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Group planning Idaho radio/TV history center

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Posted at 3:09 PM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 18:29:35-04

The History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation, Inc, a local non-profit group, is working on plans to establish a permanent Idaho radio and television museum and education center.

“It has always been our mission to build a permanent and living repository for the preservation of the history of radio and television broadcasting within the State of Idaho,” said HIBF President Art Gregory, a former Boise-area radio station owner and manager. 

The group is trying to raise $30,000 for a down payment to purchase the original KFXD radio studios at 1024 12th Avenue South in Nampa. The studios were built in 1937. 

“The down payment amount also covers the ‘matching funds’ we need to apply for a grant to obtain the remainder of the purchase price,” Gregory said.

Foundation member David Ferdinand has been working with the owner of the building. “The owner wants to sell it to the Foundation and is willing to carry the papers until we can pay it off,” Gregory stated.

The History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation’s Board of Directors –- comprised of Gregory, Frank Aden Jr., and retired Boise radio/KIVI-TV engineer Rockwell Smith –- has voted to make an offer to purchase the building.

“Our plan is to not occupy the building immediately, but to acquire it as an asset of the Foundation. This will serve two purposes: (a) To preserve a historical radio station and make sure it is not sold to a developer, and (b) to eventually occupy the building as a Museum and Education Center for Idaho Broadcasting,” Gregory pointed out.

Organizers say the Center will help bring to the community a broader knowledge of how Idaho broadcasting pioneers impacted communications in the state, as well as providing a training facility for future radio and television broadcasters.

“We realize this is huge undertaking. We have studied how other organizations have successfully done this in Chicago and in the San Francisco Bay Area, and we will model our museum after theirs,” he explained. “Plus, now that we are a tax-exempt charity, we believe the funds are out there to do this, especially though grants and endowments from other nonprofit foundations.”

“Our goal is to celebrate and honor past and present broadcasters from across Idaho,” Gregory said. “We also wish to include every broadcasting station in the state. Our ultimate mission is to stimulate in people of all ages -- especially the young -- a recognition of the practical and real contributions to our quality of life that radio and television broadcasting has provided, and continues to provide, to the people of Idaho.”

(Check out our 14-page photo gallery of Boise radio/TV memories throughout the years!)