WORTH — Kinsley Jones was hardly alone in getting hooked on radio in the 1960s.
As a young man, he worked his way “town to town, up and down the dial” as an
itinerant DJ in the Pacific Northwest, starting in his hometown of Yakima,
Wash. But unlike so many jocks of the era, Jones segued into broadcast
engineering and then into equipment sales. It’s in that role that he’s being
fondly remembered after his death Aug. 20.
Jones at a station in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1970s.
courtesy John Terry
“He was just a real pro. He understood the
business and was in it for a long time,” said Bill Harland, vice president of
marketing at ERI, where Jones held the same position from 2002 until 2007.
recently, Jones was a partner in the consulting firm ChurchillTerry, where
principal John Terry recalled him as a “brilliant salesperson, but not the Herb
Tarlek type. “Kin genuinely liked people,” Jones said. “He liked customers, he
liked solving problems, and I think every company he ever worked with saw an increase
in sales when he was there.”
died a few days short of his 64th birthday, according to Terry in an email.
were plenty of companies on Jones’ résumé, according to his LinkedIn profile:
He worked in sales for Harris from 1975–1980, moved to the now-defunct
transmitter manufacturer McMartin, then to Moseley, Townsend (later merged into
today’s Larcan-TTC), Omega Industries, Andrew and Comark-Thales before arriving
at ERI. At ChurchillTerry, one of Jones’ major consulting clients was Myat Inc.,
the New Jersey-based manufacturer of transmission system components.
At Andrew, Jones was instrumental in landing
a big order from NBC for satellite gear to outfit its new affiliate uplink
center in Charlotte, N.C., according to Harland. “That was a big project.
Scientific-Atlanta was the big supplier at that point, and that really put
Andrew on the map.”
his ERI years, Jones played a key role in master FM and TV antenna projects at
4 Times Square in New York City and at the Senior Road tower site in Houston.
was incredibly smart,” Terry said. “People would present him with a problem,
whether it was an engineering problem or a business problem. Kinsley had this
ability to very quickly analyze the situation, analyze the people and come up
with a solution. He was an absolutely brilliant negotiator. Any time we had any
sort of negotiation, I’d hand it over to Kin.”
from the negotiating table, where Jones had earned a business certification
from Southern Methodist University in 2012, friends remember Jones as a man of
had a collection of antique radios he worked on, but his big passion was
antique cars,” Terry said. “His dad was in the auto parts business, and he had
probably six or eight cars. He had a place up in Missouri where he kept them.
He told me a story about going to Oregon to get a car, and he and his son were
driving back across the country when the vacuum pump went out, so no windshield
it started raining, Terry said, Jones and his son Brian stopped and bought a
ball of twine that they passed through the wiper arms and into the front
windows on each side of the car. “Whenever they needed the wipers, Kin would
pull on one end and Brian would pull on the other to move the wipers back and
in his career, Jones had also been a recording engineer who’d worked on
sessions with the Carpenters during his days in Los Angeles, where his day job
in the early 1970s was as chief engineer of KIQQ(FM), according to Terry.
Jones was especially notable for his
commitment to boosting the careers of women, even as far back as the 1970s.
are any number of women who would stand up and say Kin helped advance their
careers,” Terry said.
was diagnosed with cancer in late January. “When he was first diagnosed,” Terry
said, “I asked him what he wanted to do, and he said I want to keep working for
as long as I can, and he literally did. He was meeting with clients two weeks
before he passed away, and was e-mailing me” the night before he was taken to
the hospital. “I hope I live my life half as well as Kin lived his,” Terry
is survived by his wife, Barbara; by two daughters and two sons from two
marriages; and by several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.