Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Radio History: November 15

➦In 1919...actress Carol Bruce was born in Great Neck NY. She is best remembered as the domineering station owner Mother Carlson in the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati. She also had recurring roles in General Hospital & Knot’s Landing. She died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Oct. 9 2007 at age 87.

➦In 1921...Westinghouse signed-on KYW in Chicago.

At first, it was jointly operated by Westinghouse and Commonwealth Edison, with Westinghouse later taking over as sole operator.

In 1927, Westinghouse affiliated its four radio stations (KYW, KDKA in Pittsburgh, WBZ in Springfield and WBZA in Boston) with the National Broadcasting Company's (NBC) Blue Network, originating from WJZ in New York City, which had been transferred from Westinghouse to the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in 1923. Westinghouse had been a founding partner of RCA, NBC's original parent company.

In 1923, Westinghouse established a station, KFKX in Hastings, Nebraska, located near the center of the country. The station was designed to serve a dual purpose, of providing an agricultural service, and for testing the practicality of using shortwave transmitters to link together radio networks, with KFKX receiving much of its programming by shortwave from KDKA in Pittsburgh. In 1928 the project was abandoned, although it was announced that the KFKX programming was being consolidated with KYW.

Westinghouse now controlled two stations in addition to KYW in the Chicago area: KFKX and WEBH. On September 1, 1928 the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) ordered that their operations should be consolidated.  WEBH was deleted, and the two stations were merged, with a dual call letter assignment of KYW-KFKX, although the latter call sign would be rarely if ever used. On May 15, 1933, after the FRC requested that stations using only one of their assigned call letters drop those that were no longer in regular use, KFKX was eliminated and the station reverted to just KYW.

Under the provisions of the FRC's General Order 40, a sweeping reallocation of station frequency assignments was implemented on November 11, 1928. KYW was assigned to the clear channel frequency of 1020 kHz. However, under the provisions of the "Davis Amendment", eight clear channel frequencies were to be allocated to each of five national regions. Chicago was located in Region 4, while the reallocation provisions had reserved 1020 kHz for use in Region 2, a grouping of mid-Atlantic states.

1934 Ad
Westinghouse fought a long legal battle, attempting to keep KYW operating as a clear channel station on 1020 in Chicago. Finally it proposed moving the station to a Region 2 location, settling on Philadelphia.

After broadcasting its last program in Chicago on December 2, 1934, KYW aired its debut Philadelphia program the next day.  The move made KYW the easternmost U.S. radio station with a call sign beginning with "K".  KYW became Philadelphia's NBC-Blue Network outlet, an affiliation that lasted 20 years.

On March 29, 1941, KYW's clear channel assignment was shifted from 1020 to 1060 kHz, its current frequency, as part of a nationwide adjustment of assignments engineered by the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement (NARBA).

KYW acquired a television counterpart in 1953, when Westinghouse bought Channel 3 WPTZ (now KYW-TV), the nation's third commercial television station and NBC's second television affiliate.[18]

In June 1955, Westinghouse agreed to trade 1060 KYW and TV Channel 3 WPTZ to NBC, in exchange for the NBC's Cleveland properties: 1100 WTAM, 105.7 WTAM-FM and Channel 3 WNBK. Westinghouse also received $3 million in cash compensation. The main impetus for the trade was NBC's desire to acquire an owned-and-operated TV station in the fourth-largest American television market. NBC had to receive a waiver for the swap because 1060 KYW and NBC Radio's New York City flagship, 660 WRCA (now WFAN) were both clear channel stations. At the time, the FCC normally did not allow common ownership of clear channel stations with overlapping nighttime coverage. After clearing the final regulatory hurdles, the swap went into effect on January 22, 1956.

On February 13, NBC changed KYW's call letters in Philadelphia to WRCV (for the RCA-Victor record label). At the same time, Westinghouse changed the call letters of its new Cleveland station from WTAM to KYW.  The Westinghouse-NBC station swap, and its subsequent reversal nine years later, resulted in two alternate ways to recount KYW's history. In the records of the FCC, the station in Philadelphia on 1060 kHz merely underwent two call letter and ownership changes, taking place in 1956 and 1965. However most KYW histories follow the path of the call letters, and refer to KYW moving from Philadelphia to Cleveland in 1956, then returning to Philadelphia nine years later.

Almost immediately after the NBC-Westinghouse trade was finalized, Westinghouse complained to the FCC and the United States Department of Justice that it had been coerced into making the station swap, including a threat by NBC to revoke Westinghouse's NBC-TV affiliations. A lengthy investigation was launched. In September 1959 the Justice Department issued a decision which, in part, instructed NBC to divest WRCV-AM-TV by the end of 1962. Several months later in early 1960, NBC announced it would trade its Philadelphia stations to RKO General in exchange for that company's Boston outlets. That proposed station swap was held up for nearly four years until the FCC issued a final decision in August 1964. The Commission renewed NBC's licenses for WRCV radio and television, on the condition that the 1956 station swap with Westinghouse be reversed. RKO General initially contested the FCC's decision, but soon gave up its efforts and bowed out of the competition.  Following nearly a year of appeals by NBC, Westinghouse regained control of WRCV-AM-TV on June 19, 1965 and subsequently restored the KYW call letters to the radio station.

Today, KYW is owned by Audacy and has been airing an All-News format since 1965.

➦In 1926...The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) began broadcasting comprised of a network of 24 radio stations.

The program was a gala 4½-hour broadcast from the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Two remote pickups were also on the program. Opera star Mary Garden sang from Chicago and Will Rogers presented a humorous monologue from Independence, Kansas. Aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh was among the luminaries who attended the broadcast.

➦In 1926...AT&T sold New York’s WEAF radio to RCA.  It was the originating station for most of the early NBC schedule.

➦In 1927...KVOS 1200 AM Bellingham WA signed on the air with 100 watts owned by Rogan Jones.  It is now KGMI 790 AM.

Lionel Barrymore

➦In Lionel Barrymore,  who played Dr. Gillespie to Lew Ayres’ Dr Kildare in the movies & on radio, suffered a fatal heart attack at age 76.   He also was beloved as radio’s Mayor of the Town, and as Scrooge in the annual radio broadcast of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

➦In 1959...Three ex-members of the Quarrymen -- later to become known as the Beatles' John, Paul, and George -- audition for a British talent program called TV Star Search at the Hippodrome Theatre in Lancashire, appearing as "Johnny and the Moondogs" and performing two Buddy Holly songs: "Think It Over" and "It's So Easy." Unfortunately, the trio is forced to return to Liverpool the same night, having no money to rent a hotel room, and therefore missing out on the next round of auditions.

➦In 2006...Personality Jack Ali, a fixture on Washington rock radio in the 1960s known as "JA the DJ", died at age 64.

Jack Alix
Alix, who had a fluid and excitable style, became one of the premier rock deejays in Washington in the early 1960s, first on WEEL-AM and later on WPGC-AM/FM. He also hosted a weekday dance show for teenagers on WDCA-TV (Channel 20) called "Wing Ding," soon renamed "The Jack Alix Show."

He was among those chosen to emcee at Washington Coliseum when the Beatles performed their first U.S. concert there in February 1964. He also hosted the band's later concert at what was then called D.C. Stadium.  "There was only one of the Beatles who took the time to talk, who was friendly, who related on a one-to-one level, and that was Paul McCartney," he later told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "It was like talking to a next-door neighbor."

He hosted "Rock 'n' Roll Roots," a syndicated radio show in the late 1970s and early '80s that aired on more than 140 stations worldwide.

➦In 2007…Baseball broadcaster (Cincinnati Reds)/former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Joe Nuxhall died of cancer at 79. Nuxhall was the youngest player ever to appear in a major league game, pitching 2/3 of an inning for the Reds on June 10, 1944 at the age of 15 years, 316 days.

➦In 2014…Longtime Baltimore disc jockey (WCBM, WFBR) Joe Knight, known to his listeners as "The Knight of the Spinning Roundtable," died of broken hip complications at 87.

Petula Clark is 91
  • Singer Petula Clark is 91. 
  • Actor Sam Waterston (“Law & Order”) is 83. 
  • Singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad of ABBA is 78. 
  • Actor Bob Gunton (TV’s “24,” film’s “The Shawshank Redemption”) is 78. 
  • Actor Beverly D’Angelo (“National Lampoon’s Vacation”) is 72. 
  • Actor-director James Widdoes (“Animal House”) is 70. 
  • News correspondent John Roberts is 67. 
  • Bandleader Kevin Eubanks (“The Tonight Show With Jay Leno”) is 66. 
  • Comedian Judy Gold is 61. 
  • Actor Rachel True (“Half and Half”) is 57. 
  • Rapper E-40 is 56. 
  • Country singer Jack Ingram is 53. 
  • Actor Jonny Lee Miller (“Elementary,” “Eli Stone”) is 51. 
  • Actor Sydney Tamiia Poitier-Heartsong (“Carter,” “Veronica Mars”) is 50. 
  • Drummer David Carr of Third Day is 49. 
  • Singer Chad Kroeger of Nickelback is 49. 
  • Drummer Jesse Sandoval (The Shins) is 49. 
  • Actor Virginie Ledoyen (“The Beach”) is 47. 
  • Actor Sean Murray (“NCIS”) is 46. 
  • Rapper B.o.B is 35. 
  • Actor Shailene Woodley is 32. 
  • Actor Emma Dumont (Film’s “Oppenheimer,” TV’s “Bunheads”) is 29.

  • In 2003..Laurence Tisch, American businessman (CEO of CBS Television, 1985-96; co-founder of Loews Corp), dies of gastroesophageal cancer, at 80
  • In 2015..P.F. Sloan [Philip Schlein], American songwriter ("Eve of Destruction"; "Secret Agent Man"), session guitarist, and singer, dies of pancreatic cancer at 70
  • In 2016..Milt Okun, American music producer, conductor, and arranger (Peter, Paul and Mary; John Denver), dies at 92
  • In 2018..Roy Clark, American country singer and banjo player (Hee Haw, The Tonight Show), dies at 85

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