Saturday, September 14, 2013


This week one chapter on a great radio station closed and a new one began.  It's a station that you've probably never heard of, but to me it's one of the greatest radio stations to ever hit the air.

I grew up listening to KLOG in Longview/Kelso, WA and started my radio career there in the 8th grade.  Earlier this week, KLOG (one of the last remaining AM stations in the Pacific Northwest to still play music), flipped to sports.  While I was sad to see the flip, I totally get it and it was time.

I've spent this week thinking about the seven years I spent working there.  All the forgotten memories came rushing back to me as I drove to work.

Summer of 1991 in the KLOG studio.  I'm on the left with DJ Matt Miller on the right.
I remember being in Kindergarten and my Mom listening to KLOG on my way to school.  I remember getting up early in grade school during a snow storm listening to see if school was cancelled.  I remember making my parents take me to KLOG remotes so I could see the DJ's.  I remember going there when I was 13 and asking then owner/GM Steve Hanson for a job.  He said no.  I went back.  He said no again.  I went back over and over until he hired clean the station on Saturday mornings.  I remember the first time I actually got to run the board and how exciting it was to push the button that started "Casey's Top 40."  I remember making $3.35 per hour and thinking "I can't believe I get paid for this."  I remember the power I felt the first time I put a cart in the machine and hit play.  It was Tears for Fears "Everybody Wants to Rule The World."  I remember the first time I ever cracked the mic...and I sounded awful, but thought I was great.  I remember the smoke stained ceiling tiles in the studio.  I remember the shoe box with hundreds of 3x5 cards and each one had a song on it.  That was how we created our play list.  I remember being told to "never dig deeper than five cards back."  I remember never following that rule.  I remember the format clock with the different colored stickers telling us what category of song to play.  I remember coming in early and staying late and never wanting to leave.  I remember changing worn cart pads.  I remember how excited I was the first time a "hot chick" called me on the request line.  I remember getting in trouble for spending too much time on the request line.  I remember working every holiday and loving it.  I remember how proud I was when my teachers would say "I heard someone named John Paul on the radio Saturday morning, was that you?"  I remember GM Steve Hanson's big deep laugh echoing down the hallway.  I remember how sad I was to leave in 1995 for my first PD job in Indiana.

I owe everything in my career to KLOG, Steve Hanson and PD Bill Dodd (who is still there).  They took a chance on a 13 year old kid and helped mold me into the broadcaster I am today.

While they will continue to be successful, it was sad to know that they are no longer playing music and a chapter that has lasted over 60 years is over.

Thank you, "Mighty 1490."


  1. I remember the weekend you first cracked the mic like it was yesterday. We all thought you'd make it big one day.

    I had the chance to work there five different time. It was always tough to leave, but always great to "come home." I'll miss K-LOG and it's music.

  2. I too grew up listening to KLOG. They ruled SW Washington in the heyday of local top 40. Jocks like T Tommy Watson I (TTW1) wore their nehru jackets to remotes. Working for Steve and his wife Annie was the best. Go get 'em, guys.

  3. That was fun. I started when I was 15 and your memories are my memories...down to the smoke stained ceiling tiles...(I can't believe that they allowed jocks to smoke in the studio) I remember cue burn, 1/4 turn so no "wow-in" for the songs, checking the EBS monitor, taking meter readings, First CD cut I played, pulling the next hour's carts and stacking them on the cart's write a book!

    Troy West

  4. I have my own story about KLOG from a listener standpoint. I used to live in Toledo Washington about 20 miles north of Longview and distinctively remember another version of the green ball with headphones logo which said "KLOG 1490 AM STEREO" and wondered how that was possible. Not too long afterward my mom got a 1996 Dodge Caravan used which had a premium level Infinity sound system with a five band graphic equalizer and joystick which functions as a combination fader/pan control.

    Well one day I went in the van and tuned the radio to KLOG and just a few seconds after getting to 1490 I saw "ST" light up in the display along with the audio separating into two discrete channels. To say the least I was blown away and later on got a new in box Sony SRF-42. To this day I still remember the first song I heard on it which was Africa by Toto and of course while tuned to 1490.

    After tuning in one day and not hearing stereo anymore I was saddened but hearing about the switch to ESPN Radio this paled in comparison.