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What was your city's FIRST Radio Station?

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AM 1020 KDKA Pittsburgh November 1920 (the world's FIRST commercial Radio Station)

Pittsburgh is also the FIRST city in the WORLD to have TWO radio stations when KQV came on the air in 1922 from a rival company wanting to compete!

KYW in Philly is the only other "K" station EAST of the Mississippi--that's because the Philly station and KDKA were George Westinghouse (of Westinghouse Electric fame) stations and his company was the first to apply for licensure, only used KDKA at first but had the other callsigns (as well as KMOX St. Louis) in reserve.

George Westinghouse's broadcast company has grown into a nice little biz today . . . it is CBS/Viacom the same people that bring you everything from MTV and CMT to Howard Stern and David Letterman, they still own KDKA Pittsburgh, the flagship station of the CBS/Viacom empire so to speak :thumbsup:

Interested in hearing about your city's first radio station and the story of how it got on the air, having worked in radio for about 3 years the stories of how some of the really old stations got on are very interesting, many were hobbies or science projects or ad gimmicks for department stores or car dealerships, or the "voice" of the local newspaper like Chicago's WGN.

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The first radio station in Miami (and in Florida) was AM 560 WQAM. In its heyday it was a rock and roll station... Don't know much more about its history, but today it's a sports talk radio station owned by Beasley Broadcast Group.

First television station in Miami (and in Florida) was WTVJ, March 1949. It originally broadcast on channel 4. Today it's the local NBC affiliate (as well as an NBC-owned and operated station) and in 1996 it did a channel swap with then-WCIX Channel 6 (CBS, now WFOR).

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Nice info Tivo, I heard a rumor though that 970 WFLA in Tampa was the states first radio station. Always did wonder about that because I would have thought Miami had it first. I know Orlando's WDBO came online in 1924, so Miamis must have been very early :)

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Yep... AM 580 WDBO. There was a WDBO-TV, which later became WCPX-TV (CBS Channel 6, now WKMG after Post-Newsweek bought them). Post-Newsweek also owns WPLG-TV in Miami... PLG stands for "Philip L. Graham" and KMG stands for "Katharine Meyer Graham" (Washington Post, Watergate, etc.), brother and sister-in-law of Senator Bob Graham.

Aren't useless tidbits fun? :D

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Woah, never made the connection on that one Kathyrn of Washington Post fame is related to former Gov. and long time Senator Bob Graham! I know the CBS station history in Orlando, Rollins College there started WayDownByOrlando in 1924 (I used to work at the successor WPRK 91.5 so the heritage of the Rollins Radio Club was ingrained in us--bet the school made a chunk of change selling its license to CBS back in the day!) the TV station used to be WCPX and changed over to WKMG in Kathryns honor because of an ownership change, never knew about the connection to the Governor/Senator though. And I thought Pittsburgh's Viacom/MTV/CBS connection with George Westinghouse was a good story. ;)

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Interesting... I always thought DBO stood for Daytona Beach-Orlando, since that's how WESH-TV identifies itself in its call sign...

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^^ hey that works, last I heard though WDBO was on a "we're the best cause we've been around" campaign seems like somebody actually dug up the original tape of its inagural broadcast, in which they identify themselves as Rollins Physics Department and then give the Way Down By Orlando bit--last time I was down there I heard it played during a Magic Game. Although thats a cool concept with the inclusion of Daytona Beach, when Rollins Radio was licensed in 1924 it had less wattage then it takes to power a lightbulb so the Daytona Beach thing would be streching it, they were lucky to hit most of northern and central Orlando from Winter Park--remember it was a non-profit station and more of a science class experiment for the first few years. Not sure when the college sold the license to CBS or whoever was the CBS affilate I know the college switched to FM in 1954 or 55 so I'm guessing around that time.

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Fascinating contemporary history... WESH was originally based in Daytona Beach, before they moved to their existing location off of I-4 in Winter Park, so their license probably still reflects the old location (and they do have a news bureau in DB).

In retrospect it's profound when you think about how ubiquitous TV and radio are nowadays; even satellite radio is here. I can't wait to see more stories and factoids about other media markets...

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In Greenville/SPartanburg the first Radio (then TV)Station was WSPA 950AM

In Columbia it was WIS

This is a good thread idea.

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WWJ-AM 950 Detroit was born on August 20, 1920, then known as 8MK. The station set many radio-firsts:

- First station to broadcast a news program - August 31, 1920

- First station to broadcast election returns - August 31, 1920

- First radio sportscast - September 1, 1920

- Fanny Brice makes her radio debut - December 21, 1921

- First complete symphony broadcast on radio - February 10, 1922

- Will Rogers' radio debut - March 15, 1922

- First regularly-scheduled religious broadcast - April 16, 1922

- First play-by-play sports broadcast from the scene - October 25, 1924: Ty Tyson describes University of Michigan-University of Wisconsin football game

- First play-by-play broadcast of a Detroit Tigers game - April 19, 1927

(Source)

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^^ see this is why this discussion is so interesting, KDKA claims the first election returns, religious broadcast, sports broadcast (WWJ may be right they were first from the scene or play by play) and classical music broadcast (WWJ might be right they were first to play it complete).

I know the dates you mentioned the station wasn't licensed or WWJ yet, but "experimental" as they say. KDKA being the first to be licensed most of the other "firsts" would follow in order--but not all. Glad to see WWJ has as rich a history as any station if not more. I know a station in Wisconsin actually sued KDKA/CBS/Viacom etc. a decade or so ago about KDKA claiming to be the first ever, seems there were tons of "experimental" or "ship to shore" radio stations around none with major wattage (and worse no one really had radios except ships or patrols usually had a radio to recieve the signal so most "broadcasts" were a few hours of morse code or some industry lingo back and forth). Interested points. I'm sure WWJ and KDKA brass could have an interesting discussion on who after licensure had the first "quality program" items we've come to love so much about radio.

http://kdkaradio.com/history.shtml

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I like throwing these things out there, because I know some of the sites I read here in the 'burgh are of course putting the best Pittsburgh-centric spin on things. KDKA might have been the first "licensed commercial" radio station to broacast election results but if what WWJ's site states is accurate they weren't the first election results ever to be broadcast. There is something to say about going legit and being licensed instead of just putting up a tower and going with what you want to say over the air, but sometimes KDKA says it like before 1020 AM Pittsburgh it just wasn't there.

From the KDKA website:

It All Started in Pittsburgh...

At 6:00pm, on Tuesday, November 2, 1920, a few men in a shack changed the course of history.  Four pioneers, announcer Leo Rosenberg, engineer William Thomas, telephone line operator John Frazier and standby R.S. McClelland, made their way to a makeshift studio - - actually a shack atop the Westinghouse "K" Building in East Pittsburgh - - flipped a switch and began reporting election returns in the Harding vs. Cox Presidential race. At that moment, KDKA became the pioneer broadcasting station of the world.

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i'm not sure about am, but nashville had the first fm radio license in 1941. first to be static free! :D

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^^ very interesting, what station was that? I have been told that at one times the AMs were "forced" to take the FM by the FCC turns out those were the real cash cows in radio. ;)

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^^ very interesting, what station was that?  I have been told that at one times the AMs were "forced" to take the FM by the FCC turns out those were the real cash cows in radio. ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

i wanna say it was wsm, but i could be wrong. i am 100% positive it was a country station though :D

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ok, i did some research and it was wsm. here's a link. wsm they have a very interesting history. pretty groundbreaking for it's time. i drive by their antenna everyday. never knew it was 878 ft tall. i've always wanted to climb it. :D

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