Thursday, October 7, 2021

October 7 Radio History

 ➦In 1939…The radio soap drama Kate Hopkins, Angel of Mercy debuted CBS Radio.  It remained on-the-air until April 3, 1942.  The show's initial premise was that after Kate Hopkins' husband died in a fire, she became a visiting nurse to support herself and her young son in the mythical American town of Forest Falls.

In 1940…"Portia Faces Life" debuted on the CBS Radio Network after starting in syndication seven months earlier. The program starred veteran radio actress Lucille Wall, who had been on Your Family and Mine and other radio dramas since the mid-1920s.

Stations airing the series included WNAC in Boston, WLS in Chicago, KRLD in Dallas, KGW in Portland, Oregon and KFI in Los Angeles, according to newspaper advertisements.

Portia Faces Life continued on CBS until April 25, 1941. Three days later, it moved to NBC where it continued until March 31, 1944. It then returned to CBS as a summer series from April 3 to September 29, 1944. Heard on NBC from October 3, 1944 to June 29, 1951, the series continued until 1953, according to scripter Mona Kent who wrote every episode.  General Foods remained the sponsor through all 13 years of the radio series.

In 1952...“Bob Horn’s Bandstand” aired for the first time on WFIL-TVPhiladelphia.  Dick Clark joined in 1955 as a substitute-host, and took over permanently in July ’56.   The program went network on ABC-TV as “American Bandstand” this same date in 1957.

In 1966...WOR 98.7 FM New York, which had been airing Top40 music without DJs added personalities to the air. The original WOR-FM disc jockeys were Scott Muni (formerly of WABC and WMCA), Murray “the K” Kaufman (formerly of WINS), Rosko (Bill Mercer) and Johnny Michaels.

Even though the format began on July 30, there were union problems with AFTRA.  RKO did not want to pay FM disc jockeys the equivalent pay of their AM counterparts.  As a result, the station segued from one record to another.

In 1970...Intel introduced the computer memory chip.

In 1985...Spokane, WA station heard at 590 AM for decades, KHQ signed off.

The station originated in Seattle on February 8, 1922 as the third commercial station in Seattle. The first station licensed was KFC on December 8, 1921, operated jointly by the Northern Radio and Electric Company and the Post-Intelligencer newspaper. Vincent I. Kraft's KJR received a license March 9, 1922, however Kraft had been broadcasting over an Experimental station since 1920. Louis Wasmer launched a new station in late February 1922, it was described at the time as "the third broadcaster".

Wasmer was a former United Wireless Telegraph Company radiotelegraph operator, who opened the Excelsior Motorcycle and Bicycle Co. in 1911, and also sold radio equipment. Wasmer's first license was issued with the randomly assigned call letters KHQ on February 28, 1922.

In May 1925 it was announced that KHQ was temporarily going off the air in order to give Bush & Lane time to "make extensive alterations in the studio", while making a major upgrade in the facilities. Instead, after broadcasting in Seattle for three years, Wasmer moved the station to Spokane.  KHQ was Spokane's fifth radio station, preceded by KFZ, KOE, KFIO (now KSBN) and KFPY (now KXLY), although only KFIO and KFPY were still licensed at the time of KHQ's arrival.

KHQ changed its transmitting frequency a number of times in the mid-twenties, until November 11, 1928, when, under the provisions of a major reallocation resulting from the Federal Radio Commission's (FRC) General Order 40, it was reassigned to 590 kHz which it and its successors have used ever since.

The August 1941 adoption of the Federal Communications Commission's "duopoly" rule restricted licensees from operating more than one radio station in a given market. At this time Louis Wasmer, Inc. owned two Spokane stations: KHQ and KGA. To conform with the FCC order, in 1946 Wasmer sold KHQ to the Cowles Publishing Company, publisher of The Seattle Spokesman-Review newspaper, which used it to launch an FM station (now KISC) and a television station (which still bears the KHQ-TV calls).

Cowles sold off its radio interests in 1984. Because of a FCC rule in place at the time that prohibited TV and radio stations in the same market but with different ownership from sharing the same call letters, AM 590 changed its call to KLSN, with the slogan "Listen 5-90".  On December 1, 1986 the station changed its call sign to KAQQ,  which was phonetically similar to the original KHQ call letters.  On New Year's Day 2002 the call letters became KQNT.

In 1988....WNBC 660 AM's final broadcast took place and Sports WFAN moved from 1050 AM to 660 AM.

In November 1987, General Electric, which now owned NBC through its purchase of RCA two years earlier, announced that it would sell off the NBC Radio division. In February of that year GE made a multi-station deal with Emmis Communications and, in New York, the WNBC license for 660 was included in the sale. Emmis announced it would move WFAN to the 660 frequency. At the time, WFAN was located at 1050 AM, and had a somewhat marginal signal in portions of the New York area. As the deal only included the license for WNBC and not the station's intellectual property, GE would proceed to shut down the station for good.

On October 7, 1988 at 5:30 pm, the WFAN call letters, studios, programming and staff moved to WNBC's old frequency at 660 AM, which has a much better signal.

Earlier in the day, the station aired a 90-minute retrospective titled "WNBC-The First 66 Years," hosted by Dale Parsons. The program was written and produced by Parsons and his wife, Ginny, who spent nearly six months researching the station's history.

The last voice heard on WNBC was that of the late Alan Colmes, who said "I'm Alan Colmes. Thank you, God bless you, and for the last time, this is 66 WNBC New York. Let's do the countdown." and counted down the seconds to WNBC's demise with the legendary NBC chimes (the notes G-E-C) playing in the background.

Earlier in the day, regular music programming ended at 6 am; Jay Sorenson played "Imagine" by John Lennon followed by the NBC chimes and a 5-second pause.  Although the FCC regards the 660 frequency as the same license dating back to WEAF, and merely changed its calls from WNBC to WFAN on that day, WFAN does not claim WNBC's history. It did, however, sign up Imus to take Greg Gumbel's place in the morning. Imus would remain on the morning drive-time slot for 19 years, until his firing in 2007 for comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team. He moved to WABC near the end of that year.

In the complicated switch that saw WFAN move to the 660 frequency, the 1050 frequency that was formerly the home of WFAN became that of Spanish-language WUKQ, owned by Spanish Broadcasting System. However, SBS already owned an AM station in the market, Newark-based WSKQ at 620 kHz, and at the time, FCC rules stipulated that companies could own only one AM station per market. As a result, SBS received a temporary waiver to run 1050 while exploring the sale of either AM frequency. SBS chose to keep 620 (it is now WSNR), and 1050 was traded to Forward Communications, which owned WEVD, then at 97.9 FM. After that deal was approved, WEVD's call letters and programming moved to 1050 AM, and SBS took over 97.9 as WSKQ-FM. The October NBC-Emmis switch also saw Emmis's WQHT (then at 103.5 MHz) move to 97.1 MHz, which had been the home of NBC's WYNY. Emmis sold the 103.5 frequency to Westwood One, who also acquired the WYNY call letters and its country music format.

In all this, WFAN retired two of the oldest radio call letters from the dawn of commercial radio: WHN and WNBC.

In 1996…The Fox News Channel launched on cable system in the U-S.

Above: Fox News newsroom in New York, c. 1996.

The network launched 25 years ago today with 3 floors on 6th Avenue — 3 studios, 3 control rooms + 3 greenrooms.

Fox News now has 15 floors in New York — with 17 studios around the world, 11 control rooms in New York and D.C. + 7 greenrooms.

In 2005...Los Angeles radio personality Tracey Miller died from brain cancer (Born - July 21, 1954). Miller worked for much of her radio career on stations in the Los Angeles area. From 1990 to 1993 Miller and Terri-Rae Elmer co-hosted KFI's TNT in the Morning, the first morning-drive show in a major market to feature two women in the lead roles.

A four-time winner of the Los Angeles Press Club Golden Mike Award, she became founding editor of the La Crescenta Valley Sun in April, 2002, and wrote a weekly column for the Glendale News-Press in 2005. In July 2005, the American Women in Radio and Television established a merit award in her honor, to recognize chapter members who have shown commitments to the organization and chapter, and made positive contributions to the broadcasting profession.

In 2008... Music, podcast, and video streaming service Spotify is launched by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon.

John Mellencamp is 70


  • TV personality Joy Behar (“The View”) is 79. 
  • Drummer Kevin Godley of 10cc is 76. 
  • Actor Jill Larson (“All My Children”) is 74. 
  • Country singer Kieran Kane of The O’Kanes is 72. 
  • Musician John Mellencamp is 70. 
  • Guitarist Ricky Phillips of Styx is 70. 
  • Actor Mary Badham (“To Kill A Mockingbird”) is 69. 
  • Drummer Tico Torres of Bon Jovi is 68. 
  • Actor Christopher Norris (“Trapper John, M.D.”) is 66. 
  • Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is 66. 
  • Gospel singer Michael W. Smith is 64. 
  • Actor Judy Landers (“Vega$,” “BJ and the Bear”) is 63. 
  • Reality competition judge Simon Cowell is 62. 
  • Allison Munn is 47
    Guitarist Charlie Marinkovich (Iron Butterfly) is 62. 
  • Actor Paula Newsome (“Chicago Med,” “Barry”) is 60. 
  • Singer Ann Curless of Expose’ is 58. 
  • Singer Toni Braxton is 54. 
  • Singer Thom Yorke of Radiohead is 53. 
  • Actor Nicole Ari Parker (“Murder in the First,” “Soul Food”) is 51. 
  • Actor Allison Munn (“One Tree Hill”) is 47. 
  • Singer Damian Kulash of OK Go is 46. 
  • Singer Taylor Hicks (“American Idol”) is 45. 
  • Actor Omar Miller (“The Unicorn,” “CSI: Miami”) is 43. 
  • Singer Nathaniel Rateliff of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats is 43. 
  • Actor Shawn Ashmore (TV’s “The Rookie”) is 41. 
  • Actor Jake McLaughlin (“Quantico”) is 39. 
  • Electronic musician Flying Lotus is 38. 
  • Actor Holland Roden (TV’s “Teen Wolf”) is 35. 
  • Actor Amber Stevens (“Greek”) is 35.

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