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The January 2015 meeting of the History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation

was held on Friday January 30th at Smoky Mountain Pizza & Pasta on Parkcenter Blvd. in East Boise. The meeting was moved to the larger Banquet Room due to the massive crowd that attended, perhaps the largest in Foundation history! Thanks to Josh the Manager of Smoky Mountain and his staff for accommodating us – there were close to 60 people who attended!

The occasion was to honor Don Campbell, former announcer, salesman, sales manager, and general manager of KFXD AM & FM, who worked at the station continuously from 1966-1983. Don attended the luncheon as our guest of honor, along with his wonderful sister Linda Campbell Clark of Nampa.

Foundation Members attending included President Art Gregory, Vice President and Secretary Frank Aden Jr., and Treasurer and Webmaster Rockwell Smith, who also operated the computer that showed the vintage photographs. Other Members attending included; Gilbert Rose; Helen Gregory; Lucus Babin; John Buck (John O’Brian);Tom Scott; Wendy Green; Jerry Rohnert; Marty Holtman; Jeff Bishop; Larry Smith; Judy Fisher; Vera Cederstrom; Bob Rosenthal; Tom Newman; Bill Hatch; Katlin Cauffman; and new member Mike Wallace, who is chairing our new “Idaho Band Archives and Repository.”

Guests attending included David Ferdinand, former KFXD News Director, Announcer, and Account Executive, who also graciously acted as our Master of Ceremonies for the meeting. Thank You David! Other guests attending included; Julie Zaceheo; Marilyn Campbell; Barry Kelso; Rick Tietsort; Kathleen Tietsort; Steve Rodda; Jason Beak; Jon Jaxon; Kathy Bauman; Ted Jewell; Wilson Miller; Steve Oliver; Susan Oliver; Dorothy Witmer; P.J. Breiding; Beth Wilson; Nancy Salyer; Johnny Mac; Bob Anthony; Carol Beth Crane; Rhonda Jameson; Tim Woodward; Gary Arbaugh; Dan Widner; Bob Lilly; Pete Gregory; Gary McCabe; Ann Teie-Clark; Phil Canodey, and Sandra Galuca-Moore.

Special thanks to Rick and Kathleen Tietsort who purchased a guest book for donation, as well as a donation jar where close to $100 was collected to help Don with his medical, legal, and basic living expenses, which have been a struggle for him to meet.

Emcee David Ferdinand first went around the room with the microphone giving everyone the opportunity to say who they are and tell how they know Don Campbell. David then introduced our guest of honor. After that, Art Gregory played a nine-minute audio presentation that featured a number of KFXD air-checks as well as a one minute recorded telephone greeting from David Hagen, former KFXD newscaster in the 1970s and early 80s. Hagen was also on KFXD in the mid 1960s as a disc jockey, using the air-name “Paul King.”

The audio tape featured (in order):

  1.  KFXD air-check featuring Member Norm Gunning from April 1965. M-O-R format featuring Manager Wayne Cornils doing an ID Dept Store ad for “Stretch Denim Capris”
  2.  David Hagen Greeting to Don Campbell recorded via telephone from Benson, Arizona
  3.  KFXD air-check featuring Paul King from Sept 1969 featuring spots & 20/20 News intro
  4.  KFXD air-check featuring Member Jerry Rohnert from April 25, 1971
  5.   KFXD air-check featuring Member Jerry Rohnert Dec. 1979 with “We Play it For You”

Don Campbell was then introduced and personally described each of 35 slides that were shown on the restaurant’s big screen television monitor. Don’s narration took us through his youth, his broadcast career, and his life in Idaho City.

The photos were (in order):

  1.  KFXD Transmitter Building circa 1947
  2.  Member Gilbert Rose Jr., high school friend and neighbor of Don Campbell
  3.  Don at the University of Idaho’s “Jessie” Engineering Program in 1963
  4.  KFXD Rate card from August 1, 1963
  5.  KUOI-AM Staff photo from 1964 U of I Yearbook
  6.  Don at the control board at KUOI 1963-1965
  7.  Don’s publicity photo at KFXD in 1966
  8.  Don with his new 1965 red Ford Mustang
  9.  Don joined the Idaho Air national Guard Reserve in 1966 (to avoid the draft)
  10.  Don at the Gates control board in 1965
  11.  Don’s first business card at KFXD as an account executive – 1966.
  12.  KFXD publicity photo 1966
  13.  KFXD All American “Ballot” from March of 1968
  14.  Home-made campaign button (made by Wayne Cornils) 1968 All American Election
  15.  Idaho Press Tribune letter to the editor regarding Sheriff Paul W. Bright & AP news story
  16.  AP News story submitted by Don Campbell
  17.  New KFXD 20/20 Survey with April 1969 “All American” Ballot
  18.  August 15, 1969 20/20 Survey with Honky Tonk Woman #1
  19.  Back of 20/20 Survey from 1968 announcing Don’s marriage
  20.  Don’s 1970 Capital Correspondent and Id Dept of Law Enforcement Press Card
  21.  KFXD Red Steer Rocket request Slip 1966
  22.  Don and Tom Scott on the way to a remote in Don’s MG Sports car (1970)
  23.  August 1970 KFXD Survey showing Don and the 1970 air-staff
  24.  Don’s 1970 Ontario Armory Season Pass signed by Bob Dye
  25.  New KFXD logo on Don’s 1973 Business Card – Commercial Manager
  26.  1979 Gastation Disco News Year’s Eve Party
  27.  1980 photo showing construction of new KFXD building with Mary Beaudreau, unidentified, Tim Pace, Ron Grisham, Paula Jensen, and Wendy Green.
  28.  1980s KFXD and X-95 business card showing Don as Commercial Manager
  29.  1980s KFXD and X-95 business card showing Don as General Manager
  30.  Don’s marriage announcement to Pat Leeds on July 20, 1985
  31.  Idaho City Parade with Mayor Pat Campbell as Grand Marshall- driven by Don
  32.  Don’s Idaho City Hotel
  33.  Don with daughter Co-Co in front of Idaho Hotel Gift Shop
  34.  Tim Woodward Statesman article of Don’s Hotel Gift Shop selling the work local artists
  35.  Idaho Statesman article from 2009 regarding Don’s Idaho City Cable-TV System

As the photos and slide show revealed, Don grew up in Nampa and was fascinated with KFXD AM & FM radio and later KFXD-TV from an early age. He persuaded his parents to take him to various KFXD events at the 12th Ave South studios, and at the theatre that was attached to the rear of the building.

In April of 1959, Gilbert Rose Sr., KFXD’s Chief Engineer, moved his family to a new home, located four houses away from the Campbell’s home. Don became good friends with Gil Rose Jr., and the two of them graduated from Nampa High School in the spring of 1963. Don’s father operated Greenleaf Creamery. Don made extra money by putting in ice cream vending machines in places like the Northwest Nazarene College girl’s dorms. Since Don had to “service” the machines, he talked them into giving him a key to the girl’s dorms!

After high school, both Don and Gil moved to Moscow, Idaho to attend the University of Idaho, where Don majored in engineering and Gil took classes in accounting and marketing at his grandfather’s suggestion. Gil says KBOI’s Paul J. Schneider lived in the same dorm, a few rooms away! Then, Gil’s grandfather passed away in the spring of 1964, and even though he got good grades, he was out of money. So Gil had to move back to Boise after just two semesters at U of I and got a job selling shoes for $.89 cents an hour.

Don did well in his engineering classes at U of I and also worked for KUOI, the University’s low-power AM station where he developed an ever greater love of radio. However, in the summer of 1965, after two years of taking engineering courses, Don took a trip to southern California and visited a large firm who hired graduates with engineering degrees like the one Don was going to get. That was all it took for him to change his mind; engineering was not for him! Don applied at KFXD with Wayne Cornils, but was not hired. So he got hired at KCID-AM by Duane Wolfe and worked there for a time, before getting hired as News Director at KFXD in late 1965 or early 1966 (Don can’t remember exactly when he started at KFXD).

Don then became an announcer at KFXD, taking over the “Rocket” from Member David Hagen (Paul King). The “Rocket” was the evening rock music show which aired Mon-Sat from 6:00 pm-Midnight and featured the Red Steer Rocket request Show which aired from 8:00-10:00 pm Mon-Sat. Don then moved into sales, sales management, and finally upper management. He married Kathy Ardell in 1969, and they moved to Idaho City in 1972. During Don’s tenure, KFXD became the #1 rated station in Boise from 1970-1978. They added KFXD-FM in early 1975, and Don saw the building of new offices and studios at the Amity Road transmitter site. Don remained with KFXD AM/FM for 17 years, leaving the station in late 1983 after the company was sold in October of that year.

After the slide show, which was narrated by Don, emcee David Ferdinand asked for “stories” about Don. Many people came forth and told of their personal experiences with Don. You can hear all of them as they happened in the audio segments below. The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 pm with everyone staying late to visit with Don and give him their best wishes.

Our thanks to Don and his sister Linda, as well as his many friends and neighbors from both Idaho City and the Mallard Point Apartments. Also, thanks to the many former KFXD employees who attended including Tom Scott, Jerry Rohnert, Wendy Green, Jon O’Brian, Bob Anthony, Bob Lilly, Gary McCabe and others. Also thanks to the many members the other radio and TV stations who attended to show their support for Don, including current KFXD owner Townsquare Media, Cumulus Media of Boise, KTRV-TV, Journal Broadcasting Group’s KIVI and KNIN, and Idaho Public Television.

 

Audio Segments (click on the link below – these may take a moment to lad)

Segment One – Introduction of Guests Part One

Segment Two - Introduction of Guests Part Two

Segment Three – Featured Audio Tape (KFXD air-checks) see above

Segment Four – Slide Show Part One (see above list of photos)

Segment Five - Slide Show Part Two (see above list of photos)

Segment Six - Slide Show Part Three (see above list of photos)

Segment Seven – Stories of Don told by Don & others – Part One

Segment Eight – Final Stories of Don told by Don & others – Part Two (meeting concludes)

 

Our next Foundation Meeting will be Friday February 27th from 11:30-1:30, also at Smoky Mountain Pizza & Pasta located at Parkcenter and Mallard. The program will be announced soon.  See you then!