Ken Aitken December 19, 1917 - January 14, 2009
Ken's Obit is below
Jack Smith, George Tsumey &
Mann Broadcasting Company 1959 to 1989
Farm Workers Union
FWU Had station ransacked and destroyed in
early 90's while operation under an LMA; over
dispute with community leaders.
KTKR operated on 1310 Khz
with a daytime power of 1,000 watts
using a 207 foot diamond shaped
Blaw-Knox look alike tower.
Clifton Leon (Lee) Johnson aka DJ Flash
Rev. Sam White
Sam had a radio ministry for 40 years called
"The Message of Hope Broadcast"
"Morning Man" also the weekend announcer in 1960 and 1961. Now an Attorney.
Herb Spencer tape-delayed remote broadcast
NEW KTKR INFORMATION:
Courtesy of the Mann family
The tower used by KTKR was not a Blaw-Knox. It looked like one; but it was actually made by welding two oilfield lightning rods together at their base. Ken Aitken bought KTKR from Sheldon Anderson, who built Channel 29 in Bakersfield & Channel 27 in Tulare. KWAC in Bakersfield also had a Blaw Knox look alike; as did KCOK in Tulare which used two of them. Although KCOK has since moved their transmitter site, and those two may be gone soon.
KTKR's tower was 207 feet tall, including a 2 foot concrete base and a marble insulator used in cemetery markers. A 1000 watt Collins 20-V3 was installed in 1964; replacing the 500 watt Motorola police transmitter that Ken Aitken put KTKR on the air with in '48.
December 19, 1917 - January 14, 2009
Kenneth Aitken was born in Sisters, Oregon on December 19, 1917. He passed away on January 14, 2009.
After attending schools in Sisters, he attended Benson Polytechnic School in Portland studying electricity and radio. A number of radio broadcasting jobs followed, including announcing on the Mutual Network. A move to Visalia as the program director served as a stepping stone to a 5 year stint at KFRE in Fresno. While at KFRE he joined the Navy in their radio technician program.
About two years after returning he became aware of Taft and the possibility that a station could be established here. On April 16, 1948 the station KTKR began broadcasting. The station enjoyed local and county listener acceptance. That same year he joined the Rotary Club and served as President from 1968 - 1969. He had a perfect attendance record of 58 years. He wrote hundreds of Rotary Club news stories for the Daily Midway Driller. The station was sold in 1959.
Shaler Aitken Communications was established which later became Aitken Communications. This company handled two way radio sales, construction of automation systems for the broadcast industry and oilfield control systems.
Ken served on the board of the Red Cross, president of the Chamber of Commerce and the Kern County Planning Commission for 13 years, to as chairman. He also served on the board of Zoning Adjustment and later as an alternate. In 1950 he married Mildred Bogle, a public health nurse in Bakersfield, who preceded him in death on March 20, 2005. Together they raised two girls who survived him. The oldest, Darlene Raine, lives in Lake Almanor and Karen McGee lives in Modesto. Also surviving his are four grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren. The Aitkens enjoyed traveling in foreign countries. Over the years they visited 40 different ones, from Bali to Egypt.