Compiled and edited by Bill Harms - updated 3 June 2009

The Birth of KNEW

According to FCC records, KNEW started out as KVNI in Couer d'Alene and not in Spokane. For the full story click here.

Bill Wippel's Comments about KNEW

In an email message to Bill Harms dated 3 August 2007, Bill Wippel, who worked part-time at KNEW in the 1950's related the following about the station.

"There are 4 towers to the left and north of the KNEW studios. It was ND during daylight, but D at night. I remember having to make the tower/transmitter switch at nightfall. The pictures of KNEW were taken after their groundbreaking. Their studios were downtown across from Binyon Optometrists. They moved to Moran Prairie in 1954. Paul Crain was the station manager downtown. The station was owned by Berl Hagedone, who also owned the Couer d' Alene Free Press and much of downtown Couer d' Alene. It is now a resort town and his heirs continue to profit from his foresight.

"The new KNEW had a kitchen and was very slick inside. The studio was just adjacent to the transmitter. With Mutual Broadcasting, radio dramas were carried. Ross Woodward was News Director. His son Woody worked for me at KOFE, Pullman. The young man was killed by a drunk driver going the wrong way on I-90 in 1963.

"Spokane Indians baseball out of town games were re-created in the studios. I wound run a continues disc of baseball fan noise underneath the play-by-play announcer (whose face I can remember, but whose name I can't recall). Once in awhile I run the sound of airplane at the same time, and he would comment on it. Train also!"

Bill notes that he was a weekend anchor at KNEW, and during his first year at worked at KNEW's downtown location across from Washington Water Power and Binyon Optometrists. In his second year he worked at the station's Moran Prairie location. He related the following anecdote. "When I got locked out of the station on Moran Prairie one Sunday morning. The winter wind blew the door shut as I was in 2 feet of snow trying to get the Sunday paper. I made it back in through the back door (screen was locked not door) cut my hand punching a hole in the screen. But made it in time for the station break."