KTRB had a rather unique way of covering news and feature stories with mobile radios installed in 8 employee' automobiles. These mobiles were used almost daily in various on the scene reports and on the spot news coverage such as automobile accidents, train and airplane accidents, fires, etc. Due to this on the spot mobile coverage, KTRB's news and public service programming was second to none.
The mobile units were also used in many other ways at KTRB. For example, Mr. Bill Bates, owner-manager of KTRB was the Civil Defense communications officer for Stanislaus County with Cal Purviance, KTRB Program Director as his assistant with KTRB as the primary Conelrad station for this area on 640 Kcs. As an added assist to the CD coordinator KTRB's mobile frequency, 1622 Kcs, was covered in the CD communications plan where these mobiles were ready to be sent to any area.
In addition the mobile units were covered in the Conelrad use as emergency communications with a monitor at Modesto's alternate Conelrad station. Also, KTRB's mobiles proved to be very effective during two floods that occurred in the area.
Information supplied by KTRB's mobiles was used by the Civil Defense authority to evaluate the extent of water coverage, speed of water spread, highway information, and evacuation procedures such as routes available etc. The information was relayed and broadcast on KTRB in an effort to keep the people informed.
KTRB's mobile units were used to report on elections. The method employed made the rather dull statistics of reporting results more exciting and let the listener get a glimpse of behind-the-scenes operation of the radio station.
The method used was for each Mobile to be assigned to a group of precincts... and each time the mobile calls in and goes on the air direct from the vicinity of the precinct being reported giving the various election data and the location so the listener interested in his own polling location would see how the tally went.
On election nights KTRB had a staff of approximately 14 working. KTRB used this method of election coverage for a number of years on every type of election, big or small, and in most instances had complete and final unofficial tallies before the count was completed at the local Stanislaus county courthouse.
A local public interest feature called "Meet the Candidate". This was an unsponsored program usually emanating from one of Modesto's local meeting halls and organized by the Modesto League of Women Voters. All local candidates were invited to attend and give their views, with a question and answer session following. The program, which usually lasted about two hours, was broadcast live on KTRB.
KTRB was commended many times for our various public service coverage of the news and other community events.