KLIF became a trendsetter that was reportedly the most copied station in America. McLendon was one of the creators of Top 40 playlists, a staple of programming that continues today.
Whether you knock AM radio today for its relentless static or its lack of music, this is where it all began. The early 20th century brought the first radio stations to the Dallas-Fort Worth area: AM started out as a freewheeling, 'throw up a transmitter and go with it' gamut of radio waves in its earliest days, with a couple of assigned frequencies kc [primarily news and weather] and By mid, all five DFW stations agreed to a timesharing plan on each frequency.
November 11, was declared "National Frequency Allocation Day," when the Federal Radio Commission FRC, predecessor to the FCC brought organization to the dial by assigning dedicated frequencies to the strongest stations, and culling out many of the small-time opportunists who weren't serious about broadcasting. Powerhouse WBAP was awarded a clear channel position on the dial; it is one of only a small handful of stations in the nation that's allowed to blast its signal to a reported 42 states!
AM radio in Dallas-Fort Worth, as with the rest of the nation, was mostly entertainment and news programming in its infancy; however, its value and importance was secured during World War II as the center of information for a concerned public. With the introduction of television to the masses in the late s, radio's demise was assumed to be imminent.
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Gordon McLendon didn't let that happen: Inhe signed on KLIF, featuring a music format. Other stations soon followed, and local radio found its second life. The invention of the transistor, and subsequently the development of lightweight, portable radios, along with the inclusion of radios in cars, helped the reinvented band find a new audience with people on the go.
Other local stations modified their formats to concentrate on news, country, rhythm and blues, or Spanish. While the nuclear threat of the Cold War prompted the dedication of a national broadcast frequency, it wasn't until that the system was first used for weather alerts. Broadcasts were originally dedicated to and kc in all cities, and all regular broadcast stations AM, FM and TV were to go silent when threatening information was aired.
By the early s, however, listeners were slowly discovering the FM band and migrated to it for its static-free, stereophonic broadcasts; byFM overtook AM as the most popular band. However, five different companies were pushing their systems to become the broadcasting standard.
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Motorola's C-Quam system was finally chosen by the FCC as the standard inbut, by that time, the luster had worn off. Broadcasters who were leery of buying AM Stereo equipment in the early s fearing that it would become obsolete at the whim of the FCC slowly abandoned interest in the concept by the late s.
However, AM Stereo broadcasts are still conducted by several DFW stations today, and Kahn Communications has recently unveiled a improved system, "Cam-D," which might create a resurgence of interest in AM broadcasting in the future. This would allow new investors to start new stations from scratch as the pool of available frequencies was quickly drying up and would permit existing restricted-signal stations to move into an uncrowded part of the band and beef up their coverage area.
Automakers and consumer electronics manufacturers began adding the extended band to their units in the early s, and existing stations were permitted to simulcast on their new frequencies beginning in the mids.
By December,all simulcasting stations will be required to give up their original frequency and begin broadcasting solely on the new dial position. But this is not to say AM is totally dead, or ever will be in Dallas Kahn Communications is working on improvements to their original AM Stereo concept.
HD receivers are already being sold, despite limited station participation. Calls stand for Dallas-Fort Worth Texas. Once applied for change of license city to DeSoto.
Station located at S. Temporary calls for KDFT, above.
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Station named for its original location in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. First radio station in the world to simulcast on the internet.
Broadcasted Dallas Sidekicks soccer games. Broadcasted Plano high school football games. First station in US to be programmed with classic rock. In an interesting promotion, the station allowed itself to be "hijacked" by the song, "Louie Louie," which it played in a continuous marathon for a weekend. Belo Alfred Horatio Belo Broadcasting. Original personalities for the station were drawn from columnists and editors at sister "Dallas Morning News.
Blue Lone Star Network. Sister to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper. Not related to KGKO See entry at kc. Began life at kc, then kc, before moving to The following are stations that began and ended before the Federal Radio Commission assigned specific frequencies on November 11, The general guideline from the FRC was to broadcast news and weather reports on kc meters and music on Barnes Amusement Company circus owner.
Designated as a portable station. Station to have been establishedbut owner ran out of money to start it up. Call letters stood for "Keep Forever Rolling On. Dallas Automotive Electric Company. Located at S. Station was mainly developed to be a showcase for the company's line of Magnavox radios.
Second station in Dallas after WRR. Leonard Withington dba Fort Worth Record newspaper. Inlocal preacher J. Broadcasts in AM Stereo. Call letters derived from "Mickey Mouse. Broadcasts TCU football games. Call letters stood for Wichita Falls, TX. North Texas Radio, Joe Carrigan. Other sources say KSMU began fall, at kc.
See entry at Call letters derived from station's location "from the skyroof of the beautiful Hotel Stoneleigh. William Bill Bennett syndicated. Texas governor Coke Stevenson inaugurated the station at high noon on September 28, ; during the station's "entertainment" format, celebrities such as Jackie Gleason, Skitch Henderson, Vincent Price, Jane Russell, Jack Webb and Charlton Heston visited the station in person and performed live! Station licensed to Dallas to To have been Business Talk.
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Dave Schum dba The Watch, Inc. KHSE was long rumored to be in a "testing" phase to align the signal on their new tower, but in reality, a tower had never even been constructed. Station was daytime only until Call letters stood for "Park Cities News.
Sargent mayor of Grand Prairie. Located at the Hancock Building at W.
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Broadcasted with watts. Allison former owner of KFJZ Also noted as broadcasting at kc. Unknown station date had active CP during and ; deleted by ; cannot confirm that station ever signed on. Campus station for the University of Texas-Arlington. And separately, serving the Dallas market: Station established fall, Other sources place it at kc.
Call letters stand for "Keep Absolutely Awesome Music" a backronym. Call letters stood for Percy B. Crawford, original owner of Crawford Broadcasting. Don Crawford dba Crawford Broadcasting.
Licensed to Garland inthe frequency laid dormant until several companies expressed an interest in the mids; Century Broadcasting was the top competitor for the FCC license for inbut five years passed before Crawford Broadcasting won out and put a station on the air.
Low-power station broadcasting city of Ovilla information. Claims to be first radio station in Fort Worth, but was actually beaten by the Fort Worth Press's WPA-AM by a month however, it does hold the record for longest tenure of any station in Texas with the same call letters. Began life at kc with 5 watts of power some sources say 10 watts, increased to 1. Seven other stations in the US still carry this same type of distinction on other AM frequencies.
It was the longest-lasting timeshare agreement in history. Commercial-free for several years in the s. The Chuck Wagon Gang. Frank Mills, who began at WBAP in the summer ofrelates a story of how he and college friend Ronald Reagan were en route to Hollywood to "become stars," and made a stop-over in Fort Worth. Reagan opted to finish the journey to California by himself, and the rest is history!
Each show was preceded with the following warning: Thanks to historian Karl Schadow for all the research on this; if you have any more information or details about the "Black Night" program, contact Karl at bluecar91 hotmail.
WBAP was the first station in the area to broadcast in stereo, albeit in an unconventional way.