Barry Ackerley, former owner of the Seattle Super Sonics has died of a stroke, he was 76. Steve Kelley sums up Seattle's Ackerley years in today's column. Barry Ackerley acquired several local stations, including the legendary KJR, in which he turned into a sports talk station, one of the first in the country, if not the first. As the owner of Ackerley Communications, his name could be found on billboards in the area, as his company dealt in outdoor advertising.
KJR Sportsradio's influence can be seen in new stadiums for both the Seahawks and the Mariners, ironically, while the Sportsradio station may have staved off moves by our professional football and baseball teams, it could not stop the team that Ackerly once owned, the Seattle Super Sonics from leaving. Ackerley was instrumental in bringing the WNBA to Seattle. The Seattle Storm have been brought two championships to our city, something no other pro team has done.