Saturday, January 9, 2021

January 9 Radio History

Courtesy of American Radio History
➦ January 9, 1926 edition of Radio Digest. Click Here

➦In 1922...KQV-AM in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania began broadcasting. Jeff Roteman's Tribute website.

KQV was one of Pittsburgh's five original AM stations, signing on as amateur station "8ZAE" on November 19, 1919, predating KDKA which was granted the distinction of being, as KDKA claimed, the world's first commercially licensed station, on November 2, 1920. KQV did not receive a commercial license until January 9, 1922, despite having started transmitting three years earlier. KQV's call letters reportedly stand for "King of the Quaker Valley".

Only five radio stations east of the Mississippi River have call letters which start with K: along with KQV and KDKA, the others are KYW in Philadelphia (though the KYW callsign has in the past been used in Chicago and Cleveland), KTGG in Spring Arbor, MI, and KFIZ in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. KQV and KTGG are the only two of these such stations that have never had an associated TV station.

KQV was extremely successful as a top 40 station during the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, owned by ABC for nearly all of that period with Count John K. Chapel as the radio personality. Known variously as "Colorful KQV," "Audio 14," "Groovy QV," and "The Big 14" over the years, KQV premiered its top 40 format on January 13, 1958, and is remembered for its high-profile, high-energy personalities, such as Chuck Brinkman, Hal Murray, Dave Scott, Steve Rizen, Dex Allen, Jim Quinn, future game show announcer Rod Roddy, and their large-scale promotion of a Beatles concert at Pittsburgh's Civic Arena in 1964, and its former showcase studios at the Chamber of Commerce Building in downtown Pittsburgh, where the disk jockeys could be watched through a large window.

Dominant with young listeners throughout the 1960s, the station was a major force in breaking new music and introducing Pittsburgh to new artists such as Sonny & Cher, the Rolling Stones, the Supremes, the Beach Boys, the Dave Clark Five and others. KQV slowly began to decline after 1970 with the advent of new competition from WJAS and the rise of FM radio (including its then-sister station WDVE, which began life as KQV-FM).

"Jeff Christie"
One of KQV's top-40 personalities in the 1970s, with the on-air name of "Jeff Christie," later became famous as a talk-show host under his real name, Rush Limbaugh

At the end of 1974, ABC Radio sold both KQV and WDVE to Cincinnati-based Taft Broadcasting.  Taft made another attempt at Top 40 on KQV, this time with a far more radical presentation, with Joey Reynolds as program director, before dropping the format altogether. Its final night as a top 40 station was October 14, 1975, with Neil Diamond's "Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show" played as the final song.

The next morning, October 15, 1975, KQV switched to its present all-news format, carrying NBC Radio's 24-hour News and Information Service. Even though NBC cancelled this service two years later, KQV continued as an all-news station with local elements.

In 1982 Taft executives told KQV's general manager, Robert W. Dickey (no relation to the Dickey family that founded the Cumulus Media conglomerate), that it intended to sell the station.  Hoping to avoid a potential format change that often results from an ownership shift, Dickey decided to make a bid to buy the station. He received financial backing from newspaper publisher Richard Mellon Scaife and together they formed Calvary, Inc., purchasing the station from Taft that same year.

Dickey died on December 24, 2011,  his estate remained a partner in the station's ownership, with Robert W. Dickey Jr. succeeding his father as general manager. Dickey Jr.'s sister and station co-owner, Cheryl Scott, died in November 2017 at age 65.

On May 14, 2013, it was announced that Richard Mellon Scaife was selling his shares in KQV to the Dickey family, giving the Dickeys full ownership.  Scaife died a year later.  Citing declining revenue, all-news KQV signed-off on December 31, 2017.  New owners returned the station to the air on December 19, 2019, simulcasting  'beautiful music from sister-station WKGO in nearby McKeesport.

➦In 1929...KFCR San Barbara, CA became KDB radio.  The station launched on the 720 kHz frequency as KFCR in April 1926; it moved to 1420 kHz the following year.

KFCR was purchased in 1929 by George Barnes, owner of KGB in San Diego. Barnes changed the call letters to KDB in tribute to his wife, Dorothy Barnes, and moved the station to 1500 kHz.  In October of that year, KDB's license was canceled for failure to comply with regulations from the US Federal Radio Commission (forerunner to the Federal Communications Commission or FCC). At issue were broadcasts featuring The Crusaders, an organization that promoted the repeal of Prohibition. The station's management fought vigorously to get the license back, and KDB returned to the air by the end of the year.

Over the next couple of decades, KDB was bought and sold several times. In 1931, it became part of the Don Lee Network by virtue of being sold to Lee under the corporate name Santa Barbara Broadcasters. KDB relocated to the 1490 kHz frequency in 1941.

In 1969, then-owner Len Menard sold KDB-AM-FM to Pacific Broadcasting Company, owned by Richard E. Marsh, for $400,000.  On September 1, 1990, KDB changed its call letters to KSPE. Two months later, in a reorganization effort, Pacific Broadcasting sold KSPE to Spectacular Broadcasting for $302,000. Around the same time, the station began airing a regional Mexican music format.  The station's call-sign changed once again in 1997 to KBKO.

In October 1998, Spectacular sold KBKO and its sister station, then known as KSPE-FM, to Jacor Communications (later part of Clear Channel Communications, now iHeartMedia) for $4.6 million.On January 11, 2007, Clear Channel Communications sold all of its radio stations in Santa Barbara, including KBKO, to Rincon Broadcasting for $17.3 million.

On October 28, 2008, the KBKO callsign changed to KIST, which was previously used on 1340 AM (now KCLU).

On July 19, 2010, KIST changed its call letters to KSPE. This was accompanied by a format flip on September 15, 2010 to Spanish adult hits with the branding "La Preciosa". In July 2017, KSPE adjusted its format to Spanish adult contemporary and adopted the branding "La Musical".

On September 14, 2017, La Musical moved to KFYZ (94.5 FM); KSPE stunted with a looped announcement in Spanish notifying listeners to tune in at the new frequency. The next day, the stunt ended and KSPE introduced a rhythmic oldies format with new callsign KOSJ.

➦In 1935...Future sportscaster Dick Enberg born (Died -December 21, 2017). Over the course of an approximately 60-year career, he provided play-by-play of various sports for several radio and television networks, including NBC (1975–1999), CBS (2000–2014), and ESPN (2004–2011), as well as for individual teams, such as UCLA Bruins basketball, Los Angeles Rams football, and California Angels and San Diego Padres baseball.

Enberg was well known for his signature on-air catchphrases "Touch 'em all" (for home runs) and "Oh, my!" (for particularly exciting and outstanding athletic plays). He also announced or hosted the Tournament of Roses Parade for many years, sometimes with the help of family members. Enberg retired from broadcasting in 2016, after seven seasons as the Padres' primary television announcer.

He died of a suspected heart attack Dec. 21 2017 at age 82.

➦In 2001...Apple announced iTunes at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, for organizing and playing digital music and videos

➦In 2006...The Howard Stern Show made its debut broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio. The show began with Also Sprach Zarathustra with added flatulence sound effects. 180,000 Sirius radios were activated a day before. In May 2006, Stern claimed he had received offers from three major companies to return to terrestrial radio. Although he would never return, Stern did mention that it would be "cool to go back and kick their asses."

➦In 2007...WNEW 102.7 FM in NYC became WWFS.

The 102.7 FM frequency was first assigned in the mid-1940s as WNJR-FM from Newark, New Jersey. Initially intended to be a simulcasting sister to WNJR (1430 AM, now WNSW), the FM station never made it to the air despite being granted several extensions of its construction permit. WNJR finally gave up and turned in the FM license to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1953.

In 1955 the FCC awarded a new permit for 102.7 FM to a group called Fidelity Radio Corporation, based in West Paterson, New Jersey.  The station was later granted the call sign WHFI, and a year later the community of license was moved back to Newark from West Paterson. Once again, the owners failed to put the station on the air.

In November 1957, the WHFI construction permit was purchased by the DuMont Broadcasting Corporation, which already owned WABD (later WNEW-TV) and earlier in the year bought WNEW radio.   In January 1958, WHFI was renamed WNEW-FM  and DuMont completed its build-out, moving the license to New York City. The station finally came on the air on August 25, 1958, partially simulcasting WNEW (AM) with a separate popular music format.   DuMont Broadcasting, meanwhile, would change its corporate name twice within the next three years before settling on Metromedia in 1961.

WNEW-FM's early programming also included an automated middle-of-the-road format, followed quickly by a ten-month-long period (July 4, 1966, to September 1967) playing pop music—with an all-female air staff.  The gimmick was unique and had not before been attempted anywhere in American radio. The lineup of disc jockeys during this stunt included Margaret Draper, Alison Steele (who stayed on to become the "Night Bird" on the AOR format), Rita Sands, Ann Clements, Arlene Kieta, Pam McKissick, and Nell Bassett. The music format, however, was a pale copy of WNEW-AM's adult standards format and only Steele, Sands, and Bassett had broadcast radio experience. The all-female disc jockey lineup endured for more than a year, changing in September 1967 to a mixed-gender staff.

On October 30, 1967, WNEW-FM adopted a progressive rock radio format, one that it became famous for and that influenced the rock listenership as well as the rock industry. The original disc jockeys were Bill "Rosko" Mercer, who started on October 30, 1967; Jonathan Schwartz, who made his debut on November 16, 1967; and "the Professor" Scott Muni, who first appeared on November 18, 1967. Alison Steele would stay on from the female staff and eventually take over the overnight shift on January 1, 1968.

Today, the station airs a Hot A/C Format.

➦In 2008... Johnny Grant died at age 84 (Born - May 9, 1923). He was a radio personality and television producer who also served as the honorary mayor of Hollywood, in which capacity he was often present at Hollywood community functions, including the unveiling of new stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. An intersection just north of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue is designated "Johnny Grant Way".

He made his show business debut on the radio in 1939 as a local newscaster.  Grant joined the Army Air Corps during World War II, hosting a daily radio show in New York City for servicemen and women.[citation needed] During this time, he interviewed many entertainment stars who were in the city.[citation needed] After his discharge, he stayed in New York, working as a reporter for station WINS.

Having moved to California, Grant appeared as a disc jockey on Los Angeles area radio stations KGIL (1949–50) and KMPC (1951–59).  Along with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra, Grant co-hosted the first national telethon ever produced, a fundraiser to help send America's athletes to the Helsinki Olympics in 1952.  In the 1950s, he appeared in several films, often portraying uncredited fictional hosts. He played "Ed Harrison," an Ed Sullivan-type TV-show host, in the 1954 film White Christmas, and the Master of Ceremonies in the 1956 film The Girl Can't Help It.

➦In 2013... Raymond Franklin Page, known as Frank Page died at age 87 (Born - July 16, 1925). He was a broadcaster from radio station KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana, who on October 16, 1954 introduced Elvis Presley to the Louisiana Hayride Country music program. The Hayride was presented weekly from 1948 until 1960 at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium; it was akin to Shreveport's temporary alternative to the permanent Grand Ole Opry of Nashville, Tennessee.

Page was born in Malvern in Hot Spring County, Arkansas. He enrolled in high school in the capital city of Little Rock, where he worked beginning at the age of sixteen for KGHI radio and thereafter at KLRA. On December 7, 1941, Page was broadcasting at the time of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1943, he enlisted in the United States Army during World War II. He was assigned briefly at the end of the war to American Forces Network in Berlin, Germany.  In 1946, he returned to KLRA but he and his announcing partner, Bob Fulton, were soon fired.  Page joined the staff of KWKH, named for broadcast pioneer W. K. Henderson, and worked at the station for sixty-five years until his retirement in 2005 at the age of eighty.

During a year-long series of Presley appearances on the program, Wilkinson was the first to tell an audience, "Elvis has left the building."

➦In 2015…Radio, TV entrepreneur Lowell "Bud" Paxson died at age 80.  He was also the , creator of The Home Shopping Network and PAX TV.

  • Actor K Callan (“Lois and Clark”) is 85. 
  • Singer Joan Baez is 80. 
  • Guitarist Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin is 77. 
  • Actor John Doman (“Gotham”) is 76. 
  • Singer-actor Buster Poindexter (David Johansen) is 71. 
  • Singer Crystal Gayle is 70. 
  • Actor J.K. Simmons (TV’s “The Closer,” ″Spider-Man” movies) is 66. 
  • Actor Imelda Staunton (“Harry Potter” movies, “Vera Drake”) is 65. 
  • Nina Dobrev is 32
    Guitarist Eric Erlandson (Hole) is 58. 
  • Actor Joely Richardson is 56. 
  • Guitarist Carl Bell of Fuel is 54. 
  • Actor David Costabile (“Billions,” ″Breaking Bad”) is 54. 
  • Singer Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth is 54. 
  • Singer Dave Matthews of The Dave Matthews Band is 54. 
  • Actor Joey Lauren Adams (“Chasing Amy,” ″Big Daddy”) is 53. 
  • Actor Deon Cole (“black-ish”) is 50. 
  • Actor Angela Bettis (“Carrie,” ″Girl, Interrupted”) is 48. 
  • Actor Omari Hardwick (“Power”) is 47. 
  • Singer A.J. McLean of the Backstreet Boys is 43. 
  • Guitarist Drew Brown of OneRepublic is 37. 
  • Singer Paolo Nutini is 34. 
  • Actor Nina Dobrev (“The Vampire Diaries”) is 32. 
  • Actor Kerris Dorsey (“Ray Donovan,” ″Brothers and Sisters”) is 23. 
  • Actor Tyree Brown (“Parenthood”) is 17.

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