It was Flag Day 1987. I was opening the mic for the first time as a new announcer on KTBB AM 600. It was the early part of my radio journey, and I was excited to be moving up in the industry.
KTBB was the second radio station to be licensed in Tyler, Texas. A station located at 1490 on the dial was the first, but KTBB would ultimately dominate the market. A strong award-winning news department, excellent on-air talent, and a good sales team complimented the fact the station was locally owned, so it was programmed for the benefit of East Texans.
I served as the station’s sports director and did an afternoon talk show. After a couple of years there, I moved on to KNUE, where I would finish my radio career.
But radio is a small family, and 35 years later I wasn’t forgotten when a big event took place. The owner of KTBB, Paul Gleiser, told me that a celebration was planned and that I would be invited.
On November 10, 2022, I attended the stations’ 75th anniversary party.
I was honored. And older.
So were those I ran into. Some I hadn’t seen in decades. Others, I frequently encounter since I stayed in East Texas instead of moving to a bigger radio market, which was my original intention.
And the venue couldn’t have been more appropriate. The celebration was held at the Texas Broadcast Museum in Kilgore. The Texas Broadcast Museum features some of the earliest, rarest, and best broadcast equipment. Not just in Texas, but in the country.
Not only did some of the attendees belong in a museum (present company included), so did the equipment that’s on display. There are several historical pieces of equipment, including the TV camera that was present when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot.
But there’s more than broadcasting equipment. Different models of radios and television sets are represented, all the way from the beginnings of each medium, through the 1970s and 80s.
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