Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The First License Denial

Somebody had to be first.

As broadcasting began to develop, it became obvious to lawmakers that some type of regulation was needed to provide for orderly use of the airwaves. To fill this need, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) was formed in 1934, the end result of the Communications Act of the same year. The FCC, now observing its 76th year, was officially established on June 19, 1934, when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the enabling legislation.

Within a year of that signature, the first license application was denied. It would have belonged to KGIX, Las Vegas for failure to complete its construction within the granted CP as required. It was deleted May 14 1935. These days that’s kind of an old story.

Eventually Owner J.M. Heaton re-files and eventually does bring KGIX on air. It becomes the first radio station in Las Vegas and starts broadcasting services devoted to the town's foundation and to its early days. The enterprise flops and shuts down.

Las Vegas didn’t have a radio station until Entrepreneur Max Kelch came in and bought KENO in 1940.


I have read that there were 2 denials in 1934 but their dates seem to precede the formation of the FCC. These are somewhat spurious. These were:

WJEM, Tupelo, Licensee MS. Britt A. Rogers Jr. failed to renew construction permit; Deleted Oct. 2 1934.
WKFI, Greenville, MS. Licensee J. Pat Scully failed to apply for renewal of license; Deleted Oct. 3 1934.

I have one outlier, a lone mention of a license denial possibly as early as 1931!!! I find it very suspicious but have little information in terms of validation for any of this regardless. Our O.O.P. is WOQ, Kansas City, MO. Licensee Western Radio Co. had their license deleted June 14, 1931 (or 1934) It’s facilities given to KFH, Wichita, KS. WOQ was Kansas City’s first commercial radio station.