This is the Broadcast History section of
The Broadcast Archive
Barry Mishkind - The Eclectic Engineer
Last update 10/8/02
It would be a kindness if you'd just send a short note to let
me know who you are, and what your interests are. Thanks.
At KDKA it was Harold W. Arlin. He also was the first play by play sports
announcer there. The famous Graham MacNamee was the first announcer at WEAF, New
York, rivaled at the time by Norman Brokenshire at WJZ.
The First African-American announcer was Jack Cooper on Station WSBC,
Chicago, in 1929.
If we want to talk "part time", then we are probably talking about
Some of the early people like Doc Herrold, Frank Conrad, or folks from WHA. As
far as first female announcer, it was likely Cybil Herrold.
Television note: According to AT&T, the first woman to be broadcast
on television in the US was Edna Mae Horner, shown on the demonstration from
AT&T in Washington to NYC on April 7, 1927.
- Marie (Mrs. Robert) Zimmerman - The first woman to own and operate a radio
station. WIAE, Vinton, IA operated from July, 1922 to July, 1923. (Another
early station: KFXY, Flagstaff, AZ. Mary Costigan signed on this station on
12/5/25, and ran it from her theater until she sold it in 1932, the station
moving to Yuma, AZ.)
- Sybil Herrold - Wife of pioneer Charles "Doc" Herrold. She was
so adept at Morse Code that she taught courses at the Herrold College of
Wireless in San Jose. She was also on the air at her husband's station,
playing phonograph records and doing some announcing, as early as 1912.
- Vaughn DeLeath - known as the "Original Radio Girl" because she
sang for several of Lee DeForest's demonstrations of radio beginning in
January 1920. DeLeath went on to become Station Manager of WDT New York in
1923, and was later a personality on several stations, including the morning
host at WMCA.
- Eunice Randall - one of the earliest female engineers, she not only ran
her own amateur station (which she built) but went on to be perhaps the
first female announcer in Boston, on the AMRAD station 1XE (later WGI)
- Bertha Brainard - First female announcer in New York, she was on the air
at WJZ in 1921, doing a nightly program of theatre reviews and commentary
called "Broadcasting Broadway".
- Mary Texanna Loomis - the first woman to become director of a radio
school, she ran the College of Radio Engineering in Washington DC in the
early 1920s. She was cousin to Mahlon Loomis.
- Several women became program managers (what would today be called Program
Directors), including Vaughn DeLeath (WDT in New York, in 1923) and Eleanor
Poehler (WLAG in Minneapolis, 1922). Bertha Brainard was probably the first
female network executive, being promoted to a management post with NBC Blue
in late 1927.