Harold Koplar - 2006

When businessman Harold Koplar put his own TV station on the air in 1958, KPLR-TV was the nation’s fourth independent TV station, having no affiliation with a network. Relying on movies and filmed shows with an occasional live program thrown in, KPLR soon became the source of cult hits with shows like Wrestling At the Chase and Captain 11’s Showboat. Cameras were even moved from the studios in the Chase Hotel out into the lobby for variety programming, and some early news broadcasts were done beside the outdoor pool, where the announcer would float in an inner tube and technicians would improvise with microphones suspended from bamboo poles. Seen as a visionary by many in the industry, Koplar was able to use the station to promote the hotel, which he also owned.