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One of Oldest US Radio Stations to Go Dark


One of the few US broadcast stations east of the Mississippi that sport K-prefix call letters — KQV in Pittsburgh — will go silent as the new year arrives on January 1 after nearly 1 century on the air.

“It’s a sad day for broadcasting and for the news business,” KQV Station Manager Bob Dickey Jr, told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. The family-owned news-talk station operates on 1410 kHz with 5,000 W into a five-tower array that provides separate day and night patterns.

Unofficial accounts indicate that KQV started out as “special amateur station” 8ZAE, to be used by the Doubleday-Hill Electric Company primarily for two-way communication with another station in Washington, DC. (Doubleday-Hill also sold radios.) In October 1921, the Federal Radio Commission issued the station a “limited commercial license,” randomly assigning the KQV call letters. The practice of issuing K-prefix call letters to western and W-prefix call letters to eastern stations predated commercial radio broadcasting.

Pittsburgh stations KQV and KDKA both have claimed the distinction of being the first to commence regular broadcasting.

Dickey cited declining ad revenues and audience and increasing costs at KQV, which has been on the market.



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