by Alex Cosper
Los Angeles was a very important market in the shaping of American radio history. One of the city's most legendary stations, KHJ, was also one of its earliest, signing on April 13, 1922, the same year that the U.S. Commerce Department began issuing radio licenses across the country. The station was founded by C.R. Kierulff & Company, which sold the property to Times-Mirror Company in late 1922. KHJ debuted on 760 AM then by the end of the decade was moved to 900 AM.
One of the earliest stations to broadcast on L.A. airwaves was KNX, which started out as 6ADZ, a five watt station owned by Fred Christian. It signed on the air on September 20, 1920 at 1500 AM. The following year it moved to 833 AM and changed call letters to KGC. It became KNX in May 1922 and increased power to 50 watts. In 1923 Christian sold the station to Los Angeles Evening Express owner Guy Earl.
Here's what the Los Angeles radio dial looked like in 1922:
Los Angeles Radio Dial 1922
KDYR (Pasadena), owned by Pasadena Star-News Publishing Co. KDZD, owned by W.R. Mitchell KDZF, owned by Automobile Club of Southern California KDZP, owned by Newberry Electric Corporation KFI, owned by Earl C. Anthony KHJ, owned by C.R. Kierulff & Co. KJC, owned by Standard Radio Co. KJS, owned by Bible Institute of Los Angeles KLB, (Pasadena), owned by J.J. Dunn & Co. KNN, owned by Bullock's, KNR, owned by Beacon Light Co. KNV, owned by Radio Supply Co. KNX, owned by Fred Christian KOG, owned by Western Radio Electric Co. KSS (Long Beach), owned by Prest and Dean Radio Research Laboratory KUS, owned by City Dye Works & Laundry Co. KWH, owned by the Los Angeles Examiner KXS, owned by Braun Corporation KYJ, owned by Leo J. Meyberg KZI, owned by Irving S. Cooper KFAC, owned by Glendale Daily PressOne of the first stations in the nation to begin broadcasting 24 hours a day was KGFJ in 1928 at 1230 AM. Decades later the station used the ID "the original 24-hour station." That meant that between midnight and 6am KGFJ was the only L.A. radio station on the dial for the next few years. The station found it could hold an audience's attention just by playing phonograph records all night. KGFJ was originally launched by 23 year old USC student Ben McGlashan in 1927.
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