Porter Randall & The Texas State Network

By Ken Foote | CBSDFW.com
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(Image: ENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/GettyImages)

(Image: ENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/GettyImages)

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - This morning while minding my own business, I received a call from one of our CBS Radio DFW colleagues whose job is to facilitate news coverage and feeds for the Texas State Network (TSN), and sure enough it jarred a memory for me.

TSN is the oldest and largest state radio network in the country with 138 affiliates in Texas. Founded in 1938, the Network provides its stations with hourly news, weather, sports, agribusiness news, The Neil Sperry Show, and fishing and outdoor programming. In addition to its traditional business of network radio, it also provides its stations and listeners content and information designed for a digital world. 50,000 watt KRLD Newsradio 1080 in Dallas/Fort Worth is the flagship station of TSN.

As a kid growing up in the DFW area during the 60’s, I listened to KFJZ-AM 1270 as they played top 40 music (the station is now KFLC and is owned by Univision with 50,000 watts daytime and 5,000 watts nighttime). KFJZ originated TSN from their studios on the west side of Fort Worth off of Interstate 30 and Hulen Street. At 12NN, the station aired a 15 minute TSN newscast with Porter Randall. Randall came from the same generation as Walter Cronkite, Eddie Barker, Bob Gooding, Bill Ceverha, Bob Huffington, and Gordon McLendon. He had this beautiful baritone voice and spoke deliberately with great authority and precision. His pace was almost identical to the one Cronkite used.

The greatest story about him came from former KTVT Programming Manager Clem Candelaria. Back then KFJZ-AM, KFJZ-FM (which later became KEGL-FM) and KTVT-TV were in that same west Fort Worth building. So one day Porter is late getting to his studio on time. Not sure why, but he’s literally running down the hallway to get there. The announcer comes on the air saying, “And now, Porter Randall with the news” seconds before Porter arrives. But when he did arrive and start the newscast, you would have thought that he’d been sitting there for a long time! No shortness of breath, nothing! Just the true professional he was!

What a radio legend he was! See you next time.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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