List of oldest radio stations


The title of oldest radio station is disputed by several in Europe (UK and Germany), and in the United States and Canada.

Several potential contenders for the title of "oldest radio station" are listed below, organized by sign-on date:


Table of Experimental Radio Stations (AM on Mediumwave and Longwave)

City/Location On Air Broadcast Frequency
(AM Radio / FM Radio)
Broadcast Class
(Reginald Fessenden experimental alternator station) Brant Rock, Massachusetts, United States December 21, 1906 (Audio tests from various locations from as early as 1900) AM 50 kHz (approximately)  ? W
9-BC, 9-XR, 9-BY, WOC-AM WOC Davenport, Iowa 1907 Class-B
FN/SJN/6XF/6XE/KQW/"San Jose" KCBS (AM) San Jose, California/San Francisco, California 1909, 1921 (officially granted experimental license as KQW, become commercial in 1921, and KCBS in 1949) AM 740 kHz (Originally used 15 watts modulated with Carbon microphone) Class-B
2XI WGY-AM Albany, New York 1915? AM 810 kHz Class-A
9ZP, 9CLS KGFX-AM Pierre, South Dakota 1915–present Various frequencies, 1060 kHz today Class-B
2XG New York City, New York 1916 Unknown Unknown
8XK, 8ZZ KDKA Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1916 AM 1020 kHz 75 watts (1916), Class-A (1920–present)
Irish rebel station 2RN/RTE (First radio studio) General Post Office, Sackville Street (O'Connell Street), Dublin, Ireland April 24, 1916 morse code only (Despite this claimed by some to be "world's first broadcast" as transmission not aimed at specific target) converted ship transmitter
9XM WHA-AM University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin December 4, 1916 (regular Morse code weather broadcasts; first voice broadcast in February 1919; regular programming January 1921) AM 970 kHz Class-B
(Experimental Czech tests) Petřínská rozhledna (Petřín Lookout Tower), Prague, Czechoslovakia October 28, 1919 (Experimental),
May 20, 1920
AM ??? kHz  ?? kW
PCGG N/A The Hague, the Netherlands November 6, 1919 - November 11, 1924 AM, 570 m N/A
XWA CINW Montreal, Quebec December 1, 1919 - January 29, 2010 AM 940 kHz (Not original frequency). Considered by many Canadians to be "First scheduled broadcast station;" prior callsign CFCF stood for Canada's First, Canada's Finest. Class-A (Clear channel)
2MT (Marconi experimental station with a regular news service) Writtle, Chelmsford, Essex, England February 23, 1920 AM 107 kHz 15 kW
LOR Radio Argentina LOR Buenos Aires, Argentina August 27, 1920

Continued daily commercial broadcast up to 1997

AM 857KHz[1] 5 Watts initially, 500 Watts by 1921
6ADZ KHJ-AM Los Angeles, California Summer 1920, granted license 1922 AM 930 kHz Class-B
KDKA KDKA Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania October 27, 1920 (May have aired as 8ZZ that night) AM 1020 kHz Class-A (Clear channel)
8MK WWJ-AM Detroit, Michigan August 20, 1920 AM 950 kHz Class-B
WRR KTCK Dallas, Texas August 4, 1921 (Unlicensed broadcasts date back to 1920) AM 1310 kHz
KYW (AM) KYW Chicago, Illinois (1921)[2]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1934)[3]
Cleveland, Ohio (1956)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1965)[4]
November 11, 1921 AM 560 kHz, 570 kHz, 1020 kHz (Chicago)[5]
AM 1020 kHz (Philadelphia)
AM 1100 kHz (Cleveland))
AM 1060 kHz (Philadelphia)
Class-A (Clear channel)
WLB KUOM Saint Paul, Minnesota January 13, 1922 AM 770 kHz Class-D
WHN WEPN-AM Ridgewood, New York February, 1922[6], some sources cite March 18, 1922 AM 833 kHz Class-A
WIP-AM WIP-AM Philadelphia, Pennsylvania March 17, 1922 AM 610 kHz Class-B
4XD WBT-AM Charlotte, North Carolina December 18, 1920, License granted April 10, 1922 AM 1110 kHz Class-A
2LO 2LO London, United Kingdom May 11, 1922 1 hour daily tests on 350 metres (857 kHz) AM. Full service opened: November 14, 1922
2ZY 2ZY Manchester, United Kingdom May 17, 1922 Test TXs: 350 metres (857 kHz) AM. Full service opened Nov 15, 1922: 375 meters
DN 4XD Dunedin, New Zealand October 4, 1922 originally AM 1431 kHz, now AM 1305 kHz and FM 99.8 MHz
9BT CFRC Kingston, Ontario, Canada October 7, 1922 now FM 101.9 MHz
5IT 5IT Birmingham, United Kingdom November 15, 1922 Not known
WNAX (AM) WNAX (AM) Yankton, South Dakota November 25, 1922 AM 570 kHz
WKAQ (AM) WKAQ (AM) San Juan, Puerto Rico December 3, 1922 AM 580 kHz Class-B
Radio Ceylon Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Colombo, Sri Lanka 1923 (experimental), 1925 (official launch)  ?  ? W
William Knox BrookVille
WKBV-AM Richmond, Indiana
Whitewater Broadcasting
1923 AM 1000 kHz 24/7 Class B
Regular Czech service - Radiojournal Prague-Kbely Prague-Kbely, Czechoslovakia May 18, 1923 "Long wave"
292 kHz (1025 m)
Radio Journal de la Tour Eiffel
(Eiffel Tower Newsreel)
France Inter Paris, France 1921 "Long wave"
115 kHz (2600 m)
N/A Radio Bloemendaal Bloemendaal, The Netherlands
June 15, 1924 originally AM 1500 kHz (200m)
later AM 1223 kHz (245 m)
currently AM 1116 kHz (269 m)
N/A Radio Romania Bucharest, Romania Summer 1925 - 1927 (experimental), license granted March 1928, Regular broadcast from November 1, 1928 "Long wave" N/A
CHRC CHRC Quebec City, Quebec/Quebec City, Quebec, Canada April 1st, 1926 AM 800 kHz Class-B
CFCO CFCO Chatham, Ontario/Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada September, 1927 AM 630 kHz Class-B
JODK HLKA Seoul, South Korea 1927 AM 711 kHz
GOW, ZBW RTHK Hong Kong 1928
1XE, 1CDP off the air - later as WGI (and WARC until 1925) Boston, Massachusetts mid 1920  ? - later on 833 kHz
2XN City College of New York, New York City, New York 1913; 1920
2ZK New Rochelle, New York 1916

Table of Experimental Radio Stations (FM and Shortwave)

City/Location On Air Broadcast Frequency
(AM Radio / FM Radio)
Broadcast class
WWV US Government Time Service WWV Fort Collins, Colorado "6 months before KDKA" (May 1920) 2.5 MHz, 5 MHz, 10 MHz, 15 MHz and 20 MHz Unknown
PCJJ (also used PHOHI for broadcasts to the Dutch East Indies) Radio Netherlands Worldwide Philips Laboratories at Eindhoven, The Netherlands, moved to Hilversum in 1933. March 11, 1927 (experimental), Regular broadcast from May 30, 1927 to May 1940 when the station went dark due to the German occupation of Holland; resumed after liberation October 1945-1946 when Philips and other shortwave radio stations taken over by Radio Netherlands Worldwide. 30.2 metres shortwave
G2NM[7] Caterham, Surrey, England September 11, 1927. 5 23 and 33 metres 1 kW
HVJ Vatican Radio Vatican City February 12, 1931 10 kw (originally)
HCJB HCJB Quito, Ecuador December 25, 1931 50.26 metres, later 6050 kHz, 9745 kHz, 11775 kHz and 15155 kHz. 200 watts (initially), 1,000 watt (1937), 10,000 watt (1940), 100,000 (1967), 500,000 (1981)
W8HX (later WBEN-FM) WTSS Buffalo, New York 1934 5 meters
(now 102.5 MHz)
W1XOJ WAAF Westborough, Massachusetts / Boston, Massachusetts 1937 FM 107.3 MHz,
(Simulcasts on 97.7 MHz)
W1XPW, briefly W65H WDRC-FM Hartford, Connecticut 1939 102.9 FM
W2XDA (Schenectady)/W2XOY (New Scotland), later WGFM WRVE Schenectady, New York 1939, Nov. 20 1940 as WGFM Originally on FM 48.5 mHz, now FM 99.5 Unknown
W47NV WSM-FM Nashville, Tennessee 1941 FM 95.5 MHz,
(Not original frequency)

See also


  1. ^ Revista Telegráfica, May 1923, Page 134
  2. ^ Radio broadcast-Volume 1-Radio Has Gripped Chicago-pages 503-511
  3. ^ "New KYW Opens December 3rd (page 4)". The Microphone. 24 November 1934. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  4. ^ KYW Newsradio Station History, which details the evolution of the station from Chicago, to Philadelphia, to Cleveland and back to Philadelphia.
  5. ^ "KYW". Zecom Communications. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Clarricoats, John (1967). World at their fingertips, pub. RSGB, pp. 130-132

External links

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