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Photographs of Hollywood Radio Stations Pt. 1

Photographs of Hollywood Radio Stations - Part 1

Radio’s  early history in Los Angeles was one of hit and miss, of trial and error – –  the identical experience of radio throughout the United States in the days of crystal sets and earphones. Radio broadcast began in Los Angeles in 1922 when four stations were established. Three of them – – KNX, KFI, and KHJ – – dominated local broadcasting from the beginning and continue to do so today, each representing the a major national chain. As elsewhere in the country, radio was considered merely a novelty in 1922. The develop meant ofKNX, the stormy petrel of early radio in Los Angeles, prior to its acquisition by the Columbia broadcasting system, was due to the originality and persistence of Guy C. Earl,  promotion manager of the Los Angeles evening express newspaper, who entered the radio Field in 1923 by arranging for his newspaper to give away 1000 crystal sets as part of a circulation drive. So successful was this first effort, that he decided to u seKNX permanently for promotional purposes. In 1924, the station started broadcasting on 500 watts, from the Studebaker Sale building at 6116 Hollywood Blvd. In 1925, the station turned in a profit of $25,000 and Earl began to devote more of his money and energy to radio, costing feuds with other stations and local newspapers. always seeking the sensational, he broadcast a local murder trial despite repeated  ejections of his operatives from the courthouse. In 1928, he broadcast the Rose bowl game by telephone, though the telephone company had sold broadcast rights to KFI.

CBS Studio photo

KFIWas founded by Earle C Anthony to further sales of his automobile agency, avoided KNX’s indiscriminate commercial policy. Underwriting losses, Anthony enabled KF I to pioneer in the use of musical and educational features that he thought would appeal to potential buyers of the automobiles he wanted to sell. The station elaborated continuity and program techniques and initiated a policy of cooperation with schools, government agencies, and civic organizations.

In 1924, it presented the first broadcast of a symphony orchestra in the West and sponsored the country's first pickup of the complete opera presentation from the stage. During these formative years, KF I presented many educational talks for government and city departments, and it was the stations that every important personage who visited the West Coast addressed KFI’s listeners.  KFI also made the first Hollywood bowl broadcast . Power was increased from the originals 100 W to in 1924 and then in 1931 to the present, 50,000 watts.

KHJ was founded in 1922 by Harry Chandler, publisher of the Los Angeles times, and station identification was spotted singing canaries. Conservative in policy, it specialized in public events and children's programs. Chandler sold the station in 1927 two Don Lee, automobgency owner. K HJ became the Columbia outlet in Los Angeles in 1936 in 1927 KFI joined the red network of the national broadcasting Company and a year later, Columbia broadcasting system  took K HJ into its chain.   in the late 1930s, to smaller chains made their appearance – – the Don Lee chain,  covering the stations of the mutual Western link and the California radio system, including KFOX & KFWB in Los Angeles. 

Radio & TV photo

In early 1938, ethics bending approximately $2 million, the Columbia broadcasting system opened its studios on the site of the old Christie Studios at Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street.  Named Columbia Square, the studios were equipped with the latest and most modern broadcasting equipment. Its local outlet, KNX, was the key station of its specific coast network, And in 1938 it broadcast 6214 educational and cultural programs. 

NBC,  the national broadcasting Company, completed construction of its new Pacific Coast Studios in November 1938. Occupying the entire North East block at Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street, it had any studios, four of which could see 315 persons each. The property on Wednesday the studio was located, has an important historical background, for it was here that the Jesse Lasky feature play company, Later to become paramount studios, and its West Coast studios. it was only after NBC moved its headquarters to Burbank  in May 1964, that the famous Hollywood radio studio was torn down. Los Angeles began its climb to national radio importance when the first film talent programs released from Hollywood in 1928. The program called California and melodies, featuring Hollywood stars and film news, when the air in 1930 and by 1936, many the programs were star-studded.

KHJ Studio

Entertainment newspaper variety, reported that $5 million was paid to 600 film players from radio broadcasts in 1938 and more than 18 million was spent by 600 stations. 500 producers, script and lyric writers turned out Hollywood radio fare. Hollywood still lag behind New York in the number of national broadcast, however, each year since 1936 this was a sizable increase in Hollywood originations.

One of the many smaller stations in Hollywood, KFWB, was founded by Warner Bros. in 1925. Operating on a 5000 W output, they broadcast from the Warner Bros. movie studio at Sunset Boulevard and Bronson that. In 1939, they introduced a policy of broadcasting dramatized versions of current as well as historical events in order to stimulate appreciation of America’ democratic ideals. Typical of such programs was America marches on which featured many motion picture stars.

Photo of KFWB

In 1948, mutual  Don Lee radio completed its first $3 million broadcast station at 1313 North Vine St. Four massive studios dominated the Main building, while a smaller studios and announcer booze warehouse and other buildings. Broadcasts were transmitted from the Hollywood station to the entire dong leave network covering California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Hollywood.

When radio was enjoying its greatest success, no less than 29 nationwide radio broadcast originated from Hollywood studios. From here were heard the voices of such notables as Grace Moore, Gus Edwards, Bing Crosby, Amos and Andy, Walter Winchell, Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, and numerous other world famous artist.

The largest collection of Hollywood Radio Station is on the website.

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