July 24, 2009 at 4:09 am #164oregonmediaParticipant
There’s another vote for Country and Western, if you’re making a tally. From Bob Torheim, an account executive at KGW:
it took the owner of KKCW four years to go from CP to on-the-air. They could not find a tower who would let them hang their transmitter. The world of Radio can change a lot in four years.
The intent was to go with a Country format since KWJJ was the only fm country station in Portland. Hence the calls KKCW or KK “Country Western”. They had their music library, they had their calls, they had a transmitter and were ready to launch their station.
So what’s the rest of the story. Why isn’t KKCW a Country station?
Two weeks before going on-air Bonneville switched KUPL from beautiful music to Country. The owner John Tilden was stuck knowing Portland could not support three fm Country stations. In a sesperate move to find a new format in two weeks Bob Darling the PD, if I recall, went searching. He found a station in New York who had launched “Love Songs”. Coming back with a music library and a TV commercials with flying cherubs they launched Love Songs in Portland.July 24, 2009 at 5:53 am #165
If KKCW had signed on as a Country station & KUPL would have stayed Beautiful Music for awhile longer. There wouldn’t have been a “Couple Country”. Would KKCW have been a successful Country station like KUPL? How would the Craig Walker & John Erickson situation have played out? Would they have stayed at KGW? Or found another station down the line? What station would that have been? Fascinating to ponder the Portland radio landscape if dominant K103 would have never happened.July 28, 2009 at 4:43 pm #166Joe FergusonParticipant
Understanding that it’s been 25 years and my memory certainly could be fuzzy on this, as on many other things. 😉 I had an opportunity to talk to John Q. today and so I asked him about the question. He confirmed that CW stood for the name of the company, “Columbia-Willamette” Broadcasting and not for “Country Western.”
If you wish to confirm for yourself, I’m sure you could call him.
By the way, Thank you for all your contributions to keeping this history as accurate as possible. You deserve a lot of credit fot your efforts and I want you to know that I for one, really appreciate it.
Cheers,July 29, 2009 at 1:10 am #167
Joe: I believe you. Plus You’ve been in the business. I’ve also wanted to change this for years but never had the definitive answer. Both sides were adamant on this. I can’t remember who originally told me it was a the format name. I did the original call letter research back in 1991 and remember at the time I was having problems pinning it down. I talked by phone to someone that was there when KKCW signed on and was positive on this issue and knew of the company name tie-in but was told that wasn’t true. I will make the correction. Thanks to Everyone who posted about this. I really do want to correct any false meanings.July 29, 2009 at 3:55 am #168yahmitParticipant
KCYX actually stood for County of Yamhill Exchange. They dropped KMCM in 79 to KCYX to help be more Yamhill County oriented. These were probably the best call letters available at the time that had a good ring to meet this task.July 29, 2009 at 4:14 am #169
Yahmit: WOW! That’s incredible! Where did you hear about this? I worked at KCYX from 1980 to 85 and never heard anyone mention this meaning before. I even talked with station owner at the time, Norm Aldred and he never mentioned this meaning.July 29, 2009 at 4:56 am #170yahmitParticipant
I remember reading about it in the News Register when it happened. I grew up in McMinnville and remember this.July 29, 2009 at 5:52 am #171
Well I’ve always had a suspicion the KCYX calls meant something having to do with the “Y” and Yamhill County. It all makes sense. I’m convinced, Thanks!
Well this has been a watershed day, correcting two classic calls meanings.July 29, 2009 at 7:13 am #172semoochieParticipant
The “Country/Western” connection was the one that was made at the time. Whether it was pure rumor or the story being circulated by K103, I have no idea. I still have my doubts since “C&W” was synonymous with Country music at that time, not only to the industry but also the general public. I will however give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s their ballpark and they brought the ball!July 29, 2009 at 12:44 pm #173mike_kolbParticipant
I’ve spoken with both Norm and Deane about this. Norm said that the KMCM call was “tainted” (his words) after the FCC investigations and all the trouble he had. He chose KCYX because the “cyx” part sounded like a “six”, and that was as close to “1260” as the available call letters could get to something he could live with. Deane has confirmed this, although it’s probably only because Norm told him the same thing….. and remember, we’re dealing with Norm Aldred here!July 29, 2009 at 6:10 pm #174PatParticipant
Ok, so I decided to go through my radio memorabilia to find my K-103 file.
Sure enough, I have three articles on KKCW coming on the air. The Oregonian dated February 10, 1984 had an interview with Station general manager John Q. Tilson on page B2 in Metro West, the head line reads “Beaverton’s new FM radio station to broadcast soon”. The article quotes Tilson, “At one time,the CW in the station’s call letters was intended to stand for Country-Western music,Tilson said. When another local radio station recently changed it’s format to Country-Western, however, he said KKCW quickly moved to its current musical plan.”
“Now the CW stands for Columbia-Willamette Broadcasting Co., which owns the station. Columbia-Willamette is a subsidiary of East-West FM Group, Inc., he said.”
Pat / W7PATJuly 29, 2009 at 9:17 pm #175semoochieParticipant
Ta da! 🙂July 29, 2009 at 9:29 pm #176Listener_PeteParticipant
Ta da indeed!!! 😀July 29, 2009 at 10:53 pm #177
Yes! It’s been so long, I remember reading that article on microfilm, now that you bring it up. I’m changing it back to Country Western. Thanks!
What else do you have in that file? Any old radio obits?July 29, 2009 at 11:24 pm #178Joe FergusonParticipant
I guess it’s John’s memory that was fuzzy on that interview.
By the way Craig, you said…”Joe: I believe you. Plus You’ve been in the business.”
I still am. Just to set that record straight. I had a brief (2 1/2 years) stint at Oregon Business magazine, but have been back in radio since Dec of ’06.
Again, thanks for your efforts.
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