Chatting with The Boss

Dave Arthur
KJ Mac and Dolly Parton
Channel 7 cameraman; Celeski pointing
Old KIVI 01A (Claudia Weathermon anchoring)

History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation President and founder Art Gregory answers some of the questions we’re frequently asked.

What exactly is The History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation? And what does it do?

ART: Well, The History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation, Inc. is an Idaho non-profit corporation incorporated in January of 2004 with the Idaho Secretary of State. We were granted 502 (c) (3) Tax Exempt Status by the IRS as of Jan 1, 2017.

As for what we do, we like to say “We celebrate, honor, and preserve broadcasting history here in Idaho.”

We have no paid employees. The corporation is staffed strictly by volunteers. Our funding comes from donations, membership and sponsorship fees, and grants. 

ART: Our mission is actually threefold:

First, we work as an independent, nonpartisan organization for the preservation of the history of radio and television broadcasting within Idaho, from its early days all the way up to — and including — the present.

Secondly, we work to bring to the community a broader knowledge of how pioneers in Idaho broadcasting created enormous impacts on the evolution of our state. 

And lastly, we work to stimulate in people of all ages, especially the young, a recognition of the practical and real contributions to our quality of life that radio and television broadcasting has provided — and continues to provide — to the citizens of Idaho.

ART: I’m the Foundation’s founder and president.   

And I have an extensive broadcasting background. As a 12-year-old, I began my broadcasting career in back 1965 at KEST (now KSPD) radio in Boise, and worked there during high school, before being hired at KBOI AM-FM/TV in 1970. I then worked in television in Salt Lake City at KUTV, was morning-announcer at KEEP radio in Twin Falls, and was operations director for KBXL-FM in Caldwell, before becoming program director at KYME in Boise in early 1974. I then worked at KIDO-AM during the final years of the Bill Boeing/Jack Link era. From 1976-1981, I was sales manager and general manager of the popular KUUZ (KWZ) FM in Nampa. Today, in addition to my duties as head of the Foundation, I work in the communication and marketing fields for a prominent chain of retail stores who continue to use radio as its primary medium. I sometimes can’t remember where I placed my keys, but many say I have an amazing encyclopedic knowledge of Idaho’s broadcasting history, both past and present.

Frank Aden, Jr. is our vice president and secretary. He’s loved radio and television since he was a child, and graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in broadcasting. He, too, has an encyclopedic knowledge of Idaho’s broadcasting history, particularly our state’s early television stations. Frank worked in the newspaper business in Newport, Oregon, and for both Direct TV and Century Link before retiring, due to health reasons. Until recently, Frank was an active Amateur Radio Operator, and still holds license number N7SOK. Together, Frank and I have been instrumental in transforming the Foundation into a successful organization with over 150 members. As a Foundation, we also publish a quarterly magazine with over 70 issues in print; they’re in the permanent collection of Boise State University’s Albertson’s Library.

Our treasurer, Rockwell Smith, is known as “The Grandfather of Idaho Radio Engineers.” He officially began his broadcasting career back in December, 1963 — yes, just like the title of the Frankie Valli song — and hasn’t stopped since! He now lives in Salmon, Idaho where he continues to work virtually full-time at KSRA AM/FM radio, despite being supposedly “retired.” Once a broadcaster, always a broadcaster.

In addition to our officers, Foundation Marketing Director Steve Bertel has some 30 years in broadcasting, in both radio and television. For ten years, he was the multi-award-winning news reporter and, later, news director of KBRJ-AM/KBBK-FM in Boise. Then, from 2000 to 2020, he was the behind-the-scenes news department assignment desk manager/special projects producer for KIVI-TV, Channel 6 and KNIN-TV, Channel 9.

And last, but not least, Aldis Garsvo is our video curator/video historian. His career in filmmaking began more than forty years ago with a degree in electronics technology, specializing in television broadcasting. Starting with film, then moving into analog television, he refined his skills in video production, photography and editing. In the early 2000s, he started Mountain Post Productions, an independent film production and post-production house in Idaho, focusing on film productions for local businesses and corporations.

ART: Well, radio has been around for more than 100 years here in Idaho, starting in 1916 with an experimental “wireless telegraph” station at the Rawson Ranch, located near Kuna. During World War I, the Rawson Ranch station — and all others in the nation — were forced to shut down their operations. Many of them did not return to the airwaves. 

However, prior to the War ending, Boise High School chemistry teacher Harry Redeker started teaching a class helping young military inductees learn Morse code. After the War ended, interest from the students continued. So, in 1920, Redeker applied for — and was granted — an educational radio station, for technical and trade schools. The call letters were 7-YA. Harry then got a license for an experimental shortwave station, 7-XT, which was also licensed to Boise High School. As “voice” transmission was developed in 1921, Harry realized the need for a commercial license, staffed by a licensed operator. So, in the summer of 1922, he traveled to Seattle and passed the operator’s test. He also applied for — and was granted — a license for a “limited commercial” station, which was alphabetically assigned the call letters KFAU. The station’s license was granted on July 18, 1922, and made its first “on-air” broadcast a few days later. Almost 102 years later, that very station is still on the air, and is still licensed to Boise, currently broadcasting with 5,000 watts at 630 khz!

Thus, the development of broadcasting has been a “journey” that started way back then … and is still continuing today. That’s why I feel it is so important to preserve the history of radio and television in Idaho. 

The journey started for me as a child. when I was first exposed to television and radio. I was born in August,1952, and was less than a year old when the first full-time commercial TV station in Idaho, KIDO-TV, went on the air in June,1953. Our family was living in Ontario, Oregon at the time and, to this day, I still remember the excitement of seeing television for the first time. It was about 1956 at a neighbor’s house, who was “lucky” enough to have the first TV set on the block. It didn’t take long for my dad, the late artist Quinten Gregory, to break down and buy a set too. I remember the neighbor kids coming to OUR house to watch TV, until they got theirs, too! It took a very tall antenna pointed towards Deer Point in Boise to even get television in Ontario, but I still remember watching “The Little Rascals,” early cartoons, the local news and, yes, even commercials! I liked all of it — but was particularly taken by the jingles and commercials, which may have been why I went on to have a successful career in broadcasting and advertising.

My point is: I believe radio and television has had — and continues to have — an enormous impact on the lives of the people who have been exposed to them. And while the technology and delivery methods have changed, the basic roles of radio and television — to entertain, inform, and educate — have really not changed that much. 

When we look back, we can see our society and culture has changed. A lot! Yet, we can’t really “see” the present so clearly, because we are so immersed in it. In short, we’re just “too close” to it to view it with the same perspective as the past. That’s the reason the formation of The History of Idaho Broadcasting is so significant: by preserving the past and making it available for all to study, we are better enabled to understand the present, and perhaps plan for the future.

ART: We’re doing that in a number of different ways. In addition to continually collecting historic memorabilia (we have hundreds of items — everything from big radio control boards to program playlists to promotional T-shirts — in our storage archives), our video curator has been working with several Idaho TV stations to digitize — and forever preserve — news video they shot many years ago on film. When asked, we also lend our extensive broadcasting knowledge to writers, students, and researchers working on Idaho broadcasting-related projects. With our extensive backgrounds, experience, expertise, and resources, we are definitely the “go-to” people when it comes to knowing all about Idaho’s radio or TV stations.

ART: That’s true. The Foundation currently owns the former KFXD radio building located at 1024 12th Ave. South in Nampa, just south of the city’s original Albertson’s grocery store.

We purchased the beautiful “art-deco” style building from Dr. Wendell Nelson in 2018, and currently have two tenants; a resident who lives in the upstairs luxury apartment, and the Chrome Comb Barber Shop that occupies the entire main floor. The combined rent we receive pays 100% of the expenses to own and operate the building, as well as our mortgage — which is being paid-down each month. 

Our goal is to pay off the mortgage soon, move all of our artifacts, equipment, and other historical items into the building, then to open it — on limited basis — to the public. We realize this is a very ambitious project, but we can think of no better or more appropriate place for this to happen than the former KFXD studios, built in 1938. 

By the way, the KFXD call letters are Idaho’s oldest, assigned back in 1925, and are still in use today by 630 AM in Boise!

ART: You can mail your check to The History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation, Inc. (HIBF), 6127 N. Hastings Avenue, Boise, Idaho, 83714.  Or you can go to the DONATE page on this website.

ART: Any donations designated to “The Building Fund” are used to maintain and pay off the KFXD building in Nampa. All “general” donations help fund the Foundation’s work on behalf of our members, and the public at large. 

Of course, operating a nonprofit organization entails many expenses, including business and office supplies, storage costs, internet costs and more. We publish a quarterly magazine, “As the Turntable Turns,” which requires funds to design, print, and mail to our members. Maintaining our website is also an area where donations are needed — in addition to funding the new Marty Holtman Lifetime Achievement Award, which was started in 2024. 

Plus, recently, the Foundation purchased a “baking oven” to remove moisture and preserve old videotapes. Thanks to this machine, we have worked with local TV stations to save many of their old newscast analog tapes and successfully transfer the videos to digital. 

So, regardless of what your donation gets used for, 100% of it will fund the important work the Foundation does … which could not be done without your help, since we receive no government funding.

ART: It’s very easy. Go to our BECOME A MEMBER page on this website, fill out the Member Application form, and mail it — along with your appropriate membership dues — to The History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation, Inc., 6127 N. Hastings Avenue, Boise, Idaho, 83714.

ART: We’d love to meet with you and see what you have! And yes, we’re always interested in acquiring anything from “back in the day.” We’re especially looking for old photos, audio tapes, videotapes, radio and television program schedules, and music charts or playlists. If you have an item (or items) you believe we would be interested in, you can either call me at 208-761-1396 … or you can email me at: artgregory@q.com.  

Chatting with the Boss

History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation President and founder Art Gregory answers some of the questions we’re frequently asked.

(click on each question to read his answer)

What exactly is The History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation?
And what does it do?

ART: Well, The History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation, Inc. is an Idaho non-profit corporation incorporated in January of 2004 with the Idaho Secretary of State. We were granted 502 (c) (3) Tax Exempt Status by the IRS as of Jan 1, 2017.

As for what we do, we like to say “We celebrate, honor, and preserve broadcasting history here in Idaho.”

We have no paid employees. The corporation is staffed strictly by volunteers. Our funding comes from donations, membership and sponsorship fees, and grants. 

ART: Our mission is actually threefold:

First, we work as an independent, nonpartisan organization for the preservation of the history of radio and television broadcasting within Idaho, from its early days all the way up to — and including — the present.

Secondly, we work to bring to the community a broader knowledge of how pioneers in Idaho broadcasting created enormous impacts on the evolution of our state. 

And lastly, we work to stimulate in people of all ages, especially the young, a recognition of the practical and real contributions to our quality of life that radio and television broadcasting has provided — and continues to provide — to the citizens of Idaho.

ART: I’m the Foundation’s founder and president.   

And I have an extensive broadcasting background. As a 12-year-old, I began my broadcasting career in back 1965 at KEST (now KSPD) radio in Boise, and worked there during high school, before being hired at KBOI AM-FM/TV in 1970. I then worked in television in Salt Lake City at KUTV, was morning-announcer at KEEP radio in Twin Falls, and was operations director for KBXL-FM in Caldwell, before becoming program director at KYME in Boise in early 1974. I then worked at KIDO-AM during the final years of the Bill Boeing/Jack Link era. From 1976-1981, I was sales manager and general manager of the popular KUUZ (KWZ) FM in Nampa. Today, in addition to my duties as head of the Foundation, I work in the communication and marketing fields for a prominent chain of retail stores who continue to use radio as its primary medium. I sometimes can’t remember where I placed my keys, but many say I have an amazing encyclopedic knowledge of Idaho’s broadcasting history, both past and present.

Frank Aden, Jr. is our vice president and secretary. He’s loved radio and television since he was a child, and graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in broadcasting. He, too, has an encyclopedic knowledge of Idaho’s broadcasting history, particularly our state’s early television stations. Frank worked in the newspaper business in Newport, Oregon, and for both Direct TV and Century Link before retiring, due to health reasons. Until recently, Frank was an active Amateur Radio Operator, and still holds license number N7SOK. Together, Frank and I have been instrumental in transforming the Foundation into a successful organization with over 150 members. As a Foundation, we also publish a quarterly magazine with over 70 issues in print; they’re in the permanent collection of Boise State University’s Albertson’s Library.

Our treasurer, Rockwell Smith, is known as “The Grandfather of Idaho Radio Engineers.” He officially began his broadcasting career back in December, 1963 — yes, just like the title of the Frankie Valli song — and hasn’t stopped since! He now lives in Salmon, Idaho where he continues to work virtually full-time at KSRA AM/FM radio, despite being supposedly “retired.” Once a broadcaster, always a broadcaster.

In addition to our officers, Foundation Marketing Director Steve Bertel has some 30 years in broadcasting, in both radio and television. For ten years, he was the multi-award-winning news reporter and, later, news director of KBRJ-AM/KBBK-FM in Boise. Then, from 2000 to 2020, he was the behind-the-scenes news department assignment desk manager/special projects producer for KIVI-TV, Channel 6 and KNIN-TV, Channel 9.

And last, but not least, Aldis Garsvo is our video curator/video historian. His career in filmmaking began more than forty years ago with a degree in electronics technology, specializing in television broadcasting. Starting with film, then moving into analog television, he refined his skills in video production, photography and editing. In the early 2000s, he started Mountain Post Productions, an independent film production and post-production house in Idaho, focusing on film productions for local businesses and corporations.

ART: Well, radio has been around for more than 100 years here in Idaho, starting in 1916 with an experimental “wireless telegraph” station at the Rawson Ranch, located near Kuna. During World War I, the Rawson Ranch station — and all others in the nation — were forced to shut down their operations. Many of them did not return to the airwaves. 

However, prior to the War ending, Boise High School chemistry teacher Harry Redeker started teaching a class helping young military inductees learn Morse code. After the War ended, interest from the students continued. So, in 1920, Redeker applied for — and was granted — an educational radio station, for technical and trade schools. The call letters were 7-YA. Harry then got a license for an experimental shortwave station, 7-XT, which was also licensed to Boise High School. As “voice” transmission was developed in 1921, Harry realized the need for a commercial license, staffed by a licensed operator. So, in the summer of 1922, he traveled to Seattle and passed the operator’s test. He also applied for — and was granted — a license for a “limited commercial” station, which was alphabetically assigned the call letters KFAU. The station’s license was granted on July 18, 1922, and made its first “on-air” broadcast a few days later. Almost 102 years later, that very station is still on the air, and is still licensed to Boise, currently broadcasting with 5,000 watts at 630 khz!

Thus, the development of broadcasting has been a “journey” that started way back then … and is still continuing today. That’s why I feel it is so important to preserve the history of radio and television in Idaho. 

The journey started for me as a child. when I was first exposed to television and radio. I was born in August,1952, and was less than a year old when the first full-time commercial TV station in Idaho, KIDO-TV, went on the air in June,1953. Our family was living in Ontario, Oregon at the time and, to this day, I still remember the excitement of seeing television for the first time. It was about 1956 at a neighbor’s house, who was “lucky” enough to have the first TV set on the block. It didn’t take long for my dad, the late artist Quinten Gregory, to break down and buy a set too. I remember the neighbor kids coming to OUR house to watch TV, until they got theirs, too! It took a very tall antenna pointed towards Deer Point in Boise to even get television in Ontario, but I still remember watching “The Little Rascals,” early cartoons, the local news and, yes, even commercials! I liked all of it — but was particularly taken by the jingles and commercials, which may have been why I went on to have a successful career in broadcasting and advertising.

My point is: I believe radio and television has had — and continues to have — an enormous impact on the lives of the people who have been exposed to them. And while the technology and delivery methods have changed, the basic roles of radio and television — to entertain, inform, and educate — have really not changed that much. 

When we look back, we can see our society and culture has changed. A lot! Yet, we can’t really “see” the present so clearly, because we are so immersed in it. In short, we’re just “too close” to it to view it with the same perspective as the past. That’s the reason the formation of The History of Idaho Broadcasting is so significant: by preserving the past and making it available for all to study, we are better enabled to understand the present, and perhaps plan for the future.

ART: We’re doing that in a number of different ways. In addition to continually collecting historic memorabilia (we have hundreds of items — everything from big radio control boards to program playlists to promotional T-shirts — in our storage archives), our video curator has been working with several Idaho TV stations to digitize — and forever preserve — news video they shot many years ago on film. When asked, we also lend our extensive broadcasting knowledge to writers, students, and researchers working on Idaho broadcasting-related projects. With our extensive backgrounds, experience, expertise, and resources, we are definitely the “go-to” people when it comes to knowing all about Idaho’s radio or TV stations.

ART: That’s true. The Foundation currently owns the former KFXD radio building located at 1024 12th Ave. South in Nampa, just south of the city’s original Albertson’s grocery store.

We purchased the beautiful “art-deco” style building from Dr. Wendell Nelson in 2018, and currently have two tenants; a resident who lives in the upstairs luxury apartment, and the Chrome Comb Barber Shop that occupies the entire main floor. The combined rent we receive pays 100% of the expenses to own and operate the building, as well as our mortgage — which is being paid-down each month. 

Our goal is to pay off the mortgage soon, move all of our artifacts, equipment, and other historical items into the building, then to open it — on limited basis — to the public. We realize this is a very ambitious project, but we can think of no better or more appropriate place for this to happen than the former KFXD studios, built in 1938. 

By the way, the KFXD call letters are Idaho’s oldest, assigned back in 1925, and are still in use today by 630 AM in Boise!

ART: You can mail your check to The History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation, Inc. (HIBF), 6127 N. Hastings Avenue, Boise, Idaho, 83714.  Or you can go to the DONATE page on this website.

ART: Any donations designated to “The Building Fund” are used to maintain and pay off the KFXD building in Nampa. All “general” donations help fund the Foundation’s work on behalf of our members, and the public at large. 

Of course, operating a nonprofit organization entails many expenses, including business and office supplies, storage costs, internet costs and more. We publish a quarterly magazine, “As the Turntable Turns,” which requires funds to design, print, and mail to our members. Maintaining our website is also an area where donations are needed — in addition to funding the new Marty Holtman Lifetime Achievement Award, which was started in 2024. 

Plus, recently, the Foundation purchased a “baking oven” to remove moisture and preserve old videotapes. Thanks to this machine, we have worked with local TV stations to save many of their old newscast analog tapes and successfully transfer the videos to digital. 

So, regardless of what your donation gets used for, 100% of it will fund the important work the Foundation does … which could not be done without your help, since we receive no government funding.

ART: It’s very easy. Go to our BECOME A MEMBER page on this website, fill out the Member Application form, and mail it — along with your appropriate membership dues — to The History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation, Inc., 6127 N. Hastings Avenue, Boise, Idaho, 83714.

ART: We’d love to meet with you and see what you have! And yes, we’re always interested in acquiring anything from “back in the day.” We’re especially looking for old photos, audio tapes, videotapes, radio and television program schedules, and music charts or playlists. If you have an item (or items) you believe we would be interested in, you can either call me at 208-761-1396 … or you can email me at: artgregory@q.com.