List of oldest radio stations

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It is generally recognised that the first radio transmission was made from a temporary station set up by Guglielmo Marconi in 1895. This followed on from pioneering work in the field by a number of people including Alessandro Volta, André-Marie Ampère, Georg Ohm and James Clerk Maxwell.[1] The title of oldest permanent or semi-permanent radio station is disputed by contenders in Europe (UK and Germany), and in the United States and Canada.

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


AM on Mediumwave and Longwave[edit]

Table of Experimental Radio Stations (AM on Mediumwave and Longwave)
City/Location On Air Broadcast Frequency
(AM Radio / FM Radio)
Broadcast Class
Guglielmo Marconi n/a Broadcast across his garden in Pontecchio, Italy.[1][2] 1895 Experimental
Although Australia's first officially recognised broadcast was made in 1906, some sources claim that there were transmissions in Australia in 1897, either conducted solely by Professor William Henry Bragg of the University of Adelaide[3][4] or by Prof. Bragg in conjunction with G.W. Selby of Melbourne.[1] n/a 1897 Experimental. Disputed in some sources.
Guglielmo Marconi, first trans-Atlantic transmission. n/a from Poldhu, Cornwall to Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland.[1][2] December 1901 Experimental
(First official Morse Code transmission in Australia) n/a from Queenscliff, Victoria to Devonport, Tasmania 1906 Experimental
(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
Lee de Forest, (laboratory in the Parker Building) [?] New York City, New York, United States 1907 AM ? kHz (approximately) ? W
(Beloit College Professor Dr. Charles Aaron Culver) [WBCR, WBNB, WEBW] Beloit, Wisconsin, United States 1908.[5] AM ? kHz (approximately) ? W
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 Schenectady, New York 1915? AM 810 kHz Class-A
9ZP, 9CLS KGFX Pierre, South Dakota 1915–2000 Various frequencies, 1060 kHz today Class-B
2XG New York City, New York 1916 Unknown Unknown
(see also Lee de Forest [above].)
8XK, 8ZZ KDKA Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1916 AM 1020 kHz 75 watts (1916), Class-A (1920–present). Began simulcasting on shortwave in 1923 as 8XS.
Irish rebel station none 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 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
First direct communication Australia to the United Kingdom n/a Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia); Ernest Fisk; Sydney, New South Wales 1918 AM 21 kHz [6]
First Australian experiment in the broadcast of music n/a Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia); Ernest Fisk; Sydney, New South Wales August 8, 1919 AM [6]
(Experimental Czech tests) Petřínská rozhledna (Petřín Lookout Tower), Prague, Czechoslovakia October 28, 1919 (Experimental),
May 20, 1920
AM ??? kHz ?? kW
XWA CINW Montreal, Quebec, Canada 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 857 kHz[7] 5 Watts initially, 500 Watts by 1921
6ADZ KHJ Los Angeles, California Summer 1920, granted license 1922 AM 930 kHz Class-B
KDKA same as original. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania October 27, 1920 (May have aired as 8ZZ that night) AM 1020 kHz Class-A (Clear channel)
8MK WWJ 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
WBZ Same as original. Boston, Massachusetts September 19, 1921 AM 1030 kHz Class-A (Clear channel)
KYW (AM) same as original Chicago, Illinois (1921)[8]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1934)[9]
Cleveland, Ohio (1956)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1965)[10]
November 11, 1921 AM 560 kHz, 570 kHz, 1020 kHz (Chicago)[11]
AM 1020 kHz (Philadelphia)
AM 1100 kHz (Cleveland))
AM 1060 kHz (Philadelphia)
Class-A (Clear channel)
2CM. Australia's first experimental station[6] n/a Charles Maclurcan; Sydney, New South Wales 1921 AM 214 kHz Experimental station
Radio Journal de la Tour Eiffel
(Eiffel Tower Newsreel)
France Inter Paris, France 1921 "Long wave"
115 kHz (2600 m)
9-BC, 9-XR, 9-BY, WOC WOC Davenport, Iowa 1922 1420 kHz (1942–present) Class-B
WLB KUOM Saint Paul, Minnesota January 13, 1922 AM 770 kHz Class-D
WHN WEPN Ridgewood, New York February 1922,[12] some sources cite March 18, 1922 AM 833 kHz Class-A
WIP WTEL Philadelphia, Pennsylvania March 17, 1922 AM 610 kHz Class-B
WWL-AM Call letters are as is New Orleans, Louisiana March 31, 1922 AM 870 kHZ Class A
WGU WSCR Chicago, Illinois April 13, 1922 Originally AM 833 kHz, became WMAQ at 750 kHz on October 2, 1922, moved to 670 kHz on July 2, 1923 Class-A
4XD WBT Charlotte, North Carolina December 18, 1920, License granted April 10, 1922 AM 1110 kHz Class-A
KZN KSL Salt Lake City, Utah and vicinity May 6, 1922 AM 1160 kHz(1941–present) Class A (Clear channel)
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
CKAC CKAC Montreal, Quebec/Montreal, Québec, Canada September 12, 1922 AM 730 kHz Class-A
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 AM 1490 (now FM 101.9 MHz) Class-A
5IT 5IT Birmingham, United Kingdom November 15, 1922 Not known
WNAX (AM) Same as is Yankton, South Dakota November 25, 1922 AM 570 kHz
WKAQ (AM) Same as is 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) – present "Long wave" 375 kHz 1500 W[13]
William Knox BrookVille
Same as is Richmond, Indiana
Whitewater Broadcasting
1923 AM 1000 kHz 24/7 Class B
Radio Chilena (Chile Radio Company) CB66 Santiago, Chile October, 1922 (experimental), March 26, 1923 (official launch) - 2005 AM 660 kHz
Radiojournal Český rozhlas Radiožurnál Prague-Kbely, Czechoslovakia May 18, 1923 "Long wave"
292 kHz (1025 m)
CYB "El Buen Tono" XEB-AM (Instituto Mexicano de la Radio) Mexico City, Mexico September 23, 1923[14] AM 1220 kHz N/A
Finland's first private public broadcasting station. 3NB 3NB, Tampere Tampere, Tavastia November 1, 1923 AM kHz [15]
Australia's first official station. 2SB; 2BL as from March 1, 1924 702 ABC Sydney Sydney, New South Wales November 23, 1923. One of five Sealed Set system stations; AM 855 kHz [6][16]
2FC 2RN, Radio National Sydney, New South Wales December 12, 1923. One of five Sealed Set system stations; AM 273 kHz [6][16]
Radio Ibérica N/A Madrid, Spain December 22, 1923.; AM 729 kHz N/A
N/A 3RN, Public Radio Belgrade, Serbia September 19, 1924.; AM 684 kHz N/A
3AR 3RN, Radio National Melbourne, Victoria (Australia) January 26, 1924. One of five Sealed Set system stations; AM 625 kHz [6][16]
WES WLS Chicago, Illinois Owned by Sears Roebuck, WLS would come to stand for the World's Largest Store. Sears ran broadcasts from WMAQ studios as WBBX in March 1924. WES tests were conducted April 9 to 11, 1924. WLS would begin on April 12 and became one of 25 original 50,000 watt "Clear Channel" system stations; Originally AM 870 kHz, AM 890 kHz Class-A
6WF 720 ABC Perth Perth, Western Australia June 4, 1924. One of five Sealed Set system stations; AM 240 kHz [6][16]
N/A Radio Bloemendaal Bloemendaal, Netherlands
June 15, 1924 originally AM 1500 kHz (200m)
later AM 1223 kHz (245 m)
currently AM 1116 kHz (269 m)
URI Unione radiofonica italiana 1RO Rome, Italy
October 6, 1924 AM 705 (425m)  kHz
KOA (AM) Same as is Denver, Colorado, United States
December 15, 1924 One of 25 original 50,000 watt "Clear Channel" system stations AM850 kHz
N/A Statsradiofonien Copenhagen, Denmark April 1, 1925 (experimental), license granted April 1926, Regular broadcast from April 1926 "Long wave" N/A
WCSH WCSH 6 TV Portland, Maine 1925 "Long wave"
N/A Radio Poland Warsaw, Poland 1 February 1925 (experimental), Regular broadcast from April 18, 1926 "Medium wave" N/A
N/A Radio Romania Bucharest, Romania Summer 1925 - 1927 (experimental), license granted March 1928, Regular broadcast from November 1, 1928 "Long wave" N/A
2BE. Australia's first commercial station. Burgin Electric Company. n/a Sydney, Australia November 7, 1924 to November 6, 1929 AM 870 kHZ. (Wavelength later taken by 2GB.)[6] B Class, Commercial.[16]
WEBK WOOD Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States September 16, 1924 AM 1130 kHz, presently on 1300 kHz, Class-B
3LO 774 ABC Melbourne Melbourne, Victoria (Australia) October 13, 1924. One of five Sealed Set system stations; AM 175 kHz [6][16]
2EU. Australia's third commercial station, and the oldest commercial station still operating. Macquarie Sports Radio 954 Sydney, Australia January 26, 1925 AM 1025 kHZ B Class, Commercial.[16]
JOAK same as is Tokyo, Japan March 22, 1925 AM 594 kHz
CHRC CHRC Quebec City, Quebec/Quebec City, Quebec, Canada April 1, 1926 AM 800 kHz Class-B
CFCO same as is 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 June 30, 1928 (GOW, now RTHK 3)
1XE became WGI February 1922 (and WARC March 1925) Medford, Massachusetts 1916 sporadically, then 1919-1920 till April 1925 ? - later on 833 kHz
2XN City College of New York, New York City, New York 1913; 1920
2ZK New Rochelle, New York 1916
NSF/HDO, later ANDO and AVRO NPO Huizen (transmitter), Hilversum, (studio), Netherlands July 21, 1923, from 1930 part of Dutch Public Radio AM 279 kHz, 1927 also 1004 kHz, today FM network 500 W, 1927 5 kW
2RN (Irish Free State radio) RTÉ (Irish national radio & television) [17] General Post Office, (O'Connell Street), Dublin, Ireland January 1, 1926 AM 380 kHz, and from Cork AM612 kHz,
NDO,50% time KRO,50% NCRV NPO Huizen (transmitter), Hilversum, (studio), Netherlands 1927, from 1930 part of Dutch Public radio AM 160 kHz,1935 transmitter moved to Kootwijk, 1938 also Jaarsveld 722 kHz, today FM network and 747/1251 kHz Huizen 15 kW, Kootwijk day 15 kW, evening 120 kW, Jaarsveld 20 kW

FM and Shortwave[edit]

Table of Experimental Radio Stations (FM and Shortwave)
City/Location On Air Broadcast Frequency
(AM Radio / FM Radio)
Broadcast class
PCGG N/A The Hague, Netherlands November 6, 1919 - November 11, 1924 Narrow-band FM, 570 m N/A
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 HF (Shortwave)
PCJJ Radio Netherlands Worldwide Philips Laboratories at Eindhoven, Netherlands, moved to Hilversum in 1933. The first shortwave station in Europe. June 25, 1926 (test transmissions began), and the first shortwave station in the world with its own dedicated programming rather than being a simulcast of an AM/MW or LW station such as KDKA. 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. Sister station PHI broadcast in Dutch to the Dutch East and West Indies from 1928 to 1930 and 1934 to 1949. 30.2 metres shortwave
G2NM[18] Caterham, Surrey, England September 11, 1927. 23 and 33 metres 1 kW
CKUA CKUA Radio Network Edmonton, Alberta
(broadcast province-wide)
November 27, 1927 500-watt (Original)
AM 580 kHz (Edmonton)
Various FM frequencies province-wide
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)
8XS KDKA Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1923. Experimental simulcast of KDKA. Used to relay KDKA signal to AM rebroadcasters in other cities.[19]
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 Unknown
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)


Table of Experimental Radio Stations (Internet Radio)
City/Location On Air Broadcast Frequency
(AM Radio / FM Radio)
Broadcast class
GSP GridStream Productions Internet Started in May 2002. One of the oldest continuously and still broadcasting MMORPG internet only radio stations. None None

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Mimi Colligan, Golden Days of Radio, Australia Post, 1991
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^ Bernard Harte, When Radio Was The Cat's Whiskers, 2002, privately published Dural, NSW
  5. ^ (
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Australian Radio History, Bruce Carty, Sydney, 2011 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ReferenceA" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ReferenceA" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ReferenceA" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ReferenceA" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ReferenceA" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ReferenceA" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  7. ^ Revista Telegráfica, May 1923, Page 134
  8. ^ Radio broadcast-Volume 1-Radio Has Gripped Chicago-pages 503-511
  9. ^ "New KYW Opens December 3rd (page 4)" (PDF). The Microphone. 24 November 1934. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  10. ^ KYW Newsradio Station History, which details the evolution of the station from Chicago, to Philadelphia, to Cleveland and back to Philadelphia.
  11. ^ "KYW". Zecom Communications. Archived from the original on May 25, 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-26. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ About XEB (in Spanish) Archived 2013-08-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b c d e f g R R Walker, The Magic Spark: 50 Years of Radio in Australia, The Hawthorn Press, Melbourne, 1973
  17. ^
  18. ^ Clarricoats, John (1967). World at their fingertips, pub. RSGB, pp. 130-132
  19. ^

External links[edit]