Coleman Barber

Coleman Barber began his long career in radio when he entered radio technical training with the National Youth Administration in 1940 earning his Amateur Radio Operator’s license. He then became a maritime radio telegrapher and served as a Chief Radio Operator in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II.

After the War, Coleman earned his FCC Radiotelephone First Class Certificate and began his career in commercial broadcasting in San Antonio.

Coleman started at KTSA Radio in 1947 when the station was located in the O. R. Mitchell building on Broadway and everything on-the-air was broadcast live. During those early days he would record “spots” on reel-to-reel tape then “cut” a vinyl disc for the DJs to play on the air.

Coleman would work at KTSA for 26 years … first as a Control Room Operator, then Studio Supervisor, and from 1957 to 1972, as the station’s Chief Engineer. He was in charge of engineering when the station moved to its new permanent home on Eisenhauer Road.

Coleman also had his own recording studio in his converted garage and recorded most of the spots for Ricci Ware’s Pan American Speedway. And, he installed the automated transmitter in the catwalk of the Tower of the Americas.

From 1973 to 1996, Coleman worked in the media and broadcasting divisions of both the U.S. Army and Air Force. He was honored with the Tom Lewis Award, a Department of Defense award for lasting contributions to professional excellence in military broadcasting …

…and the Terrance Mayer Award, a U.S. Air Force award selected from only four nationwide nominees. He was the first civilian to receive these awards, and the only person to receive both in the same year.

Coleman passed away in 2007 at the age of 85.