Sunday, 4 May 2014

Salemaker and Son

It wasn’t uncommon for a radio station in the late ‘40s or early ‘50s to have a cartoon mascot to be used in advertising. Some are very attractive and well designed; for example, the Walt Disney studio was contracted to come up with “King Mike” for KING radio in Seattle.

KRSC radio in Seattle had a cartoon mascot for a while. Two of them, in fact. Seattle is on Puget Sound, so someone felt a sailor character would be appropriate. And the homonyms “sail” and “sale” work well in advertising. So the original character, dating to 1952 at the latest, was “Salemaker.” The attribute of strength can be woven into ad copy easily. But perhaps the station felt a cuter character would sell better, so the unknown artist came up with “Salemaker, Junior.”

Below are four drawings clipped from trade ads.

KRSC wasn’t a large station and had an unfortunate position (1150) on the dial. It was a 1,000 watter next to 50,000 watt, clear-channel KSL in Salt Lake City (1160), and not far from 10,000 watt, clear-channel CKWX (1130) some 140 miles to the north (which had a cartoon mascot with a microphone as a head). It was sold and became KAYO and is still on the air under another name. KRSC also manage to beat the big radio stations and was granted the first TV license in Seattle, which it later sold to KING. It seems King Mike was stronger than brawny Sailmaker.

1 comment:

  1. My town's first TV station had one as well that focused on the station's slogan of having been a pioneering station in the area.