Pittsburgh radio timeline

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1919 -- Frank Conrad begins broadcasting music over 75-watt signal from his garage in Wilkinsburg.

1919 -- Experimental station 8ZAE signs on. Would later be known as KQV-AM.

Nov. 2, 1920 -- KDKA-AM becomes first licensed commercial radio station in the country to broadcast with reading of Warren G. Harding-James Cox presidential election results.

1935 -- Bernie Armstrong debuts as staff organist for KDKA's in-house orchestra, would later become influential music director at the station.

1948 -- Early radio entertainment pioneer Rege Cordic gets first show on WWSW-AM, moves to KDKA morning show in 1954.

1948 -- WHOD-AM, a 250-watt station, debuts, featuring a spectrum of ethnic programming and launches career of Mary Dee Dudley, the nation's first female African-American DJ, and Porky Chedwick, who introduced Pittsburgh to records by black artists.

1950s -- TV becomes the dominant medium for home entertainment. Radio dramas and comedies and live music shows move to TV. Radio turns to playing recorded music and the Top 40 hit format launches.

1954 -- Launch of WILY-AM, a voice for the black community.

1958 -- Country station WAMO-AM, which bought WHOD two years earlier, switches to black programming.

1967 -- FCC mandates separate programming on FM, which begins era of music programming on the higher quality FM band.

1970s -- Automakers make AM-FM radio standard feature in cars, which eventually becomes the place where most people listen to radio.

1978 -- FM listenership surpasses AM for the first time.

1987 -- FCC repeals the Fairness Doctrine, opening the door to opinionated political talk shows.

1991 -- KDKA picks up syndicated Rush Limbaugh show.

1992 -- KDKA drops music from its format and switches to full-time news and talk.

2001 -- iPod and iTunes introduced, giving radio a new form of competition.

2001 -- Launch of Sirius and XM satellite radio.

January 2004 -- Pittsburgh's first FM talk station -- WPGB -- launches, with conservative talkers Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck and Neal Boortz.

2006 -- KDKA edged out of No. 1 spot by WDVE-FM.

2009 -- FCC approves giving AM stations access to FM translators on which stations can simulcast programming.


First Published October 12, 2013 8:00 PM


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