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Nov 02 2015

The Big “K” extends the 95th celebration

KDKALogoKDKA (1020) celebrates 95 years of serving Pittsburgh with private celebration at the Senator John Heinz History Center a day after its birthday, Tuesday, November 3 from 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm. Westinghouse Electric Company, KDKA’s original founder and owner, will sponsor the event. The KDKA Afternoon News, hosted by Robert Mangino and Shelley Duffy will broadcast live from the Heinz History Center from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Current KDKA staff, talent and past personalities will attend the celebration. KDKA host Mike Pintek, who came to 1020 in 1982, will serve as master of ceremonies. Westinghouse Electric Company’s Senior Vice President of Communications Cassie Hagen will showcase the Westinghouse contribution to the radio industry. Today, Westinghouse Electric Company is the world’s leading supplier of safe and innovative nuclear technology.  Attendees will watch a short video presentation highlighting the history of the Westinghouse Electric Company, and the radio history of KDKA.

On November 2, 1920, the Westinghouse Electric Company of East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania launched the world’s first broadcast delivering the 1920 election results between Democrat James M. Cox and Republican Warren G. Harding. Plans were finalized with the Pittsburgh Post to acquire election returns by telephone. The election night broadcast began at 6:00 pm from a shack on the roof of the K Building of the Westinghouse Electric Company “East Pittsburgh Works” in Turtle Creek, PA.

Frank Conrad of Wilkinsburg was the assistant chief engineer of Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company at the time of the first broadcast.  Conrad was fascinated with technology and built a transmitter, which he housed on the second floor of his Wilkinsburg garage. This experimental station was licensed 8-X-K and was the forerunner of KDKA Radio.

 

A detailed history of KDKA Radio can be found at KDKA.com/memories.

4 comments

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  1. Frank

    Do not be deceived. KDKA nay have been the first to broadcast the Harding-Cox election results. But they were not the first broadcaster. 95 years ago several other stations were already broadcasting including 8XAE, which became KQV.

  2. Dave

    There is no deception here. While there were indeed several radio stations operating 95 years ago, KDKA has never claimed to be the first one. It has, however, correctly claimed to be the world’s first commercially licensed radio station. In other words, out of all the kids with learner’s permits, it was the first to get a driver’s license.

  3. Jim

    As was explained to me several decades ago, KDKA is the world’s first
    – Regularly Scheduled
    – Commercial
    radio station. but even the KDKA announcers fail to specify these “gotcha”s.

  4. jerry puffer

    I believe WGY in New York State was the 1st….with an experimental license.

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