Broadcasters induct Rep. Harold Wright into Hall of Fame

Legislative Staff Release

Published: 19-Mar-2010

The Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters has inducted state Rep. Harold Wright into its Hall of Fame.

“I am honored to be inducted into the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame,” Wright, a Weatherford Republican, said. “Broadcasting has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I love the part radio broadcasting plays in small communities and the difference it can make. I’ve gotten to know my fellow Oklahomans so well and continue to enjoy the opportunities I now have as their representative to meet with them.”

The organization noted that Wright is one of the longest, continuously-operating radio broadcasters in Oklahoma. Wright also played a key part in a successful court battle against a sales tax on electricity and broadcasting equipment in Oklahoma. He served as the chair of the lobbying effort for the National Association of Broadcasters.

The Weatherford lawmaker built his first 10 watt AM station as an Explorer Scout project in 1960 and broadcast it over the airwaves in a Boy Scout Exposition at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. Wright became the managing partner of his first radio station, KRPT-AM, in 1975. He moved back to Weatherford in 1991 and bought KWEY AM/FM. He continues to own it today. He also owned the KHEN radio station in Henryetta from 1978 to 1983 and currently operates radio stations in Clinton and Cordell.

Wright was elected to the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors in 1978. During his tenure, dramatic changes were made to the organization. It was renamed, a budget was created, and funding was found for a full-time executive director and office in Oklahoma City. The organization won two court battles during his time on the board.

He served as President of the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters from 1986 to 1987 and was instrumental in forming the OAB Education Foundation Board. During his tenure as OAB President, the first OAB Hall of Fame was established to recognize outstanding Oklahoma broadcasters.

After serving as OAB President, Harold served as the chair of the lobbying effort for the National Association of Broadcasters.  For five years he led a contingency to Washington D.C. to work with the NAB Political Action Committee to lobby Congress on behalf of broadcasters. Major deregulation breakthroughs included multiple ownership, the fairness doctrine, and program and commercial rules. Wright also helped develop sales ideas for small market radio as a member of an advisory committee of the Radio Advertising Bureau.

“I thank the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters for this honor,” Wright said. “It is a much-appreciated milestone in my career.”

In the photograph accompanying this story, Wright, at left, is shown with radio sports broadcasting legend Bob Berry, Sr.