Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gallery IV - Miscellaneous Ads

Published in November, 1922. Bering-Cortes was one of the forerunners of today's Bering Hardware.

Once upon a time, everything in radio was battery-powered, not just receivers but studio and transmitting equipment, too. And we're not talking a couple of AAs, either. Batteries had to be charged up, of course. Automobiles did not have generators or alternators so garages were set up to service, i.e., charge, batteries and they serviced home batteries, too. One such business in Houston was the Hurlburtt Still Electric Co. who also obtained the first broadcasting license in Houston, for WEV, and whose garage on McKinney at San Jacinto served as the station's studios.

These ads were published in the Scripps-Howard Houston Press in the fall of 1950 when the newspaper and radio station were sharing news coverage and reporting. Gordon McLendon's Liberty Broadcasting System was heard over several radio stations over the years. KATL was the first Houston affiliate.

Published July 23, 1960.

The ads for KFMK, KHUL, KODA, KRBE and KTLW all appeared in the Houston Now section of the Houston Post for August 4, 1961, which was shortly after KODA first signed on. I have misplaced my original for the Lone Ranger on KODA ad and do not know the date.

A full page ad for KULF, 790, formerly KTHT, in Houston Home and Garden Magazine, June, 1978.

A full page ad for KRTS-FM, 92.1, in Houston Metropolitan Magazine, May, 1992.

KODA-FM Outdoor, ca. 1978-9, after purchase by Group W, Westinghouse

An ad from Broadcasting Yearbook, 1964.

Following are some ads from the broadcasting trade papers sent to me by Chris Huff of the DFW Radio Archives.

KLBS, 1957

An ad for the Veterans Broadcasting group of stations; date unknown but has to be later than late 1961.

KTHT, 1956

KYOK, 1956

A business card for Utah Carl, a Galveston performer on KLUF (1400),KGUL-TV and KTRK-TV, sent to me by Dave Westheimer.

My apologies for the quality of some off the images, the result of over-inked newspapers and the impossibility of getting a decent print off of a microfilm printer sometimes.

KATL and the Press

The Press had been one of the applicants for a station on 1230 kc before the War and was one of the parties notified when the FCC reopened the license hearing on the petition of Roy Hofheinz in 1944, but the Press’ representative was off to the War and didn’t receive the notice until several months later. After getting on the air, Hofheinz formed a close working relationship with the Press and his new station apparently; he did the lion’s share of his advertising for KTHT in the Press and the paper covered station activities much more closely than it reported on the doings of the other stations in town - of course, both the Chronicle and the Post had their own broadcast outlets in KTRH and KPRC. News of KTHT activities, including the use of the first wire recorder, the GI house project, extended coverage of election returns, the cruising radio studio, KTHT-FM and others were frequently the topics of front page stories, or, if not warranting that much coverage, usually would be above the fold on page 2.

had signed on just after the disastrous explosion at Texas City in 1947 when all the Houston stations distinguished themselves with their coverage, and by late that year had formed its own close working relationship that would give the Press a very large voice on the Houston radio dial and deepen KATL’s coverage of the news.

The KATL - Press agreement was headlined center page on page one on December 2, 1947, heralded as a public service of the two entities. 'See it in the Press, Hear it on KATL' was the catchphrase. ‘Press Time’ was to be broadcast 5 times daily, 3 times on Saturdays and twice on Sundays, live from the Press building at Chartres and Rusk. It would feature freshly gathered news, on-the-scene broadcasts with coverage by both KATL and the Press, ‘flavorsome’ special broadcasts, covering as many interests as the Press did itself, and special sponsorship of certain events such as a spelling bee, election returns, etc. It was described as a public service effort strictly, not for business purposes.

The broadcasts would be 10 to 15 minutes in length except for one scheduled on weekdays from 2:30 to 3pm (the Press was an afternoon paper) which would involve foreign correspondents, Washington reporters, comic strip artists, experts in fashion and cooking, chit-chat with entertainers and more. Saturday programs would be for ‘the kids.’ Sports Editor Clark Nealon, who later went on to be Sports Editor of the Post, would also contribute as would the Press’ popular columnists, Carl Victor Little, Andy Anderson, the Press’ Rambler, and The Stroller, Sigman Byrd.

A lavish reception was held at the Rice Hotel for both staffs to get acquainted and reported on also in the Press.

KATL for its part produced a brochure about the new alliance and blog reader Andrew Brown has shared some images from that brochure which show the announcers and engineers of KATL as well as some glimpses of equipment and the Press setup. I’m very grateful to Andrew for sharing this material.

I have a couple of captures of my own from the newspaper article which I will get around to uploading but they are not nearly as good as these.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Carlos Conde - KLVL


I am grateful to Andrew Brown for sharing this photo of long-time KLVL announcer Carlos Conde  from sometime in the 1950s.

Steven Conde, grandson of the announcer, has offered more biographical information about his grandfather who worked for Mr. Morales in radio in San Antonio and was recruited by Morales to come to Houston to work at KLVL.  He worked for Morales for more than 50 years and passed in 2018.  

I am looking forward to receiving even more biographical details.

Milton G. Hall

I’ve heard from Ramona Klassen, Milton G. Hall’s granddaughter, who shared the picture as well as the following newspaper clippings (obituaries) from her genealogical research. Hall was the first program director of KTRH in 1930, later worked for Will Horwitz at XED, Reynosa.

MILTON G. HALL DIES IN TEXAS (Rochester NY Paper obit)

Milton G. Hall, 48 a former Rochester newspaper man, at one time assistant secretary of the Rochester Exposition and Horse Show and later manager of Station WHEC, died Tuesday(April 23, 1946) in Austin, TX., where he was managing a hotel.

Mr. Hall, a native of Texas, first came to Rochester during World War I. He served for several months as an instructor in the U. S. Army Aerial Photography School at Kodak Park and while there assisted in making an aerial map of Rochester’s coast line on Lake Ontario.

After the war he went back to Texas, where he worked at various times as city editor of the Galveston News and telegraph editor of the Houston Post. Back in Rochester in 1921, he worked for a short time for the old Post Express and later joined the staff of The Democrat and Chronicle. He also was associated for a time as advertising manager of the Regorson Corporation and with the Swope-Stanly Motors Inc., in a similar capacity.

In 1923 Mr. Hall was appointed assistant secretary of the Rochester Exposition and Horse Show. Three and a half years he resigned to become manager of WHEC, succeeding Ernest H. Veigel, who now is president of Rochester Business Institute. Mr. Hall left Rochester about two years later and returned to Texas, where he continued in radio.


Milton G. Hall Dies at Austin of Heart Attack (Texas Paper I think)

Milton G. Hall, 46 of 1804 Elman, well known newspaper and publicity man, died shortly after suffering a heart attack Tuesday morning in Austin.

Mr. Hall, according to word received in Houston Tuesday night, was stricken while standing in the lobby of a bank building. He died a short time after being taken to a hospital there.

Mr. Hall was a native of Coryell Co. Texas, and had been a resident of Houston for 20 years.

Active in radio work in Houston and throughout the country, Mr. Hall was the first program director of radio station KTRH. He was associated with that organization from 1930 to 1931.

Mr. Hall had done newspaper work throughout the country, and was formerly connected with the Houston Post. He was with the Post in the years immediately preceding the First World War.

He had done radio work in Buffalo, NY., where he was a continuity writer for station WMAK, and at station WHEC of Rochester, NY where he was station manager from 1925 to 1927.

He is survived by a daughter Miss Nancy Lee Hall of Rochester, NY; two sons, Milton Hall Jr. of Rochester and Maurice Clark Hall of Houston; four brothers, John R., Robert H, and Sherman Hall, all of Houston; J. W. Hall of Rochester and a sister, Mrs. Lee Heath of Warren, AZ.

The body is to arrive in Houston from Austin Early Wednesday. Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Fogle-West Chapel with Dr. Harry G. Knowles officiating. The place of burial is to be announced.



Funeral services for Milton G. Hall, well known newspaperman formerly of Houston, will be held at 2:30 p. m. today at the Fogle-West Chapel, with Dr. Harry G. Knowles officiating. Burial will be in Woodlawn Garden of Memories.

Mr. Hall was stricken with a heart attack Tuesday in Austin and died in a hospital there. He had lived in Austin six months doing newspaper work.

He was 46 years old, and when last in Houston made his home at 1804 Elman. He was born in Coryell County and lived in Houston 20 years.

A graduate of Texas Christian University, Mr. Hall worked in the editorial department of the Houston Post and the Galveston News.

He was widely known for his work in Radio. He was program director for radio station KTRH in 1930 and 1931.

Mr. Hall was connected with radio stations in Buffalo and Rochester, NY. He was a continuity writer for Station WMAK in Buffalo and station manager for WHEC in Rochester.

Ramona adds “My grandfather was a real character. He wrote 2 plays, "The Leaning Tower of Pisa" and "Green Gold." He wrote an article "What's Normalcy." He was friends with Wiley Post and a newspaper man named Maurice Clark whom he named his 3rd child after. I have none of his writings.”

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The 1940s - Part 8 - KNUZ

Less than 3 weeks after KLEE signed on KNUZ came on the air on 1230 kc at 6am on February 18, 1948. The station had first been applied for in December, 1946, and approved in April, 1947, pending the move of KTHT off of 1230.

A story in the Post the previous day outlined the staff and that KNUZ was to be a local station and had no plans to try to affiliate with any network. The story referred to KNUZ as Houston’s seventh radio station and Dave Morris, who was general manager of Veterans Broadcasting Co. and one of the four partners who owned the new station, told the Houston Chronicle in an interview at the time of his retirement in 1994 that there were eight, but both were wrong. The Radio Guide printed in the Post February 18, 1948, included KLEE, KTRH, KTHT, KPRC, KNUZ, KXYZ, and KATL, plus KPRC-FM, KTRH-FM, KOPY-FM and KXYZ-FM. It might also have included KREL and KRCT, Baytown, for a total of thirteen.

Station personnel were detailed in the story; Biff Collie, who came to KNUZ from San Antonio to serve as sports reporter, later did mornings on KATL, KLEE and KPRC and hosted a certain up and coming singer from Memphis by the name of Presley at the Grand Prize Jamboree a few years later. The station was never a news station; Morris told the Chronicle the call letters were chosen because two of the owners had been newsmen. Morris had been Assistant General Manager of KTBS, Shreveport, before coming to Houston and had also worked at KTBC, Austin. Max Jacobs had been the Washington correspondent for the Post, Douglas Hicks had been with the Press. The other partner was Tom Harling. All were veterans.

Chuck Dunaway, a disc jockey who worked at several Houston area radio stations in his 40 plus year career, wrote in his The Way I Remember It the KNUZ studios were originally located in the Scanlon Building at 405 Main Street, taking up most of the 9th floor, then moved to 4701 Caroline, the former home of the Jewish Community Center.

According to Dunaway, Al McKinley and Webb Hunt crossed the street from KATL (literally) to work at KNUZ when KATL became KYOK. Hunt, with his trademark dark glasses, was to spend several decades at KNUZ and its sister station KQUE-FM. Dunaway also remembered the all night DJ in the early 50s, “Tiny Ted Jones, the Terror of the Turntables.” In 1950, Houston radio legend Paul Berlin arrived from Memphis to work at KNUZ.

KNUZ took over the 1230 frequency from KTHT, which moved to 790 kc as of 5:30pm on the 17th and increased power to 5000 watts. The station was authorized to operate 24 hours a day but only planned on an 18 hour day (KTHT had been a 24 hour operation since August, 1946). The Post ran stories on the move and KTHT ran ads advising listeners of the move, also. KTHT had moved into new studios at Jefferson and Brazos where the Crowne Plaza now sits after operating for several months in temporary quarters in the old South End Christian Church on Main in late 1947. Half a million dollars was spent on the new studios plant and 4 new towers on Miller road near the San Jacinto Monument and KNUZ took over the old KTHT transmitter site on Ennis St., on the near East side. There was a glass wall in the new KTHT studios so motorists on Jefferson could see programs in progress.

Before applying to move KTHT to 790 kc and increase it’s power, Roy Hofheinz had told some friends of his plan and suggested they apply for his old frequency. Hofheinz didn’t want his competitors to get their hands on the frequency when he vacated it. According to his biographer Hofheinz convinced the FCC and the owners of the new station to let him simulcast KTHT on both stations for 24 hours before the move but according to the papers the overlap was just over 12 hours. Every time they cracked the mike the KTHT announcers advised listeners on 1230 kc to move down the dial to 790 to continue listening to their favorites on KTHT. The new owners of KNUZ were not pleased; they were afraid they weren’t going to have any listeners left by the time they launched.

The story of Hofheinz’ lengthy struggle to win approval to move KTHT to a new frequency and boost power will be told in another post. The article in the Chronicle mentioned above was entered into the Congressional Record by former Representative Jack Fields.

On the same day KNUZ hit the airwaves the Post also carried a notice that the KLEE program director, Winthrop Sherman, formerly of the Mutual Broadcasting System, who had been on the job since October, had resigned. The station had been on the air only since January 31.