Monday, August 12, 2013

RADIO ARTIFACT: WRTI signs on

This is a copy of the October 3rd 1947 issue of the Temple University News. It announces the impending completion of their own AM carrier current radio station, WRTI. It was such a big story at the time that it warranted front page top fold coverage. According to the article even the call sign was still 'tentative.'  The book Temple University: 125 Years of Service to Philadelphia, by James Hilty puts their debut in January of 1948 so this paper predates that slightly. More here.


Some details pique my interest. The article repeatedly refers to it's connections to WFIL and Havertown. WFIL had given them a $50,000 grant to develop and run a broadcasting curriculum. So they remained tightly tied.  "WRTI will have wires to the Cedarbrook and Havertown units and one to the master control room of WFIL" Cedarbrook and Havertown were remote facilities of Temple University, that were closed in 1951. It's just a coincidence that in the late 1940s that two of the very few non-commercial radio facilities in the US  were in the same zipcode: WRTI and WHHS.  Temple didn't get an FM transmitter until 1952. The rest is history.