EDITOR'S NOTE: On occasion, we receive notes from people who recall hearing that the old KIBE/1220 in Palo Alto (currently KNTS) was founded by the actor Guy Kibbee. Nothing that we have found — either in the FCC records or through local research — has tied the venerable Mr. Kibbee to this station.
According to the FCC's records, KIBE was originally put on the air in 1949 by a pair of Visalia businessmen, Millard T. Kibbe (with one "e") and Donald K. Deming, who had incorporated as D&K Broadcasting. Mr. Kibbe, born and raised in Tulare County, had been a manager at KTKC/940 in Visalia before building the Palo Alto station.
At the time that KIBE was being built, the Texas-born Hollywood character actor Guy Kibbee (born Guy Bridges Kibbee — with two e's — in 1882) was in his late 60s and was semi-retired, living on the east end of Long Island, N.Y., suffering the early effects of Parkinson's disease. The closest he got to Palo Alto at this point in his career was filming portions of the movie "The Romance of Rosy Ridge" in Santa Cruz in 1947; he only made three movies after "Rosy Ridge," and appeared only occasionally on the stage and television thereafter, mostly in New York.
Millard Kibbe had a long and varied career in California radio (most of it in the Central Valley), including an FCC record showing that he received the construction permit to build KIBE in Palo Alto, and he served as its first general manager.
We have been unable to locate any information showing that Millard Kibbe and Guy Kibbee were related to each other, or that Guy Kibbee was a silent partner in KIBE, or that he was ever involved in the ownership or operation of any other radio station. Guy Kibbee died at East Islip, L.I., N.Y., in 1956.