Buzz Barr – The Complete Broadcaster by Ron DeHart

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BUZZ BARR
By Ron DeHart
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Sunday November 22nd, 2015

One of the most familiar and influential voices during Puget Sound’s formative radio years was Buzz Barr. He parlayed an hourly pay DJ job (in 1958) to eventually became a respected broadcast executive. Barr was, in fact, three times a radio general manager, a broadcast President and part station owner, and finally owner/operator of his own advertising agency. As a jock his soft, warm and velvety style captured legions of faithful listeners. Perhaps more import was his ability to successfully program contemporary hit/pop music radio, which he demonstrated several times during his 50-year career. In 1965, he led KOL in a major challenge that nearly corralled KJR. Then in the early ’70s he programmed KING AM from doldrums to delights in a vaunted KJR sweepstakes run. (See “Big 11 KING – Rise and Shortfall of a Great Sound” ) He not only made high marks at KOL and KING, but Portland powerhouse rocker KISN, where, for a short while, he was also PD.

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