KTRB Historic News Clippings

Historic News Clippings of KTRB

Radio Station Will
Open Here Sunday

Radio station KTRB of Modesto, owned by William Bates and T. R. McTammany, will be opened officially Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock. The  station will operate on a carrier frequency of 740 kilocycles. The new station, located next to the Sylvan Clubhouse on McHenry Avenue, is of 250 watts. C. E. Peack will be the assistant technician and announcer.  Bates is the  chief technician and Mc Tammany program director and business  manager. Homer Fair has been named musical director and Arthur Bessinger manager.

May 26-27, 1934


Control Of Radio Station Is
Argued In Superior Court

Testimony showing a conflict as to who was in control of a Modesto radio station was given Tuesday In the superior court trial of a suit involving William Bates and T. R. McTammany, owners.  Bates originally sued for an accounting, of the profits, and then Mc Tammany countered with an action to dissolve partnership, which the former is opposing. 

Judge L. J. Maddux took the suit under submission after testimony was concluded. The only issues to be decided are whether the partnership will be dissolved, and the amount of interest of each litigant in the business. Briefs will be filed. Testimony concerning conflicts between both McTammany and Bates over questions of management, time for studio programs etc also was given. Attorney Leslie A.  Cleary represents Bates and Thomas C. Boone is counsel for McTammany.


Gene Autry Interested

PUMPING GASOLINE  is a difficult business In Modesto, and last week’s hike in wholesale prices by some of the major oil companies is hardly making life on the Islands any easier. Dealers are bound by iron-clad contracts to buy their gasoline from the parent corporation whose flag they fly, and the bitter pill, says one operator, Is that major stations pay more for gasoline at wholesale than the cut-rate stations charge at retail.

“This often is one and the same gasoline,” he added. “We are forced to pay 28.5 cents a gallon for regular grade, while a cut-rate station down the street is retailing regular at 27.9 cents a gallon.” “ON TOP OF THIS, the major oil companies charge us 2.25 to 2.5 cents a gallon for rent, bringing our wholesale costs to about 31 cents a gallon. This means we have to 2.5 cents a gallon for rent, bringing our wholesale costs to about 31 cents a gallon. This means we have to charge 10 cents a gallon more than the discounters, and no amount of service we can provide is worth that much.” 

“In fact, I happen to know a major oil company Is supplying gasoline to one of the local cut-rate stations, and sometimes it is exactly the same grade I am pumping and probably even comes out of the same lot,” he said. “This is a very upsetting and frustrating situation,” he continued, adding it is time for an industry wide congressional probe into the practices of the big oil firms. He says franchise operators are prevented from buying gasoline from any source other than the parent company. The same is true of spark plugs, oil, filters and other items, any of which he claims can be purchased at local discount stores at prices less than he is forced to pay at wholesale.

“I’m wishing Ralph Nader would take a look into this mess,” lie said.  SOME SAN FRANCISCO area disc jockeys and newspaper columnists seemingly never tire of poking fun at Modesto, making it the butt of endless jokes and portraying its residents as a fabulous collection of bumpkins. Or “hayshakers,” as one columnist insists on labeling us. However, being a hayshaker is not all that bad, as the columnist has pointed out in attacking San Francisco’s public utilities department for its Tuolumne River water agreements with the Modesto and Turlock Irrigation Districts.

According to his version, San Francisco officials went up to Modesto many years back to work out agreements with the irrigation districts to obtain drinking water for the city without interfering with the districts’ prior rights. The San Franciscans went home victorious but minus wallets, watches, fobs, spectacles and even their fountain pens used for signing the agreements.

The story, of course, points out the writer’s realization that Modesto and Turlock area residents are sharp, intelligent people. And of late some well-known personalities have been taking a careful, calculating look at the community. They include, to name a few, Gene Autry, Art Linkletter and Johnny Carson. Why? They are among the several who have expressed an Interest in buying radio station KTRB, which manager Dick Brown says is not for sale but might be soon.


KTRB Transfer Is
Given Approval 

The Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D. C., this week announced approval the transfer of the license KTRB, Modesto radio station from the joint ownership of William H. Bates, Jr. and T. R, McTammany to a corporation in which Bates owns the bulk of the stock.  The new owner of the station is the KTRB Broadcasting Company, articles of incorporation  for which filed in Sacramento  with  the Secretary of State earlier this year. 

The articles reveal the corporation has 5,000 shares of stock with a par value of $10 each.  Bates  holds 4,996 shares, while Leslie A. Cleary, Cecil Lynch and Frank C. Damrell of Modesto and William H. Bates, Sr. of Delhi hold one each. The five men constitute the board of directors of the corporation. The transaction involved the sale of  McTammany’s half interest in the station.  Bates is presently waiting a decision  from the communications commission or an application to increase the station’s power from 250 to 1,000 watts and to permit limited nigh time  operation. 



Deceased.  To the creditors  of and all persons having claim  Against  the decedent, to file them  within four  (4) months after the  first publication of this notice, with  the necessary vouchers, at the office  of the Clerk of the above Court, at  Modesto, California, or to present  said claims with the necessary vouchers  within four (4) months  after the first publication of this  notice to the executor of the Estate  of WILLIAM H. BATES, JR.. also  known as BILL BATES, also known  as WILLIAM BATES, deceased, at  the offices of the Crocker-Citizens  National Bank,  Sacramento Trust  Office 400 Capitol Mall,  Sacramento  California 95808, the same being  the place which said executor has  selected for the transaction of the  business of said estate.    Dated this 2nd day of May, 1969 

J. FRANK FRAIN, JR.  Assistant Trust Officer
  Executor of said Estate.
Attorneys at Law, 
Crocker Citizens Bank Building, 
Modesto, California. 
Telephone: 523-0759. 
Attorneys for Executor. 
May 7, 14, 21, 28, 1969.

May 28, 1969

NEWSPAPER NOTICE PURSUANT TO FCC RULE 1.584  Pursuant to the provisions of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, notice is hereby given that KTRB Broadcasting Company Inc.. of Modesto, California, licensee of AM broadcast station KTRB and PM broadcast station KTRB-FM, Modesto, California, is required file with the FCC, no later than  September 2, 1971. applications for renewal of its licenses to operate Station KTRB on 860 kc and Station KTRB-FM on 104.1 mc,

Officers, directors, and those holding  10%   or more of the stock are Hilda Higbee. President and Treasurer; Allan Thomas. Vice President; Arthur R. Friedman, Secretary; Carmelita Lochbaum ; John Williams and Crocker National Bank, Executor of the Estate of William H. Bates, Jr. Members of the pubic who desire to bring to the Commission’s attention facts concerning the operation of the stations should write to the FCC. Washington. D.C. 20554, not later than October 2, 1971.

Letters should set out in detail the specific  facts which the writer wishes the Commission to consider in  passing on the application.  Copies of the license renewal  and  related material will upon filing with the Commission, be available for public inspection at Station KTRB Norwegian Avenue, Modesto, CA Between 9 AM and 5 PM  9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. August 17, 19, 24,  26, 1971. 

August 24, 1971

Suits Discloses DisputeBetween radio operators

  A dispute between William H. Bates. Jr., and T. R. McTammany, ‘regard to affairs of their radio  station KTRB was disclosed  Friday with the filing of two suits in the Superior court. In one of the suits. Bates asks the court to award him a one half interest in the radio station and its assets. In the other action, also … filed by Bates against McTamanny… an accounting from October 1, 1934, to this date, is asked. 

It is alleged that since a partner- ship account was started a year ago there has accumulated $7.539.89 in a checking account, and that Bates has asked that some of it be used to pay off the indebtedness but McTammany has refused to do After the accounting, Bates asks the court to divide moneys on hand equally. The other suit Is more In the nature of a quiet title action, with Bates asking for a decree giving him one half Interest in all holdings and debarring anyone else from claiming his share. Attorney Leslie A. Cleary represent Bates. 


McTammany Loses
In Retrial Ef f o r t  

Superior Judge B. C. Hawkins has denied a motion for a- new trial, sought by T. R. McTammany In a suit involving ownership of a radio station KTRB. Former Judge L. J. Maddux recently held the station was owned equally by William Bates and Mc- Tammany, and they were entitled to the profits on hand to be divided on a 50-50 basis.  Bill Bates prior to building KTRB Modesto in 1934 owned and operated a radio repair shop in the Covell building in downtown Modesto from 1925 to the fall of 1928.


Waterford Landowners Oppose Radio Tower Proposal 

WATERFORD – All appears peaceful and serene looking out from the hilltop home of the Sherwood Leasks toward a 3,000-to 4,000-foot Dry Creek Valley below, where cattle raze contentedly and sandy loam soil produces an abundance of grapes and orchard crops. But some 40 landowners are bestirring the silence, voicing loud concern over what they feel is an intrusion of commercialism and a threat to the beauty of their valley nestled between the rolling foothills.

The threat they fear is the proposed installation of four 300-foot radio towers, each with blinking lights, by Modesto radio station KTRB. It is the plan of the station’s owners,  Big Valley Broadcasting Co., to raise the radio station’s signal strength to 50,000 watts, broadcasting on both the AM and FM dials, the latter over KHOP. They would be among the most powerful stations in the nations.

“It is visual pollution . . . in the heart of prime agricultural land . . . why not have billboards, too,” disgustedly declares William R. Jones, a Leask neighbor whose 230 acres of vineyards produces alicante bouchet grapes for the Canadian market. The vineyard he has tended there for 18 years was planted 50 years ago. He is among the 40 landowners preparing to lead a fight before the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors at 10:30 a.m. March 23, when the supervisors will hold a hearing on Big Valley’s plea for a permit to install the towers and a building on about 60 acres of land in the valley off Timbell Road. 

Landowners already have lost one round in the fight. The County Planning Commission voted 4-2 Feb. 19 to allow the development, sending the last hope of the valley’s residents to the county supervisors. Leask said he first learned of KTRB’s plans about a month before the Planning Commission’s hearing, not allowing sufficient time to muster objections. Now retired, Leask once ran a dairy on 650 acres of valley land in his family 56 years. He and his wife moved uphill to their hilltop home 23 years ago.

“We cut off the top of the hill and built us a home here … we intend to stay,” said Mrs. Leask. They and other landowners object to what they call “visual pollution they feel the big towers will bring. They also say it is commercialism. The latter objection they base on the Williamson Act – property owners have their land included in agricultural preserve agreements. They say that under the Williamson Act, farmland is supposed to be preserved also for social and esthetic values — and they say such commercial radio towers do not meet the exception stated in the law providing for “facilities for public utilities and communication towers.” “My interpretation of this wording is  “public communication towers  said Jones.   He holds that a communication tower is two-way, the type used by public agencies for talking back and forth on radio, as compared with broadcasting, which is one way.

Jones also voices strong objection to the towers from another standpoint. He said his vineyards can only be sprayed by crop dusters from a north south direction. If the towers are erected, he said, it will make aerial spraying hazardous from those directions and force east-west spraying — which is not feasible because of wind.


Back to Top