Magazine article St. Louis Journalism Review

Radio History

Magazine article St. Louis Journalism Review

Radio History

Article excerpt

(Editor's Note: Material in this article was provided by the St. Louis Media Archives at the St. Louis Public Library.)

When the St. Louis Globe-Democrat finally got on the bandwagon of newspaper ownership of radio stations, it did so in a big way. KWGD-FM was given a state-of-the-art facility of its own at 12th and Cole, down the street from the newspaper offices.

The building, which now houses Sinclair Broadcasting's St. Louis operations, cost $1.6 million to build in 1948, and the new station went on the air in December of that year. The newspaper admitted that it spent so much on the building because it also planned to set up a television station there.

The newspaper's owners had actually applied for the frequency in 1941, but U.S. participation in World War II brought about a freeze on all new broadcast licenses. By the time it signed on Dec. 19, 1948, at 92.9mHz, KWGD-FM was beamed through its 10 kilowatt transmitter to the area's nearly 100,000 FM receivers. The paper touted the possibilities of FM, which was springing to life in the period following the war: "Listeners ... will be assured of a new experience in radio enjoyment, free from the annoyance of interference by electric razors or vacuum cleaners, atmospheric static, and competing programs which set up a stream of 'cross talk' on standard broadcasting dials."

Globe-Democrat staff writer Bob Goddard was given the task of writing the full-page introductory piece about the station. He described the building, writing, "The layout and decor are well calculated to put a prospective advertiser in a warm and receptive frame of mind from the moment he steps through the entrance door on Cole Street. …

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