For apparent causes, the very early broadcasting stations get all of the love relating to radio trivia. KNX (1070 AM), KFI (640 AM) and KHJ (930 AM), for instance, are all both celebrating, or are about to have fun, a full century of broadcasting.
Misplaced among the many crowd, nevertheless, are different stations with distinctive histories. One such station is KTNQ (1020 AM) which truly has its genesis as a station broadcasting out of the port group of San Pedro.
That’s proper – San Pedro as soon as had its very personal radio station. In line with radio historian Jim Hilliker — who offered a lot of this materials by way of a long-ago phone dialog in addition to materials accessible at www.radioheritage.net/Story28.asp — KTNQ is the Ninth-oldest repeatedly working radio station within the Los Angeles space, and over its 96-year existence has had solely 4 units of name letters.
Hilliker says that it was the McWhinnie Electrical Firm, then positioned at 1825 S. Pacific Avenue in San Pedro, that determined to place a radio station on the air. As reported within the March 30, 1925 native newspaper The Every day Pilot (one of many retailers that ultimately turned a part of this newspaper chain), McWhinnie brothers William (Invoice) and Charles (Charlie) obtained permission from the Division of Commerce to construct a radio station. The decision letters had been to be KVFD, and the assigned frequency was to be 1460 AM. It value $31,000 (about $470,000 right now) to get the station on the air, utilizing a 100-watt transmitter and studios positioned on the firm’s retail retailer. The primary on-air check was June twelfth, and the sign reached many components of Southern California together with Catalina Island.
The station featured a reception space, a big studio at 16×26 ft with a big glass window and soundproof partitions, and a management and transmitter room all in the identical constructing. Tales featured in The Pilot informed of about 2000 folks visiting the station on that Friday, because the studios had been open to the general public from 1-10 p.m. Hilliker wrote within the story featured by radioheritage.net that the pinnacle inspector for the Division of Commerce Radio Division stated that “KFVD was one of many most interesting geared up stations within the nation.”
The primary official broadcast got here the next evening, Saturday, June thirteenth, from 8 p.m. to three a.m. The inaugural broadcast consisted of speeches, congratulatory messages and music and leisure from each native and regional expertise. It could appear odd, given what we all know of radio right now, however the truth that the station would then broadcast solely three nights per week (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday) from 8 to 11 p.m. was common within the early days of broadcasting. Certainly, many stations needed to share the identical frequency, in order that they couldn’t broadcast all day.
Along with the night broadcasts, the station additionally carried Sunday morning and Sunday night companies of the First Presbyterian Church, which as a consequence of the price of the telephone line wanted to do the published, was a serious expense of the station. Funds to pay for the broadcasts got here from particular person donations, companies, and the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored month-to-month applications to assist publicize San Pedro on the radio.
Over time, the programming expanded. Information and present occasions had been a serious a part of the broadcasts, and the station made an settlement with the Every day Pilot, permitting it to make use of the paper’s wire companies for its information and sports activities studies. The Pilot in flip helped promote the station by itemizing the every day applications in an early model of a radio program log. Native musical expertise rounded out the programming together with particular options comparable to a one-act play offered and carried out by college students from San Pedro Excessive College.
Then, abruptly, it was gone. On August Ninth, 1926, it was introduced that the station would transfer its studios to the Venice Ballroom in Venice’s then oceanfront amusement park. No motive was given, however the transfer was fast: the station went off the air for nearly a month starting the day of the announcement. Newspaper studies alluded to giving the station an opportunity to increase its viewers, however some consider that the transmitter’s location was inflicting interference to Navy ships within the space.
Extra strikes got here alongside the way in which, however on March 29, 1941, KVFD moved to its last radio dwelling of 1020 AM, the place it has been ever since. In August, 1955, the station turned KPOP, one of many early top-40 stations and the brand new dwelling of somebody who would grow to be legendary amongst radio followers, Artwork Laboe, who would broadcast reside from Scrivner’s drive-in restaurant, first in Hollywood and later at a brand new location at Western and Imperial.
In June 1960, the station bought new name letters: KGBS. It truly had some massive expertise and earned some respectable rankings despite having to log off each evening at sundown. (I’ve an previous aircheck of 1 such broadcast and it’s fairly odd.) Hudson and Landry, Invoice Stability, and extra helped the station compete.
Lastly, in late 1976, the station received authorization to broadcast 24-hours a day and have become KTNQ, Ten-Q, a high-energy top-40 format that introduced in expertise comparable to Charlie Tuna, Wealthy Brother Robbin, Ken “Beaver Cleaver” Levine, The Actual Don Steele and “Machine Gun” Kelly, amongst others. To AM top-40 followers, it was superb.
In 1979, the station was bought and it adopted a Spanish-language format. Right this moment, it carries a Spanish-language speak format and is the Spanish radio dwelling of The Dodgers.
Few folks know of the San Pedro (and even Venice) connection to radio, and in some ways, it’s a disgrace that these communities don’t have that anymore. However the truth that they as soon as did is a enjoyable a part of native radio historical past, and as legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey all the time stated, now you recognize … the remainder of the story.