|Submitted by Zookeeper on Fri, 10/24/2008 - 06:00|
KZEW can trace it's roots all the way back to 1946 as Dallas' first FM radio station, the second in the state and 66th in the country. Belo Broadcasting's new FM station signed on October 5, 1946 as KERA-FM 94.3, only 6 weeks behind Houston's KTHT-FM. Call letters stood for a new "era" in broadcasting (not related to today's KERA). The new station was the sister station to Belo's WFAA-AM. The start date coincided with opening of the Texas State Fair...Belo wanted to show off it's new FM radio station!
In June 1947, the FCC decided to reassign KERA to a preferential spot, at the center of the FM dial. On September 15, 1947 Belo's FM station signed on with new WFAA-FM call letters and a new 97.9 frequency. In September 1950, Belo turned off the switch and WFAA-FM was dark for 8 years. On again from 1958-1960, and off again 1960-1961.
In early 1961, WFAA had relocated from the original facility on Harry Hines Boulevard to Communications Center. This state-of-the-art facility was the site of three television studios, a mobile studio, two radio stations and a complete sound recording studio. With renewed enthusiasm, WFAA-FM was transmitting again 1961-1963, only to go dark again 1963-1965.
Finally on again in 1965, the format was "Beautiful Music" and the station was now automated, meaning, 'lots of tape machines and fewer people'. Over the next eight years, things pretty much remained the same. The same boring elevator music. The format thrilled the Belo Board of Director's wives, but not much anybody else. Even in 1973 the station was still not well known, but something was about to change.
To be continued...