Small Cities With Class A Signal

Jim Hall
Mon Jul 25 08:36:33 EDT 2011

A friend and I were talking the other day about how the "clear channels"
were distributed around the country in the 1920s. Some very small cities
ended up with Class A stations. For example, Schenectady NY has a population
of 66 k (metro population < 1000 k) and has WGY; Waterloo, IA has a
population of 68 k (metro population < 200 k) and they have KXEL (Class A,
but directional at night). Schenectady obviously owes its good fortune to
the fact that General Electric was located there, but how did small cities
such as Waterloo IA, Hartford, Des Moines IA, Shreveport LA, Wheeling WV,
etc. end up with the Class A's? Was it just because they were first? Or was
there a plan to distribute the frequencies so as to cover the country?

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