Counting this year, 2023, I am going on 34 years in radio broadcasting. My radio career started in 1989. The radio station was 90.3 KCMU (now KEXP), located in the Communications building on the University of Washington campus. My first training shift was on a Saturday morning at 3am. It was strangely easy for me to get up at 2am. I was nervous and excited – I was going to train to go on the radio!
What started me down this path of a career in radio? The short answer is my love for all things TV and radio.
Here is a list of local media personalities that inspired me along the way…shaping who I am today.
Ray Ramsey – 1970s Weather guy on KOMO 4 News
He was also quick on his feet. Sometimes, I wondered if he was drunk! I was always entertained by his weather forecasts.
Pat O’Dea – KJR-AM Seattle, Channel 95
Pat once made the promise, that everyone in attendance – at the Boat Show in the Kingdome: Would get a chunk of a glacier, brought down in a refrigerator truck from Mt Rainier. “The very same glacier that carved the deep waters of Puget Sound” What imagery. It worked. The Dome was packed that weekend – The line to get a melting piece of ice was wrapped around the Kingdome floor.
Dave Niehaus – Seattle Mariners TV and radio announcer
He was the soundtrack to Summer in my youth. The Mariners would routinely lose 100 games a season back then – but Dave always kept the game exciting.
Bob Blackburn – Seattle Supersonics radio announcer
He provided all the excitement on the radio, when the Sonics won the NBA title in 1979. Loved hearing him call a basketball game.
Wayne Cody – KIRO TV and Radio sports announcer
I used to call in to his KIRO Sportsline radio show as a 12 year old kid. He always was respectful and let me asked what was on my mind. And to this day, whenever a kid calls my show, I try and do the same.
J. Michael Kenyon – 570 KVI Evening Radio Host
A big reason why I’m in radio is because of Larry King’s Mutual Radio network show. I actually remember listening in – on the night of this rebroadcast on C-Span in 1984.
But, back to J. Michael Kenyon. The reason why I learned of Larry King, who’s show would start at 11pm, was because of the show that was on before Larry: J. Michael’s “7-11 Sports” on KVI. He always had interesting characters in and out of his show. Here he is with Keith Shipman, on Q13 TV
Jean Enersen – KING 5 News
Our paths literally crossed, one late afternoon, just before a Mariners game. Jean was getting out of a car and she stepped in front of me in the Kingdome parking lot. I instantly recognized her. Seeing Jean Enersen, was like seeing a family member…her newscasts were broadcast into my living room for decades. I smiled and waved – then jogged ahead of her, my attempt to take away any awkwardness.
Kathi Goertzen – KOMO 4 News
I cried when she passed away in 2012. Her life was taken early by her long battle with recurring meningiomas. She was one of my Seattle media favorites.
Mark Wright – KING 5 News & KXLY Spokane News
One of few people. on this list, that I know personally. We both worked in the KXLY building in the late 90s. I was upstairs, in the radio division – at KZZU. Mark was working downstairs at News Channel 4. He made it to Seattle and KING 5 TV. Great guy. Solid newsman.
Robin & Maynard – KISW, KZOK, KXRX, The Buzz 100.7
They still have an impact on what you hear, every morning on KW3. I loved it when Roy Otis, Richard Petersen or Chip Hanauer would jump in to visit. You can still listen to highlights of their show here.
Chet Buchanan – KUBE 93 Seattle
Besides Robin and Maynard, Chet Buchanan is easily the biggest reason why I am still somehow doing a live radio show in 2023. The hours of coaching he gave me in “Aircheck sessions” gave me the building blocks of radio fundamentals. Currently, you can hear Chet every morning on Las Vegas’s KLUC. He fly’s up to Seattle, to work as the PA announcer for the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena.
Don West – Newsradio 560 KPQ Wenatchee
Don West’s supernatural power was his ability to compel you to buy a product. A moment before you didn’t know about it. Now? You absolutely NEED it. He had the ability to sell, that was second to none. After he passed away in December, I wrote my thoughts on Don. We still miss his energy & spirit in this building. He was the GOAT!
LOOK: 38 Amazing Actors That Have Called Washington State Home
Sure, Washington is known for Amazon, coffee, wine, apples, grunge music, Microsoft, and Boeing. But you may not know how many actors and actresses have come from the Evergreen State. Yeah, our state has had an impact on the television and film industry. We’ve got A-listers, an Oscar winner, and faces of big franchises.
Check out our list below, I’m sure you’ll find some surprises.