Elliott Kurt Klein was born March 23, 1949 and passed from his delightful position on planet Earth August 1, 2010. Elliott was 61 years old. Elliott started his journey after being born in New York, New York and his roots in Arizona go all the way back to 1955 when his father retired early and moved the family to Phoenix.
Elliott had two primary loves in his life. His wife Nancy, whom survives him, and a lifelong passion for radio broadcasting. At the tender age of just 12 years old, Elliott Klein was destined to become famous or possibly infamous in the annuals of broadcasting when he was “busted” by the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) for building a “pirate” radio station for his science project. His science project included conscripting fellow classmates as “on air talents” to deliver a generous selection of music and news broadcast from a playhouse turned “studio” and Elliott taking a role as the “pirate” program director.
While Elliott’s talents were always “gifted” from a technical side, he always loved the “on air” aspect of the business. Starting as an “on air” talent under various names like “Gordon Richards and Don Elliott with stations like KENT, KDOT, KUPD and KRIZ, Elliott grew to love the programming side of the business starting in the 1960s.
The technical bug would never leave Elliott, however. He “jocked” his way through college and graduated with an engineering degree in 1971. Elliott’s peers and coworkers in the broadcast industry have always maintained that when Elliott was engineering the “stations never sounded better”.
Since 1967 he has held the positions Director of Engineering for Buck Owens, Broadcasting group (building the famous Bakersfield stations), consulted for Belo Television, Bonneville International, NRC Broadcasting, Merv Griffin Stations Group, Scripps – Howard Broadcasting, ABC-Disney, Magic Broadcasting LA, American General Media, Styles Media Group and Liberman Broadcasting along with a host (300 stations strong) of lesser known facilities.
Elliott was the creative genius behind the engineering design for the first satellit6e delivered radio programming network known in the 1980s as Transtar (broadcasters today know it as Westwood One), he held a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering, he was a member of the I.E.E.E., and an Associate Member of the Association of Federal Communication Consulting Engineers (A.F.C.C.E).
Elliott was the managing partner for FM Idaho Company in Boise, Idaho and Locally Owned Radio in Twin Falls, Idaho with partner and friend Wendell Starks where he implemented the idea of bringing “fun” back to radio over eleven stations in two markets. Both clusters have enjoyed impressive and in some cases “massive” gains in terms of revenue and ratings since he started managing the clusters in July of 2008.
While it can be said his second love was broadcasting, Elliott was an ardent hobbyist when it came to model trains. In fact his entire basement became an O Gauge layout featuring a hi-rail tour of Arizona. Built by a master model maker from Universal Studios, the O Gauge layout was featured in a 2004 edition of Classic Toy Trains magazine and was recently voted on as one of two of the best designs by readers of Classic Trains in March of 2009. Elliott loved to show off his trains while wearing an authentic “railroad cap”.
Elliott’s “boyish” nature and humor will be missed by friends and family alike, while the broadcast industry will struggle to fill his shoes in terms of his technical savvy and optimism.
Elliott Kurt Klein lived by the motto, “If it is worth doing…It is worth overdoing” and said recently, “I live a charmed life and love very minute of it”.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy of Paradise Valley, AZ, his Mother, Adair Jackman of Scottsdale, AZ and stepson Daniel Schroeder of Scottsdale, AZ.
A Memorial Service celebrating Elliott’s life will be held on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 3:00 P.M., at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, Az.