Chet Murphy (1926-2003)
Chet Murphy’s career in communication began with a job as Vice President of Consolidated Cable Television in Wenatchee, Washington in 1953 to 1957. He brought the company from 11 connections to where a national cable company bought out the Wenatchee cable system. Chet went to work for KXLY TV as a Sales Representative in Spokane WA.
In the spring of 1959 Chet and three other partners started KYSS-AM 910 1KW. This was a daytime station coming into a market with three full time stations. The station signed on June 27, 1959 with KYSS lips on the sidewalks, every parking meter covered with bags announcing the new station and free parking for the day. Technical difficulties took the station off the air within two hours. The engineers from the competing stations came and helped get the station back on the air, as the KYSS engineer had gone home to sleep after being up all night and neglected to tell anyone where he was.
By 1960 the other three partners had sold to the Murphy’s and it was all theirs. They took Jim Goodrich in as a working partner and the partnership continued till the sale of the station.
On May 11, 1969 KYSS brought the first FM Station to Missoula with the tower located on the top of the Florence Hotel. The tower was later moved to the mountain above Snowbowl. Over the years the KYSS News Department won many awards, including two Associated Press National Awards, the Intermountain Network Silver Anniversary News award and many yearly Regional Associated Press Awards.
Through the management of Chet Murphy the station was active in the community. There were many promotions including the KYSS Fan Club which held dances for teenagers, the Saturday movies at the Fox Theatre, Birthday cakes for advertisers on KYSS”s birthday, Christmas Parties for all advertisers and local city and county agencies.
The Murphy’s sold the station to Intermountain Network in 1979 and Chet retired from management in 1980.