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KPRC Radio Promotional Film (1958)


Sound | 1958

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  •  Exploring Houston’s downtown and industrial areas 
  •  The historic Shamrock Hilton Hotel. The Shamrock opened on March 17, 1949. Publicized as “Houston’s biggest party,” the grand opening attracted some 2,000 Houstonians and 150 Hollywood celebrities, including Ginger Rogers, Hedda Hopper, and Errol Flynn. Hilton purchased the hotel in 1955, operating it as the Shamrock Hilton until 1985, when it donated the building to the Texas Medical Center. Demolished in 1987, the site is now the home of the Institute of Biosciences and Technology.  
  •  Houston Ship Channel 
  •  San Jacinto Monument 
  •  Residential neighborhoods, churches, and schools 
  •  The Texas Medical Center, a 2.1-square-mile medical district 
  •  Sam Houston Monument at Hermann Park 
  •  Houston Zoo 
  •  Sam Houston Coliseum and Music Hall. The indoor arena opened in November 1937, hosting a variety of musical performances, sports games, and major events over the next six decades. The building was demolished in 1998. The site was then redeveloped into the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in 2003.  
  •  The Alley Theatre, the oldest professional company in Texas and the third-oldest residential theatre in the country 
  •  The Houston Post organization, home of the Post newspaper, KPRC Radio, and KPRC-TV 
  •  Post President Oveta Culp Hobby  
  •  KPRC-TV. Signing on the air on January 1, 1949, KPRC-TV is the oldest television station in Houston and the second-oldest station in the state.  
  •  KPRC Radio 
  •  Ray Miller checks the news wires 
  •  News Director Pat Flaherty 
  •  Farm Director George Roesner and Farm Editor Buck Buchanan  
  •  Sports Director Bruce Layer and commentator Carl Mann 
  •  Tim Nolan and Bob Bryon. The morning duo were on the airwaves for over a decade. 
  •  Radio personality “Pancho,” as portrayed by Lee Norton, demonstrating racist stereotypes about Mexican-American culture prevalent at the time 
  •  The voices of KPRC Radio 
  •  Merchandising and Program Promotion Department, including Manager Kirt Harriss, Director of Promotion Bette Haynesworth, and Director of Publicity Edna Forrester 
  •  Corporate, regional, and local advertisers 
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  • Oveta Culp Hobby Oveta Culp Hobby
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To market KPRC radio to potential advertisers, this 1958 promotional film highlights the station’s positive role within the Houston community. The film first shows off much of what makes the “Golden Gulf Coast” special, praising the Bayou City’s industrial strengths, residential neighborhoods, and cultural attractions. It then introduces The Houston Post organization, owner of the Post newspaper as well as KPRC radio and KPRC-TV. Following a brief review of the company’s newspaper and television operations, the film turns its full attention to the radio station. Presentations of various on-air personnel illustrate how listeners incorporate KPRC radio programming into their lives. The film concludes with a closer look at the station’s merchandising and program promotion department, listing the numerous companies already advertising on KPRC airwaves.
Oveta Culp was born in Killeen, Texas, on January 19, 1905. The daughter of a lawyer and state legislator, she took an early interest in government, serving as legislative parliamentarian for the Texas House of Representatives and assistant to the Houston city attorney. On February 23, 1931, Culp married former Texas governor William P. Hobby—27 years her senior. The couple had two children: William P. Hobby Jr. and Jessica Hobby Catto. 
Following her marriage, Culp—now Hobby—joined her husband on the editorial staff of The Houston Post. The family owned the newspaper from 1924 to 1983, with Hobby serving first as assistant editor and executive vice president, then as president, and ultimately publisher and co-owner. 
During World War II, Hobby directly assisted the War Department in organizing ways for women to serve. After briefly leading the Women’s Interest Section, War Department Bureau of Public Relations, she commanded the newly formed Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (later the Women’s Army Corps). As director, Hobby became the first woman to ever wear a colonel’s uniform in the US Army. She received the Distinguished Service Medal in January 1945. 
Upon her return to Houston, Hobby resumed her duties at the Houston Post organization, which then also included radio station KPRC. The Hobbys soon expanded their broadcast holdings to television, purchasing KPRC-TV in 1950. 
During the 1952 election, Hobby became a key figure in the Democrats for Eisenhower movement. Upon his inauguration, President Dwight Eisenhower named her head of the Federal Security Agency. Months later, he appointed Hobby as US Secretary of the newly created Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. (The agency is now known as the Department of Health and Human Services.) Upon her resignation in 1955, she once again resumed her role at the Post. 
Hobby took over leadership of the organization upon the death of her husband in 1964. In 1968, she was named to the board of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting. Following the sale of the Houston Post in 1983, the family reorganized their broadcast holdings as H&C Communications. The paper was ultimately absorbed into The Houston Chronicle, printing its last publication on April 18, 1995. KPRC was sold to the Washington Post Company in 1994. The AM radio station is now owned by iHeartMedia. The television station is owned by the Graham Media Group. 
Throughout her lifetime, Hobby served on countless local boards and national committees, including the Advisory Committee for Economic Development, the President's Commission on Employment of the Physically Handicapped, the Committee for the White House Conference on Education, the Board of Directors of the Houston Symphony Society, and the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television. She received numerous honorary degrees and was named to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. The library at Central Texas College in her hometown of Killeen is named in her honor. 
Hobby died in Houston on August 16, 1995. 
Newsman Ray Miller (1919 - 2008) began his broadcasting career in 1938 in his home town of Fort Worth. He relocated to Houston soon thereafter, where he joined KPRC Radio. When KPRC purchased Houston’s first television station in 1951, Miller adopted the burgeoning medium, eventually winning a Peabody Award. In 1969, Miller created The Eyes of Texas, a regional television series examining all things Texas. On the air for 30 years, the series became Houston’s longest-running local television program. Miller retired in 1979, serving as news director at both KPRC Radio and KPRC-TV for over 40 years. During his decades-long tenure at KPRC, Miller mentored a number of journalists, including Dan Rather and former US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. 
After retiring from television production, Miller became a local historian, writing several books and travel guides about historic attractions in Houston and Galveston. He also worked with the Harris County Historical Commission to secure markers for numerous sites. 
Harris County
Galveston County
Texas City
Jefferson County
Port Arthur
Brazoria County
Orange County
El Campo
Wharton County
television news
tv news
news report
news footage
KPRC Radio
promotional film
downtown Houston
Shamrock Hilton
Shamrock Hilton Hotel
energy industry
oil industry
natural gas industry
natural gas
oil refinery
Port of Houston
Houston Ship Channel
chemical plant
San Jacinto Monument
Texas Medical Center
Hermann Park
Houston Zoo
golf course
Sam Houston Coliseum and Music Hall
Sam Houston Coliseum
Alley Theatre
Alley Theater
Metropolitan Theater
movie theater
movie theatre
movie palace
Galveston Island
Houston Post
The Houston Post
news media
Oveta Culp Hobby
Hobby, Oveta Culp
news floor
television studio
television production
local television
television camera
television station
radio station
radio transmitter
Tim Nolan
Nolan, Tim
Bob Bryon
Bryon, Bob
radio host
Pat Flaherty
Plaherty, Pat
George Roesner
Roesner, George
Buck Buchanan
Buchanan, Buck
Bruce Layer
Layer, Bruce
Carl Mann
Mann, Carl
Ray Miller
Miller, Ray
Tom Fox
Fox, Tom
Walt Jefferson
Jefferson, Walt
Ken Fairchild
Fairchild, Ken
Lee Norton
Norton, Lee
Jim Scott
Scott, Jim
Dick Eason
Eason, Dick
merchandising and program promotion
Kirt Harriss
Harriss, Kirt
Bette Haynesworth
Haynesworth, Bette
Edna Forrester
Forrester, Edna
radio sales
corporate advertiser