Georgia Marie Newport was born in Notus, Idaho in 1907. She met Curtis Phillips in Eugene when she was attending the University of Oregon. Phillips was running KORE in Eugene when she stepped in for a piano player performing on the radio with a quartet.
Shortly after they were married, Georgia and Curtis were visiting her parent’s home in Parma. They read that Boise High School student station KFAU was up for auction. They entered a bid and won.
Mr. and Mrs. Phillips made a go of it, moving the new station to ever-better headquarters, first to the top floor of the Boise Elks Lodge, then to the basement of the new Hotel Boise. Later KIDO moved to the mezzanine of the same hotel. The station was such a part of the community that hardly a day went by that it wasn’t mentioned in the newspaper.
C.G. “Kiddo” Phillips died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1942. He was 44. That left his wife, Georgia, to run the radio station and raise two kids. If there was ever any doubt that she was up to the task, she swept that away quickly.
Georgia Phillips became Georgia Davidson in 1946, when she married R. Mowbray Davidson, the owner of Peasley Transfer and Storage. In 1947, she out KIDO FM on the air, one of the state’s earliest FM radio stations. Then, in 1953 the radio pioneer brought television to Idaho. KIDO TV went on the air on July 12, 1953. Its call letters changed to KTVB in 1959 when Davidson sold KIDO radio.
For years Georgia Davidson was the only woman running one of the 120 NBC affiliates across the country. She served as president of the company until 1972 when she became chairman of the board.
Davidson cared about her viewers, not just the business side of television. In 1969, when Sesame Street came on the air, she was determined to include the program on KTVB’s schedule. Running a non-profit program on a commercial TV station didn’t set well with NBC or PBS, but Davidson made it happen. Later, she was instrumental in creating Idaho’s first public television station.
Georgia Davidson passed away in 1997 at age 89.