Radio-TV pioneer Ed Craney dies
BUTTE, Mont. — Ed Craney was only 17 when he built and operated his first radio transmitter, but it launched him on a career that made him one of the pioneers of radio and television in Montana and Washington.
The year was 1922, and the teenager’s transmitter became station KFDC in Spokane.
Not long afterward, Craney moved to Butte, where he was to spend most of his life, and in 1929 he gave the city its first radio station, KGIR. It later became KXLF, and the Spokane station became KXLY – the beginning of the “XL” chain of radio stations, including Ellensburg, Portland, and Bozeman, Great Falls and Missoula in Montana.
Craney died April 6 in Montpelier, Idaho. He was born Feb. 19, 1905, in Spokane.
In 1947 he received a Peabody Award for his broadcast coverage of the Montana Legislature. In the 1950s he pioneered a series of translators that allowed television to be broadcast into rural areas. When he retired in the 1960s, Craney established the Greater Montana Foundation, dedicated to improving Montana broadcasting.
Tuesday, April 23, 1991