Thursday, April 27, 2017

April 27 Radio History

Samuel Morse 1840
➦In 1791...Samuel Morse was born.

Samuel Finley Breese Morse (April 27, 1791 – April 2, 1872) was an American painter and inventor.

After having established his reputation as a portrait painter, in his middle age Morse contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs. He was a co-developer of the Morse code, and helped to develop the commercial use of telegraphy.

Original Morse Telegraph
In 1825 New York City had commissioned Morse to paint a portrait of Lafayette in Washington, DC. While Morse was painting, a horse messenger delivered a letter from his father that read, "Your dear wife is convalescent". The next day he received a letter from his father detailing his wife's sudden death.   Morse immediately left Washington for his home at New Haven. By the time he arrived, his wife had already been buried.  Heartbroken that for days he was unaware of his wife's failing health and her death, he decided to explore a means of rapid long distance communication.

While returning by ship from Europe in 1832, Morse encountered Charles Thomas Jackson of Boston, a man who was well schooled in electromagnetism. Witnessing various experiments with Jackson's electromagnet, Morse developed the concept of a single-wire telegraph. The original Morse telegraph, submitted with his patent application, is part of the collections of the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution.  In time the Morse code, which he developed, would become the primary language of telegraphy in the world. It is still the standard for rhythmic transmission of data.

➦In 1927..Pacific Coast Biscuit Company launched KPCB in 1927 from Seattle.  Queen City Broadcasting took over the station in 1935, changing the call letters to the KIRO.  The station boosted its signal to 1,000 watts in 1937, and CBS soon moved its Seattle affiliation to KIRO. On June 29, 1941, KIRO's new, 50,000-Watt transmitter on Maury Island became operational.

During the radio’s golden age in the 1940s and 1950s, KIRO recorded countless hours of CBS programming for time-delayed broadcast.  Many of these discs are the only extant recordings of CBS’ news coverage of World War 2, according to Faded Signals.

Bonneville International purchased KIRO-AM-FM-TV in 1964. By this time, KIRO-AM was carrying a full-service format of news, talk and middle-of-the-road music.  In 1973, it dropped CBS and affiliated with Mutual.  The station became “KIRO Newsradio 71” in 1974, replacing most music programming with news and talk.  The station spent the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s at the top of Seattle’s radio ratings.

On August 12, 2008, KIRO began simulcasting their programming on sister station KBSG-FM, which dropped their long-running classic hits format. This began the transition of KIRO Newsradio from AM to FM.  To complete the transition, KIRO switched to a sports radio format (as 710 ESPN Seattle) on April 1, 2009, and began carrying Seattle Mariners games, beginning in the 2009 season.[6] KIRO also simulcasts the Seattle Seahawks games with KIRO-FM, and has extensive team-related programming throughout the year. KIRO-FM continues the news/talk format.

Bonneville sold KIRO-TV to Belo in 1995 and then sold KIRO-AM-FM to Entercom.  Bonneville bought back the stations in 2007.

In 2008, KIRO-AM’s news/talk format moved to Bonneville-owned KBSG-FM.  The FM station’s call letters were changed to KIRO-FM.  KIRO-AM flipped to a sports format, picking up the ESPN affiliation in Seattle.

As of 2014, Bonneville owns the KIRO radio stations.

➦In 1932...Radio personality, Casey Kasem, was born in Detroit, Michigan.

Casey Kasem on 1110 KRLA
He is best known for hosting "American Top 40" and for playing the character Shaggy in the Saturday morning cartoon franchise Scooby-Doo. Kasem, Don Bustany and Ron Jacobs founded the American Top 40 franchise in 1970, hosting it from 1970 to 1988 and from 1998 to 2004. Between January 1989 and early 1998, he was the host of Casey's Top 40, Casey's Hot 20, and Casey's Countdown. Also beginning in 1998 Kasem hosted two adult contemporary spinoffs of American Top 40, American Top 20 and American Top 10. Kasem retired from AT20 and AT10 on July 4, 2009 and both shows ended on that day.

In October 2013, Kerri Kasem said her father was suffering from Parkinson's disease, which a doctor had diagnosed in 2007; a few months later, she said he was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, which is often difficult to differentiate from Parkinson's. Due to his condition, he was no longer able to speak during his final months.

On June 15, 2014, Kasem died at St. Anthony's Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington at the age of 82.

➦In 1933...Karl Jansky reported receiving cosmic Radio signals in Washington, D.C.

➦In 1965...the legendary CBS journalist & news executive (and chain smoker) Edward R Murrow, succumbed to lung cancer at age 57.

➦In 2008...Radio Personality Big Ron O'Brien passed away at age 57.

O'Brien grew up in Des Moines, IA, and worked at the high school radio station.  Ron worked at KBAB in Indianola, IOWA and then in May of 1970, he arrived at KUDL (1380 AM) where he did the 6 PM to 10 PM shift.  KUDL-FM (98.1 now KMBZ-FM) was automated with a MOR format but did simulcust KUDL-AM at 9 each night.  Ron left KUDL to go back to Des Moines (his hometown) in February of 1971 where he did afternoons at KYNA-FM.

During the ensuing years,he worked for many stations, including KTLK in Denver, WCAR in Detroit, WQXI in Atlanta, WCFL (now WMVP) in Chicago, WOKY in Milwaukee, WFIL in Philadelphia, KFI and KIIS in Los Angeles, KWK (now WARH) in St. Louis (where he stayed for nine years), KZDG in Denver, WYXR (which became WLCE during his tenure and is now WRFF) in Philadelphia, WNBC (now WFAN) and WXLO (now WRKS) in New York, WPGC in Washington, D.C., and WRKO in Boston.

WOGL, also in Philadelphia, was his employer for the final six years of his life.

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