KDKA, Pittsburgh

KDKA_microphone_on_displayKDKA, the first commercially owned radio, signed on November 2, 1920. The first broadcast gave the election results from the day before. Radio before this time had been run by hobbyists and as scientific experiments. KDKA was started by the Westinghouse Company to sell more radios. Early programming often featured a live band and news coverage. The station also had its first remote broadcast on January 2, 1921 by airing a religious service from Calvary Episcopal Church. On August 21, 1921, the station became the first radio station to broadcast a major league professional baseball game.

The federal government would eventually assign call signs starting with a “K” to radio stations west of the Mississippi. KDKA is one of six stations east of the Mississippi whose call sign still start with a “K.”

The station still on the air after 96 years. It is now owned by CBS radio and has a news-talk programming format. Visit their website and you can listen to this pioneer radio station online.



  1. Dick,
    There is a typo in your lead sentence. KDKA signed on in 1920, not 1820 (1820 would have been truly historic!). I still listen to KDKA for Pirates games!

  2. That was very interesting. I live West of the Mississippi in Nevada and we have the “K”. Back in New York we had the “W.”

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