Tulsa TV Memories: Prologue      

KVOO, Channel 2, Tulsa

Courtesy of Jeff Kadet, a 1964 screenshot of KVOO, Channel 2, Tulsa, taken in Needham, Massachusetts!
Courtesy Jeff Kadet, 1964 Needham, MA screen capture!

History of KVOO-KTEW-KJRH through 1967.

Uncle Hiram hosted KVOO-TV's mid-fifties kiddie show.

Big Bill and Oom-A-Gog was KVOO's kiddie show from 1959-1964.

Fantastic Theater was Channel 2's late Saturday night sci-fi/horror movie program in the mid to late 60s.

Bio of Tulsa newsman Forrest Brokaw.

Read about the Joe Krieger Sportsman Show, a long-running (38 years!) program on Channel 2

Channel 2 went on the air December 5, 1954 as KVOO-TV. It was Tulsa's second VHF station.

8/23/2004: TTM chief nitpicker Don Norton points out that the last statement is true "only technically--it was the second VHF to transmit from inside the metro Tulsa area. KTVX went on the air in Muskogee on September 18 with almost as powerful a signal as KOTV from a tower halfway between Tulsa and Muskogee--obviously to serve both areas. And KTVX did, like a local, which it really was."

KTVX was renamed KTUL on September 12, 1957, though the station had operated from Lookout Mountain (site of the ill-starred UHF station KCEB) since November 1, 1955. Here are the early histories of KVOO, KTUL and KCEB from Greg Corarito's 1967 TU master's thesis.

KVOO became KTEW in December, 1970. Today, it has the call letters KJRH.

Original KVOO-TV logo below, courtesy of Lee Thomas Reeder. The soon-abandoned slogan, "The Eyes of Oklahoma", was an extension of KVOO-AM's, "The Voice of Oklahoma", and possibly a comeback to Channel 6's "CBS eye" logo. Here is the full KVOO-TV coverage chart (444 KB) from which this logo was taken.

From KVOO 1954 promotional literature, courtesy of Lee Thomas Reeder

Newscenter 2See a late 70s KTEW Newscenter 2 opening with Dean Lewis and Gary Reaves (courtesy of Chris Sloan).

Reporter Gary Reaves (now senior reporter at WFAA in Dallas) was an acquaintance of mine from the Cross Center dorm at OU in the early 70s.

Here is Dean in an outtake of Weird Al's "UHF".

See a KJRH Channel 2 "Hello Tulsa" promo formerly
at The '80s TV Theme SuperSite (it's now defunct).

Channel 2 Hello, Tulsa promo This promo featured Billy Parker, then-mayor Jim Inhofe, Charlie Mitchell, and Jim Economou of Coney Island. Can you believe that anyone could have been less than thrilled about the "Hello" package?

(from Guestbook 85) Jim Reid said:

I work in promotions at KDFW. When I started here in '84, the promotion manager called me in to listen to the new music package he had just picked up. I was appalled to find out it was the Hello package.

This was years after KJRH had burned it into my brain and made it the longest year and a half in my life. We're not known for staying with slogans or packages very long here.

I did do a series of 3 second IDs where I would go set a camera up at known landmarks and have average citizens (or celebs if I could get them) saying "Hello Mesquite, Plano, Waco", etc. I also spent an afternoon at Arlington Stadium getting Texas Rangers players to do these. While we were doing them, the new owner came by and asked if he could do an id. So we got George W. Bush saying "Hello Arlington!"

I need to dig that one out of the archives.

Enjoy this selection of photos from KJRH's archives, kindly provided by Alan Douglas, Production Manager.

If you recognize people in the pictures, or have stories about them, please write your comments in the guestbook or send them to me via email, and I'll will get them out to that page.

Rest your cursor on each thumbnail pic to read the caption.

Architect's sketch of the planned KVOO building

KVOO building final drawing

Early news set with Bill Blair, George Martin and Len Morton

Who is this kiddie show star?

General election 1964 with Mike Miller

On the roof

KELi satellite building, just before the IPE is built

1960s TV 2 News set

David Hall for Governor

1950s master control room

Tape operator in action


Len Morton, Judy Pryor and Charles Thompson

View from Channel 2 after the 1974 tornado

Buster Keaton

Election set

Chet Huntley

Boris Karloff

Don't pull that lever!

Caption said 'Center - Bill Mitchell'

Ha, ha, great one, boss!

Constuction of KVOO building

The final form of the KVOO building

Jonathan Winters on Phillips 66 closed circuit

More Jonathan Winters

George Gobel

Joe Krieger

Models on Phillips 66 closed circuit

Jerry Webber, Jack Morris and Frank Lilly

(from Guestbook 31) Noel Confer said:

...the original staff at KVOO-TV were announcers:

Howard Bogarte (I visited with him in Salt Lake a few years ago.
Ken McClure (went back to Dallas as a DJ),
Joe Pierce, I hear he's still in Tulsa. I'd love to find him.
I went from a short time in film/camera to announcer.
Sam Snyder, farm, Jim Warren Sports and Bill Hyden weather.

Bogarte went into news and I became chief announcer (now there's an empty title.) Some of the KVOO radio announcers, my boyhood heroes, came over to do part time booth work. I was their 23 yr old supervisor. I couldn't stop calling them "Mister".

Directors were Ellison Stambaugh who went on to directing for Gene Autry's station in Hollywood, Fred Koma, prev. w/KOTV, and Ray Klinge. On the floor crew was the late Verdell Sexton, Ed Rickey, recently retired as director on ABC (Los Angeles). The kid's show host was Uncle Hiram, Hiram Higsby.

1st telethon in Tulsa:

1st telethon in Tulsa

(Front row, seated, L to R)

Bill ???, photographer (???)
Ray Klinge, director (advertising/production, Tulsa)
Noel Confer, announcer (40 yrs in SoCal, radio/TV, retired in Tulsa)
Bill Borthick, camera (teacher, Palm Springs)
Ed Rickey, camera (director, KABC, L.A., retired)
Bill Sadler, program director (deceased)

(Back row, L to R)

Gene Taylor, camera (worked at ad agency in CA, still in CA)
Ellison Stambaugh, director (Channel 5, L.A., deceased)
Verdell Sexton, camera (KTUL director, deceased)
Tad Allen, film (pilot, sales, deceased)
Fred Koma (sp?), director (OKC, retired)
???, floor crew
Art Scott, floor crew (barber, L.A.)
Roy Dieterlin, camera (???)

KVOO-TV had a 50th anniversary reunion on 7/31/2004.


The KVOO page is from the engineering magazine "Electronics", August 1940. The scan is from a microfilm printout so the quality is not so good. The article mentions experiments at KVOO with a 100 watt transmitter and an Iconoscope camera. They were using 441 line scan which was state of the art in 1940. The TV standard was changed to 525 line after WW2.

George Lemaster

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