This is the FAQ section of
The Broadcast Archive
Barry Mishkind - The Eclectic Engineer
Updated as of 2/17/13
PLEASE: IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING WE CAN/SHOULD ADD TO THIS LIST,
PLEASE LET ME KNOW
This section is under construction and refinement. It is necessary to
understand that many of the "firsts" listed by different stations are
actually little more than Press Releases that became part of the urban
folklore. Therefore, some of the items in this section are subject to revision,
as better information and documentation appear. If you know of a correction
needed, or an appropriate fact that could/should be added, please let Barry
One note: Please do check further than Wikipedia.... a site often in error.
- ... VOICE TRANSMISSION: Fessenden. His program on December 24, 1906
from Brant Rock MA, included a female voice singing a Christmas carol and
Fessenden doing a speech and a violin solo.
- ... WIRELESS BROADCAST TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC: January 13, 1910. Lee
DeForest arranges broadcast featuring Caruso and others directly from
Metropolitan Opera to several listeners in New York. The transmission
utilized two microphones and a 500-w transmitter
- ... US GOVERNMENT LICENSE FOR TRANSMISSION: 1911, to George
Hill Lewis of Cincinnati.
- ... TRANSCONTINENTAL BROADCAST
- It is reported that there was a National Defense Test Day
broadcast, sent coast to coast on September 12, 1924.
- ... TRANSCONTINENTAL NETWORK BROADCAST:
- On October 24, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge spoke the US Chamber of
Commerce, and coast to coast on a network of 24 stations.
- In September 1928, the first network coast to coast broadcasts began,
although it required a dialup line from Denver to Salt Lake City.
- NBC used AT&T lines entirely for "The General Motors'
Party" on December 24, 1928.
- ... RELIGIOUS PROGRAMMING:
- The first religious programming may be Fessenden's 1906 broadcast.
- The first regularly scheduled religious programming was heard by 1920
on various stations, including 9BW, Wichita, KS in May 1920.
- The first all-Religious radio station in the US is said to be WDM,
Washington DC, December 1921. Another early station was KJS, Los
Angeles, in March 1922.
- (often mis-reported as the first:: KDKA's claims for the
Calvary Episcopal Church, 1/2/21.)
- ... CONCERT: broadcast was on / / on Station (anyone have a
- ... DRAMA BROADCAST: 8/3/22 on Station WGY.
- ... OPERA BROADCAST: 1/12/1910 ... Acts II and III of Tosca were
broadcast in New York. (They had no Phantoms... <g>)
- ... AIRCHECK
- According to some reports, the oldest existing aircheck dates to the
Armistice Day broadcast, November 10, 1923.
- Some WEAF broadcasts of the NY Philharmonic are said to predate that
- ... REGULAR 24 HOUR A DAY PROGRAMMING: KGFJ, Los Angeles,
claims to have been operating all night with a sponsored program from 1927
into the 1930s. Later, they operated all night for the benefit of WWII
construction workers. WNEW, NYC and WKY, Oklahoma City both say they
were the first to inaugurate all night programming. Dates are elusive.
- ... BLACK PERFORMERS:
- 1922 - Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, WNAC Boston.
- 1922 - Charles Gilpin, famous black actor, did a reading on WGI
- 1922 - George Dewey Washington, black recording artist, sang on KFC
- ... BLACK DISC JOCKEYS:
- ... CALL-IN TALK SHOWS:
- 1922, "Neighboring" in Minnesota. What is now "Swap
Shop" in many cities goes on the air.
- 1930, John J. Anthony invited listeners to call in and he then
paraphrased what they said on the air.
- Two-way Call-in Talk Show: Barry Gray was said to put Lionel Hampton
on the air on WMCA, NYC, in 1945.
- ... ALL TALK STATIONS: 1960 - KMOX-St. Louis, KABC-Los Angeles and
- ... ROCK AND ROLL:
- Origin of the format was generally credited to Alan Freed.
- BOSS RADIO: unveiled on KHJ, 930, Los Angeles on 5/3/65.
- ... ALL OLDIES STATION: KHJ-FM, 1971, where "Solid Gold Rock
& Roll" automation debuted.
- ... MTV Broadcast: August 1, 1981.
- ... LOCAL DAILY NEWS PROGRAM:
- March 18, 1922, at 8 PM, on WGI - Medford Hillside, MA. (in
cooperation with The Boston American.)
- or, September 1, 1922 on WBAY, NYC, at 4:30 PM. "The Radio
Digest" was edited by George Thompson.
- or, perhaps it was WWJ in 1920.
- ... DAILY NETWORK NEWS PROGRAM: began 2/24/30 on NBC. Announcer:
Floyd Gibbons. (CBS began daily news on 9/29/30, with Lowell Thomas.)
- ... ALL NEWS FORMAT:
- 3/18/59, KLIQ, Portland, OR began an
all news format. It lasted about a month and a half.
- 5/16/60, KFAX
San Francisco began an all news format.
- 1/ /61, WAVA, Washington, DC began a 24/7 all news format.
- 9/27/00, WNNY, New York City (1380) began a Spanish language all news
- Longest running: WINS news continues since 4/19/65
- 1975, NBC started the NIS (News and Information Service), an all news
radio network. It lasted two years.
- 1994, AP stated an all news network, which ran until 2005
- Many radio stations ran CNN Headline audio, until the service was ended
- 7/1/47, CMCB, Cuba began all news operation in Havana. The station was
confiscated when Batista fell.
- 5/9/61, XETRA began an all news service across the border from the US in
- ... ELECTION RESULTS: November 7, 1916. The DeForest Radio
Laboratory experimental station in Bronx, NY, broadcast bulletins from the
New York American on results of the Wilson-Hughes election for
approximately six hours until signing off about 11 p.m. with the
announcement that Hughes had been elected. (This was certainly a surprise
to Woodrow Wilson!)
- ... HELICOPTER USED FOR LIVE TV NEWS: KTLA, Los Angeles, 1958.
- ... AIRBORNE TRAFFIC REPORT: Hap Harper, KSFO, 1957. (WOR also
lays a claim here. Date unknown.)
- ... TIME CHECK: was not accurate.
- ... WEATHER REPORT: someone suggested it was raining outside (Or,
was it leaking through the studio ceiling?).
The First broadcast::
- ... BASEBALL GAME - Play by Play: According to KDKA, it was on
August 5, 1921 that they broadcast a game between Pittsburgh and
Philadelphia. The Pittsburgh Corsairs won 8-5 at Pittsburgh, the field
being connected by wire to the broadcasting station. Play-by-play was by
Harold Arlin, 16.
- ... WORLD SERIES:
- October 5, 1920 - 8MK (WBL/WWJ) broadcast the latest scores.
- October 5-13, 1921 - Grantland Rice broadcast the play-by-play
of the NY Giants/NY Yankees series.
- ... FOOTBALL GAME:
- A number game reports appear to have been made from 1912 onward
- October 9, 1920 - 5YA - Texas A&M vs SMU (this is in doubt and
may be removed.)
- November 12, 1921 - 1GAI (predecessor to WDRC) - Yale vs
- WTAW (or 5YA/5YB) seems to be November 24th 1921. This was
apparently a Morse Code broadcast.
- Fall 1921 - KDKA. Pittburgh vs West Virginia University.
- ... PRIZE FIGHT: September 6, 1920. WWJ broadcast the Jack
Dempsey-Billy Miske fight in Benton Harbor MI. (Miske was knocked out in
the third round of the scheduled ten-round fight.)
- ... ALL SPORTS STATION: WFAN, New York. July 1, 1987.
- ... EDUCATIONAL RADIO STATION: WOI was licensed on November 21,
1921 - to the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts
- ... FCC FINE: against KDWB; $10,000 for willful and repeated
- ... PRESIDENT TO BROADCAST
- ... on radio: Warren G. Harding. November 1921, using a 25 kV RCA
transmitter on Long Island, NY. In June, 1922, his speech at the
dedication of the F.S. Key Memorial was broadcast by WEAR.
- ... from the White House: President Coolidge on February 22, 1924.
- ... RADIO RECEIVER AT THE WHITE HOUSE: installed for President
Harding on February 8, 1922
- ... CAR RADIO: Wales, 1921.
- ... COMMERCIAL CAR RADIO: Manufactured by the Heinaphone Company
in 1925. William Heina held a patent for it.
- ... TRANSISTOR RADIO: the first mass produced consumer transistor
radio was marketed on November 19, 1954.
- ... WEBCAST: 1993.
- ... INTERNET STREAMING by a commerical station: KPIG, 1995
- ... IBOC broadcast
- ... FULLTIME IBOC (digital radio) broadcasting
- FM - KROQ-FM, Los Angeles (9/29/02).
- AM - WOR, New York (10/10/02).
- ... DEAD AIR: was ... a longgggg time ago.
- ... LONGEST RUNNING RADIO SHOW: The Grand Ole Opry - WSM, Nashville,
- The Grand Ole Opry has been a network program since 1939.
- ... Previously noted: Rambling with Gambling on WOR,
- ... "Unshackled," a drama by the Pacific Garden
Mission in Chicago, has been on the air since 1950.
- ... LONGEST RUNNING RADIO NETWORK SHOW: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir -
- from Salt Lake City.
- Transferred from NBC to CBS in 1931
- Other long running programs:
- ... The Metropolitan (Texaco) Opera broadcasts started in 1931.
- ... LONGEST RUNNING RADIO PERSONALITY: Alistair Cooke, "Letter
from America" 1946-2004
(Cooke did 2,869 shows over the years, retiring at the age of 95.)