Twisting the Dial -- 1997
stories ordered latest to earliest
- Thompson leaves KBPS-FM
Tania Thompson, voted Portland's most pleasing radio voice by Willamette Week readers in 1997, left
the classical microphone of KBPS-FM on December 29th, 1997.
Tania joined the Portland State University School of Fine Arts as publicist in the new
year. Meanwhile, Shawn Yu, former program director of KKJZ takes Tania's place as morning announcer.
- O.P.B. adds back some music
Oregon Public Broadcasting decided to restore some of
the music programming slashed in September. The Portland music community
protested the loss of music and the move by O.P.B. to more news
and information oriented programming. At its December 9th meeting, the O.P.B. board
decided to add music back to the 2-3 pm and 9-11 pm time period on January 1st,
1998. OPB Watch has blow by blow
accounts of the tempest.
- KFXX appoints new P.D.
Scott Masteller from Salt Lake City is the new program director of sports
radio KFXX. Beginning December 1st, Kermit
Washington split with afternoon radio mate Mychal Thompson.
Thompson teams up with Masteller in the afternoons. Kermit moves to mornings to talk it up
with new guy Dave Shore. It will be interesting to hear the chemistry of
the new line-up. Thompson and Washington were entertaining together with their contrary
views of sports.
- Cinnamon Bear returns for the Holidays
The original 1937 "Cinnamon Bear" radio drama returns
to Portland's airwaves on AM 1450 KBPS weekdays at 1 pm.
The Cinnamon Bear Christmas drama is a favorite for kids and
even adults. The 13 episodes ran until December 19th. KPBS-AM is a student run
radio station owned by the Portland School District.
- Widing is new KXL-FM P.D.
Carl Widing became the new KXL-FM program director
on December 1st. Widing programmed KINK until August of this year.
One rumor has it that Widing may switch the KXL-FM format to classical.
Widing says he is in "creative mode" right now to make a station that
feels like Portland. KXL operations manager, Mike Dirkx will focus
- KNRK taunts KXL's Lars Larson
KNRKs irreverent Mike and Daria morning team
threw a dare out to listeners on Wednesday morning (Nov. 19th) -- call up Lars
Larson, talk host on competing KXL-AM and ask, "do
you have a plastic ass"? A listener who could prove by tape they got on
KXLs airwaves with the question, would receive a snowboard from
Lars, in hearing about the ploy when coming on his show at noon, began to put more than 40
listeners on the air saying that phrase. Lars thought the more listeners he put
on KXL, the more snowboards KNRK would have to give away. Turning a negative into a
positive, Larson had fun with the ploy, putting KXL's General Manager, Tim
McNamara, on the air and also fielding questions from the mayors
office. But, according to 94.7s morning show producer, Brad Blazer, KNRK
promised only to give one snowboard away. Larson's answer to listeners asking if he
had a plastic posterior: "No, I don't, I have buns of steel."
to Lars defend his rear with.
(You need the RealAudio
player, version 3 or >, and a 28.8 modem connection)
- Rasheed jumps to the dj seat
Portland Trail Blazer power forward Rasheed Abdul Wallace
takes to the airwaves for a regular Sunday night show of music on Z100 (KKRZ) beginning November 2nd. From 8 to 10 pm, the basketball star
plays his personal collection of favorites during his show titled, "Sunday
- KWJJ-AM switches handle to KOTK, Imus returns
After serving Portland for 70 years, and over 30 years as a country station, KWJJ-AM 1080 quietly switched its call sign to KOTK.
The KOTK call letters were used by AM 620 until August of this year. The new AM
1080 switched from classic country to a syndicated talk format on October 27th. The new
talk format includes Don Imus in the morning and Tom Leykis
afternoons. The two talkers were silenced in Portland when the old KOTK switched to KEWS (K-News) at the end of August.
Also joining the new line up are: syndicated talkers Susan Powter, Dr. Toni Grant,
Jeff Rense, Joey Reynolds and Doug Stephan. Overseeing the change is local
talk radio consultant Brian Jennings.
- Portland's newest frequency signs on
AM 860, a brand new 50,000 watt signal for the
Portland area hit the air in mid October. The call letters are KPAM, which history buffs will note was used in Portland from the 1940's to
1982. This time around the KPAM call sign denotes local philanthropist and KPAM's new
owner, Robert Pamplin, Jr. Pamplin
owns several Christian book stores in Portland and a Christian music record label among
many things. The new format of KPAM is "Christian Hit Radio". Scott
Thunder from Nashville is the program director. Studios are on Division street
near I-205 with the transmitter co-located and sharing the same antenna in Vancouver with KVAN. Nighttime operation and full 50,000 watt power will come
soon when all transmitter adjustments are made.
- White becomes new KPBS station manager
The Portland School District, owner of KBPS AM and
FM, named Suzzanne White as new station manager. White, formerly with KBOO, replaces outgoing Darryl Conser, who retired. KPBS-AM
is the nations oldest high school radio station. KBPS-FM is
Portlands only all classical musical outlet.
- Schonely signs new Blazers contract
Portlands most popular radio announcer, Bill Schonely is back again
for another season of play by play broadcasting with the Portland Trail Blazers. Its Schonelys
twenty-eighth straight year of announcing basketball for the Blazers. The new contract
signed Thursday (10/9/97), for an undisclosed sum of money, goes for three years. However,
it stipulates Schonely giving up radio broadcasting at the end of this season and
developing television projects for the remaining two years.
Many NBA teams have scuttled long time radio and courtside
announcers in the belief that "fresh" new voices will increase attendance. The
Seattle SuperSonics replaced veteran radio announcer Bob
Blackburn in 1992 with much fan disapproval and uproar. The only NBA announcer to
top Schonely in radio play by play broadcasts, is the L.A. Lakers Chick Hearn,
with 37 years under his belt. In the meantime, Schonelys "rip city" season
begins again on KEX and other Oregon radio stations.
- KMHD adds two NPR jazz programs
Mt. Hood community colleges all jazz station, KMHD has added
two NPR jazz programs to its lineup at the bequest of Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB). Jazz Set
with Branford Marsalis airs Tuesday evenings at 8 pm, and Marion
McPartland's Piano Jazz plays Sundays at 5 pm. OPB jettisoned several music shows
last month in order to concentrate on news and interview programs.
- Z100 billboards irk Tyson and Don King
Z100 (KKRZ) launched billboards in Portland this summer showing a Mike
Tyson look alike playing off the boxers ear-chewing incident in Las Vegas.
Z100s caption on the billboard says the station is "earesistable".
Tysons promoter, Don King
is not amused and has served Z100 with cease and desist orders to remove the billboards.
to Z100s Wendy Foster, the ear chewing billboards are located near
I-205 at Powell Boulevard and on I-84 and the 217 freeways. The billboards are scheduled
to go down the first week of October.
- Six local stations change ownership
American Radio Systems, owner of six Portland radio stations
announced Friday, September 19th, that Westinghouse Electric corporation
will buy all of its radio properties in the United States. The six Portland stations
involved in the deal are: KUPL AM & FM,
KUFO, KINK, KKJZ and KBBT. Westinghouse Electric also owns CBS
radio and television. As a result of the F.C.C.
deregulation of the broadcast industry, one company may own up to eight radio stations in
Portland. For a look at how the Portland radio ownership pyramid shapes up see Portland Radio Owners.
- KEWS adds local talk to Saturdays
Victoria Taft returns to Portland talk radio with a live show
from 9 am to noon, Saturdays, on AM 620 KEWS.
Victoria hosted a nighttime talk show on KXL until September of last
year. From noon to three, KEWS introduces, Tom D'Antoni, a former
tabloid writer for The Sun. D'Antoni was featured in the Living
section of Sunday's Oregonian (9/14/97).
- KISN good guys reunion
A KISN good guys reunion happened Thursday night, September
18th on KKSN FM 97.1. Many old jocks like "Tiger"
Tom Murphey, Roger Hart, Pat Patee, Whitey
Koker and Tom Michaels from the legendary KISN AM 91
of the sixties made on-air appearances. KISN AM 91 was Portland's most popular
station during the emerging days of rock and roll.
- Steve Arena leaves KFXX
Program Director and morning guy, Steve Arena has left AM
1520 KFXX. Mike O'Brien and Tom Hewitt continue the
morning show while the search for a new P.D. is on.
- KKJZ names new program director
Smooth Jazz 106.7 KKJZ brought in Paul Warren
from WMMO Orlando on September 15th to replace former programmer Shaun
- KWJJ says it quits
KWJJ-FM at 99.5 had been airing promos announcing "JJ
calls it quits, September 9th". No official announcement was available
from station management. The promo was a tease for an upcoming
promotion. On September 9th, KWJJ announced on the air that J.J. Mulrooney
is calling retirement quits and will consult KWJJ in promotional giveaways of money
and a house. Curiously, Mulrooney sounded like ex-Portland
broadcaster Bwanna Johnny (now programming KODZ-FM in
to JJ call it quits with.
(You need the RealAudio
player, version 3 or >, and a 28.8 modem connection)
- KINK gets new PD
KINK FM 102 named Dennis Constantine
as new program director September 2nd, succeeding the twenty year reign of Carl
Widing. Constantine was morning man at KBCO Denver for 17 years.
- KUPL-FM changes frequency and antenna
In an unusual move by todays broadcast standards, KUPL FM
switched both its transmitter location and frequency at the same time. This occurred on
September 4th as KUPL switched to a new antenna at the channel 6 tower in Portlands
Sylvan hills. KUPLs frequency shifted from 98.5 to 98.7 MHz
on the FM dial to minimize interference with channel 6. Listeners west of
Portland get a better signal from the new location. To tie in with the frequency change,
KUPL awarded $10,000 to Casey Baker of Portland, the 987th
caller after the new frequency took effect.
to KUPL change with. (You
need the RealAudio player,
version 3 or >, and a 28.8 modem connection)
- Changes with Portland news/talk radio
Major show and schedule shuffling is on with four Portland radio stations that major in
news, talk and information. Talk show host Bill Gallagher, who recently left KXL for the mid-day shift on KEX, packs his bags
again to becoming the homeward bound host from 3 to 7 pm on Portland's newest radio
station, AM 620 K-News (previously KOTK).
Also, joining the K-News lineup is Rush Limbaugh from 9 am to noon.
Limbaughs longtime association with KXL ended August 22nd. To make room for
the changes, K-News has cut the Don Imus and Tom Leykis syndicated talk
shows. AM 620 vacates its longtime studios at the KGW Jefferson
street broadcast center to move in with KEX. K-News Mornings have an expanded news
lineup, utilizing reporters from sister station KEX. K-News and KEX are jointly
owned by Jacor communications.
Limbaughs vacancy, KXL brings in a new local talk show host by way of Buffalo, New
York. Gary McNamara started his 9 am to noon talk show on Monday, August
25th. KXL's expanded local talk coverage now extends from 9am to 4 pm.
KEX added local longtime Portland radio personality, John Williams to the
mid-day shift on August 25th. John started his Portland radio career at 62 KGW,
worked at KISN FM and previously was with KXL-FM. Dr. Dean Edell moves from
KXL to the 9pm slot on KEX.
- KOPB drops music and adds more news/talk
Beginning September 1st, Oregon Public Broadcastings FM stations,
including KOPB FM 91.5 in Portland, replaced most music
programming with expanded National Public Radio news
programs like "Morning edition" and "All things considered".
"Talk of the Nation", an insightful two hour talk show air's from 11am to
Popular music programs such as "Adventures in Good Music
with Karl Haas" and "Piano Jazz" have
been cut, along with local music maestros Robert McBride and David
Christensen. Many members of Portland's music community are upset about the
changes. An internet web page, called OPB
watch has been setup. On August 25th the OPB board granted a stay of execution for
"Performance Today" -- it will remain in its current time slot.
- KFXX drops morning Minton
Morning show host Shaun Minton was given his walking papers by KFXX on August 1st. Mintons local and refreshing
conversational style in the morning included other local sports figures like, Mike
Dunleavy new coach of the Portland Trailblazers. Auditioning for the morning gig on
KFXX at this time are Portland TV sportscasters Colin Cowherd (channel 8) and Mike
OBrien (channel 2), and program director, Steve Arena. A hot
rumor: KFXX may pipe-in New Yorks Don Imus show for mornings.
- Deaf parody on KNRK draws criticism
KNRKs morning team of Mike and Daria received
flak in July from listeners for their episode of a deaf beauty pageant. The
skit revolved around a hearing impaired entrant who could not hear the questions.
Members of Portlands deaf community were made aware of the broadcast after a
written transcript was circulated on the internet.
Many listeners were critical of the
parody which they feel unfairly made fun of the deaf. KNRKs morning show
contains radio bits ranging from the witty to the lowbrow.
- KKJZ lands new transmitter location
Smooth Jazz 106.7 FM began broadcasting from the Channel 6 tower high atop
Portland's Sylvan Hills in June. The old antenna location at Mt. Scott
near the Clackamas Town Center caused reception problems West of Portland.
The new panel antenna is shared with 101 FM KUFO. Two
other FM stations owned by American Radio Systems, KUPL (now at Mt. Scott)
and KBBT , will probably soon join their FM sisters on the
- Gallagher to move to mid-days on KEX.
Bill Gallagher recently signed with Jacor communications, owner of
syndicated talk station KOTK, and local news/talk/music/blazers KEX. Duane Link, KEX program director confirms it's true,
Gallagher will soon begin the mid-day shift on the "Mighty 1190" from 10am to
2pm. Gallagher previously hosted early afternoon talk on KXL
- Will Rush leave KXL?
Jacor communications recently purchased EWB, syndicator of Rush Limbaugh.
With Jacor owning two Portland stations, KEX and
KOTK, directly competing against KXL, rumor is that Rush's
contract with KXL will not be renewed this summer.
- Gallagher leaves KXL
KXL local talk meister, Bill Gallagher left AM 750 on May 20th to become an
employee of Jacor communications. Jacor owns two news/talk stations in
Portland. Frequent KXL fill-in and TV-12 reporter, Lars
Larson, replaces Gallagher from noon to 3pm.
- KNRK morning half heads to Lone Star state
Stephanee Steal, half of the morning duo of S&M at KNRK gave
notice to depart at the end of April to join her husband in El Paso. Mike Chase, the other
half, is reportedly visibly shaken by this announcement and looking for someone whose name
starts with "S".
- Beat FM adds live announcers
Portland's newest radio station added live voices to its "new, music
alternative" format on September 23rd. Well known, smooth voiced, Portland announcer Inessa,
hold's the mid-day shift. Afternoon's go to Troy Daniels. Lisa Adams does
nights. Michael Newman is the new Program Director. Still to be decided on 107.5 The Beat FM is a morning show. Could Howard Stern be lurking in
the limelight? Currently, Dave Lazano and Cheryl Kaye perform the wake up duties. And by
the way, Newman says the Beat is looking for part time announcers.
- New AM 860 coming
Portland will have a brand new 50,000 watt AM radio station soon.
The FCC has approved the use of prime AM frequency 860 kHz for day and night
operation. Portland broadcast veteran, Vic Ives, says the new station should hit
the air soon with call letters KZTW and probably an all news format. The new
ownership name is JCO broadcasting, chaired by Jerry Collins. The company
also plans a new 10,000 watt station in Eugene at AM 660.
- Webb transfers to TV
Rebecca Webb, morning news reader at KINK left for brighter
lights in April, landing the co-host gig on channel two's AM Northwest. Mike
Rich and Sara Perry assist with news, teaming up with Les Sarnoff for
the KINK morning show.
- KOIN TV has Great Radio Contest
During the week of April 21st, KOIN TV Channel 6 News aired installments
labeled the Great Radio Contest, showing Portland Radio stations and personalities
in action. KOIN conducted a very unscientific telephone poll to determine
the most popular stations. The results: 1) KEX (3220
votes); 2) KUPL (3166); 3) KKJZ (1229); 4) KNRK (862); and 5) KKRZ (788).
- KWJJ moves studios
KWJJ moved April 20th into new broadcast studios
with a view of -- KUFO. JJ's new broadcast location is one door adjacent to the KUFO/KBBT studios in the 2000 block of First
Avenue S.W. KWJJ vacated its charming home of more than forty years, the Wilcox
mansion near Washington Park, for the new ultra-modern digs.
- KINK sold to American Radio Systems
Portland's largest radio owner, American Radio Systems, just added another notch to
its belt, by buying up KINK-FM from EXCL
communications. KINK is Portland's longest running rock station and is unique among
radio stations in keeping the same format since its inception in 1968. American
Radio Systems (ARS) owns KUPL AM and FM, KUFO, KBBT
and KKJZ in Portland. The ARS deal with EXCL involves station swaps in Sacramento
and San Francisco plus cash and stock options. Portland Radio
Owners shows the current line-up.
- Mariners move to KFXX
Seattle Mariners baseball play by play action moves to KFXX radio
this season. Hear the crack of Ken Griffey's bat along with play by play action from the
legendary Dave Niehaus. Previously, little KUIK(am 1360) in Hillsboro carried the
Mariners in the Portland area. The broadcasts are also heard on Vancouver's KVAN.
- New women voices added to KUPL nights
KUPL-FM recently added two new voices to the nighttime lineup. Darlas Rai, hosts
the all request and dedication 'Love Lines' show from 7 pm to midnight.
And Portland radio veteran, Gloria Johnson follows with the overnighter, replacing
the syndicated show "After Midnight". Darlas previously was with New
Country 93 in Eugene. Gloria has spun the cd's at KXL-FM,
KKSN, and KGON.
- KOTK sold twice in one week
Amid the radio deregulation era, Portland's KOTK (AM 620) changed
hands twice in early March. Ownership officially changed from Embarcadero media to EXCL
communications on March 1st. Then, on March 4th, Jacor communications announced
intention to buy KOTK for $8.3 million. Jacor owns three other Portland radio
stations -- KEX, K-103 and Z-100. On
April 1, 1997, Jacor assumed control over KOTK in what's known as a Local Marketing
KOTK's FM sister for many years, KINK, remains
on the sale block. Nationally, Jacor owns the largest
number of radio stations in the U.S at 126. Portland Radio Owners
shows current ownership.
- Music Director Matt leaves KNRK
Nighttime jock and music director, Matt Souther separated with KNRK
in March. Matt helped spearhead the beginnings of KNRK, Portland's first FM alternative
formatted station, in 1995.
- More K-GONers return, to Earth 105
Former Portland morning team Dave and Tom, hit the airwaves again on February 27th on Earth
105 (KKRH-FM) after spending a three year hiatus in Yakima. Dave Scott and Tom
Turner previously did the wake up chores at KGON
until displaced by Los Angeles' syndicated Mark and Brian show. Joining Dave and Tom is Daryl
Somer. Adam Fendrich returns to the mid-day shift and Chris Messina to
- Sunday Night Blues
Bob Ancheta hosts the Sunday Night Blues Party weekly, from nine to midnight, on Earth
- KXL drops local evening talk show
KXL-AM dropped the local talk show, Top Story, hosted by Brian
Calvert from six to eight p.m. on January 20th. In its place is Los Angeles'
syndicated " John and Ken" show. Previously, KXL had unique live and
local talk originating from Portland with native Victoria Taft from six to ten p.m.
This pushes KXL back to three hours of talk show programming originating from Portland
- IMUS visits the City of Roses
Nationally syndicated broadcaster Don Imus, visited Portland on Tuesday, January
14th to broadcast his morning show live and direct from the Benson hotel. The radiocast
started at 3am, in order to beam the signal back to the home station in New York on time.
Catch Imus mornings on KOTK.
- New morning show at KUPL-FM
If all else fails, have the boss do it. That saying rings true at KUPL-FM where program
director Lee Rogers took over the morning show duties on January 2nd. Accompanying
him are veteran co-host Susan Barr, and Amy King, who regurgitates
the news. The new Waking Crew is rounded out by, Jim E. Chonga and
"KUPL's Man on the Street", Todd Allen.
- OPB debuts "The World"
Oregon Public Broadcasting's, KOPB-FM airs a new global
newsmagazine show titled " The World" weekdays at 3 pm. It's a joint
collaboration of National Public Radio (NPR) from the United States, and the British
Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). More than one hundred correspondents report mainly from
their native countries.
Twisting the Portland Radio Dial - 2001
Twisting the Portland Radio Dial
Twisting the Portland Radio Dial - 1999
Twisting the Portland Radio Dial - 1998
Twisting the Portland
Radio Dial - 1996