Happy Birthday, FM Radio!


Eightly years ago today, the FCC granted its very first FM radio construction permit.

It went to W1XOJ, in Paxton, Mass., and its operator, The Yankee Network.

This set the stage for the birth of FM broadcasts.

In May 1939, the facility introduced scheduled programs, with a 50kw signal.

The station’s call letters were changed to W43B, and in 1941 officially took the calls WGTR-FM, under owner General Tire & Rubber Co. Programming was fed to the station’s tower on Asnebumskit Road in Paxton from Boston by FM circuit.

WGTR, with the creation of a new FM band, first took the 103.1 MHz frequency, and then moved to 99.1 MHz.

In October 1948, the Yankee Network moved its FM operations to Boston, signing on WNAC-FM at 98.5 MHz. With this debut, WGTR’s license was transferred to Eastern Radio; by 1951 it was once again owned by the Yankee Network, but operating from an address tied to the station that is now Entercom-owned WAAF-FM 107.3 in Worcester, Mass.

While WGTR’s presence in the Boston area faded, the predecessor to WAAF, WAAB-FM, flourished. Thus, WAAF has inherited a legacy tied to the very birth of FM radio’s governance by the FCC.

The anniversary of the W1XOJ CP was noted in a Friday midday Tweet from none other than FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.