Art Taft grew up on a farm in the shadows of Montana’s Sweetgrass Hills in North Toole County. Art developed an interest in radio while in High School, helping legendary KSEN radio broadcast personality Bob Norris, broadcast sporting events, learning from the masters at KSEN, and spinning a few records as a teen DJ. After graduation from North Toole County High School in Sunburst in 1966, he joined the U.S Navy where he became a Radio-Television Journalist.
Art Taft served 4 years with American Forces Radio and Television enjoying duty stations aboard the USS TOPEKA in California, Florida, and the Mediterranean. Completing sea duty, Taft served two years with the American Forces Caribbean Network in San Juan, Puerto Rico. While serving in San Juan, Taft worked some nights and most week-ends for WQBS-FM, an English speaking broadcast station.
Art PhotoUpon the advice of Bob Norris, Art went to Brown Institute for Radio & TV Broadcasting in Minneapolis to obtain his FCC First Class Operators endorsement. The First Class “ticket” was a requirement to work at small market radio stations where on air talent switched signal patterns or powered up transmitters.
Taft spent many years in radio as a newscaster, entertainment personality and sales.
Stations: KWAL-AM, Wallace, ID. KGMY-AM, Missoula, MT, KGVO-AM, Missoula. KXXL-Radio Bozeman, KBRD-FM and KTAC, Seattle/Tacoma.
While working at KGVO radio, the Creative Services Director for KGVO-TV hired Art to write TV commercials. After two years, Art was fired from the position for giving sales scheduling ideas to a client, and re-hired as a KGVO-TV Sales person. Taft has worked at: KGVO-TV which became KECI-TV, Missoula KYUS-TV Miles City, KTVM-TV Bozeman, KPAX-TV, Missoula, KAJ-TV, Kalispell, KRTV, Great Falls.
Taft earned a degree in Marketing and Management in Missoula and finished his course work for Public Relations in Bozeman. After a long career in media and broadcasting, Taft retired from KRTV in 2014 and now works on behalf of clients through his consulting firm.
The Greater Montana Foundation thanks Cordillera Communications and their Television stations throughout Montana for providing studio, production and edit facilities for the Legacy Broadcasters Initiative interviews. Without their generous support, this project would not have been possible.
The Legacy Project of the Greater Montana Foundation is produced in coordination with the Montana Historical Society. Many thanks to all who work and donate to MHS and its great work.