Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Former KAAY News Director Ron Casteel, R.I.P.

Just got the word from Scott Charton early afternoon 12/9/14:

"Dear Bud,

Some sad news, the passing of former KAAY news director Ron Casteel, who also served as morning anchor in the early 1980's. Ron had been in declining health over the last two years. 


Scott Charton
Charton Communications
& Consulting"
Funeral services will be Friday, 11AM December 12, 2014 at Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home...please see the link for more information.
Another Great, passed on into eternity.  Through Scott's information, I'd just found out Ron was also a Ham radio operator (N6CSS).  He was a very accomplished man; I will be trying to find the movie "Ground Zero" in which he starred.
Thanks to Scott Charton...see you later, Ron....


  1. Hi Bud, it's Scott Charton ( chartonconsulting@yahoo.com ) - thanks for the tribute to Ron Casteel. Ron joined KAAY and worked on the short-lived "Trimulcast," which was promoted as the first AM-FM-Cable live simulcast of a morning show. It aired from what was then the Storer Cable TV studio in the old Little Rock Boys Club property downtown. There were few actual music videos in that era before MTV, so as songs played, the cameras would focus on album covers (not CDs, albums), sparkly psychedelic video clips, etc. The idea was before its time, plus it was a pain to produce with few actual cable viewers, so the crew eventually came back to the studios on Cottondale Lane. Ron served as KAAY-KLPQ news director in the early 1980s when we had a three-person, full-time news department (Casteel, Bobbi Clark and yours truly) and we competed not just with the news-talk station, KARN, but with KLAZ, which had a couple of full-time news people. It was a fun time in radio news and in Little Rock media, with the likes of Sheriff Tommy Robinson, Black Sanra/activist Say McIntosh and the like, ginning up news headlines every day, it seemed. Ron was a fine anchorman and a great news writer, skills polished at great news and music stations in larger markets including KGO and KFRC in San Francisco and KHJ in Los Angeles. Ron used to joke, after one particularly awful hire of a short-lived KAAY morning man whose name is mercifully forgotten, that he now held the distinction of working with the world's greatest rock'n'roll morning deejay, KHJ's legendary Robert W. Morgan, and the world's worst morning deejay, the guy GM Carl David Hamilton sent packing after a few shows when the reality didn't match the resume' tape. As for the out-of-print movie "Ground Zero," it's a hoot, as Ron was a better newscaster than actor. Here's a contemporaneous AP story that went national about the film: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2209&dat=19730329&id=L54rAAAAIBAJ&sjid=KfwFAAAAIBAJ&pg=6969,4375147 A toast to all the great KAAY news voices of the past!

  2. More comments from the KAAY-AM Facebook page:

    Russell Jones He was my news director when i did afternoon news at KAAY. Good guy and good boss. RIP.

    Mark Thomas Wallace I also worked with Ron. Great guy, amazing pipes. He will be missed!

    Sheilia Lovil So sad .. I loved Ron he was great .. Rest In Peace Ron ... Peace & Love

  3. Remember listening to him read the news on the way to school during Dick Price's show. Remember something that I wanted to share, in early Dec.'82 a tornado touched down in LR and did damage to Parkview High School. Ron was on the air all afternoon and into the evening on both KAAY and KLPQ. Later that month on Christmas Eve there were tornado warnings issued and was on the air on both stations and remember him saying "I have NEVER in my career announced tornado warnings on Christmas Eve."

  4. He certainly was a respected reporter and his talents will be missed. Tom Perryman

  5. Here is a post of Ron Casteel back from when we posted it in 2012...this is the only audio we know of that we have of Ron: http://mighty1090kaay.blogspot.com/2012/06/kaay-ron-casteel-and-david-b-treadway.html