Radio's 100th

Donna Halper
Sat May 23 11:34:13 EDT 2009

At 10:16 AM 5/23/2009, Doug Drown wrote:
>For What It's Worth Dep't --- I was listening to WBZ online this 
>morning and they were touting KCBS' 100th anniversary, inviting 
>listeners to check out the San Francisco sister station's website 
>(  KCBS began as an experimental station under "Doc" 
>Herrold in 1909, later becoming KQW.

Actually, ALL radio was experimental till sometime in 1920 when 
corporations (the Detroit News, AMRAD, Westinghouse) started getting 
behind the idea of putting radio stations on the air.

>Doug also wrote--
>Interesting that CBS (Westinghouse) should own three stations that 
>compete for the title of Oldest Radio Station in America (KDKA, KCBS 
>and WWJ).  And wasn't WBZ the first commercial station?

WBZ was the first station to receive a so-called "commercial license" 
in mid September 1921.  No such license existed until Westinghouse 
pushed for it to be created, so that they could distinguish their 
stations from amateur stations-- in 1920-21, many ham stations were 
interchangeable with the so-called commercial stations, but that was 
changed too-- by February of 1922, ham stations were forbidden from 
doing mass communication broadcasting or from filling in for 
commercial stations when their equipment failed (which it often did 
in those early days).  That is why little 1XE (greater Boston's first 
radio station) had to get commercial call letters and became WGI.  

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