The History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation held its October Meeting at the Parkcenter Blvd. Smoky Mountain Pizza on Friday October 24, 2008 from 11:30 A.M-1:30 P.M.
Audio segments from the meeting:
Attending the meeting were President Art Gregory, Vice President Frank Aden Jr., WebmasterRockwell Smith, new Corporate Member Don Morin, Market Manager of Citadel Radio Group, Member Lucas Babin, Account Executive of Peak Broadcasting, Member Mike Pullin, producer of Property Line Today on KBOI-AM, Member Tom Scott, KTIK-AM and KTVB sports commentator, Member Jon Adamson, host of Property Line Today on KBOI-AM, Member Al Hale, former KTVR-TV (La Grande, Oregon satellite of KTVB-TV), Member Kitty Fleishman owner/publisher of Idaho Magazine, and Member Shawn Kimmell, afternoon announcer for “True Oldies” KQLZ-FM, owned by Corporate Member Impact Radio Group. Late arrival was member Tip Goss, former KATN-AM announcer and current KIDO-AM Board Operator. Special guest was Ed Dunn, owner of Well Dunn Advertising and former KIDO-AM sales person during the final days of the Western Broadcasting era. We also had a special guest, the owner of Gig’s Music who has an old collection of microphones!
After introducing each member and hearing a brief “bio” from each, Art reviewed the upcoming KIDO 50-page Book, which may end up being a 12-14 page Newsletter. Due to funding issues, the exact plans for the book (at this writing) are still not finalized, but hopefully will be soon.
Art then reviewed all of the different “eras” of KIDO’s history starting with the “Boise High School Era.” Radio in Idaho started with technical and trade school “special land station” 7YA, which was started by Chemistry Teacher Harry Redeker. 7YA then became commercial station KFAU on July 18, 1922.
On November 11, 1928, KFAU became KIDO and was moved to the Elks Temple at 9th and Jefferson. This began the “Kiddo Philips Era” which lasted until 1942, when Curt Phillips suddenly died of a heat attack at the young age of 44. KIDO moved their studios from the Elks Temple to the basement of the Hotel Boise in the early 1930s, then to the Mezzanine (2nd floor) in late 1930s, where they remained until 1949.
That ushered in the “Georgia Davidson Era” which began when Kiddo Phillip’s wife Georgia took over the KIDO operation and soon got remarried. She became Georgia Davidson in 1946 and started KIDO-FM, the first FM station in the state. Manager Walter Wagstaff came on board during this era as part owner, but left the company in the fall of 1956. Georgia bought him out in early 1957. Prior to that KIDO had moved their studios and offices to the Chamber of Commerce Building at 708 W. Idaho in September of 1949.
Meanwhile, Georgia upgraded KIDO-AM to 5,000 watts, at 630 KHZ, and put KIDO-TV (now KTVB Channel 7) on the air in 1953. She sold the station in late 1958 to William Boeing, son of the founder of the Boeing Aircraft Company in Seattle. She then changed the TV station’s call letters to KTVB and continued on in the television business until 1980, when she sold out to King Broadcasting, also of Seattle.
The “Messabi Western Era” began on February 1, 1959. Member Jack Link moved the KIDO radio studios to the Cloverdale Road and Hubbard Road transmitter site and then to the Vista Ave. studios in early 1960. KIDO’s studios remained at the Vista location until late 1968 when they were relocated to the 5th Floor of the Owyhee Plaza Hotel. KIDO’s studios and offices would remain there until early 2002! Jack Link moved to Seattle in the 1960s to work for Bill Boeing, and Jim Davidson became Station Manager in 1962. Bill Boeing sold KIDO to Dale Moore’s Western Broadcasting in mid 1976.
The “Western Broadcasting Era” started on July 1, 1976 but didn’t even last 3 years! Western had a different format every year. At the end of the meeting Ed Dunn told us all about the Western era and some of the people who worked there during that time.
“The Sundance Era,” led by Mike Jorgenson, was one of KIDO’s longest eras and lasted for 17 years from May 1979 until the fall of 1996. It took place entirely at the Owyhee Plaza! During this time, KIDO played country music for two years, nostalgia from 1982-1987, and then News-Talk from 1987 until now, which is the format they are still doing now.
In the fall of 1996 KIDO was sold to Colfax Communications, and then re-sold 3 more times to Chancellor, Jacor, and finally to Clear Channel. We call this the “Jacor/Clear Channel Era” which lasted almost 11 years. This was the age of “consolidation” and brought much change to KIDO. It was 1998 when they acquired KFXD-AM, and then in 2002 when KIDO and KFXD “swapped” frequencies. KIDO then became “580-AM” and KFXD became “630-AM.”
In April of 2007, Peak Broadcasting purchased KIDO and 5 other stations from Clear Channel. This began “The Peak Broadcasting Era.” Peak still owns the station and has just recently re-branded 630 KFXD back to “630 KIDO.” They continue to do the legal ID as “KFXD Boise,” but are now back to calling the station “630 KIDO” the rest of the time.
Peak’s other AM station is known as “5-8-0 KIDO,” which are also the legal call letters for the station.
After reviewing all of the eras, we interviewed both Tom Scott and Ed Dunn about their radio careers.
Ed Dunn also gave us some radio memorabilia from KIDO, KJOT, KFXD-FM, KBBK-FM and several other stations. Shawn Kimmell from Impact also brought some banners and other memorabilia from the Impact Radio Group. He also supplied some CDs of his “Ida-Clear computer talk show in the early 2000s.
After two hours and an excellent lunch, the meeting was adjourned at 1:40 P.M. Stay tuned for information on our next meeting scheduled for late November. We wish to thank all those who attended, and wish to thank Smoky Mountain Pizza Parkcenter Manager Josh and server par-excellence “Tennyson” for her great service and group-picture taking skills.
See you next meeting!