County mourns Radio personality
Houston County Courier - January 2008
By Daphne Hereford
Houston County citizens learned early Tuesday morning, Jan. 8 of the death of well-known radio personality Jim Gibbs.
Gibbs celebrated his 79th birthday on Thursday, Jan. 3 and passed away in a Tyler hospital.
Gibbs owned and operated Radio Station KIVY in Crockett for 52 years. He sold the station to Leon Hunt in 2002.
Houston County Judge Lonnie Hunt signed a directive asking that flags be flown at half-staff Friday-Sunday, Jan. 11-13 in memory of Gibbs.
Jake Caprielian a close friend of Gibbs' since 1951 stated, "Jim was the 'Voice of Crockett and Houston County' since he was 19 years old. Jim's radio station was called Pioneer Broadcasting and appropriately so, according to Caprielian, since Jim's very distinctive voice was the first to travel the sound waves and did so for more than 50 years.
Caprielian went on to say, "Jim was an integral part of the community and promoted and backed all causes for the good of the County. Jim was always upbeat, complimentary, and was not at a loss for words. He will be missed."
Judge Hunt said, "Houston Countians are greatly saddened by the death of Jim Gibbs early this morning. Jim was truly a pioneer in East Texas broadcasting.
"On a personal note, it was my pleasure to work for Jim for more than 17 years. It is impossible to overstate the contributions that Jim has made through the years to the growth and development of Houston County through his ownership and management of KIVY. He will be greatly missed, but he leaves behind an ongoing legacy of service to the community."
According to the "Houston County History" published by the Houston County Historical Commission in 1979: H. H. Callen, retired Army Signal Corps, and Jim Gibbs of Dover, Ohio, opened station KIVY-AM in December, 1949at 1570 on the radio dial and 250 watts.
At Callen's death in 1950, Gibbs purchased sole ownership.
In 1953, KIVY's power was increased to 500 watts and dial position was moved to 1290. In early 1960s, power was increased to 1,000 watts.
In 1970, KIVY-FM at 92.7 on the dial was initiated with 24-hours daily service.
As of press time, services were pending with Callaway-Allee Funeral Home.