Exhibit: Ed Craney—the Voice of Montana


Filming a model

Production of a Hennessy's Department Store advertisement.

In 1953, Ed Craney added a new medium, television, to his broadcasting holdings with the formation of Television Montana. Its first station was Butte’s KXLF-TV. Early programming, as with radio, included local shows such as “Klixlif the Klown,” local musicians, spelling bees, and an amateur hour called “Friday Night Party.” To gain national programing Craney needed to expand his broadcasting capability.

At first he attempted to organize state broadcasters to install relay stations. These relay stations would increase signal coverage and potential audience reach.  With no interest expressed from the other state broadcasters, Craney installed boosters on his own. 

KXLK Broadcast, Great Falls

KXLK Broadcast of the Montana State Fair in Great Falls, Montana. Craney's television broadcasts exposed viewers to important local and regional events. 

Craney was as influential on the national scene for television broadcasting as he had been in radio, lobbying the FCC to regulate cable television that he feared would eventually push local stations out of the market.

In 1961, with over thirty years in broadcasting business behind him, Craney retired and sold or transferred ownership of his holdings to existing managers, but he continued lobbying on behalf of local broadcasting. He became president of the Tri-State television translator association, which he helped reorganize as the National Television Translator Association in 1967. Through that organization Craney succeeded in increasing power and common carrier microwave for all translators, the inclusion of FM translators, and licensing of satellite translators.