Since their first official television broadcast on September 30, 1953 of the World Series played between the Yankees and Dodgers, KRDO Newschannel 13 has become an organization of firsts in the Pikes Peak region. KRDO began as an AM radio station broadcasting from the Alta Vista Hotel with its radio antenna fixed atop the Marksheffel parking garage. A few years later they purchased a building on 8th Street which included 5 studio sets and a 5-kilowatt transmitter on the roof. In the late 50s, KRDO joined the ABC network and moved their antenna from the parking garage to the top of Cheyenne Mountain.
KRDO is known for its technological advances in newscasting and its commitment to the local community. They were the first to broadcast the USAF Academy graduation, first to have a mobile studio and mobile cameras, first station in Southern Colorado to broadcast in full color, first to broadcast local news in high-definition, and several other firsts in the region. The first live broadcast from the mobile studio was from the top of Pikes Peak. KRDO has won numerous awards since it started broadcasting which shows their devotion to bringing quality news reports to the region.
The “golden age” of pioneering telecasting in Southern Colorado was led by a team of visionaries including Wes Bradley, Jim Cook, Bob Fitzmorris, and Harry Hoth. Hoth in particular, “helped bring television to Colorado Springs.” Hoth encouraged the KRDO-AM radio station to expand into television. It was he who helped in the installation of the antenna on Cheyenne Mountain and tested a relay network signal from Denver, to Castle Rock, to Colorado Springs.
Harry W. Hoth is a distinguished member of the Colorado Springs area serving as city councilman, mayor, on the city’s planning commission, and was a Marine. He was president and general manger of KRDO and the Pikes Peak Broadcasting Company for well over 50 years. Several awards given to him for his outstanding dedication to Southern Colorado include: Broadcaster of the Year (1969 and 1985), Silver Spur Award from the Pikes Peak Range Riders in 1990, Outstanding Support and Fundraising for Ready Military and Veteran Families from the American Legion in 1994, National Award for Outstanding Civilian Service to the Army in 1996, and the Spirit of the Springs Lifetime Achievement Award given to him on his 92nd birthday.
Hoth served on as a member of several boards, committees, and halls of fame. According to an interview, “The name Henry Hoth is synonymous with television in Colorado.” Had it not been for Hoth’s passion and dedication to television broadcasting, KRDO would not have pioneered the way for technological advancement and innovative news reporting that are still being advanced in Southern Colorado.
Generously Submitted by Heather Poll, M.A.