WASHINGTON, D.C. — The NAB and the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation (LABF) are teaming to co-produce a celebration of broadcasting’s “centennial,” based on the history of WWJ-AM in Detroit and KDKA-AM in Pittsburgh, with “the industry’s leading voices and historians.”
“100 Years of Broadcast News: Challenges Met, Challenges Anew” will see Hubbard Radio CEO Ginny Morris and Beasley Media Group Chief Communications Officer Heidi Raphael team up for the fete — a NAB Show New York main stage session scheduled for Wednesday at 2pm Eastern.
“Broadcasting has a storied past that needs to be commemorated and celebrated,” said Morris, who also serves as co-chair of the LABF. “The industry has been a resource of news, information and entertainment at every juncture of the last 100 years and will be well into the next century. The LABF is committed to preserving that history for the generations that will sustain the industry for the next 100 years.”
Meanwhile, Marci Burdick, former head of Television for Schurz Communications and a one-time TV reporter and news director, will interview four esteemed journalists to reflect on broadcasting’s legacy of newsgathering and reporting over the past 100 years, and how broadcasting will face rising challenges in the years ahead.
Specifically, Burdick will conduct interviews with Ted Koppel; Carol Marin, retired political editor at PBS Member station WTTW-11 in Chicago; Soledad O’Brien; and Robert Siegel, who retired in 2018 as host of NPR’s “All Things Considered.”
NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith will deliver remarks at the event.
“As we celebrate the heritage of broadcasting, it is impossible to overstate the impact of broadcast radio and television in shaping our history, culture and communities,” Smith said. “Millions of Americans have trusted broadcasters to be their eyes and ears during our nation’s most pivotal events, and broadcasters look forward to serving as a window to the world for the next 100 years.”
The program will also include a virtual visit to the grounds of the old Westinghouse Electric works in Pittsburgh, where the National Museum of Broadcasting has recreated the tiny rooftop shack that housed KDKA’s transmitter and studio on the night of its historic November 2, 1920 broadcast of the election returns of the presidential race between Warren Harding and James Cox.
This is mistakenly seen as the birth of radio broadcasting. However, it is the first broadcast of KDKA, regarded as one of the first stations to be commercially licensed for broadcasting in the U.S.
The November 9 edition of Streamline Publishing’s Radio Ink will include a feature from RBR+TVBR Editor-in-Chief Adam R Jacobson on 100 Years of Radio, and the pioneering broadcast facilities that predate KDKA.