WKY-TV Collection
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Background

Pioneering WKY was the first radio station in Oklahoma City. Crackling to life in 1921, the station dominated Oklahoma City radio for over 20 years. In 1949, the station received the first television cameras in the state and established studios in the Municipal Auditorium. Originally WKY-TV broadcast shows from all four major networks but they soon affiliated with NBC for national programming. However it was their original programming that won a permanent place in the hearts of many Oklahoma Cityans – especially the coonskin hat-clad and hoola-hooping Baby Boomers – including favorites like 3-D Danny, Count Gregor, and Foreman Scotty (To learn more about Foreman Scotty, visit www.foremanscotty.com or the Foreman Scotty page on www.facebook.com, both sites hosted by his son Cliff Davis).

WKY-TV pioneered many television innovations. Retired executives report WKY-TV was the first station to provide local programming in color and they were among the first to have dedicated staff for weather forecasting. By rebroadcasting a tornado warning from Tinker Air Force Base in 1954, the station quite possibly was the first television station to warn the public of impending danger from a twister. WKY-TV was also in the vanguard of the use of radar in weather forecasting and broadcasting live remotes. The station was the first in Oklahoma to hire a female reporter when news director Ernie Schultz hired Pam Henry. While at WKY-TV she became the first female to anchor a news broadcast in Oklahoma.

This collection from the golden era of the station was compiled by long-time station employee Bill Thrash and made available to Retro Metro OKC by member (and former WKY-TV employee) Jon Spence.


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7 Comments

  1. I was the weekend sports anchor at KOCO in 1979-1981, but my father was actually offered a job to read the news on this new thing called television after getting his Masters at Northwestern in 1949 or 1950. He was offered $80 a week in Oklahoma City, his hometown, and had a competing job offer of $85 a week to head up the radio department at Mississippi State College in Starkville. He told me that he went to the bosses at WKY to ask them to match and they wished him well in Mississippi. Frank McGee, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_McGee_(journalist) who went on to read the news on the Today Show took the job. My Dad went on to work in advertising in NY and filled in on WQXR radio (The Raido Station of the New York TImes) then moved to the Philadelphia area and became an actor/narrator. He landed his first speaking role in a major motion picture at the age of 80, when he was cast as the Rabbi who officiates at Cameron Diaz’s wedding in “In Her Shoes”. He passed away in July of 2009.

    • Hi Ed…Kevin Ogle here. Great to read this about your pops. What a history in broadcasting he had…Thanks for the kindness you showed me when I was a college student and part-time employee at KOCO back in 1980. Take care bro.

  2. Sandy De Laughter

    I was going through some scrapbooks and found a letter written to me by Art Fowler at WKY-TV in Oklahoma City. This would have been in the early 1950s. I was wondering if anyone could give me any information about Mr. Fowler.

  3. Sandy De Laughter

    I have many fond memories of Gizmo Goodkin and his friends. When I was in elementary school, you could call and reaquest to be a visitor on the program. The kids in the neighborhood and I were frequent visitors. It was great fun and I have some wonderful memories of these visits. At that time the actual broadcasts were done at the Municipal Hall.

  4. I was Head Start or Kindergarten in 1967, and our class went on Danny’s Day. We sung “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”. Anyways I can’t even remember the name of the School, but my name was Jackie Stewart. Does anyone know how I can get a copy of that show somehow? Please? Thank You….

  5. Sry, I meant to say that I was in.

  6. What year did the Betty White cooking show appear on WKY?

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