The second annual study of radio audience in Modesto and Turlock has been completed by the Modesto Junior College radio workshop, and results have been sent to broadcasters by the survey director, Edward L. Mc Clarty. A total of 7,229 calls was made over a two week period in Modesto and 1,425 were made during one week in Turlock. All calls were made between 6 and 10 PM Monday through Friday. In Modesto, 4,655 calls were completed, of whom 2,077 said they were listening to the radio In Turlock, 867 calls were completed, of whom 398 were tune in.
Television Queries For the first time questions on television were asked In both cities, and McClarty said the findings were significant. During the survey, 5.6 percent of those called in Modesto said they owned TV sets. As high as 94 per cent of the TV owners were watching their sets on one night . The low for viewers was 46 per cent. McClarty compared this to radio listenership, which showed a high of 52 percent sets in use and a low of 39 per cent. He said the survey showed that only four radio stations serving Modesto had higher weekly audiences than combined TV stations Expected Changes
There were some expected changes in audience from last year, McClarty said, due to television, a new station in Modesto and changes in programming by major networks, but the same general pattern was observed. One thing the survey confirmed was that programming is the greatest Influence on dialing stations, and the audience will change stations to listen to programs they choose. McClarty said this was true In television, too, but reception here was as Important a factor. Increase In FM Receivers The survey disclosed 17 per cent Increase In FM receivers Last year 25.8 per cent said they had FM. 30.2. this year.
There were about 30 students who participated In the studies. They were given training in the technique and theory of radio audience measurement and will be able to apply their findings to their own station's programming, McClarty said. Students averaged 37 calls per half hour interviewing period. McClarty said students credited much of the success of their study to the assistance given them by telephone company personnel.
Call Letters Are Given for
Modesto's New Station
Call letters of Modesto's newest AM radio station are KBOX. They were assigned the Stanislaus County Broadcasters by the Federal Communications Com- mission. John Boyer, director of public relations for KBOX, said the station is scheduled to be on the air around June 1st.
Construction of a downtown studio, on Tenth near O Street, will start in a few days. It will be of modern architecture. Off street parking areas will be provided. Transmitter site of KBOX is on the Sylvan Road. There will be three transmitter towers. The station's signal will come in on 970 on the standard radio dials. Boyer said all necessary equipment and materials have been acquired.
Bill Bates prior to building KTRB Modesto owned and operated a radio repair shop in the Covell building in downtown Modesto from 1925 to 1928 . This ad appeared on Nov. 21, 1926.
October 3, 1942
Modesto had several "air conditioned" movie theaters in the 40's and 50's including the Princess. (June 19, 1945.)
Modesto soon will have a new standard radio station in operation. The Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC announced today it has given final construction grant to Stanislaus County Broadcasters, Inc. The FCC's grant affirms findings of the hearing examiner's decision of September 28th, 1950. The owners, all Modestans, are Assemblyman Ralph M. Brown, Harold Bowen, Cecil Lynch and his father, G. A. Lynch. The station will operate at 970 kilocycles, one kilowatt, unlimited time. Its call letters have not yet been assigned.
The owners said much of the equipment already has been purchased. They plan to have the station on the air in two or three months. The transmitter site towers, etc., have been obtained. Downtown Studios Main studios will be downtown. Several locations and under consideration. Company spokesmen said plans call for complete entertainment, news, sports and special events coverage in the Stanislaus district Cecil Lynch, long connected with the radio industry, is expected to be in the managerial capacity. When it goes on the air it will fourth Modesto radio station in Stanislaus County.
Station In SF Is
San Francisco Nov. 11, 1948
The first television station in
Northern California, station KPIX
will begin transmitting commercial
broadcasts from the top of the
Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco
about the middle of December.
Philip G. Lasky, vice president
and general manager of the station,
said the station, owned by
Associated Broadcasters, will be a
sister to radio station KSFO and
will start testing operations on its
assigned channel 5 late this
month. The KPIX antenna, five tons or
steel, was constructed after being
hoisted up the outside of the Mark
Hopkins piece by piece. KPIX will
be the first station in the area west
of Salt Lake City between Los Angeles
County Hospital Radio Station Is Dedicated
Bed ridden patients of the Stanislaus County Hospital now officially have their own private radio station KSCH. program of instrumental vocal music Saturday was part dedicatory proceeding in which local civic and religious leaders participated. The program heard in the hospital through loudspeakers placed throughout the wards. Ceremony In Held The dedication ceremony staged in the court between Unit 1 and 2, in the rear of the hospital. The invocation was given Rev. William R. Baird. 'H. V. Maloney hospital administrator, introduced representatives of fraternal and religious organizations.
The benediction was given by Rev. John C. Mills. Floyd Allen, on behalf of hospital staff, presented the recently acquired public address system to Leo Hammett, chairman the county board of supervisors. The system was acquired through proceeds of a dance sponsored the Stanislaus County Hospital Patients Entertainment Committee and through public contributions. Daily hospital wide entertainment over the station is planned, Combining live talent and radio shows. All wards have been wired and earphones soon are to be installed.
New KXOB Owner Will Push For Stockton TV
STOCKTON—The new owner of radio station KXOB here, Joseph E. Gamble of Palm Springs, will push the station's application for a Stockton television license. The station applied in the middle of 1952 for a very high frequency station on channel 13. Other applicants were KGDM and Radio Diablo. Gamble's purchase must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission. Gamble purchased KXOB From Clem J. Randau, who did not announce his future plans.
The Modesto Drive-In was located on the eastside of McHenry Ave. just south of Claratina / Pelendale intersection.
Downey HS Students Will Push ‘On The Air’ button tomorrow
The final tests have been made, the transmitter is operating properly and the broadcasters have their scripts ready. Radio station KDHS at Downey High School, will go on the air for the first time at 9 a.m. to- morrow. One of the few high school radio stations the country, KDHS, 90.5 on the radio dial, will feature campus news, Downey High School sports, features, much much more music without Commercials according to its promotional brochure. Regular broadcasting will, be 2:30 to 7 pm Monday through Friday, but the first' three days will be a 12 hour operation, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to introduce the station to students.
KDHS is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission and will be, governed by of Education policy and the student dent council. It will have a transmission range of from 3 to 10 miles, depending on the receiver, covering a general area bounded by Riverbank Road to the north Wellsford Road to the east, Carpenter Road to the west, and Whitmore Avenue on the south. Cost of the station is about $2,500 per year.
The student council will pay all costs of equipment purchase, installation and operation. Members of the staff are Gary Copeland, station manager; Vicki McGhee, program director; Jeff Cree, chief engineer. Joanne Stotts, news director; Monroe McBride, traffic manager; Jeff Landon, sports director; Forest Carmichael music director and Jelyn Gaskell, council representative. The station, originally was scheduled to begin operating last spring but was delayed because of technical difficulties.
September 4, 1969
KBEE Will Start Broadcasts
Of Reds Games Tomorrow
Necessary facilities for broadcasting all games played this season by the Modesto Reds have been installed by KBEE, the Bee's new frequency modulation radio station. The out of town games will be carried either direct or by recreation. Lee Kelter, an experienced baseball announcer who has had wide experience in the Northwest, has been engaged to voice the home games and will handle the recreations on Reds' games played In other cities.
Until Kelter arrives In Modesto, Bert Barry of the KFBK staff In Sacramento will broadcast the Reds' first three home games, April 27th, 28th and 28th and will do the-Modesto-San Jose series in San Jose on remote April 30th, May 1st and 2nd, Kelter will be on hand for the Reds-Stockton Ports series opening May 4th.
Museum Ed note: Are your old enough to remember the days when some baseball games, especially out-of-town games, were RECREATED in local radio station studios? Baseball fans who grew up listening to games on the radio may be familiar with the term RECREATED or RECREATION. In recreating a game in studio a printed account of a game would be received by Western Union teletype and turned into a play-by-play description of the action at the ballpark. The entire game would take place in the broadcasting studio. The teletype machine feed would be activated shortly before game time, bringing information about starting lineups, umpires, and weather conditions.
To listeners, the games seemed much the same with only a critical ear noticing vague differences in background sounds. To the broadcaster, however, they were the contrast between the breezes of the ballpark and the confinement of a studio and the challenge of the recreator to describe it. In order to make the listeners feel more at home stations would provide recorded crowd noise in the background. A small wooden mallet striking a suspended baseball in the studio would simulate the sound of the ball striking the bat at the game among other sound effects.
Broadcasting Home Represents
Last Word In Acoustical Engineering
KWG, the McClatchy Broadcasting Company's radio station in Stockton and the second oldest station on the Pacific Coast, goes on the air Monday from new and modern metropolitan studios on top of the Wolf Hotel in the San Joaquin County city. Boasting of a long record of public service KWG will dedicate their new home simultaneously with its switch over to the National Broadcasting Company network and its affiliation with the newly formed California Radio System.
The Last Word
The new Stockton studios represent the last word in acoustical engineering and design occupying the major part of the area on the roof of the hotel which once was devoted to a roof garden. There are two studios, the largest being for broadcasts by orchestral groups. Between the studios is a control room, so arranged that the operator can monitor programs from either room,
One Side Of Glass
One side of the large studio is composed entirely of glass over which hang full length drapes. A lobby opening off the elevator provides additional spaces for visitors desirous of watching the actual broadcast of programs. The studios are decorated tastefully in soft tones, one being done in a light green with a border of 1 inch darker green and the other studio being finished in cream with hangings of chocolate brown.
The acoustical treatment is outstanding. Four inches of loose rock wool was laid behind perforated acoustical board. The floors are padded with special acoustical padding, over which has been placed a rubber composition flooring, designed to deaden sound. Complete new speech input equipment has beer. Installed, giving KWG the finest modern system science can provide.
Long Service Record
KWG has a long record of public service in Stockton and has been leader in public activities since its inception. Broadcasting facilities have been offered by the station to educational, fraternal and social groups, and these organizations now will have available the new facilities of KWG. The studios were designed especially for use as a meeting place for these groups.
Modestan Buys Sonora
Radio Station KROG
McClatchy Newspapers Service
SONORA — After almost a quarter of a century in radio work where there "was no time for religion," Kenneth Randolph, owner of the Sonora station KROG, has turned his energies to religious work. Randolph made public the sale of his station, located on a hill east of Sonora, yesterday.
The new owner is Brewster E. Ferrel, 1216 Sunrise Avenue, Modesto. He has no radio experience, Randolph explained, but will operate the station through a "well trained staff."
Axis Sally Is
Given Prison Sentence
WASHINGTON - Mildred E. (Axis Sally) Gillars today was sentenced to 10 to 30 years in prison for treason. Federal Judge Edward M. Curran also fined her $10,000. Loss of citizenship is automatic on conviction of treason. Miss Gillars, 48 year old Maine born woman, was convicted March 10th. Sentence was delayed until her attorneys could argue motions for a new trial. Just before passing sentence, Judge Curran denied these motions.
Miss Gillars was convicted of eight alleged treasonable acts on which the government offered evidence. The government charged the broadcasts were beamed to Americans at home and abroad as part of Nazi propaganda and as an instrument of psychological warfare.
March 25, 1949
Modestans Plan Radio
Station In Fresno
John H. Schacht and John E. Griffin of Modesto yesterday applied to the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC for a license to operate a 250 watt, 1340 kilocycles, unlimited time radio station in Fresno. Schacht is general manager and owner of 50 per cent of KMOD in Modesto and Griffin owns 25 per cent interest in the local station. They would be joint owners of the proposed Fresno station. The license application was made in the name of the Griffin-Schacht Broadcasting Company. Schacht said the proposed station would be operated as in independent Programming would feature news, music and sports and special coverage of local events.
Radio Stations Outfox
'Enemy’ Aircraft Attack
By Henry Logeman
ABOARD PLANE "ATTACKING" NEW YORK —UP — The nation's radio stations outfoxed the "enemy" today in a test of a new emergency broadcasting system for civilian defense. The pilot of this air force C47 plane bearing down on a mock target in the New York area could not obtain a bearing on a single radio 'station to plot his position although 11 transmitters were pouring signals into the air. The C47 was taking part in the first nationwide test of CONELRAD, the new system to provide civilians with radio information in case of air attack while at the same time denying enemy planes, a navigational "fix" or chance to "home" in on radio transmitters.
Throughout the nation in the early-hours today scores of pilots, hundreds of civilian defense workers and some 1,250 radio stations joined in staging the test. The pilots will submit their findings to the Federal Communications Commission in Washington for a full evaluation of the test.
If what happened aboard this plane flying over Long Island was repeated around the country, the unique defense plan can be relied upon to fool the enemy. Instruments which ordinarily would allow an air navigator to "home" on a target by following the-broadcast signals of radio stations failed to be of help when the C47 made a 76 minute flight around Long Island.
A switch from one transmitting station to another, so-swift that a home listener tuned to the frequency could detect no interruption in the common program being broadcast by all the stations foiled the plane's radio direction finder.
Four Earlier Tests
CONELRAD, which stands for control of electro-magnetic radiation, was originated by the FCC and has been given four previous tests on a regional scale since June, 1951, according to Joseph Eichel, FCC supervisor and liaison representative for the 26th air division of the Eastern Air Defense Force. Aboard the test plane the commander, Captain John W Wilkin of Tuolumne County, Calif. showed newsmen the result on the plane's radio direction finder. With the radio tuned to one of the CONELRAD frequencies 640 or 1240 kilocycles, the direction needle jumped constantly back and forth as each station went on and off the air.
93 California Stations
Join In Nationwide Test
SACRAMENTO— AP — Ninety three California radio .stations left their regular channels from 130 to 430 AM today and switched to other points on the dial to broadcast civil defense information. That is what they would do in the event of an enemy air attack so as not to give directional help to enemy airplane
Sepetember 16, 1953
Amateur Radio Station
Activation of amateur radio station W6CJB on the Modesto Junior College was announced by Roy Long, president of the campus radio club. Earlier this week authorization for an Amateur station License was received from the Federal Communications Commission. The club transmitter, obtained from war surplus has a power 200 watts. The station is licensed under the name of Sydney Voight, club advisor.
Modesto Bee Radio
Plan Of McClatchy
The McClatchy Broadcasting Company today filed with the Federal Communications Commission an application for a license to operate a radio station in Modesto. McClatchy Broadcasting owned by McClatchy Newspapers, which publishes The Modesto Bee, now operates stations In Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield and Reno. This new station will be known as The Modesto Bee radio station.
The application Is for a 250 watt regular standard box broadcast station with a frequency of 1600 kilocycles. With the filing of the application It was announced the Federal Communications Commission, for the period of the war at least, was only granting licenses for stations with power of 250 watts or less, but that if this application Is granted,, it is the intention of the McClatchy Broadcasting Company improve these facilities as much as possible after the war.
The site for the transmitter and studios have not been selected, but this action will be taken as soon as the application is granted.
Plan For FM Station
The McClatchy Broadcasting also plans to apply for an FM (frequency modulation) station for Modesto as soon as the necessary data can be prepared. The Federal Communications Commission, however, is not granting FM licenses, but it is desirable to file this application in order that actual construction can begin as soon after the war as possible. Fine Service Promised Eleanor McClatchy.. president of the company announced it Is the same fine radio service which is presently being rendered to other communities served and particularly in those communities where a radio station is operated with a newspaper, such as in Fresno and Sacramento. Miss McClatchy said.
Turlock High School receives
nod on FM radio station
TURLOCK - The Federal Communications Commission yesterday issued Turlock High School a construction permit for a noncommercial educational FM radio station operating on 90.9 MHz. School officials said a portion of a classroom in the speech building is being remodeled to house the station.
They said they must obtain an FCC broadcasting permit after the broadcasting facility has been completed and approved. The station will be manned by students, tentatively from 3 to 10 p.m. weekdays, with music, sports, news and special events programming. School officials hope the station will be ready to begin broadcasting when the spring semester begins in February.
THS will start broadcasting
KBDG-FM, a student operated 10-watt radio station, will commence broadcasting Monday for the first time on a regular basis as part of a Regional Occupational Program communications course at Turlock High School. The school obtained its broadcasting permit and identification letters — an abbreviated form of Bulldogs, the school's nickname — earlier this year from the Federal Communications Commission. It will be noncommercial.
Listeners will find the station at 90.9 on the FM dial within a radius of 12 miles from the campus broadcasting tower. Initial programming will consist of contemporary music and news of campus activities between 2 and 5 p.m. weekdays. In addition, the station will air "Bulldog" sports news at 4 p.m. daily and provide play-by-play coverage of frosh football games with future plans for on-the-spot coverage of junior varsity football and varsity basketball games, according to program officials.
KCEY, a local commercial radio station, will continue to broadcast evening varsity football games. Coordinator Jud Shelton said students preparing to obtain their third class radio operators' permits will be able to run the station under the supervision of course instructor Jack Heald and senior Mark Douglas, both licensed by the FCC.
Heald, who has 20 years experience in broadcasting, has a first class operators permit, while Douglas, who serves as general manager of the station, recently obtained a third class permit. Shelton said as more students become licensed the station will expand its hours of operation from three hours to eight hours a day on a Monday through Friday schedule. Four students have applications pending for third class operator's permits with the FCC, Shelton pointed out.
There currently are two adults and 27 high school students enrolled in the communications program, which concentrates primarily on equipping them with job-entry skills in the areas of station management, electronics, engineering, production an sales.
A major aspect of the new station is its ability to provide exposure to professional radio production through practical application. The students are required to attend regular classroom instruction, applying what they have learned to the actual production of radio programming, Shelton noted. He said students completing the course should be able to obtain third class operator's licenses, a prerequisite in most cases to landing jobs in the field. Several licensed volunteers from the community have been enlisted by the school district to serve with Heald as advisors for the student station.
Patterson Is Picked
For FM Station (KOSO-FM)
Within a few months this city may be the home of a maximum power frequency modulation stereo radio station. Robert B. Cooper, Jr., of Modesto, one of four investors in the Sierra Pacific Radio Corporation, last night told the city council of plans to construct a 70,000 watt transmitter on nearby Mt. Oso.
Cooper said the FM signal would be sent from a downtown studio here to the transmitter, which would blanket a 200 mile segment of the San Joaquin Valley from its 3,100 foot elevation. Cooper appeared with John J. Markovich and Attorney Ronald L. LaForce, both also of Modesto, to request use of the city owned Plaza Building as a broadcasting studio and office.
The other investor is is Gary Dean Suggs of Phoenix, Ariz. Cooper said the propose transmitter nine miles north west of here would be capable of serving the area between Fresno and Sacramento with background type music, news and some advertising. He emphasized the pro ramming would be in an adult format with no rock and roll type music and a limited amount of commercials.
News would include area as well a world coverage via Associate Press Audio News Service. He said the station would broadcast 18 hours a day at the start and 24 hours as soon possible, all in stereo multiplex. A staff of nine to 12 persons would be employed and Suggs would be the station manager and program director. He is a former Modesto radio station employee who now manages station KXIV in Phoenix.
Cooper said the firm has applied for a Federal Communications Commission permit to build its Mt. Oso equipment and approval is expected within 90 days. He said it would take another 30 to 45 days to construct and equip the studio.
MRM Editor's Note- The station referred to in this article would eventually become KOSO at 93.1 MHz)
Pastor Complains Against
Not So Heavenly Music (KHOM-FM TURLOCK)
McClatchv Newspaper Service
TURLOCK—City planners were faced with an unusual complaint yesterday; a local pastor declared music from on high, so to speak, interferes with his sermons. Actually, the music is not from very high — only 100 feet. But the Rev. Robert Carrington of Bethel Temple does not want it to get any higher.
His problem is that radio station KHOM's 100 foot tall transmission tower on Lander Avenue is located behind his church. Unwelcome Background As a result, he said, the station's signal is so strong the church's loudspeaker system picks it up and often provides some unwelcome background music during his sermons.
Occasioning Harrington's appearance before the planning commission was an application from the radio station to double the tower's height. Declaring the church has been put to considerable effort to minimize the problem, Carrington asked planners to stipulate that the station should be responsible for any further interference resulting from the increase in height.
An engineer who accompanied the pastor told the Turlock Planning Commission the higher tower would emit more "splatter radiation" which would again affect the church loudspeakers. He said the federal communications commission has control over radio interference with another radio station, but has no control over interference with private sound equipment.
However, the commission ruled it is not legally entitled to hold KHOM responsible for such interference, and that this is a matter for "private agreement or the courts". The planners granted the station's application to increase the radio tower height, subject to review after one year. The application still must be approved by the FCC and several other agencies before the tower can be built.
Spanish FM station
will begin broadcast (KITA-FM)
The Modesto area's first Spanish-language stereo radio station, KITA-FM, will begin broadcasting about Oct. 1, 1975 the station owners report. The federal license for the new FM stereo station was granted earlier this year to KITA Broadcasting Corp., owned by Robert and Jane Fenton and Adelita Morales. Fenton, president of the corporation, also is president of Killibro Broadcasting Corp., which owns station KFIV in Modesto.
Mrs. Morales, who will be manager, said the station will have a news and music, format with Mexican and Latin music. Religious programming is planned after 9 p.m. except on Saturdays. Broadcasting at 3.000 watts. KITA-FM will operate 18 hours a day, serving most of Stanislaus County and parts of San Joaquin and Merced Counties.
The station will be at 102.3 on the FM dial. Mrs. Morales will work as one of five announcers on the station. Local, state and national news will be broadcast at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. daily by David Santillan. The radio station offices are located in a mobile home adjacent to the KFIV station on East Orangeburg Avenue.
Angeleno Buys Station
KFIV For $475,000
The sale of radio station KFIV to Robert Fenton of Los Angeles for $475,000 was announced today by Theodore J. Wolf and Judd Sturtevant of Modesto and A. J Krisik of Sacramento. Transfer of the station will take place as soon as permission is obtained from the Federal Communications Commission. Fenton will move to Modesto shortly with his wife and children.
Regarding future plans for KFIV, Fenton who has been in the radio business or many years, said: "KFIV has a superb record of serving this community and no changes in either staff or programming are contemplated." Sturdevant will remain as general manager while he, Wolf and Krisik will continue to own and operate stations in Sacramento, San Francisco, Klamath Falls, Ore., and Honolulu.
Fenton, who was with a major station In New York before moving to Los Angeles, is president of the Kilibro Broadcasting Corp. Other officers and directors are Jane Fenton Arnold Fenton.
KGSS tests the airways
If you flip the FM radio dial over to 91.9 late this week and hear a piping 4-year-old voice announce, "This is Radio Station KCSS," you have just been introduced to Melissa Anne Larsen and the new radio station at California State College, Stanislaus. Melissa's dad, Eric, 23, who is student station manager — at $100 a month, doesn't guarantee you will hear Melissa at any old station break, but he plans to use her on some of them. And the station definitely will be air-ready by the end of this week.
Besides Melissa — who plans to spend a lot of time with her single parent dad at the tiny classroom building cubby hole full of electronic equipment shared with the speech department — 20 other students will assist in evening broadcasting. "Broadcasting" may be a bit of a euphemism, since about as broad as a 10-watt transmitter can cast is saturation coverage of Turlock.
The reason behind the 10-watt limitation is that the Federal Communication Commission will allow operation of that small a station by unlicensed personnel. And so far, Eric is the only one of his crew with a third class license. But others will be able to earn their licenses through a three-unit course being conducted in conjunction with operation of the station. He plans programming — 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. weekdays and noon to 2 a.m. on weekends — which will run the gamut from hard rock through classical music and feature live drama, music and sports.
Planned also is a student-faculty "Bitch-in" — a regular campus complaint program. Larsen hopes eventually for a cable company hookup, which will allow live telecasts, using synchronized radio sound. But he is generally happier with radio — and he'd like to own a station one day. "There's really no imagination that goes into TV at the local level," he says. "Television (time) is so expensive, people would rather sponsor something they know (like network reruns) even if its garbage."
A radio voice, familiar to hundreds of listeners in the San Joaquin Valley, returned to the air Tuesday night at 6:30. Nightly until the middle of May, Walter Hattman goes on the air directly over some radio stations and feeds information to other TV and radio stations and newspapers. But his audience has been paying little attention so far, the weather has been too warm But with the first cold snap Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced farmers will listen closely to Hattman's nightly forecasts.
From Many Sites
Based upon the information supplied by Hattman, a meteorologist of the U.S. Weather Bureau, farmers in the three counties can then decide whether go to bed for a good night sleep or set the alarm to light up smudge pots in almond and peach orchards in the middle of the night.
At 4 o'clock every afternoon, a teletype machine in his office at the Agricultural Extension Service in County Center No. 3 in Modesto starts clacking away, giving surface and upper air data from U.S. Weather Bureau observation throughout the U.S., and from stations in Canada and weather observation ships far at sea.
The teletype machine receives information until 6 o'clock.
Meanwhile, Hattman is busy plotting the information on weather map and making his area analysis. At a few minutes past 6 p.m. he is ready to predict the temperatures for the Central Valley broadcasts through Fresno radio and TV stations in the south, Tracy in the west and Stockton in the north. Most stations carry the frost warnings three times nightly. He can tell almond, peach, grape and tomato growers at that hour during the night dangerous temperatures and killing frosts will occur and how long they will last.
Growers then decide whether to fire up the smudge pots to keep the freezing temperatures away from delicate fruit buds. Grape growers, who rarely use heat in their vineyards, may prepare to irrigate. The water will raise the temperature about four degrees, says Hattman which is often enough to prevent heavy damage. Irrigating is of little value in raising the temperature in tree fruit orchards, however.
Tree fruit, unlike grapes, is too high off the ground to benefit from the warmer water.
Hattman said growers often tend to overlook the use of heaters after three or four years of warm winters. But, after three or four years of cold winters every grower keeps his heaters handy." Besides preparing and feeding fruit frost information to radio and TV stations, Hattman maintains thermographs at 26 locations throughout his three-county area. The devices keep accurate records of temperatures 24 hours per day and record the temperatures on a roll of graph paper. "When a grower is having problem and he thinks it is because of cool temperature durations, I can check the nearest thermograph and can tell exactly how many hours the temperature was down to such and such a degree."
Hattman, 50, joined the U.S Weather Bureau 25 years ago after working with weather data aboard Navy ships during World War II. For 20 years, the bureau sent him from Washington, D.C. to Chicago, Il., and various other locations, including Guam and the Marianas Islands outside the U.S. Hattman said he had heard about the bureau's Fruit Frost Service and asked to be asked to be assigned to it. He became a Californian five years ago. But still Hattman and his wife live something of a life which is anything but routine.
During the winter months, he is stationed in San Diego, where he gives frost warnings mainly for citrus and avocado crops during the late winter and spring. About mid-February to mid-May, he comes to Modesto and then he completes the cycle in Sacramento where he makes weather analysis during the forest fire season.
'No Real Home"
"We have no real home,' Hattman said. "We live in apartments at all three locations. Our friends are strung out all over the state. When Hattman and his wife change locations, it is like returning home, he said. "Our friends never seem to have changed much except that we just haven't seen them in a while." "Moving around like we do makes it very difficult to follow hobbies, so I have very few any more," Hattman said. "But the toughest thing about moving is there's always a number of loose ends to tie up at the old location and any number of preliminary things to take care of before opening up shop at the new one," he said. "That always makes for a rough first two or three weeks."
Feb. 25, 1968
Court Upholds Judgment In Fatal Contest
SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) — The California Supreme Court has upheld a $300,000 judgment against a Los Angeles radio station that urged listeners to locate the auto of a disc jockey and receive $25. A motorist was killed during a high-speed chase that reached 80 miles an hour. "The risk of a high-speed automobile chase is the risk of death or serious injury."
Justice Stanley Mosk wrote in the unanimous decision Thursday against station KHJ. "Obviously, neither the entertainment afforded by the contest nor its commercial rewards can justify the creation of such a grave risk."
Two teenagers in search of disc jockey Don Steele Revert smashed into an auto driven by Ronald Weirum. Weirum's family sued the station for causing his "wrongful death." In the 1970 contest, the disc jockey drove around Los Angeles in a red car, broadcasting his whereabouts and urging listeners to find him so they could receive the cash prize.