Welcome to HarrisburgRadioTV.com!  This site is dedicated to the preservation of articles, photos, licenses, logs and artifacts from the history of broadcasting in Central Pennsylvania.

Launch date:  May 2006        Last additions:  May 2009

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Document scanning and restoration by Tim Portzline.

Important moments in broadcasting

1897 - Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi demonstrates the practical use of wireless telegraphy for the British government, building on the theories of Hertz, Tesla and others

1906 - Lee DeForest creates the Audion amplifier tube, a variation of the Fleming valve, making radio far more practical.  Despite claims that he was "the father of radio", DeForest could never fully explain how the Audion worked.

December 24, 1906 - Reginald Fessenden celebrates Christmas Eve with a historic audio transmission from Brant Rock, Mass.

1914-1922 - Edwin Howard Armstrong invents numerous important radio receiver improvements based on DeForest's Audion tube (which results in long patent suits with DeForest and others)

1919 - General Electric forms Radio Corporation of America (RCA) with David Sarnoff at the helm

November 2, 1920 - KDKA in Pittsburgh, PA broadcasts the Harding / Cox election returns, widely seen as the beginning of broadcasting (amid many point-to-point and experimental transmissions of the day)

1926 - RCA forms the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), ushering in the "golden age" of radio with shows like "Amos and Andy", and "Fibber McGee and Molly", and performers such as Bob Hope, Edgar Bergen, Jack Benny, Milton Berle and many others

1927 - Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) is formed

1933 - Edwin Howard Armstrong unveils a new method of radio transmission called "frequency modulation" (FM)

1934 - The US Congress passes the Communi-cations Act of 1934, creating the Federal Com-munications Commission (FCC)

August 25, 1934 - Philo Farnsworth demonstrates the first fully-electronic television system in Philadelphia

1937 - Edwin Howard Armstrong builds the first FM radio station in Alpine, NJ (42.8 mhz)

May 6, 1937 - Reporter Herb Morrison (WLS, Chicago) records his famous description of the Hindenburg disaster in Lakehurst, New Jersey

October 30, 1938 - CBS broadcasts Orson Welles' radio adaptation of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds", causing public fear

1939 - RCA chief David Sarnoff demonstrates television at the New York World's Fair

June 15, 1945 - The NBC "Blue Network" offi-cially becomes ABC

1946 - The DuMont television network is formed, lasting only 9 years

December 1947 - John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley of Bell Labs invent the first transistor in Murray Hill, NJ

October 4, 1957 - The Soviet Union launches Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite

July 10, 1962 - AT&T ushers in the age of commercial satellite communications with Telstar

AM (Harrisburg metro only)

Call letters

WHP

WKBO

WTCY

WTKT

WWII

Frequency (khz)

580

1230

1400

1460

720

City of license

Harrisburg

Harrisburg

Harrisburg

Harrisburg

Shiremanstown

Prior call letters

WHBG, WMBS

WPRC, WCOD

WHGB, WFEC, WNNK-AM

WCMB, WIMX, WWKL-AM

None

Prior frequencies (khz)

1300, 833, 1280, 1430, 1460

1430, 1200

None

960

None

First broadcast

March 1925 1

October 1925 1

1946 4

Feb 19, 1948 2

June 17, 1987 2

FM (Harrisburg metro only)

Call letters

WRVV

WRBT

WNNK

WHKF

WITF-FM

WTPA

Frequency (mhz)

97.3

94.9

104.1

99.3

89.5

93.5

City of license

Harrisburg

Harrisburg

Harrisburg

Harrisburg

Harrisburg

Mechanicsburg

Prior call letters

WHP-FM, WXBB

WMSP, WHKS, WWKL, WYMJ

WTPA-FM

WCMB-FM, WSFM, WHIT, WIMX, WWKL

None

WQVE, WKCD

First broadcast

June 6, 1946 3

Sept 30, 1962 2

Aug 15, 1963 3

July 8, 1965 3

April 1, 1971 6

Dec 1978 4

TV (Harrisburg / Lancaster / Lebanon / York)

Call letters

WGAL

WHP-TV

WHTM

WITF-TV

Channel

8

21

27

33

City of license

Lancaster

Harrisburg

Harrisburg

Harrisburg

Prior call letters

None

None

WTPA-TV

None

Prior channel

4

55

71

None

First official broadcast

June 1, 1949 2

April 15, 1953 2

July 6, 1953 2

November 22, 1964 2

Dark stations

Call letters

WBAK

WABB

WABX

WCMB-TV

Frequency or channel

300, 400, 600 m, 1090 khz

266 meters, 1130, 1470 khz

100.9 mhz

Channel 27

City of license

Harrisburg

Harrisburg

Harrisburg

Harrisburg

First broadcast

1922 2

1923 2

1948 (or earlier) 5

September 8, 1954 2

Last broadcast

1930's

Early 1927

TBD

April 9, 1957

Not documented

Call letters

WIOO

WHYL

WHYL-FM

WMHX

WWKL

WPMT

WLYH

WGCB

Frequency

1000 khz

960 khz

102.3 mhz

106.7 mhz

92.1 mhz

Channel 43

Channel 15

Channel 49

City of license

Carlisle

Carlisle

Carlisle

Hershey

Palmyra

York

Lebanon

Red Lion

Sources

1 Earliest known listing in U.S. Department of Commerce records

2 Local newspaper

3 Station records

4 Provided by station personnel (requires additional confirmation)

5 Earliest known listing in June 1948 "Radio Craft" magazine

6 Station's web site

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