There is hardly a station in Portland, radio or television, that hasn't employed a KBPS graduate. Numerous KBPS grads have gone on to work at stations and broadcast networks across the country and around the world, or put their talents to use elsewhere in the entertainment industry.
Here are just a few…
Joel David Moore
Joel David Moore has appeared in numerous television and movie projects since his graduation from Benson High School in 1995. TV credits include Hawaii Five-O, LAX, CSI, The Guardian, Strong Medicine, Six Feet Under, Angel, Providence, Boomtown, Boston Public, House, Bones and Medium. Movie projects include “Dodgeball” and the James Cameron blockbuster “Avatar” as Avatar pilot Norm Spellman. Moore also starred alongside Katy Perry in her music video for "Waking Up in Vegas"
Joel on his KBPS experience:
"KBPS is the first place I found my voice. I went to Benson at a time where there was no acting program, and I knew I wanted to get into performance in some way. I found that in KBPS radio, where I trained my voice, and was able to be creative putting together shows to host, using different voices, characters, and having fun. The program provides a strong platform for an opportunity to step into the world of performance, from talk shows to Hollywood. Thanks KBPS!!
Bruce Murdock - KBPS 1970
"I had wanted nothing but to be on the radio since I was 8 and I my radio career was over before it began.
I got to the final cut in the 1967 Student Sportscaster Auditions and – didn’t make it. As I was slinking down the stairs – a failure at age 14 – the voice of Station Manager Dr. Patricia Swenson called me back. “We have another opportunity for you” she offered, beginning my time on the student operating staff at KBPS. I was on the staff at KBPS for all four years of high school and stayed on as a paid staff member for a couple of years after that.
The excellent training KBPS offered made it possible for me to get part-time work at several Portland stations and by 1977 I was doing the “Murdock In The Morning” show with John Erickson on 62KGW when I got transferred to Seattle where I stayed for 30 years. K103 brought me back to Portland when Craig Walker retired.
It’s great to be back on the morning radio in my hometown and it’s great to see that KBPS is still training broadcasters at The Voice Of The Portland Public Schools."
Mike Phillips lived and breathed radio. It was his lifelong passion. His involvement as a student staff member of KBPS led him to a very successful career as an air talent, and then a programmer, at some of the country's top radio stations. Everyone who knew Mike Phillips says the same thing: Mike was a great guy! If you worked for Mike in short order he wasn't just the boss, he was a friend. Here's a look at Mike's illustrious career...
Mike started his commercial broadcast career at KISN-Portland in 1960, while still a student at Benson High School. There was already a "Mike" at KISN in PM Drive, so he was "M.J. Phillips" as a part-timer. Later that year Mike was the full-time host of KISN's "Luncheon Munchin'" Noon-3PM show.
Mike left for TOP 40 KAYO in Seattle in '61. He was back at KISN for 3-7pm in the summer 1962. Later that year he went to KJR-Seattle for three years. Next was KNBR-San Francisco in 1965. Mike did mornings at KFRC-San Francisco from 1966 to 1968.
His first job as a program director was at KJR in Seattle in 1968. He then went to WWDJ-Hackensack, NJ and then station WXLO-New York.
Mike Phillips returned to Portland to do afternoon drive at KGW in '74. By 1975, Mike was Program Director and responsible for the highest #1 ratings in KGW history!
After five years as pd and air talent at KGW-Portland, Mike was in San Francisco during most of the 1980s. He worked at KYUU and was VP of programming for the NBC/FM division before moving on to program K101, KFRC and KOIT.
In 1989, after a two-year stint at the Research Group in Seattle, Mike became VP of programming for WTMX-Chicago.
Mike Phillips' greatest success came as a Program Director in the '90's at KRTH in Los Angeles, where he hired two of the country’s best known DJs, Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele.
Mike Phillips retired from KRTH in late 2001. He died of pancreatic cancer October 16, 2006. He was 64.
Dana Jeffries - KBPS Summer Sound News
"I worked 2 high school summers on KBPS’s Summer Sound program as a News Reporter ---really and truly ON the radio---reporting the news, interviewing newsmakers, writing news stories! Where else but KBPS could a group of teenagers, under the guidance of one dedicated teacher, Kevin Flink, work and play at live radio that way? We didn’t mind if we had 4 or 4 thousand listeners---we were in charge of a live daily broadcast!
KBPS Summer Sound allowed me to get behind a microphone and experience what a radio news reporter really does. The colleges I attended later couldn’t even offer that. I chose to intern during college in commercial radio newsrooms just to get the same kind of experience KBPS had offered me in high school! Since I had experienced the deadlines real news reporters were under to get a story on the airwaves, I became a useful intern who was asked to return again and again. Those newsroom connections were so valuable for future job opportunities.
I spent 30 years working and ‘playing’ at radio--grateful for the KBPS Summer Sound experience!"
“I’ve been on the radio in Portland for more than 30 years. Currently I am on the air Noon-6PM at 106.7 The Eagle, a Clear Channel radio station. KBPS was a program I discovered when I was a sophomore at Benson Polytechnic High School. I received a quality college level radio education while still attending high school. KBPS helped me with my public speaking, the technical aspects of radio and allowed me to feel the adrenaline rush of cracking a “LIVE” microphone. Once I went on the air live on KBPS I was hooked. KBPS gave me a sense of direction that usually takes most people years to discover. After my extraordinary education at KBPS they assisted me with job search connections and maintained contact with me over the years almost like a family member. In fact, that is how I see KBPS even now, as family.”
"Although I was only involved in the radio program at KBPS for one school year, I learned a great deal about the broadcast industry in that short amount of time. Being at KBPS gave me my first exposure to “real” broadcast equipment. I learned how to thread a reel-to-reel my first day there. (Of course, we don’t use reels anymore, but my point is, that a very relevant skill – at that time – was taught right from the start). I learned how to properly run a broadcast console, and how to work as a team with my fellow students to put a program together. The instructors know their stuff, and they teach with great patience. Kevin Flink was truly a saint, dealing with us newbies. He made the whole experience very enjoyable. I looked forward to learning something new each day.
My time at KBPS was definitely a catalyst in helping me advance in the radio industry. I have now spent over 25 years working in radio – and all of it right here in Portland, and I’ve loved each and every day of my career!
Thank you, KBPS!"
I started my radio career at KBPS in 1991. I caught the radio bug the previous summer while listening to the station in my basement. I called in a request and as the jock was playing it for me, I realized that that could be me on the radio. I signed up for the program that fall, and the following summer, I was part of the Summer Sound 1991 crew.
In the years to come, my experience at KBPS would prove invaluable to my radio career. When applying for jobs, program directors in Portland ALWAYS knew about the program and the caliber of talent it produced. It is very humbling to be part of the group of alums you see on this website today. I grew up listening to and admiring many of the people you're reading about here.
My career in commercial radio began in the summer of 1995 at KGON in Portland, where I was an intern. I also worked at KZEL in Eugene while attending the University of Oregon. Also during my time at the U of O, I served as production director, and eventually general manager of KWVA-FM, the campus radio station.
After graduation in 1997, I took at job at KEX in the newsroom. I also worked as a jock at K103-FM. Three years later I moved to KPAM 860 where I stayed for eight years, six years of which I served as the managing editor in the newsroom.
And that brings me to where I am now: KOMO Newsradio in Seattle, where I am the morning editor.
Every opportunity I've ever had in this business can be traced back to the time I spent at KBPS. It gave me the foundation on which to build great radio skills, and the drive to go out and succeed in the commercial radio world. It was also one of the funnest chapters of my radio career, and I would encourage ANY student at Benson to check out the program, whether they intend to go into radio or not.
Rick "Bubba" Taylor - at 99.5FM The Wolf - Portland
"I was the kid who was too short for basketball, too slow for football, tempo challenged for band, so KBPS was the only place that would let a kid like me hang out. This was a wonderful experience and it prepared me for an exciting career in broacasting. Besides KBPS, I've worked at 62 KGW, KPAM 97fm, 1190 KEX, KWJJ, KUPL, 106.7 The Eagle and now on 99.5 The Wolf in Portland. It's all about dreams and goals, KBPS helped me identify at a young age what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I reflect back to those wonderful days of sweating uncontrollable as I cracked that mic for the first time on AM-1450 to read my first Public Service Announcement. What an awesome experience, and one I will never forget. Thank you KBPS for helping one little kid with his dream!"
Scott Young - 1973 Scott Young - 2009
KBPS KOIN-TV Operations Technician
"I could never overstate the value of what I learned at KBPS. Without that training I'm sure I wouldn't have the career I enjoy today. I'm so grateful for mentors like Darryl Conser, Kevin Flink, Tom Cauthers, and many others who gave of themselves to make sure I learned it right. We packed a lot of learning in those few years, and had a ton of fun doing it. I wouldn't trade my KBPS memories for anything!" Scott is currently at AM-860, KPAM as a studio operator and a NBA broadcast engineer for Trail Blazer Basketball broadcasts.
Carla Castaño is a three-time Emmy nominated Investigative Reporter. Her investigations have resulted in law changes at the state, county and city levels. Carla has also won several awards for Breaking News, Hard News, Spot News, Continuing Coverage and Team Coverage from the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists as well as Best Reporter while in Austin, Texas.
Formerly on the KOIN 6 Investigative Team Carla is constantly getting results for the community and once she starts digging on a story, she doesn’t stop.
An investigation resulted in tens of thousands of dollars being refunded to several seniors being preyed on by a business. Later, the state deemed the business predatory and the agency launched their own investigation into the company unfairly overcharging the elderly customers for unneeded work.
Carla’s investigation on another story helped restore police service to a rural town.
These are just a few example of the ambitious commitment Carla Castaño has to serving her community through her dedication to reporting.
She graduated from Portland State University with honors and studied abroad at La Universidad de la Habana in Cuba. Carla is a Benson High School graduate and majored in KBPS radio while there. Carla is a big believer KBPS played a critical role in her success in pursuing her dream to becoming an investigative reporter. Carla continues to support KBPS and believes the opportunity it gives students across the Portland-area who are interested in broadcasting is irreplaceable.
KCBY in Coos Bay was Carla’s first paid on-air TV job. She also shot and edited her own stories.
After two years, she moved to Eugene and worked as a reporter at KVAL for the next three years.
In 2007, Carla ventured off to the capital of Texas where she took a reporting position at KXAN. In Austin, she was quickly promoted to the lead crime and courts reporter. At KXAN Carla had the opportunity to cover big national stories including the Fort Hood story, the impact of hurricanes Ike and Gustav as well as the plane attack on an IRS building.
After three years in Austin, Carla was offered a position at KOIN 6 News.
"KBPS is the reason I’m a part of the radio industry today, it’s as simple as that. As a KBPS student I had the opportunity to work and learn in a real professional radio environment and even broadcast live to the city of Portland on AM radio, while still in high school! From the amazing instructors who actually work in the business, to the state of the art equipment at student’s fingertips, KBPS really allows students to become successful in all aspects of radio broadcasting." Formerly the producer for the Thom Hartman national radio show, Jacob is currently a news anchor / news reporter at 101FM KXL.
“KBPS helped me sell my personality. I always loved to talk, but the radio broadcasting program taught me how to sell my voice and give my passions a purpose. I moved into sales and advertising when I realized that my favorite roles at KBPS had been PSA production and advertising reads. I now work in the sales and marketing department at ISITE Design one of the fastest growing agencies in Portland. Without the help of KBPS and Benson High School, I would not be where I am today and where I plan to be in the future.
This program helps you connect with a world of communications and media that most people never get to be a part of and experience. It was a privilege and a joy to work and learn under the KBPS program at BHS. GO TECH!”
Dave Rogoway today
co-owner La Rog Jewelers
"If it was not for my first radio job at KBPS my dream in broadcasting would never have taken place. I signed up to be the Cleveland High dj on Fridays and I remember every minute of those days with my Dad waiting in the car listening to my hour on the air. From there I had the confidence to apply at a few small market stations including KRDR in Gresham and lived my radio dream later on KISN in Portland, WMYQ in Miami and KYA in San Francisco. Thank You KBPS and Dr Swenson for my first training ground in radio.”
Owner Tim Underwood Productions, Bend, OR
"Thinking back on my KBPS experience, I'm still in awe of the foundation that was laid for me - a foundation that fast-tracked my broadcast career and still makes up a large segment of my total knowledge base all these years later.”
After several stints in the Portland market including air personality at KMJK and News Director/morning show host at KGON, Tim relocated to Bend in 1991 and worked on-air another eight years before leaving the broadcast world behind to pursue his first love as a recording engineer/producer.
"I owe a great deal to Kevin Flink, James Boyd, Darryl Conser and Dr. Patricia Swenson, along with many other adult staff who nurtured our learning and gave unselfish amounts of themselves both on and off the clock."
Tim is currently owner of Tim Underwood Productions (aka thewebvoice.com), a recording studio serving local Bend clientele from his downtown location and the rest of the world via the Internet. Specializing in radio commercials and e-Learning, his companies' work can be heard on The Simpsons, Mt. Bachelor radio/TV spots and also in 100's of Flash presentations at microsoft.com.