Wednesday, June 04, 2014
There in Corvallis he was an announcer, newscaster and sports commentator. He stayed on for three years , before joining KOIN-AM in 1928. Somehow he became program director a year later. But he's still a minor character at this point in radio history. he had a nice baritone voice, but for most he was just a local announcer. that changed in 1932.
That year Kirkham took over the host chair on the afternoon program "Newspaper of The Air." It was a two hour program which mixed light commentary with news reports. This was a role more akin to the modern "news personality. Within the year he launched a morning news program with much less news and a lot more personality "This And That" debuted in October of 1932. The program was a mish-mosh of commentary, music, news, humor, chit-chat and bad poetry. It popular enough to have a book in 1939. In 1933 he joined the real newscast of KOIN. Both programs continued for decades.
As KOIN grew and added television Kirkham's management repertoire expanded into a VP role and in sixties he finally dialed it back and started to take time off. In March of 1962 he took a leave of absence and did mostly fill-in work. He left his full-time on-air positions. Art Kirkham died in 1981, he was 84.