Three-time Idaho Sportscaster of the Year and long-time Utah broadcaster Jay Eubanks has retired. A career in radio that spanned 56 years and across the globe came to an end on May 31, 2011. Eubanks began his broadcast career in 1955 doing a music show alongside Jim Hillyard on KFXD in Nampa, Idaho while in high school and ended it as General Sales Manager at the Cache Valley Media Group in Logan, Utah.In high school (KFXD-Nampa, ID), in college (KBYU-Provo, UT; KOVO-Provo, UT; KEYY-Provo, UT), while in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War (Armed Forces Radio), and at numerous stations in Idaho, Utah and Oregon (KFXD-Nampa, ID; KEEP-Twin Falls, ID; KGAL-Lebanon, OR; KVNU-Logan, UT; KID-Idaho Falls, ID; KBLQ/KLGN/KKEX-Logan, UT) Eubanks always found a way to be involved in the radio industry. One of the hallmarks of Eubanks’ career was as the voice of high school athletics. Outside of his time in the military, Eubanks called high school games in every community he served. During his tenure at KEEP in Twin Falls, Eubanks was recognized three times by the Idaho State Broadcasters Association as Sportscaster of the Year for his coverage of Twin Falls High School. “Being picked by my peers as Sportscaster of the Year was really special,” Eubanks says.For the last 21 years Eubanks has called football, boys basketball and girls basketball playoff games for the Sky View Bobcats on KLGN. “I witnessed them win a state championship, play an undefeated football season, play in numerous play-off games, and watch Nate Harris be a star,” he continues.”I’m told that when I was eight years old I told my parents I wanted to be a sportscaster. So they gave me a tape recorder. The way I keep stats today I developed while a teenager. I practiced on my own to a point where it became very, very natural when I had my first opportunity to do play-by-play.”Eubanks did more than just call high school sports, he was also involved in other on-air programming, sales, and management. He was a Program Director at KFXD from 1964-1969. While there, he worked with “Radio” Wayne Cornils and hosted a talk show with him. Eubanks moved his family to Twin Falls to be the Program Director at KEEP from 1969-1975. While at KEEP, Eubanks gravitated to radio sales. Capps Broadcasting Group, who owned KEEP, moved him to Lebanon, OR in 1979 to be the Sales Manager at KGAL. Eubanks joined KVNU in Logan, UT in 1982 as a Sales Manager and later was promoted to General Manager in 1984. Eubanks went back to Idaho in 1987 to be the General Manager of Simmons Media’s KID in Idaho Falls. In November, 1988 he came back to Cache Valley to be the General Manager of KBLQ and KLGN. When Kent Frandsen purchased the stations in March, 1992 Eubanks stayed on until his retirement on May 31, 2011.Besides being honored as a leading sportscaster, Eubanks also received recognition for his efforts to highlight locally-owned businesses. Eubanks was recognized in 1992 by the Cache Chamber of Commerce as the Media Advocate of the Year. That award was followed by the Small Business Administration Media Advocate of the year in 1993.”We had a concentrated campaign to encourage residents to shop locally,” Eubanks says of the awards.Some of his most memorable moments came from interviews he was able to conduct with celebrities like Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Bob Hope, Gunsmoke stars Doc and Festus, segments with Wide World of Sports anchor Curt Gowdy, and calling a minor league baseball game with Hall of Famer Bob Feller.Eubanks has seen a lot of changes with the radio industry since he first began as a high school student.”When I went into radio they were talking about the demise of radio because of TV, then eight-tracks, then cassettes, then CDs, then satellite radio and mp3s. We’re still plugging along.”He also notes how programming has changed.”We were still playing 30 minute radio shows that became TV shows, like Gunsmoke and the Green Hornet. There were five AM radio stations that served the Boise area. The morning show was one kind of music, lunchtime something different, in the evening there was a dinner show that was different and then at nighttime there was usually a show that played rock and roll.”As the General Manager at KBLQ and KLGN, Eubanks had the responsibility to make hiring decisions for his sales team. In 1991 he hired his wife Rosemary who retires with him.”We worked together and we’re still married,” Eubanks jokes. “It worked out really quite well. She knew radio because she had been married to it. She used to come with me to do high school games, as a spotter or statistician, for our first four years of marriage.”She was a theater major in college, which proved helpful. She came in and cut a lot of ads in the other stops along the way. We had a rule, and it got violated once in a while, to leave work at work. I learned very early not to bring work home, either celebrating a big sale or mourning a loss.”Rosemary was a long-time member of the Bridger Brigade and Cache Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, Women in Business, Northern Utah Substance Abuse Prevention Team, and worked with dozens and dozens of other non-profit and civic organizations through her time at the Cache Valley Media Group.While in the Army (1961-1964), Eubanks worked with Armed Forces Radio at Ft. Leonardwood, Ft. Bragg, Okinawa, Japan, and Taiwan. When he was overseas, Eubanks helped the South Koreans broadcast to North Korea and on two occasions went to Taiwan to help Nationalist Chinese broadcast to the mainland. Upon his return stateside, he created radio shows at Ft. Leonardwood promoting the Army.
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