Saturday, March 21, 2015
March 22 In Radio History
In 1922...WLW Signs-On Cincinnati, OH
In July 1921, radio manufacturer Powel Crosley Jr. began 20-watt tests from his College Hill home, broadcasting "Song of India" continuously under the callsign 8CR. Powell already owned a number of enterprises, including the Crosmobile and a refrigerator-freezer company, and for many years, he held ownership of the Cincinnati Reds baseball club. Powell was innovative, personally inventing or funding the development of many then–cutting edge technological advances in his ventures which he placed in the able hands of his younger by two years brother, Lewis Crosley who was a graduate engineer from the University of Cincinnati.
On March 22, 1922, Crosley and his Crosley Broadcasting Corporation began broadcasting with the new callsign WLW and 50 watts of power. Crosley was a fanatic about the new broadcasting technology, and continually increased his station's capability. The power went up to 500 watts in September 1922, 1000 watts in May 1924, and in January 1925 WLW was the first broadcasting station at the 5000 watt level. On October 4, 1928, the station increased its power to 50 kilowatts.
Again it was the first station at this power level, which still is the maximum power currently allowed for any AM station in the United States.
At 50 kilowatts, WLW was heard easily over a wide area, from New York to Florida. But Crosley still wasn't satisfied. In 1933 he obtained a construction permit from the Federal Radio Commission for a 500 kilowatt superstation, and he spent some $500,000 ($9.11 million in 2014) building the transmitter and antenna.
In January 1934 WLW began broadcasting at the 500 kilowatt level late at night under the experimental callsign W8XO. In April 1934 the station was authorized to operate at 500 kilowatts during regular hours under the WLW call letters.
On May 2, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a ceremonial button that officially launched WLW's 500-kilowatt signal. As the first station in the world to broadcast at this strength, WLW received repeated complaints from around the United States and Canada that it was overpowering other stations as far away as Toronto. In December 1934 WLW cut back to 50 kilowatts at night to mitigate the interference, and began construction of three 50 ft. tower antennas to be used to reduce signal strength towards Canada.
With these three antennas in place, full-time broadcasting at 500 kilowatts resumed in early 1935. However, WLW was continuing to operate under special temporary authority that had to be renewed every six months, and each renewal brought complaints about interference and undue domination of the market by such a high-power station. The FCC was having second thoughts about permitting extremely wide-area broadcasting versus more locally oriented stations, and in 1938, the US Senate adopted the "Wheeler" resolution, expressing it to be the sense of that body that more stations with power in excess of 50 kilowatts are against the public interest.
As a result, in 1939 the 500-kilowatt broadcast authorization was not renewed, bringing an end to the era of the AM radio superstation. Because of the impending war and the possible need for national broadcasting in an emergency, the W8XO experimental license for 500 kilowatts remained in effect until December 29, 1942. In 1962 the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation again applied for a permit to operate at 750 kilowatts, but the FCC denied the application.
In 1929...KIT-AM in Yakima WA signed-on.
KIT-AM was originally licensed to Portland, Oregon, but the station's original owner, Carl E. Haymond, decided, since Yakima had no radio station, that moving the station there would be more advantageous in regards to serving the community and in generating station operating revenue. KIT began broadcasting on 1310 kHz with 500 watts, but later switched to its present frequency of 1280 kHz so it could increase power.
In 1948...The Voice of Firestone was the first commercial radio program to be carried simultaneously on both AM and FM radio stations.
Sample of show from May 1948:
The Voice of Firestone is a long-running radio and television program of classical music. The show featured leading singers in selections from opera and operetta. Originally titled The Firestone Hour, it was first broadcast on the NBC Radio network on December 3, 1928 and was later also shown on television starting in 1949. The program was last broadcast in 1963
Firestone's 25th anniversary program was broadcast November 30, 1953, and it was heard on radio until 1956.
In 1999...WNJR changed format to Adult Standards. Call sign today is WNSW. The change was made in repsonse to WQEW-FM becoming Radio Disney. Because of the station's limited coverage area, the Adult Standards were not a big hit and by mid-2000, the format was eventually eliminated as more ethnic programming began to fill in the hours. The format officially ended on February 28, 2001 with the playing of Frank Sinatra's, "Softly As I Leave You."
In 2008…Disc jockey (WKBW, WMEX, CHUM, KFI, KTNQ, WKBW, WIXY, WKYC, WAYS) Jack(son) Armstrong died of injuries suffered in a fall at his home at age 62. His last gig was at WWKB, Buffalo in 2006
In 2011…Radio-television personality (KTLK-Denver, KQV-Pittsburgh, WJAS-Pittsburgh) "Big" Steve Rizen died at the age of 75.
Posted 11:59:00 PM