Today May 22, 1933 Ted Rogers was born in Chicago, Illinois to Marian & Edward Jarosz. By 1940 the Jarosz family were living at North Monticello Ave. in Chicago. On February 14, 1953 (Valentine's Day) Ted aka James Edward "Jim" Jarosz married Marlene May Frank in Chicago. On November 7, 1953 Jim & Marlene welcomed their first son Jerome James "Jerry" Jarosz at Madagan Army Hospital at Fort Lewis, Washington, while Jim was in the Army.
In 1956 Jim & Marlene welcomed their first daughter Judith "Judy" Jarosz. Chris Taylor remembers Jim aka Ted: "Ted was proud of his Chicago connection and before broadcasting held one job as some kind of telephone worker in the field digging holes and stuff. I believe he answered a newspaper ad for those interested in broadcasting that his wife had found and said "You like to talk you should check this out." Jim Jarosz first broadcasting job was at KWGB in Goodland, Kansas.
Chris Taylor remembers: "KOSI's PD was driving through Kansas on his way to Denver. He heard Jim on the air. Got back to Denver, called Jim and offered him a job. Jim agreed to go with no idea what his pay would be. When he arrived was told he would be known as "Ted Rogers" and making something around $40K. Denver is also where he met Gary Owens in his pre-Laugh-In days." By July 1959 Ted Rogers was on KOSI Aurora / Denver, as News Director & Farm Director. On December 18, 1959 Ted & Marlene welcomed their second son Jon Edward Jarosz (died 9-7-11 at age 54).
In October 1961 the family moved to Portland where Ted had landed a job at KEX but no regular air shift at the time. Instead the new owners of KEX, Golden West Broadcasters had another plan for Ted's introduction to Portland listeners. October 20, 1961 was the first mention of Ted Rogers as part of the KEX staff when it was announced Ted and his wife would live for six days in a bomb shelter. The spherical structure was 23 feet long, 10-feet wide and 10-feet high, with three picture windows added to give the public the inside story. KEX would carry three 5 minute reports daily from the couple at 8:15am 12:30pm and 5:45pm.
October 23, 1961 KEX ad: KEX directs your attention to OPERATION SURVIVAL! Beginning Monday, October 30th at the Lloyd Center. ISOLATION IN A BLAST SHELTER! Food requirements, exercise needs, reaction to close quarter confinement. How would your family react? See Portland's first public tests of survival in a blast shelter when KEX personality Ted Rogers with his wife, Marlene, spend six days in a full-size model built by Space Age Shelters, Inc. See the Lloyd Center Civil Defense Awareness Week exhibits, including the giant Portland Critical Target Area Evacuation Route Map. Listen daily to KEX Radio 1190 for a comprehensive report on Civil Defense and Operation Survival."
On October 30, 1961 at 12 Noon Ted Rogers & wife Marlene climbed into their new quarters while Gov., Mark Hatfield, Mayor, Terry Schrunk & Colonel, Arthur Sheets, Oregon Civil Defense Director, took part in the ceremony commencement on KEX. Ted & Marlene would be required to live under attack conditions. They would emerge from their bomb shelter experience November 4th at 4:00pm. The ceremony was repeated that night on KEX's "Program PM." It should be noted October 30th was also the date of the 1938 CBS Network broadcast of "War of The Worlds" and the day before Halloween.
On December 1, 1961 Ted Rogers began mid-days on KEX 10:00am to 2:00pm. In May 1962 Barney Keep & Ted Rogers began calling themselves Oregon Ash Flicking Champions of The World, after an ash flicking contest was held at Rich's Cigar Store at 439 S.W. Washington (old location), sponsored by KEX Radio. Ted & Barney also began their football comedy routine "Frank Ferguson" with Barney as Frank and Ted as "Bobby Heartburn" a spoof of KEX popular sportscaster Bob Blackburn. On October 1, 1962 Ted was moved to Noon to 3:30pm on KEX.
On October 4, 1963 Ted Rogers & Barney Keep starred in the "Portland Civic Theater" hit comedy "Who Was That Lady I Saw You With?" which played thru the end of October, on weekends. September 24, 1964 KEX ad: "Never mind Hammerstein. Ted Rogers makes up his own lyrics to go with the happy music he plays. A "good guy" in word and deed. A champion of causes. A favorite with young ladies of all ages, kids, dogs, and other types who dig his clean-cut, ain't-life-wonderful approach to great afternoon entertainment. Take T. and see. Ted Rogers. Noon-3:30 PM. the call of the Northwest. KEX 1190." In 1966 Ted & Marlene welcomed their second daughter Janel Marlene Jarosz.
On October 31, 1966 Ted Rogers was named KEX Music Director and his show was moved to weekends. Ted also did fill-ins. In January 1969 Ted parted ways with KEX and was heard doing fill-ins during the Winter on KPOJ's Niteline talk show program. On April 7, 1969 Ted was given the program and it became "Ted Roger's Niteline" talk show, 9:05pm to 1:00am weeknights. On May 25, 1970 Ted Rogers was moved out of the Niteline talk program and became a disc jockey mid-days again, playing pop tunes blended with oldies. On June 9, 1970 KPOJ became KPOK.
By October 1972 Ted had moved to Country KRDR. On June 18, 1973 Ted moved back to KPOK to his old Nightline talk show program. On August 16, 1976 KPOK became KUPL and the format changed to Beautiful music. In April 1982 KUPL switched to Al Ham's "Music of Your Life" format. In March 1984 Ted Rogers & Al Ham's "Music of Your Life" format switched to KYTE and they put Ted in morning drive. In November 1986 KYTE switched to a local version of the format calling it "The Music You Remember."
In August 1987 Ted Rogers was terminated and wanted "his former listeners to know that he didn't just leave without saying goodbye. He did leave his morning program on KYTE (970 AM) without a farewell, but it wasn't his idea. "I went on vacation, and I came back and didn't have a job," Rogers said. He got a call on his last vacation day from the program director, who told him he would no longer be needed at the station. Rogers said he was not told why he was let go. He said the reason stated for his dismissal for unemployment insurance purposes was KYTE wanted someone with more managerial experience. "There's no managerial work associated with that job," said Rogers."
In July 1988 Ted Rogers became Operation Manager of KPDQ AM/FM until 1993. On March 6, 2009 Ted Rogers died at age 75 in Beaverton.
Special Thanks to Joel Miller & Chris Taylor who helped make this radio history more complete.
References: Billboard Magazine, The Oregonian.