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KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings Photos from the John in Arizona Collection


All photos are the property of John C Johnson / John In Arizona / johninarizona.com and may not be used in any form elsewhere.

KOOK TV: KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings came on the air November 9, 1953 at 6PM as Billings' first TV station and Montana's 2nd television station. J. Carter Johnson and Charles Crist, who started KOOK Radio three years before, were behind the inital planning. Prior to coming on the air, a building was constructed on Coburn Road south east of Billings. .

KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings first owner J. Carter Johnson is pictured in this photo from around 1953.
KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings building and first tower construction in 1953. An addition to the building was made a few years later.

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, MT Newspaper ad 1953

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, MT Newspaper ad 1953

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, MT Newspaper ad 1953

Prior to KOOK-TV coming on the air, TV set sales were in full swing with newspaper ads some promoting KOOK-TV's test pattern.

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, MT First Log - 11-9-1953

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings first program log - November 9, 1953. Programming lasted three hours the first evening.

KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings Coburn Road site after the addition to the building.
KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings Coburn Road entrance as it looked in 1972. The KOOK TV letters are still there today.

KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings Coburn Road control room with Bud Clark in audio booth - 1954.
KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings Coburn Road studio camera being used as a film chain camera - 1954.
KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings Coburn Road control room - note ID on monitor - 1954.
KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings Cobburn Road control room in the 1950s.

News played a part from the first broadcast day at the studios in the Coburn Road building. Bud Clark is pictured at the KOOK TV News Desk. Weather reporting has always been a part of the newscasts. Early popular weatherman Red Welch was on the air into the 1960s. One of the most popular programs on KOOK-TV in the 1950's was hosted by Billie Leseur. 'Yours Sincerely, Billie' was more than just a local cooking program, guests like 'Whirlybirds' stars Kenneth Tobey and Craig Hill stopped by for an interview one afternoon. The Lennon Sisters even stopped by to say hello. Cliff Ewing anchored the news for many years.
KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings early news set featuring Bud Clark.
KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings Coburn Road weather set.
KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings early weatherman Red Welch.
KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings Billie Leseur host of 'Yours Sincerely, Billie' interviewing Kenneth Tobey and Craig Hill of 'Whirlybirds' program.



KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana transmtter film footage taken in the late 1950's.

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, MT Lennon Sisters

The Lennon Sisters visit to the KOOK-TV studios.

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, MT Cliff Ewing News

Cliff Ewing anchoring the news brought to you by Carter Oil.

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, MT new building

KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings builds a new building in downtown Billings in 1957. Note the original design shows 4 stories.

KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings 3203 3rd Avenue North signage on the building as seen in 1972.



KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana 3203 3rd Avenue North front office film footage taken in the late 1950's.

KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings 3203 3rd Avenue North studios - 1958.
KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings using two cameras for a newscast. Note the early use of rear screen projection.
KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings - early studio production.
KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings 3203 3rd Avenue North control room showing the film chain in 1958.
KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings 3203 3rd Avenue North control room as seen in 1958.
KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings' Vic Miller.
KOOK TV Channel 2's Vic Miller started at KOOK Radio and joined KOOK-TV the frist day of broadcasting. Vic later became general manager for KOOK-TV (later changed to KTVQ). In addition to hosting news specials and interviewing political figures such as Ted Kennedy, his very popular weekly commentaries continued until the end of 2013. The commentaries centered around his friend Slab Marble becoming involved in a current news related topic such as the extreme problem in Billings of people j-walking across a busy street to get to the YMCA.

Vic Miller - Slab Marble Commentary Logo

KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings test pattern on air - 1961.

KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings on air ID - 1963.

KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings control room in the 1960s showing the signage that was above the equipment racks until the remodel in 1975.

KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings control room in the 1960s showing an early VTR mschine.

KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings control room in the 1960s showing the control board.

KOOK TV Channel 2 Billings on air ID - 1969.


KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, MT 1972 MTN News Print Ad

KOOK-TV print ad from 1972 promoting the state-wide MTN News.

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, MT 1972 Broadcasting Magazine Print Ad

KOOK-TV print ad from July of 1972 promoting the future call letter change.

KOOK-TV came to an end at signoff Labor Day 1972. On September 5, 1972 the station became KTVQ and quickly started using the Q-2 slogan. This ID was used the first day. Please go to KTVQ for the rest of the story. I started working for KOOK-TV in May of 1972 and spent over 42 years working for the station.

All photos are the property of John C Johnson / John In Arizona / johninarizona.com and may not be used in any form elsewhere.

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KOOK TV IDs and Graphics


KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

KOOK-TV Channel 2 Billings, Montana

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