Remembering One Of Our Own: James Birney Blair - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Remembering One Of Our Own: James Birney Blair

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash.- James Birney Blair died Saturday, June 15 at the age of 92. He is remembered as a reporter, salesmen, station manager, and broadcasting pioneer. Blair was instrumental in shaping KHQ as the first general manager in 1952 and later as the president.

Blair was born in 1921 and grew up in Spokane. He studied radio at North Central High School and worked his way through college at a locally owned radio station called KUJ in Walla Walla. Like many young men at the time he entered the military in 1942. As a member of the Army Air Corps he served with the Eagle Squadron of the Royal Air Force in England.

When he returned to the United States he was commissioned in Sioux City, Iowa and met someone very special…his future wife Marcy. While still stationed in Sioux City, Blair attended Morning Side to complete his degree.

After leaving active duty Blair came home to Spokane to work as a reporter for KHQ. He later joined the station’s sales department. Blair’s broadcast career was interrupted when he was recalled to serve in the Air Force as a combat intelligence officer in Korea. It was there he was awarded the bronze star.

Blair returned to KHQ in 1951 and soon became the station’s sales manager. In 1970 Blair became president and general manager at the station.

Blair blazed new paths and was highly involved with the community at his time at KHQ. He served two terms as president and chairman for the board of Washington State Association of Broadcasting, headed the legislative committee, and was named broadcaster of the year.

This story was written by KHQ Intern Erin O'Shaughnessy.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Barista-stand owner faces prostitution charge

    Barista-stand owner faces prostitution charge

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:10 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:10:27 GMT
    EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - Authorities say the owner of bikini coffee stands in Washington state banked more than $2 million in just three years because her baristas were also selling sex acts. Snohomish County prosecutors charged 52-year-old former nude dancer Carmela Panico with promoting prostitution and money laundering, alleging that she was the madam of drive-thru brothels throughout the county north of Seattle.>>
    EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - Authorities say the owner of bikini coffee stands in Washington state banked more than $2 million in just three years because her baristas were also selling sex acts. Snohomish County prosecutors charged 52-year-old former nude dancer Carmela Panico with promoting prostitution and money laundering, alleging that she was the madam of drive-thru brothels throughout the county north of Seattle.
    >>
  • Throwback Thursday! Look At 'Sunshine Shelly' Through The Years!

    Throwback Thursday! Look At 'Sunshine Shelly' Through The Years!

    Thursday, March 20 2014 1:04 PM EDT2014-03-20 17:04:11 GMT
    KHQ.COM - It's throwback Thursday! Here is a slideshow we would like to share of Shelly Monahan through the years! For those of you who have been in Spokane for many years, and saw her through her "Sunshine Shelly" days, you will probably remember the Shelly from back in those days. Enjoy!>>
    KHQ.COM - It's throwback Thursday! Here is a slideshow we would like to share of Shelly Monahan through the years! For those of you who have been in Spokane for many years, and saw her through her "Sunshine Shelly" days, you will probably remember the Shelly from back in those days. Enjoy!>>
  • Joan Rivers' daughter: 'Keeping our fingers crossed'

    Joan Rivers' daughter: 'Keeping our fingers crossed'

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:33 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:33:34 GMT
    KHQ.COM - The Today Show has reported that Joan Rivers is now on life support. River's went into cardiac arrest at a New York doctor's office while she underwent a "minor throat surgery" on Thursday. Melissa Rivers said in a statement Sunday that "we are keeping our fingers crossed." She's thanking people for expressing their support.

    >>
    KHQ.COM - The Today Show has reported that Joan Rivers is now on life support. River's went into cardiac arrest at a New York doctor's office while she underwent a "minor throat surgery" on Thursday. Melissa Rivers said in a statement Sunday that "we are keeping our fingers crossed." She's thanking people for expressing their support.

    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Wildfire Victim Searches For Strength To Rebuild

    Wildfire Victim Searches For Strength To Rebuild

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:28 AM EDT2014-09-02 04:28:11 GMT
    ALTA LAKE, Wash. - "John Neuneker Sr. built almost everything on his property with his own two hands, including the home in which he and his wife Laurie raised their four children.“It was a family thing,” Neuneker told KHQ. “Not just my wife. My kids, all of us chipped in. We built the whole thing ourselves.” Their log cabin was one of many things Neuneker lost in the Carlton Complex Fire.>>
    ALTA LAKE, Wash. - "John Neuneker Sr. built almost everything on his property with his own two hands, including the home in which he and his wife Laurie raised their four children.“It was a family thing,” Neuneker told KHQ. “Not just my wife. My kids, all of us chipped in. We built the whole thing ourselves.” Their log cabin was one of many things Neuneker lost in the Carlton Complex Fire.>>
  • Body camera pilot program begins

    Body camera pilot program begins

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:23 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:23:48 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Police Department will equip some officers with body cameras Monday, after Police Chief Frank Straub fast tracked pilot program. The Spokesman-Review reports 17 officers will receive the cameras designed to promote accountability and transparency within the police force. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Police Department will equip some officers with body cameras Monday, after Police Chief Frank Straub fast tracked pilot program. The Spokesman-Review reports 17 officers will receive the cameras designed to promote accountability and transparency within the police force. >>
  • Displaced Alta Lake family still searching for home

    Displaced Alta Lake family still searching for home

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:39 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:39:10 GMT
    The Gray family never felt squeezed into their 4 bedroom, two-story home Alta Lake home. It comfortably housed the parents and their six kids. Sadly, when their rental burned down, this family was left searching for a next step.>>
    The Gray family never felt squeezed into their 4 bedroom, two-story home Alta Lake home. It comfortably housed the parents and their six kids. Sadly, when their rental burned down, this family was left searching for a next step.>>