Through the 60's KBTX Grows Strong

On May 22,1957 KBTX went on the air for the first time. In celebration of our 50th anniversary, we're taking a look back at KBTX, one decade at a time.

From day one General Manager Harry Gillam began building the character of KBTX. His vision for the station has lasted through the decades.

"He used to tell everyone who started, you watch what you do in this station and out of this station. Because you are a representative of the station everywhere you go," remembers his widow Peggy Gillam.

In the 60's College Station only had 11 thousand residents. Bryan came in with about 27-thousand.
But the little town atmosphere was perfect for still growing KBTX.

"We were so small back then that you knew almost everybody in town and everyone was just wonderful."

"The station was very small not many employees so we knew all of them. It's been interesting to see how KBTX grew," says County Judge Randy Sims, a longtime viewer of KBTX.

Because of Sims role with the Junior Chamber of Commerce and the restaurant community he was called to interview at KBTX throughout the 60's.

"When they called and asked you to interview at KBTX you had to go down a dirt road," says Sims.

The studios were in the same location they are now. But back then, 29th street didn't exist. And the dirt road in front of the station stopped at Carter Creek.

With a small operation comes big responsibilities. Anchor David Haynes, like many others at KBTX, had to me multi-talented.

"He sold in the daytime and did the news at night. Everyone wore 2 or 3 hats. You didn't have a newsroom. If something needed to be done somebody hopped in and did it," says Gillam. That someone was often her husband. Gillam recalls for many years, Harry was also the stations janitor.

In the 1960's KBTX was both ABC and CBS. It carried dual affiliation until the early 80's.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, in 1962 the U.S. Government began regulating cable television. The organization said that move was a reflection of the growth and importance cable television as a result of transmitting television programming. In 1966 these regulations included must carry rules. Those rules required cable operators to carry local broadcast programming.

Interesting Facts About the 1960's

1960: A color tabletop RCA television cost $495.
1961: As MAD Magazine pointed out on its cover for the March issue, this was the first "upside-up" year since 1881. The numerals that form the year look the same as when the numerals are rotated upside down.
1962: The unmanned NASA spacecraft Ranger 4 lands on the moon. It was the first U.S. vehicle to reach the lunar planet.
1963: The Beatles record their first album Please Please Me.
1964: Ed Sullivan was in his 17th year.
1965: United States stops using silver in the coins, except for the Kennedy half dollar.
1966: Tv film How The Grinch Stole Christmas was released.
1967: The inaugural Super Bowl is simulcast on CBS and NBC.
1968: 78 million households in the U.S. own television sets.
1969: The moon landing is viewed in 94% of television homes.

Popular 1960's sitcoms included:
I Dream of Jeanie
The Andy Griffith Show
Gilligans Island