KXL’s experimental mobile FM station KXL-FM began simulcasting KXL programming on 96.5mc with 250 watts of power, from Larch Mtn. For more on this, see “The Original KXL-FM” history (coming soon).
By September 1948 additional KXL personnel included: Bob Roberts, News Director; Bill Mason, chief announcer; Theodore A. “Ted” Yaw (of Yaw’s restaurant family)(formerly on KBPS, KORE, Armed Forces Radio-Paris) announcer; Ralph C. Weagant (formerly on KVAN, later KHFS & KKEY President) announcer; Howard Ritter was a technician; Dick Levy in sales. Pat Chidlaw was KXL Music Librarian. Gloria Mousley, executive secretary; Lorraine Gustafson, traffic; Corrine Winquist, continuity chief; Jim McCabe, accountant & Edith Franklin, receptionist. At the time KXL was utilizing the “United Press” wire service.
By October 1948 the KXL schedule was looking like this: “News” 6am, “Along The Oregon Trail” 6:05am, “Voice of China” 7 to 7:15am, “News” 8am, “Market Hour” 8:15am, “Clockwise” 8:30am, “News” 9am, “Music As You Like It” 9:15am to 12pm, “Highlights of The Days News” 12pm, “Cowboy Caravan” 12:15pm, “Farm Forum” 12:45pm, “Tune Shop” 1:05 to 5pm, “Jukebox Jamboree” 5:05 to 5:30pm sign off. (plus hourly news & transcriptions). Night sign on at 10:05pm with “Club 750” to 2:00am sign off. On October 9, 1948 KXL founder Harry B. Read died at age 56.
On May 16, 1949 KXL moved its night sign on an hour later to 11:06pm. This was an FCC mandate through WSB, moving its sign off an hour later. By September 1949 the KXL schedule was “News” 6am, “Along The Oregon Trail” 6:05am, “Voice of China” 7 to 7:15am, “News” 8am, “Clockwise” 8:15am, “Variety Time” 8:30am, “News” 9am, “Music As You Like It” 9:15am to 12pm, “Highlights of The Days News” 12pm, “Cowboy Caravan” 12:15pm, “Farm Forum” 12:45pm, “Tune Shop” 1:05 to 5pm, “High School Searchlight” 5:05pm, “Smooth Sailing” 5:30pm, “Melody Main Street” 6:05pm to 6:30pm sign off. (plus hourly news & transcriptions). Night sign on at 11:06pm with “Club 750” to 2:00am sign off. By April Dick Levy (later with KVAN, KXL CM) was with KXL.
On June 1, 1950 KXL discontinued night operation stating in a letter to the FCC: Our inability to return to the air until 11:07pm Pacific Daylight Savings Time during Summer hours and shorter night broadcasts, were given as a reason. By mid 1950 Jackson M. “Jack” Fleming was Program Director. Filling Fleming’s Production Manager position was Ted Yaw. Filling Yaw’s Staff Announcer position was Gene Brendler (formerly on American Forces Network in Berlin during WWII & KWJJ). On September 23, 1950 KXL reinstated night broadcasts, 10:06pm to 2:00am, after a time change at WSB.
By October 1950 the KXL schedule looked like: “News” 6am, “Along The Oregon Trail” 6:05am, “Voice of China” 7 to 7:15am, “Orchestra” 7:30am, “News” 8am, “Variety Time” 8:15am, “News” 9am, “Music As You Like It” 9:15am to 12pm, “Highlights of The Days News” 12pm, “Cowboy Caravan” 12:15pm, “Farm Forum” 12:45pm, “Tune Shop” 1:05 to 3pm, “News” 3pm “Tune-O” 3:15 to 4pm, “Tune Shop” 4 to 5:30pm sign off. (plus hourly news & transcriptions). Night sign on at 10:06pm with “Club 750” to 2:00am sign off. By mid 1951 Frederick J. “Fred” Eichhorn III (former KXL PD) was now News Director.
On October 1, 1951 KXL expanded its night sign on back to 10:06pm with “Club 750”. By October 1951 the KXL schedule was: “News” 6am, “Along The Oregon Trail” 6:05am, “Voice of China” 7 to 7:15am, “News” 8am, “Variety Time” 8:15am, “News” 9am, “Music As You Like It” 9:15am to 12pm, “Highlights of The Days News” 12pm, “Cowboy Caravan” 12:15pm, “Farm Forum” 12:45pm, “Tune Shop” 1:05 to 2pm, “Dog Finder” 2pm, “Tune Shop” 2:05 to 5:30pm sign off. (plus hourly news & transcriptions). Night sign on at 10:06pm with “Club 750” to 2:00am sign off. By November 1951 Edward “Ed” Mundt was a KXL technician.
On February 4, 1952 building plans were completed for the new KXL studios at the transmitter site at S.E. 82nd. Ave. & Sunnyside Rd. By March 21, 1952 stockholders in KXL Broadcasters were: Edmund B. Craney, Vice-President, 46.8%; Frances R. Symons, Secretary-Treasurer, 39.6%; Howard S. “Jake” Jacobson, President, 3.4%; Virginia Symons Seeger, 3.24%; Katherine T. Battle, 3.24%; C.P. MacGregor, 1.0%; Seattle 1st National Bank, 0.72%.
On May 6, 1952 KXL wrote the FCC after WSB informed KXL it would begin 24 hour operation and KXL would have to discontinue night broadcasts. KXL tried to convince the FCC with its history of night operation. The FCC stated on May 14, 1952 “In choosing key stations for the Conelrad program, the protection from interference afforded Class 1-A stations (WSB) has made those stations highly desirable. The simultaneous operation requested in your letter is not permissible. The secondary nature of the license held by station KXL is clearly covered by sections 3.4, 3.5, 3.23 and 3.25(a) of Commission Rules.” On May 16, 1952 KXL discontinued night operation.
In Spring 1952 Larry Caramella (formerly on KYJC & KMO) became a KXL staff announcer, replacing Bill Clayton. By June 1952 George Anthony (later KXLY PD & Station Manager) had moved from staff announcer to Program Director. Jack Fleming former P.D., was now working in KXL sales. In July 1952 the FCC ordered hearings for KXL Broadcasters, Inc. who were seeking TV channel 6. In August 1952 Charles N. “Chuck” Foster (formerly on KIT, KIMA, KGW ND) became News Director. (later KOIN-TV news anchor).
By October 1952 the KXL schedule looked like this: “Along The Oregon Trail” 6am, “First News of The Day” 6:45am “Voice of China” 7 to 7:15am, “News” 8am, “Variety Time” 8:15am, “News” 9am, “Music As You Like It” 9:15am to 11am, “Melody Parade” 11:05am “Highlights of The Days News” 12pm, “Cowboy Caravan” 12:15pm, “Farm Forum” 12:45pm, “Tune Shop” 1:05 to 2pm, “News & Dog Finder” 2pm, “Tune Shop” 2:05 to 5pm, “Fashions In Music” 5:05 to 5:30pm sign off. (plus hourly news & transcriptions).
As of February 19, 1953 stockholders in KXL Broadcasters were: Edmund B. Craney, Vice-President, 585 shares; Frances R. Symons, Secretary-Treasurer, 495 shares; Howard S. Jake” Jacobson, President, 72 1/2 shares; Virginia Page Symons, 40 1/2 shares; Katherine T. Battle, 40 1/2 shares; Agness McGillvra, 25 shares; C.P. MacGregor, 12 1/2 shares; Spokane & Eastern Bank, 9 shares. In addition, some of these stockholders also held ownership within the XL Group: Ed Craney owned 49.6% of KXLY, 49.6% of KXLQ, 49.4% of KXLF, 42% of KXLJ & 30% of KXLL. Frances Symons owned 24.9% of KXLF. Virginia Symons owned 10.4% of KXLQ & 0.4% of KXLF. Katherine Battle owned 10.4% of KXLQ. Spokane & Eastern Bank owned 24.9% of KXLF. On July 13, 1953 Gene Brendler left KXL for KPTV channel 27. At the time it was said Brendler was one of the best announcers in town.
On August 28, 1953 at 2:40pm KXL switched to the newly built studios & offices at the transmitter site on S.E. 82nd Ave. & Sunnyside Rd. The address was: KXL Broadcasters, Inc., P.O. Box 5886, Portland 22, Oregon. KXL studios & offices were accessed from Sunnyside Road. By October 1953 Leonard F. “Len” Garratt was Chief Engineer. On October 22, 1953 it was announced that Ric Thomas (former KLIQ PD) was now KXL Program Director. Following Ric to KXL was Bob McCarl (formerly on KFLW & KLIQ).
On October 26, 1953 KXL discontinued its block programming and began a Popular Music format. KLIQ, first in the market with Popular music, had stunned Portland Radio last Summer (1953) with high Spring ratings but KLIQ was in financial trouble, losing its entire air staff when they refused to raise wages after the rating spike. KXL was now poised to take on KLIQ (another day timer) with ten times the power and former proven air staff members, to win big ratings.
The new KXL broadcast day was: “Around The Clock” with Don Porter, 6 to 9am (Don actually began a few weeks later. We don’t know who originally started mornings.); Chuck Foster with “Spotlight News” 9 to 9:15am; “Music As You Like It” with Ric Thomas, 9:15 to Noon; Chuck Foster with “Highlights of The Days News” Noon to 12:15pm; “Tune Shop” with Bob McCarl, 12:15 to 4pm; “Fashions In Music” with Larry Caramella, 4 to Sunset. KXL air talent worked a six day week. On Sundays full timers alternated doing 6 hour air shifts. Slogan: Listening is swell on KXL.
By December 1953 Ivan A. Smith (former KMCM PD, KWRC) joined KXL as a weekend disc jockey and announcer, later segued into news becoming News Director (later KPTV ND & KGW-TV Asst. ND). Additional KXL slogan: Nifty 7-50, here at Sunnyside farms. On June 6, 1954 it was announced Walter P. “Wally” Rossmann (formerly with KEX, KPOJ AM/FM, KVAN Sales Manager) became KXL Commercial Manager. On June 12, 1954 Billboard reported Don Porter was hosting a “guest” deejay each week at 7:30am from one of Portland’s ten high schools. On March 4, 1955 it was announced Henry Blanc (formerly KFWI PD, KGW-KEX, WHAT PD, WFBR, KFWB as Henry Charles, KNX-CBS Radio, MBS) (older brother of Mel Blanc) had joined the KXL news staff and was heard hourly Monday thru Friday.
On May 20, 1955 Frances Symons sold a 60 foot strip of property along S.E. 82nd Ave. to the Oregon State Highway Commission for road widening ($8,580.). KXL underground radials had to be lowered under the new rock layer of the road bed. There was concern having radials partially under a road, effecting coverage. By June 1955 Bob Adkins (formerly on KLIQ, KBKW CM, KWJJ) was DJing weekends as well as weekday fill-ins (later on KEX & KEED. By Nov 55 using occasionally “Addy Bobkins” or “Addie Bobkins” on KVAL, KPTV, KISN & KKEY). In 1955 Frederick J. “Fred” Eichhorn IIII (back, former KXL PD & ND, KING Sales Manager) became KXL National Sales Manager.
On November 7, 1955 KXL was purchased by Mt. Rainier Radio & Television Broadcasting Corp. (Lester M. “Les” Smith, 50% owner; Lincoln “Linc” Deller & wife Sylvia Deller, 50% owner) for $450,000., not including property which would be leased from Frances Symons. Mt. Rainier Radio & Television owned KJR 950kc Seattle & KHMO 1070kc Hannibal, Mo. Les Smith (formerly with WOR & KYA Sales Manager) moved from San Francisco to Lake Oswego becoming KXL Station Manager. Les had flown in a “Douglas DC-3” to purchase KXL from Ed Craney, who lived in Butte Mont. (President of KXLF). Les took control of KXL on December 1, 1955. (Transfer of control on 10-18-55. Assignment of license on 12-19-55).
By December 1955 Bill Lynch was KXL News Director; Milt Lindley, Sports Director & Max Dick (formerly KRNR CE, later KFLW CE) Chief Engineer. By December 2, 1955 KXL’s Ric Thomas & Bob McCarl were regulars on the KPTV channel 27 program “Stump The D.J.” Friday nights at 6:30pm with disc jockey competitors, KGW’s Bob McAnulty & KEX’s Moon Mullins. By Summer 1955 Frederick J. “Fred” Eichhorn III (former KXL National Sales Manager) was now Operations Manager. (leaving in December to become KGW-TV Asst. PD).
On June 22, 1956 Henry Blanc left KXL and moved to San Francisco. By December 1956 Lyle E. Fenner (former KGW ND, later KQEN GM) was News Director; Edward A. “Ed” Mundt (former KXL technician) was Chief Engineer. On December 17, 1956 “Little” Bob Liddle took over afternoons on KXL 3pm to sunset. Larry Caramella had left to join the new KGW-TV as an announcer and was the first voice heard during the sign on debut. Larry would also be the first voice heard on the new KATU as well in 1962. By March 9, 1957 “Nifty 750” was distributing “KXL Top 30” surveys to record stores. Number 1 on this date was “Party Doll” by Buddy Knox.
On April 1, 1957 Don H. Porter became Program Director. Ric Thomas had moved to sister KJR. Bob McCarl picked up Ric’s 9-Noon air shift and continued with his original show from 1 to 3pm. Don Porter did Noon to 1pm and his original show from 6 to 9am. “Little” Bob Liddle continued 3pm to sunset. In June 1957 Bob Salter was appointed Regional Program Director for KJR, KXL & KNEW. Salter was based at KJR. On October 25, 1957 Les Smith announced plans to apply for channel 2 Television, recently assigned to Portland by the FCC. KXL asked the Portland City Council for permission to mount KXL-TV’s antenna on the Council Crest Tower (former KPTV channel 27 structure at 3405 S.W. Council Crest Drive) if the FCC would grant a construction permit. By February 15, 1958 KXL was out of the running for channel 2, or had not applied.
On December 23, 1957 it was announced that Les Smith & Linc Deller had sold their interest in Mt. Rainier Radio & Television Broadcasting Corp. which owned KXL, KJR Seattle & KNEW (later aka KJRB) Spokane to entertainers Frank Sinatra & Danny Kaye for $2.5 Million. Les Smith had found the new investors through the William Morris talent agency. Les would continue as General Manager of the station group from Portland. Mt. Rainier Radio & Television Broadcasting Corp. ownership was: Francis A. Sinatra and his 17 year old daughter Nancy S. Sinatra, 50% owner; “Danny Kaye” aka David D. Kaminsky & wife Sylvia F. Kaminsky, 50% owner. KXL Station Manager, Wally Rossmann said “We’ll play just as many rock n’ roll records as before and we’ll play no more Sinatra records than before.” (transfer of control approved on 6-7-58. Assignment of license on 7-30-58).December 15, 2011 at 3:53 am #2111
On April 11, 1958 it was announced Duncan Macleod (formerly with KOIN AM/FM) would return to KXL taking over mornings 5 to 9 & Noon to 1. Don Porter was moving to KGW (later P.D.). Duncan began April 14th. On April 21, 1958 Duncan left for KGW. Bob Blackburn (former KEX Sports Director & at KPOJ) took over mornings. Also on this date Robert S. “Bob” McCarl II was named KXL Program Director. KXL slogans: Nifty 7-50. Refreshing Radio. Aisle 7-50. On July 28, 1958 KXL began its sign on an hour earlier at 5am.
On July 30, 1958 KXL licensee name changed to: Essex Productions, Inc. & Dena Pictures, Inc., a joint venture doing business as Seattle, Portland & Spokane Radio, Inc. Essex Productions was owned by Frank Sinatra and Dena Pictures was owned by Danny Kaye. On January 5, 1959 Bob Blackburn returned to KPOJ and ???? Johnson took over KXL mornings 5 to 9am. “Little” Bob Liddle picked up Blackburn’s Noon to 1pm shift and continued his original show 3 to sunset. Bob McCarl continued 9 to Noon & 1 to 3pm. By March 1959 H.G. “Hi” Wells, Jr. was Station Manager. On April 1, 1959 “The Bob Hazen Show” (formerly on KEX) began on KXL at 7:45am. The 15 minute show would continue also on KOIN at 7:45am. Ad: “Named by PULSE Survey as Portland’s most popular daytime radio show. Presenting your favorite music, both old and new.”
On April 22, 1959 the FCC granted KXL a power increase from 10kw directional daytime only, to 50kw directional daytime only. On June 22, 1959 the owners of KXL signed a mortgage agreement on property at S.E. 82nd Ave. & Sunnyside Rd. from owner Frances Symons for $1,163,289.93. On July 1, 1959 KXL announced Jim O’Neil as News Director. On August 22, 1959 KXL announced Richard R. “Dick” Levy (formerly with KXL, KVAN-910) as Commercial Manager. On August 25, 1959 KXL announced Richard T. “Dick” Drury (formerly on KISN, later KQV PD) as Program Director. Bob McCarl former KXL PD would later become KSLM PD. On September 1, 1959 Les Smith became KXL Station Manager, again and continued as President. In September 1959 KXL had an entirely new D.J. line-up: Bob Stevens 5 to 9am & Noon to 1pm (later on KISN); Dick Drury 9 to Noon & 1 to 3pm; Art Wander “tiny tot of the kilowatt” 3 to sunset. (“Little” Bob Liddle would later show up on KEX).
KXL’s rock n’ roll music had once dominated the format but now the Portland market had five stations all spinning most of the same current hits. At one time the network affiliated stations were lock up in signed agreements with just a few hours a day to fill with music. KXL being an independent station was a real plus even as a day timer. Then three of the four network stations dumped their affiliations when ratings began falling after television was introduced to Portland. Those stations all began Popular Music formats which continued into the night. KXL seeing the writing on the wall, dropped its rock n’ roll format on October 1, 1959 and slowly made a transition to a softer sound described as “Good Music”. Slogan: The new KXL Color Radio.
By January 15, 1960 the KXL schedule was: “Morning Overture” 5 to 9am with news at 7 & 8am, followed by “Serenade In The Morning” 9 to Noon with 15 minutes of news at Noon, then continuing with “Serenade In The Afternoon” 12:15 to 4pm. Added later was “Sign Off Limelight” at 4pm with news at 5:15 to 5:30pm sign off. In February 1960 Art Wander became Program Director. By July 1960 “Del” Delbert L. Olney (formerly on KXL in 1947, KWJJ, KVAN, KLIQ, KEX, KJR) was Program Director; George A. Goode, News Director (later KPAM/KPFM ND).
By August 25, 1960 KXL had increased power from 10kw directional day time only, to 50kw directional day time only. The new transmitter was a General Electric model BT-50A. The old RCA 10-DX became the back up transmitter. Two “Fisher” 326 foot solid steel towers were added to the two “Windcharger” 285 foot towers. Ad on this date: Better Music, 50,000 watts, KXL 750. On January 4, 1961 KXL was granted its first 50kw license. By this time Don Vincent (formerly on AFR Casablanca; later KPAM/KPFM PD) was News Director.
On August 23, 1961 it was announced Melvin M.”Mel” Bailey (former WBZ PD & KEX PD) was named Director of Program Development for Seattle, Portland & Spokane Radio, Inc. Mel was based at KXL. On September 1, 1961 John A. Salisbury (formerly on WRHM Minneapolis, KALL/KUTV News Editor, KLOR host & Program Coordinator, KPTV news anchor) became KXL News Director. In 1962 John Salisbury was awarded the George Washington Medal of Honor, from the Freedom Foundation, for his commentaries titled “A Message For Americans”. By September 1962 Melvin M.”Mel” Bailey was KXL Program Director as well as Director of Program Development for Seattle, Portland & Spokane Radio & Bryce R. Howard (formerly KHFS CE & continued as KKEY CE) was Chief Engineer.
On March 22, 1963 Frances R. Symons, former President of KXL died, she was 70 years old. Property mortgage payments reverted to daughter Virginia Symons Seeger, former KXL Program Director and last surviving family member. On September 24, 1963 licensee name changed to Sinatra Radio & Dena Pictures, Inc., a joint venture doing business as Seattle, Portland & Spokane Radio, Inc. By March 1964 KXL’s format was described as “Conservative Classical”. KXL presented two 15 minute news broadcasts at 7:00am & 8:00am weekday mornings.
On October 14, 1964 Danny Kaye & Les Smith bought out Frank Sinatra’s shares in a reorganization for $700,000. License name changed to: Alexander Broadcasting Co. & Dena Pictures, Inc., a joint venture doing business as Seattle, Portland & Spokane Radio, Inc. Lester M. Smith & wife Virginia L. Smith owned 100% of Alexander Broadcasting Co., with Danny Kaye & wife Sylvia Kaye owning 50% each of Dena Pictures. Danny Kaye owned 80% of Seattle, Portland & Spokane Radio with Les Smith owning 20%.
On May 13, 1965 KXL owners purchased KGMG 95.5mc in Portland for $125,000. On July 5, 1965 KGMG became KXL-FM. This was the 2nd time the KXL-FM calls were used. The first use was in 1948. KXL-FM began simulcasting KXL’s Good Music format. By 1965 Chris Lane (formerly KISN PD, KAYO & sister KJR) was on KXL.
On August 23, 1965 Virginia Symons Seeger signed over the land deed for the property at S.E. 82nd Ave. & Sunnyside Rd. to the owners of KXL. The mortgage had been paid off. This was the last connection to the Symons/Craney ownership of KXL, stretching back to 1937. By October 1965 Lee Perkins (formerly KJR PD) was doing morning drive. By March 1966 Wayne G. Jordan (formerly on KPEN) was Music Director. KXL’s format was described as 60% Pop Standards & 40% Standards.
On June 15, 1966 KXL announced Mel M. Bailey was now Station Manager and Wayne G. Jordan was named Program Director. In 1966 Les Smith was elected President of The Oregon Association of Broadcasters. In 1967 Les Smith served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Broadcasters, representing Oregon & Washington through 1969.
On November 4, 1967 Billboard wrote about John Salisbury’s new LP in an article titled: “A Patriotic Album Is Produced By KXL. Portland, Ore.— A patriotic album — “A Message For Americans” — has been produced by KXL here for sale at $3.95. The record features some of the best of the daily commentaries written and presented each morning by newscaster John Salisbury on the 50,000-watt clear channel station. The award-winning series, launched in 1962, was published in book form in 1965 and later that year syndicated on stations in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana & Alaska. Liner notes report that the LP comes at the request of listeners and that Salisbury “does not side with those who seem to believe America is going to Hell in a handbasket.” Cuts include “The Valley of The Purple People”, “My Country” & “How Important One Vote!” Salisbury is News Director & Director of Special Projects for KXL.” By January 1968 KXL slogan was: More good music.
On August 1, 1968 KXL began its first morning news block from 6:30 to 7:45am daily. John Lewis (former KPAM/KPFM ND, KLOR/KPTV news anchor) was News Editor & anchor along with colleagues John Salisbury, Ralph Rogers (formerly on KFPY, KOL, KGW-KEX PD, ABC, KEX, KXL-FM), Graham Archer (formerly on KTSM, KGW, KOIN AM/FM, KXL-FM), Don Porter (back, former KXL PD, KGW PD, KEX, CKWX, CHQM, KPOJ) and others. Les Smith commented “This is an experiment.” It would in fact mark the beginning of KXL’s slow transition to a News/Talk format 12 years in the future. On January 13, 1969 KXL expanded its national news coverage with an a affiliation with the American Information Network. ABC’s on the hour service. In June 1969 KXL’s format was described as “Popular Adult Album”. By October 1969 Dennis Mahoney was Sales Manager.
On February 17, 1970 it was announced John Salisbury had won the “George Washington Medal of Honor” from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge, for his editorial “This Is Law Day” broadcast on KXL in 1969. Salisbury was the first broadcaster ever to receive the editorial award. He would go on to receive 14 more Freedom Foundation awards. In this same announcement KXL won another medal from the Freedom Foundation for the program “If The Spirit Moves Us”.
By May 1970 Lester M. Smith had became Executive Director of Seattle, Portland & Spokane Radio, Inc.; Robert Kellogg was Operations Manager & Dennis Mahoney, Sales Manager. By October 1971 Raymond G. “Ray” Watson was Station Manager. In February 1972 Ray G. Watson became General Manager.
On June 29, 1972 KXL license name changed to: Alexander Broadcasting Co. & Dena Pictures, Inc., a joint venture doing business as Kaye-Smith Enterprises (Danny Kaye 80%, Les Smith 20%). By this time the company owned: KJR & KISW(FM) Seattle, KXL AM/FM Portland, KJRB AM Spokane, KCKN AM/FM Kansas City KS, WUBE AM/FM Cincinnati OH.
On July 24, 1972 it was announced John Salisbury was elected Western Regional Director of the Radio-Television News Directors Association. Salisbury succeeded Jack Eddy of KOMO-TV at the November RTNDA meeting in Nassau. By August 1972 Bill Bise was KXL Chief Engineer. On August 15, 1972 Brian Jennings (formerly on KBRO & later hired by KXL sister KJRB on 6-1-71) began as a rotating morning anchor 6 to 9am with John Salisbury, John Lewis, Don Porter & Sherm Meyer (formerly on KISN, later KCNR-FM ND). The morning news block was followed by John Lewis, 9 to Noon; Don Porter, Noon to 3 & Wayne Jordon, 3 to sunset. All announcing was voice tracked (recorded).
On January 15, 1973 KXL lost its American Information Network affiliation to full timer KEX. KXL affiliated with UPI Audio News. By 1973 KXL’s format was described as: Adult Popular Music. In Fall 1973 Peter Linsky (formerly aka John Cooper on KYES, aka Peter Leyland on KPAM/KPFM, aka John Cooper on KIST, aka Peter Linsky on KRLA) became a KXL announcer. In October 1973 Jeff Grimes (formerly on KBOI, KATN, KBBK-FM, KOIN-TV) joined Brian Jennings mornings 5 to 9am, teaming up for the next 15 years on KXL.
In December 1973 there was an announcement of a proposed development at S.E. 82nd Ave. & Sunnyside Rd. by Ernest W. Hahn, Inc. The 114 acre site would become the $90 Million “Clackamas Town Center” mall. The KXL property sold for a reputed $3 Million. Also in 1974 Les Smith moved to Seattle. In September 1974 John Salisbury was elected Vice-President of the Radio-Television News Directors Association.
On October 1, 1974 KXL announced the towers were approved for its new Damascus, Oregon transmitter site. On October 21, 1974 Larry R. Wilson (former KUPL-FM OM/PD, KRDR CE, later KPDQ AM/FM CE) become KXL Chief Engineer. On February 4, 1975 KXL purchased property (40 acres) in Damascus for $110,000 at 20900 S.E. Curtis Rd. Later in 1975 KXL moved its transmitter site to the Damascus location. Four towers had been erected, two 285 foot towers and two 326 foot towers. By September 1975 Bill Johnson was Sports Director.
On September 19, 1975 John A. Salisbury was elected President of the Radio-Television News Directors Association. On October 14, 1975 the FCC authorized KXL for Pre-Sunrise Authority 6am to local sunrise. In March 1976 Larry P. Roberts (formerly on WLUV, WYFE, WROK & WAYL) became Program Director. In July 1976 Alan Budwill (formerly with KJIB, KQFM, KKOP & KYXI) began weekends. In early 1977 Alan Budwill became Music Director.
In early 1977 KXL and FM sister moved studios to the Buckman district of Portland at: 1415 S.E. Ankeny St., after the Clackamas Town Center studio deal fell through. On June 1, 1977 “The Larry Roberts Show” debuted on KXL 9 to 11am. Shortly after this Larry began occasional interviews, maybe once or twice a week. At this time the KXL air staff included morning news anchors Brian Jennings & Jeff Grimes, sports with Bill Johnson & commentary from John Salisbury 5 to 9am; Larry Roberts, 9 to 11am; Don Bulter 11 to 3?; Howard Huntley, afternoons; Dick Novak (formerly on KGON(AM), KPOJ, KGW, KPOJ, KYXI) evenings. Larry Roberts described the format at this time as “information-intensive M.O.R.”
On November 6, 1977 Ray G. Watson was elected President of the Oregon Association of Broadcasters. By December 1977 KXL’s format was described as “Foreground Adult music with emphasis on Good Listening” said Larry Roberts, Program Director. On February 10, 1978 the old KXL 82nd & Sunnyside studios were burned down as part of a Clackamas Fire District training exercise. In March 1978 John A. Salisbury became KXL Executive Director of News & Public Affairs & Brian Jennings became News Director. By May 1978 KXL spots were programmed in clusters, 4 times each hour and did not exceed 12 minutes per hour. Five minutes of news hourly. Slogan: Newscenter 750.
In February 1979 KXL won the Columbia University DuPont Award for excellence in broadcast journalism for the 25-part series on safety at Portland International Airport, titled: “Airspace-How Safe?” (The DuPont Award is often referred to as “broadcasting’s pulitzer”). Additionally in April 1979 KXL won the “Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award” for radio public service for “Airspace-How Safe?”
On May 16, 1979 “The Larry Roberts Show” began daily interviews and was now listed in newspapers under talk shows. Music was still played between guests. In June 1979 it was announced “KXL had won more major national journalistic awards than any other Oregon radio station.” Working in the KXL News department were John Ballantyne, Jeff Grimes, Brian Jennings, Bill Johnson, Frank Kinkaid (formerly on KOIN-TV), John Salisbury, Gina Tuttle & Loren Wyss. KXL slogan: News Radio 75. In July 1979 KXL was “first with live traffic reports from a fixed-wing aircraft.” Larry Roberts did the first two weeks of these reports.
Also in 1979 KXL replaced the G.E. BT-50A transmitter with a new Continental Electronics model 317C-1 (Serial No. 103). The G.E. was sold to KOFE Kalispell. On December 15, 1979 Billboard reported KXL had 6,000 titles in its tape library. Format: MOR. On March 10, 1980 Jim Altoff (formerly on KGO) began his talk show KXL 11am to 3pm. Also on this date KXL affiliated with the Mutual Broadcasting System, on the hour news feed. On March 17, 1980 Lars Larson (hired 2-18-80, formerly on KTIL, KWAX, KATR, KPNW, KEZI, KBDF, KZEL ND & sister KJRB) began afternoon news with Alan Budwill as host 3 to 6pm.
On May 29, 1980 the FCC voted to limit the protected area of the Nations most powerful AM stations. WSB was now seen as vulnerable to KXL’s day time limited signal. In June 1980 Tom Brooks (formerly G. Michael McKay on KISN, aka Michael McKay on KPAM AM/FM) began weekends. In 1980 John Salisbury was awarded Radio-Television News Directors Association’s “John F. Hogan” award for distinguished contributions to journalism and freedom of the Press.
On December 16, 1980 the FCC granted KXL an S.T.A. (Special Temporary Authority) for full time status. This was a monumental day in KXL’s history. After 51 years KXL was free once again to broadcast 24 hours, but at reduced night power of 1kw, using the daytime directional towers. KXL had anticipated receiving the S.T.A. grant and was ready. On this day KXL continued broadcasting into the night. The afternoon news block was extended to 7pm, at which time KXL simulcast its FM sister until 5am. Ray Horn (formerly on KGON(AM), KGW, KQIV) did evenings.
In March 1981 “The Lawn & Garden Show with Mike Darcy” debuted on KXL Saturdays 9 to 11am. The seasonal show would run until October of each year. On March 18, 1981 KXL won the Ohio State University Award for Journalism for the story titled “Mt. St. Helens – A Radio Diary”.
On April 9, 1981 KXL licensee name changed to: Alexander Broadcasting Co., when Les Smith purchased Danny Kaye’s shares in the Company. On June 1, 1981 KXL added an affiliation with the NBC Radio Network, carrying its five minute news feed on the half hour. Mutual News continued on the hour. Also on this date Ardy Patten (formerly on KPEN) began his evening talk show 6:30 to midnight. On August 31, 1981 KXL expanded its Noon news to an hour with Jeff Grimes & Brian Jennings. Brian & Jeff also continued with their morning news block 5 to 9am. Larry Roberts followed 9:05 to Noon, then Jim Altoff 1:05 to 4pm. Alan Budwill & Lars Larson continued afternoon drive 4:05 to 6:30pm and Ardy Patton 6:30 to midnight. Jim Bickel (formerly aka Jim Sayers on KCYX) did weekend fill-ins as host & D.J.
On September 1, 1981 KXL began carrying NBC Radio’s on the hour news feed with local news on the half hour. By November 1981 Shirley Treacy was KXL Sales Manager, said to be Portland Radio’s first Woman with the title. On November 2, 1981 KXL became a charter member with 21 other stations, with the premiere of a new long form network from NBC called “Talknet”. On November 30, 1981 Program Director, Larry Roberts informed Station Manager, Ray Watson that he was buying a radio station in Butte, Montana and would leave in 90 days. By December 1981 KXL had added an additional affiliation with AP Network News, dropping the UPI Audio Network.
On January 26, 1982 Ray Watson announced Brian Jennings as Operations Manager, Jeff D. Grimes, News Director & John Salisbury would retire but continue as Senior Advisor for News & Commentary. Larry Roberts now officially announced leaving in February to become President & G.M. of KQUY(FM) Butte, Montana which he co-owned. (side note: Larry would buy KXLF Butte next, which Ed Craney former KXL co-owner had founded). Larry Roberts last show was on 2-5-82, ending as P.D. on 2-12-82.
On February 1, 1982 NBC’s “Talknet” expanded on KXL 6:30pm to 5am. Slogan: KXL News Radio 75. News to talk about. Keep in touch. On February 8, 1982 Scott Carter (formerly on KINK) began hosting a new KXL program, “Midday Monitor” which aired 9 to Noon & 1 to 4pm with occasional records added and headlines every quarter hour. By April 1982 KXL additional slogan: The talk of the town. Also in February 1982 Joel Cole (formerly on KUIK, KLIQ, KLIQ-FM PD/MD, KWJJ, KUIK PD/OM, KYXI) joined KXL.
In November 1982 Timothy J. “Tim” McNamara (former KQFM GSM) became KXL General Sales Manager. In November 1983 Peter Linsky returned (formerly on KYTE, KEX & KYXI) replacing Lars Larson as afternoon news anchor. Lars had moved to KVAL. Joel Cole was KXL afternoon host at this time. In January 1984 Mark Dornfeld (formerly on KMJK-FM; KRDR, KWJJ AM/FM; later on, KAAR, KPAM) began as a KXL traffic reporter from “Northwest Informational Networks” AM & PM drive times.
On February 20, 1984 Jim Bickel took over the program “Midday” (formerly titled “Midday Monitor”) 9:30 to Noon & 1 to 3:30pm. On March 12, 1984 the FCC granted KXL a construction permit to increase night power from 1kw directional to 10kw directional. Two pattern operation, one for day and night. In the near future switching from 4 towers to 2 towers. By this time Brien Morris (formerly on KGW) began as a KXL traffic reporter from “Northwest Informational Networks” (simultaneously on KMJK-FM, KWJJ, KUIK, KSKD, KCNR-FM, KXYQ, KKLI, KRDR, KAAR, KPDQ, KYTE, KSGO; later on KEX, KKRZ, KKCW, KKSN-FM, KEWS, KBNP, KVAN-1550, KGW-TV, KRSK, KNRK, KGON) and teaming up on KXL with Mark Dornfeld AM & PM drive times.
In September 1984 Brad Ford (formerly on KYXI, KSGO & later KUIK ND, KEX ND) was doing weekends. In 1985 Jerry Dimmitt aka “The Dimmitt” (formerly on KBVM Lancaster PD, KUTY, KGIL, KOOS, KMCM CM, KLIQ AM/FM, KKEY, KYXI, KAYO, KTNT, KMO, KAAR, KKEY PD; later on KVAN-1550, KXYQ) began hosting weekends and also filled in for Jim Bickle.
On January 1, 1986 John Salisbury retired as Senior Advisor for News & Commentary but continued on special assignments for KXL. Salisbury’s last recorded commentary aired on 1-3-86. In February 1986 Brad Eaton (formerly on KLIQ AM/FM, KVAS ND, KKEY, KCYX PAD) began hosting KXL Noon to 6pm Saturdays & Sundays & fill-ins. By May 1986 Carolyn Myers (former KBZY ND, KCNR-FM ND), Paul Pimental & Linc Mann (formerly on KISN News) were all full time with Mike Thissell weekends.
On September 1, 1986 KXL added an affiliated with the ABC Talk Radio Network and dropped the Mutual Network. In September 1986 the KXL air staff included Brian Jennings & Jeff Grimes mornings 5 to 9am, Jim Bickel 9 to Noon & 1 to 3:30pm, Peter Linsky & Steve Leader, afternoons. By November 1986 KXL weekend programs included “How To With Pete Prlain” (formerly on KGW-TV & KPTV) & “The Auto Doctor” with Don Schofield. By December 1986 KXL had affiliated with the Wall Street Journal Radio Network.
On March 3, 1987 former KXL co-owner Danny Kaye died. He was 74 years old. On June 27, 1987 John A. Salisbury died. He was 71 years old. Salisbury was given posthumously “The Tom McCall Award” from the Oregon Association of Broadcasters later in the year. In addition the OAB named KXL’s Ray Watson “Broadcaster of The Year”. By August 1987 Mike Thissell was full time & Diana Jordon was added to weekends. By November 1987 Bill Gallant began co-anchoring afternoon news with Peter Linsky. Fritz Wenzel was doing weekend news.
On November 9, 1987 the team of Brian Jennings & Jeff Grimes did their last KXL morning news together after 15 years. The longest tenured radio news team in the West. Jeff Grimes would team with Steve Leader. On November 30, 1987 KXL re-affiliated with the Mutual Broadcasting System and dropped the ABC Talk Radio Network. In Spring 1988 Brad Eaton began hosting 1 to 4pm weekdays. In April 1988 “Around The House With Bill Rooney” replaced “How To With Pete Prlain” which moved to KVIX. By May 1988 “The Auto Doctor” with Don Schofield was on Saturdays 10 to Noon. In early Summer 1988 Dave Paull (formerly on KJIB, aka Paul Dawson KACI ND, aka Dave Paull KMCM ND, KUIK, KOIN, KGW ND, KCNR) began hosting weekends.
On August 8, 1988 Jeff D. Grimes became KXL Operations Manager. Brian Jennings had moved to KING as P.D. Dennis M. Kelly (formerly on KING) was named News Director. In September 1988 Bill Gallant began hosting 1 to 4pm weekdays. Brad Eaton had moved to KAYO, KPAM-860, KING AM/FM. By October 1988 KXL weekends included: Dawn Phillips (former KPIC news anchor, KEX news), Margie Boule (formerly on KING AM/TV & KATU host). On November 21, 1988 it was announced Ray G. Watson was now Vice President – Radio, Alexander Broadcasting Co. and continued as KXL AM/FM Station Manager. By December 1988 Jeff D. Grimes was Operations Manager & News Director; Randy Hudson was National Sales Manager.
On March 27, 1989 KXL added an affiliation with the CBS Radio Network. By April 1989 KXL had increased night power from 10kw directional to 20kw directional. Two pattern day & night. (licensed on 11-9-89). On April 10, 1989 Tom Parker (formerly aka Dick Armstrong on KGAL & KRKT, aka Tom Parker on KGW, KREM, KGW, KFRC, KYUU, KIOI, KFRC, KKLI, KMGI) debuted his talk show 9 to Noon. Jim Bickel had moved to KING. In August 1989 Rita Flynn began on KXL afternoons 1 to 4pm. Bill Gallant had moved to KGW. By September 1989 Rick Metzger (formerly on KOIN) was doing weekends. By December 1989 Lester M. Smith was President. In December 1989 Tim Hohl was full time on KXL News. By March 1990 KXL was carrying syndicated programming from ABC Radio.
On March 3, 1990 “House Calls With Heather Kibby” debuted Saturday 2 to 4pm. Also returning was the seasonal program “The Lawn & Garden Show With Mike Darcy” Saturday 10 to Noon, followed by “The Auto Doctor” with Don Schofield, Noon to 2pm. Debuting on Sunday March 4th was “Pet Project” with Ann Childs, Noon to 2pm. On April 2, 1990 Bill Gallagher (formerly on KSFO, KFRC, KGW ND & PD) debuted on KXL weekday afternoons 1 to 4pm. On July 2, 1990 the KXL Noon News team of Peter Linsky & Carolyn Myers moved to the afternoon news block, 4 to 7pm. The KXL Morning News team of Dawn Phillips & Lic Mann moved to the Noon News slot.
By September 1990 Alexander Broadcasting Co. officers were listed as: Lester M. Smith, President, Treasurer & Director; Bernice R. Smith, Vice-President & Director; Irvin H. Karl, Secretary, Senior Vice-President & Director. On April 6, 1991 Ed Craney died at age 86 in Montpelier, Idaho. He had been KXL V.P. & co-owner 1937-55. On June 3, 1991 KXL affiliated with the EFM Network (EIB). By August 1991 KXL slogans: Giving you the world every 30 minutes, this is KXL, News Radio 750, when you need to know. The news station of the Pacific Northwest. Portland’s News Authority. By September 1991 Gordon D. Miller (formerly with WKRC & KGW Production Director) was KXL Production Director. On September 16, 1991 Chris Sullivan began as overnight News Editor. In March 1992 Mike Barrett (formerly on KUIK) became Sports Director.
On March 20, 1992 it was announced Irvin H. Karl was named President & Chief Operating Officer of Alexander Broadcasting Co. Lester M. Smith was now Chairman. In 1992 KXL added an additional affiliation with Bloomberg Radio, dropping The Wall Street Journal Network. By October 1992 Dennis M. Kelly was Operations Manager & News Director. Jeff Grimes had moved to KUGN as News Director. By November 1992 KXL had dropped its NBC affiliation. KXL was now using CBS News, hourly feed. By May 1993 “The Lawn & Garden Show With Mike Darcy” was airing an hour earlier, 9 to 11am on Saturdays. By October 1993 KXL slogans: The news watch never stops on KXL News Radio 750. Portland’s only 24 hour news source. The Northwest spells News K – X – L.
In late 1993 Tim J. McNamara, KXL General Sales Manager became General Manager. By December 1993 Robyn Skone was Marketing Director; Angie Levsrenz, Promotions Manager & Robert “Bob” Kellogg (former KXL-FM OM) Public Affairs Director. In January 1994 Bill Ashenden (former KCYX sales, KEX/KQFM sales, KYTE/KRCK sales & KKRZ SM & GM) became General Sales Manager. On January 21, 1994 Jeff D. Grimes died of cancer. He was 45 years old. During Jeff’s career he received more than 70 awards, including 7 nationals. On April 11, 1994 Peter Linsky became Portland’s first locally dedicated business reporter on KXL.
On October 11, 1994 it was announced Michael A. “Mike” Dirkx (former KGW OM/PD, KIXI AM/FM, WCKG/WYSY PD) became KXL Operations Manager. By December 1994 Dennis M. Kelly was News Director again & Paige Wallace, Promotions Manager. By March 1995 KXL had an additional affiliation with Westwood One. In March 1995 Paul Hanson (formerly on KVAN1480, KQOT, KOHI, KLIQ-FM, KPAM/KPFM ND, KYXI, KGON ND, KYXI ND, KYTE-FM, KATU Political Reporter, KGW Investigative Reporter) began weekend morning news. On March 27, 1995 Victoria Taft (formerly on KFMB) debuted on KXL weeknights 7 to 10pm but Victoria had been with KXL since January.
By September 1995 Alexander Broadcasting Co. officers were listed as: Lester M. Smith, Chairman, President & Director; Bernice R. Smith, Co-Vice-President, Treasurer & Director; son: Alexander M. Smith, Co-Vice-President, Secretary & Director; Raymond G. Watson, Senior Vice-President & Director. On September 17, 1995 it was announced Tim McNamara was named “Advertising Professional of The Year” by The Portland Area Radio Council. By November 1995 Mary McDermott (former KGW-TV reporter) was anchoring the “KXL Morning News”. Barbara Voight & John Leisher were doing weekend news.
In March 1996 KXL & FM sister moved studios to the John’s Landing area of Portland. Address: 0234 S.W. Bancroft St. By April 1996 Mike A. Dirkx was Program Director & News director. In 1996 “The Lawn & Garden Show With Mike Darcy” changed its show name to “In The Garden With Mike Darcy”. The program continued 9 to 11am Saturdays. Also by this time K.C. Cowan (former KGW-TV reporter) was doing weekend news. By June 1996 Mark Provost (formerly on KNBR) & Carolyn Myers (formerly on KCNR) were full time news. By September 1996 KXL slogans: Updating the would every 30 minutes, Thee news, traffic and weather station for the Pacific Northwest. KXL, News Radio 750, cause when you need to know, we’re on it! On September 3, 1996 Brian Calvert began filling in 6 to 8pm as host.
On May 20, 1997 Lars Larson returned (from KVAL reporter, KPTV anchor, plus KEX & KGW while at KPTV) to KXL Noon to 4pm. Bill Gallagher had moved to KEX. On August 22, 1997 EFM Network, now owned by Jacor, owner of KEWS, moved EFM (EIB) to K-News. On August 25, 1997 Gary McNamara (formerly on WBEN) debuted on KXL 9 to Noon. On February 12, 1998 KXL licensee name changed to Alexander Broadcasting doing business as KXL Newsradio 750 AM. (Lester M. Smith, President & C.E.O.). By September 1998 K.C. Cowan returned to KXL (former KKJZ ND).
On October 6, 1998 it was announced KXL & FM sister were sold to Rose City Radio Corp. (Paul G. Allen, C.E.O.; Bert E. Kolde, Vice-Chairman) for $55 Million. Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft, owns Vulcan Northwest, Inc., Vulcan Ventures, Inc. and The Portland Trail Blazers. (FCC approval on 11-30-98). By November 1998 “The KXL Morning News” was anchored by Mary McDermott & Brian Calvert 5 to 9am. “The KXL Afternoon News” was anchored by Steve Leader & Carolyn Myers 4 to 6pm. “The KXL Weekend Morning News” was anchored by John Leisher & Diana Jordan 6 to 9am. “Around The House With Bill Rooney” was on Saturdays 11am to 1pm. “Dave & Dwight” (Dave Anderson, formerly on KKEY & Dwight Slade) were on Sundays 1 to 3pm. In January 1999 Mary McDermott moved to WISN-TV.
On April 18, 1999 the Mutual Broadcasting System ended after 62 years. KXL MBS programming moved to Westwood One. In May 1999 Rosemary Reynolds (formerly on KYXI, KPAM-FM, KMJK-FM PAD, KYXI, KEX, KXYQ-FM ND, KGW, KXYQ-FM, KXL-FM) began as a KXL street reporter. On July 12, 1999 KXL debuted new slogans: News Talk 750. The Voice of Portland. (this slogan brought back, was KXL’s 1st from 1927). On November 29, 1999 it was announced Brian Bushlach (KOIN-TV sports anchor) became KXL Sports Director. Mike Barrett had joined the Portland Trail Blazers as sports announcer. By December 1999 Carolyn Myers was News Director.
On December 13, 1999 it was announced Paul N. Pimental, former Asst. P.D. was now Program Director. Also on this date “The Lars Larson Show” moved to 8:30 to Noon and “Dave & Dwight” (Dave Anderson, later on KEX, KATU & Dwight Slade) moved from weekends to Noon to 4 weekday afternoons.
On January 31, 2000 KXL launched “Radio Northwest Network” via satellite to 9 affiliate stations carrying “The Lars Larson Show” for statewide distribution. Bill Ashenden was named RNW General Manager, as well as continuing as KXL GSM. James Derby (formerly on KRVM, KDUK, KFXX/KGON, KUIK PD) became Director of Programming for the RNW Network. RNW currently has 18 affiliates throughout Oregon & S.E. Washington. On March 12, 2000 KXL added an affiliation with Portland based NBG Radio Network. (NBG folded on 2-12-03 long after KXL had dropped its affiliation). On May 12, 2000 it was announced Jay Allen (formerly on KGMI, KFXX EP) became Sports Director. In June 2000 James Derby became KXL Program Director.
Also in 2000 Larry Wilson became Director of Engineering for Rose City Radio (later KUIK CE) and Virginia “Ginny” Bell was awarded the “Broadcast Heritage Award” from The Oregon Association of Broadcasters for her many years of service at KXL. In August 2000 Rebecca Marshall (formerly on KVRI, KBBT) was added to “The KXL Morning News” with Brian Calvert. K.C. Cowan & Dave Kohl anchored the weekend news 6 to 9am. In September 2000 KXL began “The Noon News” with Carolyn Myers & Steve Leader, Noon to 12:30pm. On November 23, 2000 Gordon D. Miller died of cancer, he was 60 years old.
On December 14, 2000 KXL cancelled its 4 to 7pm afternoon news block and added an affiliation with Jones Radio Networks. Also on this date, Steve Leader was added to “The KXL Morning News” with Rebecca Marshall. “The Lars Larson Show” also moved on this date, Noon to 4pm. By January 2001 Mike Beard (formerly on KGW News) was added to the KXL News staff. Also “The KXL Weekend Morning News” was anchored by Dave Kohl & Sharon Mitchell (formerly on KGW-TV News) 5 to 9am. On April 8, 2001 the KXL weekend program “Cooking Outdoors With Mr. Barbecue” (Bruce Bjorkman) debuted Noon to 1pm Saturdays. Also by this time “Around The House” with Bill Looney was moved 11am to Noon Saturdays. In May 2001 Gale Cunningham (formerly KRDR ND, KJIB/KWJJ ND, KPAM-860; later KFIS/KTRO ND) became a reporter. In August 2001 Mike Maloney became National Sales Manager for Rose City Radio Corp., as well as Local Sales Manager for KXL.
On December 20, 2001 Kent H. Randles (former KBBT AM/FM ACE, KUFO AM/FM ACE, KUPL AM/FM ACE, KINK/KKJZ/KVMX ACE) became KXL Chief of Engineering. By February 2002 Mark Provost was News Director. By May 2002 “The Lars Larson Show” had been shortened an hour, running Noon to 3pm. Also by 2002 KXL had added an affiliation with the Talk Radio Network. In 2002 the Oregon Association of Broadcasters named Tim McNamara “Broadcaster of The Year”. Also at this time Mr. McNamara was serving on the board of the National Association of Broadcasters. In September 2002 the KXL weekend program “Kremer & Abrams” (Rob Kremer & Marc Abrams) debuted 8 to 9am Sundays, then expanded 8 to 10am about two months later.
By April 2003 “In The Garden With Mike Darcy” had added an extra hour, Saturdays 9 to Noon. Also by this time “Kremer & Abrams” Sunday program had moved an hour later, 9 to 11am. On April 16, 2003 “The Lars Larson Show” expanded back to its previous time, Noon to 4pm. In July 2003 Lars Larson began filling in for “Westwood One” network talk show host, Laura Ingraham who gave short notice of her departure. On July 18, 2003 Rebecca Marshall became KXL News Director. On August 14, 2003 Lars Larson was informed by Westwood One, he was chosen to be permanent network host for the program.
On September 1, 2003 “The Lars Larson Show” (national program) officially debuted on the Westwood One Radio Network with 105 affiliates (currently at 175). Larson’s national show was heard on KXL at 10pm. In September 2003 Mike Everhart (formerly with KSGO/KGON, KFXX/KGON, KZRC/KXYQ, KKCW, KWJJ AM/FM, KWJJ/KOTK) joined KXL as a contract engineer. On January 14, 2004 “Micheal T. Everhart was named Chief Engineer of Rose City Radio. Larry Wilson had retired on 1-1-04. On March 1, 2004 “The Lars Larson Show” (KXL edition) moved an hour earlier and an hour shorter, 11am to 2pm.
By August 2004 Tim McNamara had became Vice-President & G.M. of Rose City Radio Corp. Bill Ashenden was named Director of Sales & Mike Maloney was named General Sales Manager for KXL. In August 2004 Michael Kirby (formerly aka Michael Jack Kirby on KBOO, KKSN, KWIP, KKSN, KCYX, KAAR PD, KYTE, KXYQ-FM, KKRZ, KISM MD, KFFM PD, aka M.J. on KXJM) began KXL weekend news. By September 2004 the KXL program “Weekend Edition Live With Jeff Kropf” had debuted 6 to 8pm on Sundays. On December 13, 2004 KXL dropped its CBS Radio affiliation.
On January 1, 2005 KXL affiliated with Fox News Radio, using their hourly network feed. In March 2005 Scott Lander (formerly aka Commander Scott Lander on KXYQ-FM, KKRZ, aka Scott Lander on KUBE, KKRZ, KBBT-FM, KOTK1080, KRSK, KXJM, KZMG, KWJJ-FM) began weekend news & traffic. On June 25, 2005 Colby Reade (formerly with KGON/KNRK/KRSK/KKSN-FM, KUGN/KNRQ/KEHK/KSCR/KUJZ, KPTV) began at KXL taking on the weekend anchor job in July.
On October 6, 2005 Bill Ashenden was elected to “The Board of Directors” of The Oregon Association of Broadcasters. On January 8, 2006 “Weekend Edition Live With Jeff Kropf” was expanded one hour Sundays, 6 to 9am. Also in January 2006 KXL debuted “Brian Bushlach’s Home & Wealth Show” Sundays 11am to 1pm. On May 1, 2006 “The Lars Larson Show” (KXL edition) expanded one hour, 11am to 3pm. In June 2006 Colby Reade took on evening anchor duties. By July 2006 Tim McNamara had become President of Rose City Radio Corp. In January 2007 Colby Reade moved to KXL street reporter.
On January 20, 2007 Virginia Symons (now Virginia Paige Seeger) died at age 90 in San Diego. She had been KXL co-owner with mother Francis & others from 1941 to 1955. Was also KXL Program Director 1941-42. Last living family member of the original Symons ownership. On February 11, 2007 the KXL weekend program “Stone” debuted with host Dave Stone (formerly aka Junior Rockaway on KRDR, aka Junior on KGAL, aka Bobby Mitchell on KGAR, aka David Stone on KISN, aka Hurricane Hunter on WMYQ, aka Jay Stone on KYA, aka Dave “Record” Stone on KISN, KAAR, KKSN-FM & KKSN) with his first talk show 4 to 6pm Sundays. On May 26, 2007 KXL debuted the weekend program “Oregon Vine Time” with Brian Bushlach & Joe Dobbs 1 to 2pm Saturdays. In August 2007 “Cooking Outdoors With Mr. Barbecue” moved an hour later 3 to 4pm.
On September 3, 2007 KXL debuted the weeknight program “The Bald-Faced Truth” with John Canzano & Jay Allen 6 to 9pm. By October 2007 Rebecca Marshall was News Director; Jay Allen, Sports Director; Bryan Griggs, Public Service Director & Suzanne Glenn, Promotions Director. On December 15, 2007 “Oregon Vine Time” changed its program name to “Northwest Vine Time”. On January 5, 2008 Radio Northwest Network expanded its programming to weekends, sending KXL shows statewide. They included: In The Garden With Mike Darcy, Cooking Outdoors With Mr. Barbecue (now back at 2 to 3pm) & Northwest Vine Time. On January 9, 2008 the KXL weekend program “Jeff Mac On Tap” debuted Saturday 3 to 4pm.
On February 5, 2008 yet another KXL weekend show debuted “Around The House” with handyman Bob Strong, Saturdays Noon to 2pm. The program was picked up for statewide distribution via the Radio Northwest Network. On April 5, 2008 Bruce Bjorkman (aka Mr. BBQ) began hosting “On Tap” (formerly titled “Jeff Mac On Tap”) Saturdays 3 to 4pm. On April 26, 2008 “On Tap” changed its program name to “The Libation Station” with Bruce Bjorkman & Lisa Morrison as hosts. The program was picked up for statewide distribution via the Radio Northwest Network. On May 5, 2008 KXL added an affiliation with Premiere Radio Networks. On May 12, 2008 the KXL program “The Bald-Faced Truth” moved to sister FM KXTG. KXL slogans: Your first choice for live local news. News Radio 750 KXL. Your first choice on the Radio.
On May 12, 2009 it was announced KXL & sister KXTG were sold to Alpha Broadcasting, LLC (Lawrence R. “Larry” Wilson, Chairman & CEO; Robert D. Proffitt, President & COO; Donna L. Heffner, CFO). Transfer of control on 9-1-09 as Alpha Licensee LLC. Larry Wilson formerly CEO of Citadel. Bob Proffitt formerly Senior VP/GM of CBS Radio Las Vegas. Before that, President/COO of Citadel. Donna Heffner formerly CFO of Citadel. KXL also gained additional sister stations KINK, KUPL, KUFO & KCMD. On August 12, 2009 it was announced Brian Jennings (formerly KXL OM, KING PD, KVI PD, Citadel & ABC National V.P./News, Talk & Sports programming) was named Director of Talk Programming. On December 14, 2009 KXL reinstated its afternoon news block 4:00pm to 7:00pm. Slogans: From the 24-7 KXL Newsroom. Portland’s Breaking News & Traffic Station, News Radio 750 KXL.
On September 10, 2010 KXL moved studios to the 6th floor of the Pacwest Center (1211 S.W. 5th Ave.) at 10:35pm. KXL offices had moved previously on August 30th. On March 15, 2011 at 8:47am, KXL began simulcasting on sister station KUFO 101.1Mhz. On May 25, 2011 at 4:01pm “News Radio 101 FM KXL” switched format and began simulcasting “Sports Radio 95.5, The Game” as “Sports Radio 750AM, The Game” until 5pm when simulcasting ended on 95.5MHz. On June 1, 2011 KXL changed call letters for the first time in its 85 years on the air, to KXTG, standing for “The Game”.
Special Thanks to the following individuals who helped make this radio history more complete: Marc Abrams, Jay Allen, Bill Ashenden, Michael Bailey, Bruce Bjorkman, Jim Boland, Cyn Bolsta, Alan Budwill, Larry Caramella, Mike Darcy, James Derby, Jerry Dimmitt, Mark Dornfeld, Brad Eaton, Mike Everhart, Brad Ford, Bill Gallagher, Paul Hanson, Jeff Hunter, Brian Jennings, Michael Kirby, Ron Kramer, Scott Lander, Lars Larson, Peter Linsky, Mike Maloney, Joel Miller, Barry Mishkind, Tom Murphy, Dan Packard, Tom Parker, Dave Paull, Kent Randles, Colby Reade, Rosemary Reynolds, Larry Roberts, Loretta Sears, Les Smith, Dave Stone, Chris Sullivan, Maurice Tunick & Larry Wilson.
References: Billboard Magazine, Broadcasting Yearbook(s), Clackamas County Records, David Gleason’s American Radio History, FCC.gov, KXL Public & Archive Files, Library of Congress:(KXL FRC/FCC Files via Ron Kramer), Multnomah County Library, Multnomah County Records, Oregon Historical Society Library, The Oregon Journal microfilm, The Oregonian microfilm, Pdxhistory.com:(Radio), Polk Directories, The Portland Telegram newspaper books, Portland State Library & The Vancouver Library.December 15, 2011 at 4:03 am #2112
While Craig’s work is obviously always spectacular, this is really impressive. Thanks for for all that you do, Craig, to make this site great. It is really appreciated!May 12, 2014 at 7:24 pm #2113
Wow, that’s a BOOK! I always thought it strange that such an old station always opted to remain a “daytimer only” back in the days when the entire AM dial was their oyster and they could have gone for good power and full-time. Same for KXA-770 Seattle, WEW-770 St. Louis, WDZ-1050 Decatur IL, and a couple others (KXA is no longer KXA).
ADIANT (12/14/2011), that was ME with the $300 bid on the KXL survey – and, concurrently at that date, also a $700 on a KPOJ survey. I won the two, of course. It came up in one of my ebay searches that specifically included KPOJ, but not in the configuration that you saw…this was a little earlier.
My “KPOJ” search (which actually includes four other specific cited radio stations – asking for “any word” that shows up) initially brought up an Elvis Presley scrapbook. It came up because, buried deep at the very end of his copious text describing the scrapbook, was a line something like “KXL and KPOJ music reports.” He listed the entire contents of the scrapbook, which had been assembled by some teenage girl (obviously in Portland) during the height of the Elvis reign. There were 30 or 40 pages in the scrapbook and, if I remember right, he was asking $1,699.99 for it! He took pictures of **ALMOST** everything in the scrapbook, and I think he acquired it because of a signed hotel napkin, and some newspaper ads for a concert, etc. Literally he took pictures of EVERYTHING…ALMOST…even stuff like the girl’s SCHOOL REPORT CARD and other really arcane stuff.
I THINK THE TWO SURVEYS WERE THE *ONLY* THING HE DIDN’T SHOW PICTURES FOR – apparently he considered those to be insufferable, horrible junk. That’s why I said “almost” everything…
I contacted him and I asked him if he would consider canceling the listing, because I wasn’t about to pay $1,700 – but he had two items I was willing to pay $1,000 for. I also pointed out that he must have considered them trivial, because he thought that even the picture of a report card was more important.
Thankfully, HE DID agree, and he canceled the listing, and relisted the two surveys separately at Minimum 300 and 700 respectively, which I agreed to bid. (I think I actually bid far higher on them, just in case…) I think he realized that he had really blown it badly when he originally bought the scrapbook as he told me he paid $1,500 for it. Absolutely the value wasn’t there, not at all. I guess I kind of saved his a** on this – I doubt that he even recouped the other $500 for all the rest of the stuff.
I thought I’d share this, not only because it’s interesting (well, it IS – lol!!), but because it can indicate the kind of offers I may make on radio station surveys before 1960, from anywhere – not limited to Oregon at all. (But, as my favorite U. S. city – though I live two thousand miles away – these were a rather high priority for me.) There are many that I do not need at all, especially many from California, Colorado, Washington DC, Texas and some individual cities as well.
If somebody has original radio charts earlier than 1960, I may be willing to make a major offer. I seek only ONE per Station (regardless of where, type of music, etc.) from the “earliest” year possible. I emphasize pre-1960 only because, starting 1960, there just isn’t that much I don’t have already.May 12, 2014 at 7:30 pm #2114
From Oregon, I do know that KRXL in Roseburg was a rock and roll station in the Fifties, and for something original from there I’d make an offer in the similar “ballpark.” I would offer well, but not quite as well, for something Fifties from KEX which I’ve seen a picture of elsewhere (and only because I already have “something from them” though much later).
Other than KRXL, and that KBOY in Medford was rocking (and had surveys) by January 1960, I’m entirely clueless on any other outstate radio history.June 15, 2014 at 8:30 am #2115
I don’t think there was ever a time when the entire AM dial was anyone’s oyster. I’m pretty sure that KXL didn’t ask to move from 770 to 1360 for instance.
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