KYTV’s First Anchor, Jerry Higley, Dies at 92

By Mark Joyella 

Picture 7Back in 1953, Springfield NBC affiliate KYTV launched its very first newscast at 6 p.m., just over an hour after the station signed on the air. The anchor was Jerry Higley, who was a well-known radio broadcaster at the time. Higley died Monday at 92:

Higley was one of the first 20 employees hired by the Cox family in 1953 as the planning and construction of KYTV was underway. He was in the news department along with news director Dick Heinline, weathercaster and program director Carl Fox, sports anchor Don Payton, and 10 p.m. newscast anchor Dave Estes.

The station signed on at 4:47 p.m. on Oct. 1, 1953. Among the stories that Higley reported on the station’s first 6 p.m. newscast were ones about cobras that had escaped from a pet shop in Springfield, the drought in Missouri, and the marriage of Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts to Jacqueline Bouvier on Sept. 12 (news sometimes didn’t become as stale so soon back then as it does now).