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Pat McMahon


Happy birthday, KTAR radio!

90 years ago today, June 21, 1922, KTAR Phoenix went on the air. Well, back then, it wasn't called KTAR.

Apparently folks thought this radio thing was a kind of passing pop culture thing, since the original call letters were KFAD.

There weren't many radio stations of any kind in America 90 years ago and this one was the first in all of Arizona.

There weren't that many people to listen, either. The entire metro area had about 40,000 people and most of them didn't own a radio. There was a newspapers that allowed everyone to know what was happening. It was The Arizona Republic and, seven years after, the birth of what is KFAO.

The Repbulic bought the radio station and changed its call letters to KREP to highlight the Republic's ownership. It was not a well thought out decision, because when people pronounced KREP it didn't turn out to be flattering.

Finally, in 1930, KTAR was used for the first time and in its 90 years, I think its made Arizona pretty proud.

Meanwhile, AZTV is close to 11-years-old and remains Arizona's only locally owned and operated television station. Good for us. I'm looking forward to our 90th birthday.

I'm Pat McMahon.

About the Author

He's done it all -- and keeps doing it. His career in local Arizona radio and television dates back the late 60s. Pat always stimulates with his thought provoking, opinionated, and entertaining commentaries on the Arizona Morning News while hosting award-winning talkshows like "The McMahon Group" and "The God Show."

"The McMahon Group" features an unpredictable all-star panel where three people from the community get together and give their thoughts on the news of the week. He also hosts "The God Show" on Sunday's where he talks about all aspects of spirituality.

Pat is also well known outside of radio because of his multifaceted career as an actor, producer, recording artist, writer, broadcaster, and one-third of the legendary comedy team that was on TV for 35 years in Arizona, "The Wallace and Ladmo Show."

Through the many experiences of his professional life, Pat has been richly rewarded with 7 Emmys, major national and international radio awards as well as numerous civic, educational, religious and humanitarian awards. Pat was also a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Ottawa University, the Arizona Broadcasters Lifetime achievement Award, and has his bronze likeness hanging in the rotunda of the Herberger Theater in recognition of his contributions to Communications & The Arts.


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