Monday, January 16, 2017

R.I.P.: Tulsa Radio, TV Personality Bill Hyden

Bill Hyden, a pioneering Tulsa radio and television personality, died last week. He was 93, according to the Tulsa World.

For Tulsans who woke up with Bill Hyden in the 1960s, no two mornings were ever the same.
“It was so zany. It really brought out his childlike side,” said Hyden’s daughter, Becky Hyden, recalling KOTV’s “Sun Up” variety show, which her father hosted from 1960 to ‘64.

Bill Hyden
One show would find him donning makeup with a clown, another doing floor exercises with Jack LaLanne.

A familiar face to Tulsans in the 1950s and ’60s, Hyden enjoyed on-air roles with KOTV and what is now KJRH, and for years was a popular emcee at pageants and events.

Hyden’s media career began in radio.

At the University of Tulsa, he was an original announcer with TU-based KWGS, the state’s first FM radio station. He would go on to announce for KRMG, KVOO and radio stations in Oklahoma City and Muskogee.

Expanding into the new medium of television, Hyden became the first weatherman on KVOO-TV (now KJRH) in 1954 when the station first went on the air. He held that position for several years.
After a couple of years in New York City, Hyden returned to Tulsa to become host of “Sun Up,” and he would later anchor the station’s 10 p.m. news.

In 1971, he launched KTBA-FM in Broken Arrow and was manager and part owner.

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