Jimmy Valentine

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Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame

Jimmy Valentine

Inducted 2002

Jimmy Valentine's distinguished radio and television career literally began on the drawing board.

A conversation with engineers on a remote radio broadcast in 1937 led to a job as a draftsman at KSTP Minneapolis/Saint Paul, making drawings of the station's new transmitter. Encouraged and tutored by KSTP announcers who had heard his deep voice (which Cedric Adams later said he envied), he practiced reading news wire reports and advertising copy. He landed a job as an announcer with WDGY Minneapolis/Saint Paul in 1938, then worked three years at a Grand Forks, North Dakota, radio station before returning to KSTP, this time as an announcer, in 1941. In 1948 he moved to KSTP TV Minneapolis/Saint Paul, where he hosted "Riddle Griddle," the area's first children's TV show. He later created, produced, and hosted the popular "Jimmy's Junior Jamboree." The show brought out his great talent for improvisation; he once did an entire show using a chalkboard and pantomime when the audio failed. He also did news and weather, hosted "Dialing for Dollars" and many other shows, and pioneered the use of automation audio carts in television. He retired in 1986, and passed away December 2, 2002, at the age of 83.