Moore: The best radio reception | Opinion


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 first part of my radio journey and I was excited to progress in the industry.

KTBB was the second radio station to be licensed in Tyler, Texas. A station at 1490 on the dial was the first, but eventually KTBB would dominate the market. A strong award-winning news service, excellent on-air talent, and a good sales team complimented the fact that the station was locally owned, so it was programmed to benefit East Texans.

I was the station’s athletic director and did an afternoon talk show. After a few years there, I moved to KNUE, where I finished my radio career.

But radio is a small family, and 35 years later, I was not forgotten when something big happened. KTBB owner Paul Gleiser told me a party was planned and I would be invited.

On November 10, 2022, I attended the stations 75th anniversary party.

I was honoured. And older.

Just like those I have met. Some I hadn’t seen in decades. Others, whom I meet frequently since I stayed in East Texas instead of moving to a larger radio market, which was my original intention.

And the venue couldn’t have been more appropriate. The celebration took place at the Texas Broadcast Museum in Kilgore. The Texas Broadcast Museum features some of the oldest, rarest, and best broadcast equipment. Not just in Texas, but across the country.

Not only did some of the attendees belong to a museum (including the current company), but so did the equipment on display. There are several historic pieces of equipment, including the television camera that was present when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot.

But there is more than broadcast material. Various models of radios and televisions are represented, from the beginnings of each medium through to the 1970s and 1980s.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only attendee who felt this, but it was both amazing and eye-opening to see the equipment in a museum that you once used both in your broadcast work and in your living room .

But making available all types of vintage radio and television equipment (and some of the people who operated them) is the goal of the Texas Broadcast Museum.

Today, you can shoot a movie on an iPhone. But for the first 100 years of radio and television, it took a lot of equipment, often very large equipment, to broadcast a simple broadcast to a local or national audience.

The mobile television unit that covered the JFK assassination in Dallas has been saved from certain demise and restored to its original, complete condition. Today it sits inside the museum, and you can walk through it and see every facet of the unit in operation.

A quirky working radio control room sits in the museum, and visitors are allowed to try DJing, complete with vinyl records and turntables.

The first television sets are on display, as well as excellent radios, some of which are from my collection, which I donated to the museum a few years ago. Like many in the broadcasting business, I have collected old radios for years. When Chuck Conrad, who started the museum, opened the facility, I made the decision to donate some of my best pieces.

When you run out of space, you can either sell your collection or donate it. That’s what’s great about years of hide-and-seek collecting. If you donate it to a museum, you can still go see it whenever you want.

People who worked in the industry not only donated items to the collection, but also volunteered to help explain to visitors how what they grew up watching was created behind the scenes.

But on November 10, 2022, everything revolved around the audiovisual present. FOX Radio’s Jimmy Failla was the special guest. He started out as a stand-up comedian, and he still is. He made a great comic book set, but now most of his comedies appear on his radio show and on FOX News TV programs where he guest-stars.

He’s quite often on Gutfeld and some of the other programs on the network. This is one of the great advantages of broadcasting. It is not the school that is necessary to succeed, it is the talent.

Just a few years ago, Failla was driving a taxi in New York.

It was an honor to attend an event for the station that brought me to Texas and to visit the Texas Broadcast Museum again. A visit that everyone should make. The Texas Broadcast Museum website includes information on tickets (it’s very affordable) and hours of operation. They even host parties if you want to book one.

When you go, be sure to look for the pink 1950s Pepto-Bismol clock radio that I donated. Both the museum and this radio have excellent reception.

John’s latest book, Puns for Groan People, and his books, Write of Passage: A Southerner’s View of Then and Now Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, are available on its website – TheCountryWriter.comwhere you can also message him and listen to his weekly podcast.

Recent stories you might have missed


Comments are closed.