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KIDK marks 60 years

By Morgan Mathis
Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:19:32 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 24 2013 03:15:22 PM CST

Sixty years ago, KID-TV went on air. We have seen a lot of changes since then.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

KIDK turned 60 years old Monday.

It was a major milestone when Channel 3 went on the air as the first TV station in eastern Idaho. Back then, the station was KID-TV.

Six decades later, the old building is still there, as is the old newsroom.

Gary Smith, the chief engineer for KIDK, reminisced in his old office. He started 40 years ago and remembers it well.

"In my time, we've gone from shooting film to shooting on a memory card now for our news footage," said Smith."So that's a big change. There was a lot of videotape, different videotape formats in between film and now, 2-inch, 3/4th-inch, 1-inch videotape machines. There's been a big change in the type of equipment, size of equipment has reduced drastically."

Things are a little bigger now, and technology plays a bigger role.

"You know the one thing I remember most compared to now is how difficult it was to put a newscast on the air," said forecaster Steve Cannon, who was also with KIDK for its 25th anniversary. "When I first started, everything was 16mm film, not tape. There was no digital editing. All the film had to be edited by hand, not to mention that it had to be processed before it could be edited. All the soundbites had to be done on a separate film. And the weathercast -- oh my goodness. All the weather was done on a quarter-inch plexiglass-covered map with water soluble markers. So when you did the weather, you erased it with a wet paper towel and then put everything back up. And you had four maps instead of what we have now, (which is) 25 or 30 per newscast."

The broadcast is still beamed into your home every night from our transmitter atop the East Butte in the Arco Desert.

Many people have come and gone through the doors of KIDK, many of whom you never saw on camera. But of those you have, Todd Kunz is the most recent to sit in the KIDK anchor chair.

"I am often fascinated by the early days of radio and television and really get intrigued by the things that went on in those early days to get to where we are now," said Kunz. "And if I think about the fact that (inventor and television pioneer) Philo Farnsworth was in the studio on 17th Street in the old Channel 3 building, and when you just really think about that for a moment, it just blows my mind. So I'm just really happy to be a part of the history at KIDK."

Channel 3 began in 1953 as KID-TV and later added the extra "K" because of KID-Radio. The TV and radio stations separated in 1984.

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