This is the Broadcast Archive

Maintained by:
Barry Mishkind - The Eclectic Engineer
Last update: 10/15/08

The Oldest Stations in the United States by State

E = Earliest Broadcasting.
F = First Broadcast License.
O = Oldest surviving station.

It is worth noting that "First" is an elusive term. In the early 1920's, stations were given a license automatically after filing the paperwork. So the date of license is not the date of First Broadcast. 

In fact, more than a few stations NEVER made it on the air at all! 

Hence some of the "Oldest" stations will claim to be the "First" - which can mean either they got a license first or were on the air before the others. 

Therefore, trying to tie down such claims often requires help from folks who can check library copies of local papers. That is generally the way to learn when stations actually came on - except in cities where the papers hated the radio people - and sometimes refused to print any radio news.

Can you help with citations from your state?

State   Date Licensed Date of first Broadcast Calls Location Owner Original Calls Deleted
AL E              
  F 2/3/22   WGH Montgomery Montgomery Light and Power   6/5/22
  O 3/29/22
  WAPI -1070 Birmingham   WYS - WMAV, Auburn  
AK F 9/27/22 10/3/22 WLAY Fairbanks Northern Commerce   8/21/23
  O 5/20/24   KFQD - 750 Anchorage      
AZ E 10/ /21   KOY - 550 Phoenix Nielson Sporting Goods 6BBH - KFCB  
  F 5/15/22   KDYW Phoenix Smith Hughes & Co.   4/4/24
  O 6/21/22   KTAR - 620 Phoenix McArthur Brothers KFAD  
AR E              
  F 2/16/22   WOK Pine Bluff Pine Bluff Co   6/--/24
  O 12/04/23   KUOA-1290 Siloam Springs   KFMQ  
CA E              
  F 10/13/21   KQL Los Angeles Arno A. Kluge   6/9/22
  O 12/07/21   KWG-1230 Stockton Portable Wireless    
CO E              
  F 3/10/22   KLZ -560 Denver Reynolds Radio Co.    
  O 3/10/22   KLZ -560 Denver Reynolds Radio Co.    
CT E 9/29/21   WCJ        
  F       New Haven A C Gilbert Co   12/1/22
  O 12/02/22   WDRC-1360 Hartford Doolittle WPAJ  
DE E              
  F 7/22/22   WHAV Wilmington Wilmington Elec    
  O 7/22/22   WDEL-1150 Wilmington   WHAV  
DC E              
  F 12/08/21   WJH Washington White & Boyer   3/26/24
  O 6/28/23   WWRC-980 Washington R.C.A. WRC  
FL E              
  F 5/08/22?   WCAN? Jacksonville SE Radio   10/26/22
  O 5/15/22   WDAE-1250 Tampa Tampa Daily Times    
GA E              
  F 3/15/22   WSB Atlanta Atlanta Journal    
  O 3/15/22   WSB-750 Atlanta Atlanta Journal    
HI E              
  F 3/14/22   KGU Honolulu Marion A. Mulrony    
  O 3/14/22   KGU-760 Honolulu Marion A. Mulrony    
ID E              
  F 7/06/22   KFAN Moscow The Electric Shop   10/1/25
  F 7/06/22   KFBA Lewiston Ramey & Bryant   12/9/22
  O 7/18/22   KIDO-630 Boise Boise H.S. KFAU  
IL E              
  F 11/09/21   KYW-1060, Phil, PA Chicago Westinghouse KYW  
  O 3/28/22   WILL-580 Urbana Univ. of Ill WRM  
IN E              
  F 1/26/22   WLK Indianapolis Hamilton Mfg   6/1/23
  O 4/05/22   WBAA-920 West Lafayette Purdue University    
IA E              
  F 3/14/22   WGF Des Moines Register-Tribune   9/29/23
  O 4/28/22   WOI-640 Ames Iowa State College    
KS E              
  F 3/23/22   WEY Wichita Cosradio Company   6/23/23
  O 4/06/22   KKSU-580 Manhattan Kansas State University WTG  
KY E              
  F 7/13/22   WHAS-840 Louisville Courier-Journal    
  O 7/13/22   WHAS-840 Louisville Courier-Journal    
LA E              
  F 3/21/22   WGV New Orleans Interstate Elec   6/--/24
  O 3/31/22   WWL-870 New Orleans Loyola University    
ME E              
  F 4/05/22   WMB Auburn Auburn Electric Co   3/21/23
  O 5/--/23   WABI-910 Bangor Bangor Railway & Elec    
MD E              
  F 3/23/22   WKC Baltimore Joseph Zamoiski Co   11/24/23
  O 5/08/22   WCAO-600 Baltimore Sanders & Stayman    
MA E 1920   1XE-WGI Medford Hillside AMRAD    
  F 9/15/21   WBZ Springfield Westinghouse    
  O 9/15/21   WBZ-1030 Boston Westinghouse    
MI E              
  F 10/13/21   WWJ Detroit Detroit News WBL  
  O 10/13/21   WWJ-950 Detroit Detroit News    
MN E              
  F 1/13/22   WLB Minneapolis Univ. of Minnesota    
  O 1/13/22   KUOM-770 Minneapolis Univ. of Minnesota WLB  
MS E              
  F 7/14/22   WHAU Corinth Cor. Radio Supply   10/19/22
  O 2/04/27   WALT-910 Meridian   WCOC  
MO E 1912 (3/23/22) 1912 (tty) WEW St. Louis St. Louis University 9YK  
  F 2/17/22   WOQ Kansas City Western Radio Co   6/14/34
  O 1912 (3/23/22) 4/26/21 (as 9YK) WEW St. Louis St. Louis University 9YK (WEW)  
  O 3/14/22   KTRS-550 St. Louis Post-Dispatch KSD  
MT E              
  F 5/13/22   KDYS Great Falls The Tribune   11/30/23
  O 7/11/22   KEIN-1310 Great Falls   KFBB, Havre  
NE E              
  F 12/29/21   WOU Omaha R. B. Howell   6/23/23
  O 4/19/22   KCRO-660 Omaha Omaha Grain Ex WAAW  
NV E              
  F 5/01/22   KOJ Reno Univ of Nevada   6/7/22
  O 9/13/28   KKOH-630 Reno John Peters KOH  
NH E              
  O 8/22/22 or 10/20/33 8/22/22 or 10/20/33 WEZS-1350 Laconia Laconia Radio Club WKAV  
  O   3/1/32 WFEA-1370 Manchester NH Broadcasting Co.    
NJ E              
  F 5/--/21   WABC-770 New York Newark Westinghouse WJZ  
  O 12/04/22   WIMG-1300 Trenton F. Wolff WOAX  
NM E              
  F 4/05/22   KNJ Roswell Roswell Pub Serv   11/26/23
  F 4/05/22   KOB State College New Mexico Coll    
  O 4/05/22   KKOB-770 Albuquerque   KOB  
NY E              
  F 10/13/21   WJX New York DeForest Radio T&T   6/--/24
  O 2/04/22   WGY-810 Schenectady General Electric    
NC E              
  F 3/18/22   WBT Charlotte Southern Radio Corp    
  O 3/18/22   WBT-1110 Charlotte Southern Radio Corp    
ND E              
  F 5/23/22   WDAY Fargo Kenneth M. Hance    
  O 5/23/22   WDAY-970 Fargo Kenneth M. Hance    
OH E              
  F 12/30/21   WMH Cincinnati Precision Equip   12/11/23
  O 2/21/22   WCLV - 1420 Cleveland Warren R. Cox WHK  
OK E              
  F 3/16/22   WKY Oklahoma City Okla Radio Shop    
  O     WKY-930 Oklahoma City Okla Radio Shop    
OR E 6/25/21 as 7XF KGN Portland Northwestern Radio Mfg Co. KGN 6/--/24
  F 3/15/22   KGG Portland Hallock & Watson   11/25/24
  O 3/21/22   KPOJ-620 Portland Oregonian Pub KGW  
PA E 11/19/19   KQV Pittsburgh Doubleday-Hill 8ZAE  
  F 11/7/21   KDKA-1020 East Pittsburgh Westinghouse    
  O 11/19/19   KQV Pittsburgh Doubleday-Hill 8ZAE  
PR E              
  F 6/19/22   WGAD Ensenada Span-Amer Sch   5/22/23
  O 8/--/22   WKAQ-580 San Juan Radio Corp of P.R.    
RI E              
  F 5/29/22   WEAG Edgewood N-H-B Lab   11/12/23
  O 6/05/22   WLKW-790 Providence Shepard Co WEAN  
SC E              
  F 6/17/22   WFAZ Charleston SC Radio Shop   6/11/23
  O 2/15/30   WSPA Spartenburg Virgil Evans    
SD E 1911    9YW Rapid City  SD State School of Mines  WCAT by 1922?
  F 5/09/22   WCAT Rapid City SD State School of Mines   10/28/52
  O 11/9/22   WNAX Yankton Gurney Seed & Nursery Co. & Radio Apparatus Co.    
TN E              
  F 3/23/22   WKN Memphis Riechman-Crosby Co   6/11/23
  O 11/21/22   WREC-600 Memphis   WOAN  
TX E              
  F 3/13/22   WRR Dallas City of Dallas    
  O 3/13/22   KTCK-1310 Dallas City of Dallas WRR  
UT E              
  F 4/21/22   KZN Salt Lake City Deseret News    
  O 4/21/22   KSL-1160 Salt Lake City Deseret News KZN  
VT E              
  F 5/13/22   WCAX Burlington Univ of Vermont    
  O 5/13/22   WVMT-620 Burlington Univ of Vermont WCAX  
VA E              
  F 4/06/22   WSN Norfolk Ship Owners Radio   1/16/23
  O 9/21/23   WTAR-790 Norfolk Reliance Electric Co    
WA E              
  F 12/08/21   KFC Seattle Northern Radio Elec   1/23/23
  O 2/28/22   KAQQ-590 Spokane      
WV E              
  F 3/16/22   WHD Morgantown W.Va. Univ   11/19/23
  O 12/06/26   WWVA-1170 Wheeling John C. Strobel    
WI E 1912?   WHA Madison Univ. of Wisconsin    
  F 1/13/22   WHA Madison Univ. of Wisconsin    
  O 1/13/22   WHA-970 Madison Univ. of Wisconsin was deleted  
WY E              
  F 10/03/22   KFBU (KWYO) Laramie Cathedral   9/24/29
  O 8/29/29   KTWO-1030 Casper D. Hathaway KDFN  

Some information and dates used were adapted from Thomas White's research. Other research and documentation was provided by Donna Halper.

Was KDKA first? Perhaps. Please, read on...

  • A discussion by Barry Mishkind about which station was on the air first.

Who's On First?

  • A discussion by Thomas White about which station was on the air first.

US Pioneer Broadcast Service Stations

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