Ray Rouse Biography
As Americans listened in to some of the most historical events of the 1980s, Ray Rouse was on the scene capturing the sound.
The Missouri Broadcasters Hall of Fame inducted Rouse Saturday at the organization's annual convention.
His job as an engineer with ABC Radio Network New York took him to the Apollo launches at Cape Canaveral, Fla., and shuttle landings at Edwards Air Force Base and White Sand, NM.
He traveled with many political candidates, including Pres. Ronald Reagan. Rouse was the pool audio for American radio affiliates at the Iron Curtain speech in East Germany. He also covered the royal wedding of Great Britain's Prince Charles and Lady Diana and he was on the ground during the release of the Iran hostages.
Chasing after his life-long ambition to own his own radio station, Rouse and his wife Susan identified California, Mo., as the ideal location.
After several years, Rouse had acquired the FCC licenses, purchased land and built a station. KZMO AM and FM went on the air in July 1984 with a heavy emphasis on news and live broadcasts of local sports events. As competition grew, Rouse eventually sold the FM station, which became KATI-FM 94.3 out of Jefferson City.
The AM station was sold to Jeff Shackleford, who had been the morning announcer, and his wife Rae Ann, who both still operate it as KRLL 1420.
Growing up on a farm near Centralia, Rouse got his start in radio early in high school, working part-time as a DJ at KXEO radio station in Mexico.
After graduating from DeVry Technical Institute, Rouse became an engineer at KOMU-TV and a DJ at KFRU in Columbia.
The next step in his career was as host of "Showtime," a 60-minute daily, live program for kids on KRCG-TV in Jefferson City. Rouse also wrote and performed live commercials.
Then, he was promoted to station manager of KMOS-TV in Sedalia, where he filled other roles including news director and weathercaster.
Several years later, Rouse was recruited to build a new television station in Springfield from the ground up. He did much of the research on staffing and equipment with his wife. And Rouse's experience put him in the role of training most everyone else.
That's when Rouse took the summer job as engineer with ABC Radio New York, which launched his international news and sports coverage.
In 1995, Rouse was hired by the Missouri Broadcasters Association in a pilot position to inspect stations for technical and paperwork compliance. Today, all states have such a program in place.
Involved in his community, Rouse served as chairman of the Missouri State Emergency Communications Committee for 18 years.
Rouse also has been a reserve deputy for the Moniteau County Sheriff's Department since 1985. And he has been on the Capital Region Medical Center Board of Directors since 1986.