Friday, September 10, 2021

September 10 Radio History

➦In 1920...KNX Los Angeles began broadcasting as 6ADZ. Although KNX received its first formal broadcasting station license on December 8, 1921, the station has traditionally dated its founding to September 10, 1920, starting with broadcasts conducted by Fred Christian over his amateur station, 6ADZ. Christian was a former shipboard radio operator, who later explained that he began the broadcasts in order to provide something to listen to by customers who had constructed receivers from parts purchased at the store. Christian began making broadcasts with a five-watt vacuum-tube transmitter, operating on the standard amateur wavelength of 200 meters (1500 kHz).

KNX - 1925

Initially there were no specific standards in the United States for radio stations making transmissions intended for the general public, and numerous stations under various classifications made entertainment broadcasts. However, effective December 1, 1921, the Department of Commerce, regulators of radio at this time, adopted a regulation that formally created a broadcasting station category, and stations were now required to hold a Limited Commercial license authorizing operation on wavelengths of 360 meters for "entertainment" broadcasts or 485 meters for "market and weather reports" (833 and 619 kHz). By the end of 1922 over 500 stations would be authorized nationwide.

On December 8, 1921, the Electric Lighting Supply Company was issued a broadcasting station license with the randomly assigned call letters KGC, authorizing operation on the 360 meter entertainment wavelength. The station's location was listed as Fred Christian's Harold Way home. The shared 360 meter wavelength required times-haring agreements between an increasing number of stations needing exclusive time periods. On May 4th the Los Angeles Times reported that a total of seven local stations were slated to make broadcasts that day, comprising a schedule that ran from noon to 9:00 p.m., with KGC assigned 2:00-2:30 and 7:30-8:00 p.m.

KNX Request Line Operator

On May 4, 1922, the Electric Lighting Supply Company was issued a broadcasting license for a station with the randomly assigned call letters of KNX, also on 360 meters.  This was technically considered to be a second station in addition to KGC, however, after KGC was formally deleted on June 20, 1922, the Department of Commerce concluded that KGC and KNX were functionally the same station, and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) records list December 8, 1921 as KNX's "date first licensed".

The new authorization coincided with preparations for a move to the California Theater, with Fred Christian continuing as station manager. On June 12, 1922 the Los Angeles Times reported that "After more than two months of preparation, the new broadcast station at the California Theater had its opening program Saturday evening at 9:15, sending out a wavelength of 510 meters [588 kHz].

Bob Crane KNX - 1960
KNX's power was raised to 100 watts in early August 1922. In the fall of 1924, Guy Earl, Jr., owner of the Los Angeles Evening Express, arranged for the newspaper's purchase of KNX. The Express made significant upgrades, including increasing the power to 500 watts, and began broadcasting from the Paul G. Hoffman Studebaker building in Hollywood. KNX was one of the last stations to have stayed on the original 360 meter wavelength, and the newspaper engineered a move to 890 kHz. It remained on this frequency until November 11, 1928, when the station was reassigned to 1050 kHz, under the provisions of a major reallocation resulting from the Federal Radio Commission's (FRC) General Order 40.

In early 1928 KNX changed owners and was then operated by the Western Broadcast Company. In 1929 the station's transmitter power was upgraded from 500 to 5,000 watts, followed by an increase to 10,000 watts in 1932. In 1933, the station moved its studios to another part of Hollywood, after being granted permission by the FRC on June 7, 1932, to raise its output to 25,000 watts. The following year, KNX's transmitting power was raised to the nationwide maximum of 50,000 watts, which the station continues presently.

CBS purchased KNX in 1936 and began operating it as its West Coast flagship, which ended CBS's eight-year affiliation with KHJ. In 1938, the CBS Columbia Square studios were dedicated for KNX as well as West Coast operations for the entire CBS radio network. That October, the station carried Orson Welles' celebrated version of The War of the Worlds. In March 1941 the station was shifted to 1070 AM as part of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement assignments, where it has been ever since.

In 2009, KNX adopted the slogan "All news, all the time." It was previously used for 40 years by KFWB, KNX's historic rival in the news radio wars before both became sister stations through the 1995 merger of Westinghouse Electric (KFWB's owner) and CBS. KFWB's format change to news-talk in September 2009 (and currently as a Regional Mexican station) now leaves KNX the only all-news outlet in the Los Angeles area, which is now emphasized in its alternate slogan, "Southern California's only 24-hour local news & traffic station".

On February 2, 2017, CBS agreed to merge CBS Radio with Entercom (now Audacy). The merger was approved on November 9, 2017 and consummated 8 days later.

➦In 1933…Early radio entertainer Jimmy Durante first appeared Eddie Cantor's "Chase and Sanborn Hour" with Eddie Cantor.

➦In 1935…The radio program "Popeye, the Sailor," debuted on NBC Red Network as a 15 minute, three-times-a-week feature. But instead of spinach giving him strength (as in the comics and cartoons), it was the sponsor’s breakfast cereal Wheatena. “Wheatena’s me diet / I ax ya to try it / I’m Popeye the Sailor Man”.

➦In 1945...KLS 1310 AM changed its call letters to KWBR and changed its format to focus on an African-American audience. In 1959, it was bought by the owners of Memphis radio station WDIA, and the call letters were changed to KDIA. During the 1960s through the 1980s, the station was the premier soul and funk station in the San Francisco Bay Area. The station helped launch the careers of such musicians as Sly and the Family Stone. Its tagline at that time was "KDIA, Lucky 13."

For twenty-five years, the call letters KDIA were synonymous with soul music in the Bay Area, according to the Bay Area Radio Museum.  Descended from the pioneering Oakland station KLS — which itself was born from an early experimental station, 6XAM, in 1921 and became KWBR in 1945 — the 1,000-watt station had begun emphasizing programs that targeted the local African-American audience around the end of World War II.

By the late 1950s, while still known as KWBR, the station was competing with KSAN 1450 AM in San Francisco for black listeners with rhythm-and-blues music and popular disc jockeys, including Big Don Barksdale and Bouncin' Bill Doubleday. In July 1959, KWBR was sold for $550,000 to the Sonderling Stations group, operator of the legendary Memphis station, WDIA. On September 4, 1959, KWBR became KDIA, reflecting its new parentage. (Sonderling also owned KFOX in Los Angeles and WOPA in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park.)

Under Sonderling ownership and the management of Walter Conroy, KDIA directed its full programming effort toward the emerging black audience, keeping Don Barksdale and Bill Doubleday on its staff and adding high-caliber talent over the years that included Bay Area Radio Hall of Famer George Oxford (previously a competitor at KSAN), John Hardy, Belva Davis (later known for her television work at KRON, KPIX and KQED), Rosko (nom de radieux of William Roscoe Mercer), Roland Porter, Bob White, Bill Hall, Johnny Morris and Bob Jones. The station leveraged its dial position — 1310 AM — into its identity as "KDIA Lucky 13."

In 1965, KDIA's power was raised to 5,000 watts from a new transmitter facility near the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza which also housed the station's new studios and offices. The five-fold increase in power made KDIA a veritable powerhouse and helped to hasten the demise of the old KSAN, which had become KSOL in 1964. (Going full circle, it was another KSOL — this time on 107.7 FM — that would eventually end KDIA's supremacy in the late 1970s.)

The station thrived through the 1970s, but was sold by Sonderling to Viacom International in 1980. KDIA continued with an Urban Contemporary music format under Viacom until 1983, when the station was sold again (along with WDIA) to Ragan Henry. In 1984, KDIA changed hands once more, becoming the property of Adam Clayton Powell III, who flipped the station to All News KFYI.

After the failure of KFYI's news format, the station went off the air on April 9, 1985, only to be revived under new ownership as KDIA in October of that year. In subsequent years, the station was owned by future San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris, and by James Gabbert, who had also owned KIOI and KOFY. In 1997, Gabbert entered into an agreement to air the syndicated "Radio Disney" programming format on KDIA in advance of selling the station to ABC, Inc.  The station's call letters were changed to KMKY on January 20, 1998, and ABC purchased the station for $6.25-million in May 1998.

The KDIA call letters are currently assigned to the religious-formatted station known as "The Light For San Francisco," licensed in the city of Vallejo and operating at 1640 kHz.

➦In 1948…WW2 Nazi radio broadcaster Mildred "Axis Sally" Gillars was indicted for treason. Originally charged with ten counts of treason, the U-S citizen was convicted on March 10, 1949 on just one count of treason.  She was sentenced to 10 to 30 years in prison, and a $10,000 fine. She served 12-years.

➦In 1962...The BBC banned "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett finding it in poor taste. The novelty tune eventually went on to be a U-K No.3 pop hit after the ban was lifted in 1973.

➦In 1984...The Federal Communications Commission changed a ownership rule allowing broadcasters to own 12 AM and 12 FM radio stations. The previous limit had been 7 of each.

➦In 2001...Sean Hannity went into radio syndication. Hannity is a conservative political talk show that features Hannity's opinions and ideology related to current issues and politicians. The Sean Hannity Show began national syndication on over 500 stations nationwide. The program was made available via Armed Forces Radio Network in 2006.

Danny Hutton is 79

  • Actor Philip Baker Hall (“Bruce Almighty,” ″The Insider”) is 90. 
  • Actor Greg Mullavey (“Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”) is 88. 
  • Jazz vibraphonist Roy Ayers is 81. 
  • Actor Tom Ligon (“Oz,” ″Another World”) is 81. 
  • Singer Danny Hutton of Three Dog Night is 79. 
  • Singer Jose Feliciano is 76. 
  • Actor Judy Geeson (“Mad About You”) is 73. 
  • Misty Copeland is 39
    Guitarist Joe Perry of Aerosmith is 71. 
  • Actor Amy Irving is 68. 
  • Actor Clark Johnson (“Homicide: Life on the Street”) is 67. 
  • Actor Kate Burton (“Scandal”) is 64. 
  • Director Chris Columbus is 63. 
  • Singer Siobhan Fahey of Bananarama is 63. 
  • Actor Colin Firth is 61. 
  • Singer-guitarist David Lowery of Cracker is 61. 
  • Actor Sean O’Bryan (“The Princess Diaries” films) is 58. 
  • Drummer Robin Goodridge of Bush is 56. 
  • Guitarist Stevie D. of Buckcherry is 55. 
  • Singer-guitarist Miles Zuniga of Fastball is 55. 
  • Rapper Big Daddy Kane is 53. 
  • Director Guy Ritchie is 53. 
  • Actor Johnathon Schaech (“To Appomattox,” ″That Thing You Do!”) is 52. 
  • Contemporary Christian singer Sara Groves is 49. 
  • Actor Ryan Phillippe is 47. 
  • Actor Jacob Young (“The Bold and the Beautiful,” ″All My Children”) is 42. 
  • Bassist Mikey Way of My Chemical Romance is 41. 
  • Ballerina Misty Copeland is 39. 
  • Guitarist Matthew Followill of Kings of Leon is 37. 
  • Singer Ashley Monroe of Pistol Annies is 35. 
  • Actor Hannah Hodson (“Hawthorne”) is 20.

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