Ray Richard Rouse
November 26, 1936 - December 21, 2013
Ray Richard Rouse, 76, of California, MO passed away Saturday, December 21, 2013 at California Care Center in California MO.
He was born November 26, 1936 in Boone County to Floyd Rouse and Ruby Jewell (Mills). He grew up on a farm near Centralia, MO.
He developed an interest in electronics and broadcasting at an early age. During his junior and senior years in high school at Centralia he joined the FFA ‘s radio show and also worked part time as a DJ at radio station KXEO in Mexico. After graduation from DeVry Technical Institute he worked as an engineer at KOMU-TV, and a DJ at KFRU in Columbia.
His career took a change in the 60’s when KRCG-TV, Jefferson City gave him the opportunity to become the host of “Showtime”, a 60 minute daily live program for kids. That was a real thrill with live entertainment, cartoons and kids appearing on the program. Other duties at KRCG-TV included writing commercials and doing live commercials such as those in “Lee Mace’s Ozark Opry” which was also a live show at that time because video tape was not available in those early days of TV.
He was married July 30, 1966 to Susan Louise Kingsnorth in Greenwich, CT. who survives of the home.
KRCG-TV also owned KMOS-TV 6 in Sedalia. It was also a CBS affiliate and rebroadcast “Showtime” and other channel 13 shows but produced its own news, weather and sports. As Station Manager of KMOS-TV which included various duties including News Director he often did both news and weather using a map board on which we had to draw all the weather symbols and fronts which now is done with computers
Several years later a group of investors without broadcast experience contacted him with an offer to help them build a new TV station Channel 27 in Springfield, MO. He became its first program director but also filled in with news weather and engineering when needed.
He decided to apply for a job as an engineer at the ABC Radio Network in New York to fill in for others during the vacation season. During the 14 years at ABC, union rules prohibited announcers and newscasters from operating any equipment so this farm boy from Missouri traveled all over the U.S. and to several foreign countries to cover many news and sports events.
The most fun at ABC was working at all of the Apollo launches in Florida and Space Shuttle landings in California. When politicians started campaigning for President, it was constant travel with them and working at their conventions and inaugurations in Washington. He traveled with President Reagan several times before and after he was elected.
He was assigned to many foreign remotes including the Royal Wedding of Charles & Diana and the Berlin, Germany Iron Curtain speech “Tear down this Wall”
He went to many of the Monday night ABC football games to record radio shows for Frank Gifford and Howard Cosell and feed them back to New York for broadcast the following morning.
For awhile ABC Radio and ESPN broadcast all of the short lived United States Football games and he engineered those radio broadcasts of many of those games.
His lifelong ambition was to own his own radio station so he decided to take another giant step. After a lot of research he decided to return to Missouri.
He decided California was the ideal location for a radio station. At that time there were few radio stations in the area. It took several years to obtain the licenses from the FCC, purchase land and build the station. KZMO AM and FM went on he air in July, 1984 serving “The Heart of Missouri” with heavy emphasis on news and live broadcasts of sports events of several schools in the area. KZMO did well in ratings in Columbia and Jefferson City although he only programmed to Moniteau and adjacent counties. Eventually the FCC changed rules and more stations started popping up increasing the competition for KZMO.
KZMO-FM was granted a license to increase power to 50,000 watts and he decided to accept an offer to sell it to a group that moved it to Jefferson City. It is now KATI-FM, 94.3.
Jeff Shackleford was the morning announcer all the time he owned KZMO so he sold the AM to Jeff and his wife Rae Ann who still operate it. They changed the call letters to KRLL, 1420 on the dial. A radio station is more important to a small town that many people realize so he felt this was a wise decision to keep a radio station here.
Ray was always an active member or officer in many local and state organizations. For 18 years he served as the Chairman of the Missouri State Emergency Communications Committee until he retired from this FEMA appointment.
About 1995 the FCC and Missouri Broadcasters Association developed a pilot program to promote better compliance by broadcasters with FCC regulations. The FCC trained him to inspect radio and TV stations in the entire state to inspect the stations for both technical and paperwork for possible “violations”. The MBA hired him as the first person in the U.S. to do this. Now all states have this program in place.
He was a reserve deputy for the Moniteau County Sheriff’s Department since 1985. He also served on the Board of Directors of Capital Region Hospital since 1986.
He was also actively worked with the Chamber of Commerce, California Progress Inc., California Library, & the Fink Theater.
He was honored to be indoctrinated into the Missouri Broadcasters Hall of Fame at their Annual Convention at Lodge of the 4 Seasons in Lake Ozark on June 1, 2013.
There are no services scheduled at this time. Arrangements are under the direction of Bowlin-Cantriel Funeral Services, California, MO.
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