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Pat McMahon

History

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.

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