CBS Radio’s all-News KCBS/San Francisco is gearing up to celebrate 100 years on the air. The station’s first broadcast, as “San Jose Calling,” was heard on June 11, 1909. The station later became KWQ and then KCBS. The station’s first broadcast aired from San Jose’s Fairmont Plaza, and KCBS will return to San Jose on the 11th. Morning anchor Stan Bunger and midday anchor Rebecca Corral will broadcast the news at noon from the same location where that first broadcast originated, on the corner of First and San Fernando. The station will also give tickets away to see an exhibit on radio broadcasting inventor Doc Herrold at the Tech Museum of Innovation, KCBS Centennial T-shirts, and free pizzas.
Said CBS Radio CEO Dan Mason in an email to all CBS/Radio San Francisco employees:
“There are certain milestones in our business – milestones we will never forget – that have had a profound effect on the radio industry. Coverage of the San Francisco earthquake in 1989, radio’s prominence in telling the story of the Northeast Blackout in 1965, and again when a similar occurrence happened in 2003, and the way our stations and many others across the country pulled together to help victims of Hurricane Katrina a few years back are a few that come to mind. But none of these events would be possible if not for the pioneering spirit of scientist and inventor Charles Herrold, who is credited with launching the world’s first radio station in 1909.
Through a 14-watt transmitter in San Jose, regularly scheduled programming was heard on the station billed as “This is San Jose Calling.” Years later, CBS would purchase the station and rebrand it as KCBS. Those calls letters have stood the test of time and to this day are credited with delivering the best in news and information to listeners in the Bay Area, and a world wide audience via the Web and mobile applications.
Through good times and bad KCBS has been there for its audience providing a voice for those who can’t be heard, and a place to learn about all sides of the issues that affect their daily lives. But more importantly, the station is a trusted friend to millions of individuals, hundreds of local community groups and causes, and our advertisers who have partnered with us to benefit their business. That only happens in this business because day in and day out, you all work extremely hard to deliver top notch programming – programming that has been honored time and again by your peers, local and national journalistic groups, and the most dignified societies in the world. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of KCBS you owe yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
Our portfolio of stations includes among it many strong quality brands. I consider KCBS to be at the top of the list. And I couldn’t be more proud of what you’re all doing to carry on the reputation that KCBS has spent a century earning. As we enter a whole new era of broadcasting, an era that includes not just an AM and FM signal, but digital capabilities, online streaming, and mobile applications, among others, I find comfort in knowing that KCBS will continue to rewrite it’s history and lead the industry as it has always done.
Congratulations again on achieving such a high standard for so many years. I look forward to seeing you all later this afternoon so I can send those same good wishes in person.