Radio's 100th

Sat May 23 13:03:56 EDT 2009

My understanding is and has always been that KDKA was the first COMMERCIAL
station, that is, the first station to broadcast commercials.

The arguments over whether KQV - also in Pittsburgh - or some other station
was the first to broadcast continues.  But as in most "branding" situations
KDKA wins by better and more consistent promotion.


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Donna Halper
Sent: Saturday, May 23, 2009 11:34 AM
To: Doug Drown; Boston Radio Interest Board
Subject: Re: Radio's 100th

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.  

More information about the Boston-Radio-Interest mailing list