Thursday, April 02, 2009

Early Broadcasting in the Bay Area, Pt. 5

Originally published in the March, 2009, Old Radio Times.(

Early Broadcasting in the San Francisco Bay Area: Stations that Didn’t Survive, 1920-25
John F. Schneider
Seattle, Washington Copyright 1997

This station was notable for many reasons, in addition to the fact that it was established by DeForest. 6XC was in daily operation over six months prior to KDKA in Pittsburgh, and it broadcast regularly scheduled programs composed entirely of live music at a time when the few "radio concerts" on the air consisted entirely of phonograph records. In addition, while most broadcast transmitters of the time operated at between five and fifty watts, DeForest had installed a thousand watt transmitter, though it seldom operated above half its capacity.

6XC broadcast over 1,500 daily programs from the California Theater between April, 1920, and December, 1921, at which time the new regulations went into effect requiring it to obtain a Limited Commercial License. At that time, the station was transferred from Lee DeForest, Incorporated, to the the Atlantic-Pacific Radio Corporation, which was the Western representative for the DeForest Radio Telephone and Telegraph Company. The new license required a modification of the transmitter to allow operation on the new broadcast frequency of 360 meters. The transmitter was moved to the home of Henry M. Shaw, President of the company, located on Ocean View Drive in the Rock Ridge area of Oakland. With its new license in hand, the station became KZY, "The Rock Ridge Station", operated by the Atlantic-Pacific Company.


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