The History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation mourns the loss of Dick Eardley, longtime News Director of KBOI AM-FM-TV. Dick passed away on June 30, 2012 at the age of 83.
Dick came to Boise in 1955 and worked for the Idaho Statesman as a news and sports reporter for 3 years. In 1958, he began a 16 year career at KBOI Radio and Television, where he was KBOI's News Director and also covered sports on both television and radio. For anyone watching Channel 2 Television, or listening to KBOI Radio in the late 1950s, and all throughout the 1960s, Dick Eardley "was" sports. He was by far Boise's best known sportscaster, often doing the play-by-play of local high school games, and for Boise Junior College, Boise College, and later Boise State College sports.
During his 16 year career at KBOI, Channel 2 was the number-one-rated television news station in Boise. Of course there were only two commercial television stations on the air during most of Dick's career. KIDO-TV signed on the air July 12, 1953 and changed call letters to KTVB on February 1, 1959. KCIX-TV Channel 6 was on the air from 1958 until early 1960, and KAID Channel 4 signed on December 31, 1971.
Dick built a legendary News Department during his time at KBOI and worked with a lot of "big names" in Idaho broadcasting, including Bill Gratton, Dwight Jensen, Louise Davis, John Clark, Alice Dieter, Don Hague, Marty Holtman, Paul J. Schneider, Larry Chase, Bob Christopher, Jack Carroll, Garth Andrews, Jim Bates, Barry Thompson, Chris Thomas, and Terry Porter, just to name a few.
Dick ran for Boise City Council and was elected in 1969, serving for 4 years. He then ran for Mayor of Boise in 1973 and was elected, serving 3 successive terms, from 1974-1896, which was 12 years, longer than any other Boise Mayor ever served. Of course Dick was not the only Mayor to work at KBOI. His boss, Westerman Whillock, resigned his term as Boise Mayor in 1947 to put KDSH Radio on the air on May 1st of that year. During his tenure at Boise Valley Broadcasters, Inc, Dick saw KBOI FM sign on November 1, 1960, and was there when KBOI Radio went from 5,000 watts at 950 on the dial to 50,000 watts at 670 KHz, which took place on June 25, 1968.
On May 7, 2010, Dick attended a special History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation luncheon hosted by KBOI Television and KBOI Radio to celebrate the return of the KBOI call letters to Channel 2, which had taken place earlier that year. You can see pictures of the event, which took place in the Channel 2 studios, and hear the actual meeting audio, which includes the audio of "Through the Years," a historical documentary which aired on Thanksgiving night in 1986, and celebrated Channel 2's 33 years on the air. Click here to see the entire meeting report, and access the links to the meeting audio, which features comments and stories from Dick Eardley, and other KBOI employees who attended this historic meeting.
Our prayers and sympathies go out to Eardley family. Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 2PM at the Stueckle Sky Center at Boise State University.