AM 770 Seattle FCC History Cards

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Author: Jason Remington

Creator, Admin, & Editor of QZVX, former broadcaster at KTOY FM/Tacoma, KVAC/Forks , KDFL/Sumner, KTTX & KWHI FM/Brenham (TX), KONP/Port Angeles, KBAM/Longview, KJUN/Puyallup, KRPM FM/Tacoma, KAMT/Tacoma, KASY/Auburn, KBRD FM/Tacoma, KTAC/Tacoma, KMTT FM/Tacoma, and KOOL FM/Phoenix. -- Airchecks
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1 thought on “AM 770 Seattle FCC History Cards

  1. mikec says:
    December 18, 2016 11:18 am at
    For me, this is so far the most interesting of these history cards. I spent about 2 hours last night going over this & the KVI history card hoping for an answer to one of my historical questions never answered. Approx 1932, KXA was on 570 with 500 watts full-time and KVI was on 760* as a daytimer protecting WJZ NYC. These two swapped frequencies & I’ve never determined why. The only hints in the records indicate “subject to court order” which makes me think there was some legal challenge or claim involved. At that time KVI 760* was the CBS affiliate licensed to Tacoma. After the frequency swap, KVI was on 570 full-time & COL changed to Seattle. KXA ended up as a daytimer on 760*, was denied night operation, but WAS given permission to operate during the hours that protected WJZ NYC was off air. Why would KXA voluntarily give up 570 full-time for 760* daytime + limited night hours??? Did CBS apply some ‘muscle’ to make this change happen so as to give KVI the ability to air evening network shows? (* = pre-NRBA 1941 frequency assignment which would change to 770 kc/s)

    Another interesting oddity: when KXA was on 570, it’s night operation was to protect, and not interfere with the signal of KUOM Minneapolis. Both stations would end up on 770 eventually!

    KXA tried but failed numerous times to obtain night operation + power increases of either 10 kW or 50 kW and was stuck with daytime operation + specified evening hours. Stories abound of KXA’s puny 1 kW signal and wire antenna radiating all the way across the Pacific, where Bill Apple’s nightly music show was heard by troops during WW2. Eventually when WJZ (now WABC) New York went to 24/7 operation, KXA lost this nightly period of broadcasting & was stuck thereafter as a strictly 6am-sunset broadcaster.
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    December 18, 2016 11:11 pm at
    It had to do with the fact that powerful KVI was limited in hours – whereas wimpy 500 watt KXA was a full-timer:

    Dec 1931 — Dill Raps Coasts Hold on Channels -Attacking clear channels on the two coasts as wasteful of the nation’s radio facilities, Senator Dill, (Dem.), Wash., criticized the Federal Radio Commission at a hearing before Chief Examiner Ellis A. Yost on Dec. 9 for its “failure” to adjust broadcasting conditions in this country. He appeared as a witness for KVI, Tacoma, an applicant for the faciltiies occupied by KXA, Seattle. The former station operates limited time on 760 kc. with 1 kw. KXA is on 570 kc. with unlimited time and 500 watts. Senator Dill said he hoped the Commission will work out administrative details itself, but cautioned that if it did not, Congress would have to take a hand and enact remedial legislation. He said he would be the last one to foster any move to set aside or allocate frequencies for education or labor. The Commission should take a “broad view of the whole broadcasting situation” to avoid Congressional intervention, he said. “A town of over 100,000 people is entitled to a radio station in this day and age to get on the air with programs,” the Senator asserted. He added it was his view that between 6 and 8 p.m. more people listen to their radios than at any other time during the day. Judge John Kendall, of Portland, appeared as counsel for KVI, and Paul D. P. Spearman represented the Seattle station.

    Source: Broadcasting Magazine

    mikec says:
    December 19, 2016 3:38 pm at
    thanks Jason – this illuminates the reasons for the forced swap. It was, as I suspected, a “Seattle vs Tacoma” issue regarding availability of local radio service. However, Senator Dill’s argument would suggest that Tacoma was without any local radio station at the time. What about KMO?? The notations in both KVI & KXA’s cards make reference to a Court Order enforcement + a ‘stay’. However, there’s no details of this fight

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