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 /  Homepage / Special Projects / History of Broadcasting in Southern Oregon / History of Radio in Southern Oregon / Chronology of Development of Radio in Southern Oregon

Chronology of Development of Radio in Southern Oregon

1920
November 2 KDKA, Pittsburg, broadcast returns of the Harding election as the first licensed, operating radio broadcasting station.

1921
Newspapers, department stores, electronics shops/manufacturers and interested individuals begin seeking licenses to operate radio stations - particularly in the eastern states.

January 2 KDKA carries radio's first "remote" broadcast, a church service.

Fall Virgin, Morrison, Jordan and Rush gather in Morrison's garage to build, operate and experiment with a small transmitter

1922
June/July Virgin applies to Department of Commerce for a broadcasting license.

September Marshfield (now Coos Bay) gets its first radio station when KFBH signs on at 833 KHz. Operated by the Thomas Musical Company, KFBH operates for over a year but then signs off forever.

September 23 Call sign KFAY is assigned to Virgin's station by the Department of Commerce and station signs on from the Dance Hall building in the Medford Fairgrounds broadcasting with 5 watts at 833 KHz.

1923
January 2 For the first time the programming of one radio station, WEAF, New York, is carried simultaneously over a second station, WNAC, Boston in a demonstration. Event gives birth to the concept of a "network" or "chain broadcasting" as it is then called.

October 19 First permanent network hookup consisting of WEAF and WJAR, Providence RI.

1924
KFAY switches to 1200 KHz frequency.

February 8 First transcontinental network broadcast links stations in New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco and Oakland.

1926
November 15 National Broadcasting Company (NBC), owned by Radio Corporation of America (RCA) conducts its inaugural nation wide broadcast replacing earlier less serious efforts by RCA and American Telephone and Telegraph (ATT) to operate networks serving a smaller group of stations.

December 28 KMED formally signs on from new studios in the Sparta Building as the Medford Mail Tribune-Virgin Broadcasting station with 50 watts at 1200 KHz.

1927
First major sale of radios to the general public which could be operated off of "wall socket power" (as house current was then described). These AC radios replaced the use of large, expensive automobile batteries previously used for operating radios in homes.

January NBC's splits its radio stations into separate networks, the Red and Blue. In later years other little remembered variants, such as the Orange (designating NBC's western stations) and Brown, which referred to the Don Lee western network, come into play.

March Federal Radio Commission (FRC), predecessor to the Federal Communications Commission, is formed to unravel the chaos of interfering stations created by the nearly totally unregulated approach previously in use.

September 18 CBS Radio network opens as the Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System.

Fall As part of the new Federal Radio Commission's attempt to eliminate rampant interference problems, KMED shifts to 1110 KHz. Some time in the mid-1930's the station again moves, this time to 1410 KHz.

1928
January 27 Bill Virgin dies and his widow, Blanche, assumes ownership and operational responsibility for KMED. She is the first women in the nation to own and operate a radio station.

March 15 Coos Bay gets its first permanent radio station, KOOS. Operating at 1370 KHz with 50 watts, it is now known as KHSN and is unrelated to the station currently using the KOOS call sign.

December 31 KMED moves to 1310 KHz, still at 50 watts, as part of the Federal Radio Commission's continuing reorganization of the spectrum.

1932
KFJI, Astoria, moves to Klamath Falls and brings that city its first radio station. KFJI operates at 1210 KHz with 100 watts.

1933
KMED increases power to 250 watts, using a homemade transmitter, and moves the transmitter from the Sparta Building to Ross Lane. The huge towers on the roof of the Sparta Building come down.

1934
September Mutual Broadcasting System (MBS) network is formed by a cooperative of stations located in New York, Detroit, Chicago, and Windsor, Ontario (Canada) to distribute programs each individually produce (like the Lone Ranger).

1937
KMED joins the NBC Radio network.

December 12 Mae West's guest appearance on NBC's "Edgar Bergan and Charlie McCarthy" show provokes a storm of protest and an FCC inquiry. Said NBC: "The script was inoffensive but sounded differently when Mae read it on the air."

December 16 KUIN signs on in Grants Pass with 100 watts at 1310 KHz and carrying programs from the Mutual network. Later known as KAGI, it was donated to Jefferson Public Radio in 1990.

1938
October 30 CBS broadcasts H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds as dramatized by Orson Wells on the Columbia Workshop, and terrorizes the nation. In Ashland the city attorney calls the police in panic seeking advice.

1939
KMED applies for FM radio station license. Processing of the application is delayed by World War II.

1941
March 29 KMED moves to 1440 on the dial, its final home.

KMED moves out of the Sparta building to new studios on Ross Lane also this year.

1946
KFLS signs on in Klamath Falls at 1450 KHz.

July 13 KMED receives an FM station license from the FCC but decides not to build the station. On the same day Siskiyou Broadcasters, of Ashland, also receives an FCC permit for an FM station. This station also is never constructed.

July 30 KWIN, Ashland, goes on the air with 250 watts at 1400 KHz. Station is later known as KCMX(AM) and is purchased by KTMT(FM) in 1993.

December 5 KWIN receives an FM station license from the FCC.

1947
September 25 Medford Mail Tribune receives FCC permission to building an FM station in Medford which is never constructed.

October 10 Medford Mail Tribune signs on KYJC with 250 watts at 1230 KHz. Station later raises its power.

1948
KGPO(FM), sister station of KAGI, signs on in Grants Pass.

1949
March 1 KYJC joins the ABC Radio network bringing the Medford area two full-time network affiliated stations. Station later joins CBS network as well and carries programs from both networks until separate affiliated stations in Medford are secured for each network.

1950
June Blanche Virgin sells KMED to a group of local businessmen operating under the name of Radio Medford Inc. December 19 KTEC, in Klamath Falls, signs on at 89.5 as the first noncommercial station in southern Oregon.

1951
March 1 KWIN joins the Liberty Broadcasting network. Liberty is short-lived.

1952
July FCC application for a new AM station is filed jointly by Clarence Wilson, Puyallup WA and P. D. Jackson, Chickasha OK to operate at 1,000 watts on 1540 KHz. Plans are subsequently dropped.

August 1 After losing Liberty Network affiliation, KWIN goes off the air during a foreclosure proceeding.

1953
April 20 KWIN returns to the air.

October 15 KWIN joins the Mutual Radio network. Medford now has all four major radio networks represented locally.

1954
May 27 KBOY(AM) goes on the air broadcasting at 730 KHz with 1,000 watts. In the late 1980's known as KRVC (not the same station as the eventual KRVC at 1350), and later KLOV, station has now returned to use of its original call sign.

1956
December 7 KYNG signs on in Coos Bay at 1420 KHz.

1957
August 15 KAJO, the third radio station in Grants Pass, signs on with 1,000 watts at 1270 KHz.

1958
February KBOY(FM) signs on at 95.3 MHz as Medford's first FM station. Station later moves to 95.7 MHz in the early 1980's.

August 17 KDOV signs on the air at 1300 KHz with 1,000 watts carrying religious programming. Station is later called KRVB in the 1970's and becomes KHUG early in 1980's. Station goes off air around 1986 and changes call sign back to KDOV in 1989 when it resumes broadcasting.

1960
November 19 KRVC goes on the air, from studios in the Faith Tabernacle in Ashland, broadcasting at 1350 KHz and carrying religious programming and Mutual Network programs. Takes call sign KDOV in 1970's when station at 1300 becomes KRVB.

1961
KGPO(FM), Grants Pass, is disbanded.

1962
April 4 KWIN moves to 580 KHz.

April 7 Radio Station KSHA signs on at 860 KHz. In the 1980's known as KISD, with a frequency moved to 880 KHz, station later is called KMFR. Station is now associated with KTMT(FM) and known as KTMT(AM).

1969
May 21 Areas's first noncommercial station, KSOR(FM), signs on at 90.1 MHz from Southern Oregon State College with a power of 10 watts.

1970
October 15 KMED(FM) signs on at 93.7 MHz. Station is now known as KTMT.

1971
October 12 KWIN changes its call sign to KCMX.

1973
Medford Mail Tribune sells KYJC.

1974
September School District #6 in Central Point signs on KCHC, a noncommercial training station for students. Station operates at 91.7 MHz with 10 watts until mid-1980's when it is disbanded.

1976
February 3 KEPO, a noncommercial station owned and operated by the Eagle Point School District, signs on at 89.1 MHz, with 10 watts as a training facility. Station later moves to 92.1 MHz.

1977
February 25 KSOR expands from 10 watts to 2,000 watts and can now offer public radio to most Jackson county residents.

1978
July 20 FM station, KKIC, co-owned with KCMX(AM) signs on at 101.9 MHz. Station, now known as KCMX(FM), was purchased by KTMT(FM) in 1993.

1980
August 11 KRWQ(FM) signs on from Gold Hill at 100.3 MHz.

1981
October 14 KFMJ(FM) signs on from Grants Pass at 96.9 MHz. Station is now known as KYJC(FM).

1983
May 24 KYJC moves to 610 KHz at a power of 5,000 watts.

1984
January 23 KDOV moves to 1230 KHz from 1350 KHz.

1985
April 30 KBGG(FM) signs on from Cave Junction at 97.7 MHz. Station is later sold several times and is now known as KCNA.

1987
November 7 KSMF, sister station to KSOR and part of Jefferson Public Radio, signs on at 89.1 MHz with 228 watts. In 1991 station raises power to 2,300 watts.

1989
July KDOV moves to 1300 KHz, vacant frequency of old KHUG, and donates the 1230 KHz station to Jefferson Public Radio where it is renamed KSJK.

1990
April 2 KSJK signs on at 1230 KHz with 1,000 watts providing the Rogue Valley's only public radio service on AM.

Summer California Oregon Broadcasting, owners of KAGI in Grants Pass, donates the station to Jefferson Public Radio.

1991
August 14 KOPE(FM) signs on at 103.5 MHz.

October KROG(FM) signs on at 105.1 MHz.




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