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Start dates of television services

On 30 September 1948 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) suspended all licensing of television stations, pending resolution of problems about neighbouring stations causing interference, and the longer-term possibility of establishing colour broadcasting. At the time, 37 stations were already in operation and a further 86 were licensed and under construction. But around 300 others that had lodged applications were told they would have to wait for six months.
        In fact the moratorium lasted far longer: it was not until 14 April 1952 that the FCC lifted the ban, effective from 1 July. The new plan established three zones across the US, with different regulations for spacing and frequency allocation in each. The total number of frequencies now available was 617 VHF and 1,436 UHF.

 date  call sign  location channel   network [later ownership]  later call sign
1939
Apr W9XZV Chicago, IL [Zenith]   WBBM
6 Nov WGY TV Schenectady, NY   NBC  
6 Nov WRGB TV Schenectady-Albany-Troy, NY CBS  
1940
Aug W9XBK Chicago, IL [Paramount] CBS WBKB (see 1943)
Aug W9XBK Chicago, IL CBS Ch4 (Nov)
1941
1 Jul WCBW TV NY, NY CBS WCBS
1 Jul WNBT TV NYC NBC W2XBS, WNBC
3 Sep KYW TV Philadelphia, PA Philco/NBC  
1943
13 Oct WBKB TV Chicago, IL (see 1940) CBS WLS (1970)
1944
2 May WABD TV NYC DuMont [Metro, Fox] WNEW, WNYW
1947
1 Jan WTTG TV Washington DC Metro  
22 Jan KTLA TV Los Angeles, CA Ind  
8 Feb KSD TV St Louis, MO NBC KSDK
4 Mar WWJ TV Detroit, MI NBC WDIV
27 Jun WRC TV Washington, DC NBC  
13 Sep WPVI TV Philadelphia, PA ABC  
3 Oct WMAL TV Washington, DC ABC WJLA
27 Oct WMAR TV Baltimore, MD NBC  
17 Dec WEWS TV Cleveland, OH ABC  
Dec WTMJ TV Milwaukee, WI NBC  
1948
2 Jan WNDT TV New York-Newark, NY 13  PBS WNET
6 Feb KNXT TV Los Angeles, CA CBS KCBS
9 Feb WLWT TV Cincinnati, OH NBC  
11 Mar WBAL TV Baltimore, MD 11  CBS  
15 Mar WCAU TV Philadelphia, PA 10  CBS  
5 Apr WGN TV Chicago, IL DuMont, CBS  
15 Apr KCPX TV Salt Lake City, UT ABC KTVX
22 Apr WTVR TV Richmond, VA CBS  
23 Apr KSTP TV St Paul-Minneapolis, MN ABC  
14 May WBEN TV Buffalo, NY CBS WIVB
9 Jun WBZ TV Boston, MA NBC  
15 Jun WPIX TV NY, NY 11  Ind  
15 Jun WTNH TV New Haven, CT ABC  
21 Jul WSPD TV Toledo, OH 13  NBC  
10 Aug WABC TV New York, NY ABC  
17 Sep WENR TV Chicago, IL ABC Ch 4 (1953)
17 Sep KCOP TV Los Angeles/Hollywood, CA 13  DuMont, CBS  
29 Sep WSB TV Atlanta, GA ABC  
29 Sep WBAP TV Fort Worth-Dallas, TX NBC KXAS
6 Oct KHJ TV Los Angeles, CA Ind  
9 Oct WXYZ TV Detroit, MI ABC  
24 Oct WJBK TV Detroit, MI CBS  
Oct WKYC TV Cleveland, OH NBC  
2 Nov WJZ TV Baltimore, MD 13  ABC  
24 Nov WAVE TV Louisville, KY NBC  
25 Nov KING TV Seattle, WA NBC  
29 Nov KOB TV Albuquerque, NM NBC  
11 Dec WHEN TV Syracuse, NY CBS WTVH
11 Dec WMC TV Memphis, TN NBC  
18 Dec WDSU TV New Orleans, LA NBC  
22 Dec KPIX TV San Francisco, CA CBS  
1949
1 Jan KTTV TV Los Angeles, CA 11  Metro  
1 Jan KPRC TV Houston, TX NBC  
2 Jan KDKA TV Pittsburgh, PA CBS  
16 Jan KNBH Los Angeles, CA NBC KNBC
16 Jan WTOP Washington, DC CBS WUSA
26 Jan WHIO TV Dayton, OH CBS  
Jan WNBQ TV Chicago, IL NBC WMAQ (1964)
8 Mar WAGA TV Atlanta, GA CBS  
8 Mar WBAP-FM Fort Worth, TX      
15 Mar WICU TV Erie, PA 12  NBC  
15 Mar WLWD Dayton, OH NBC WDTN
16 Mar KFMB TV San Diego, CA CBS  
18 Mar WGAL TV Lancaster, PA NBC  
21 Mar WTVJ TV Miami, FL NBC [CBS]  
3 Apr WLWS Columbus, OH NBC WCMH
5 May KGO TV San Francisco, CA ABC  
30 May WRTV TV Indianapolis, IN ABC  
May WAPI Birmingham, AL 13  NBC WVMT
1 Jun KSL TV Salt Lake City, UT CBS  
6 Jun WKY Oklahoma City, OK NBC KTVY
14 Jun WROC TV Rochester, NY NBC  
1 Jul WCCO TV Minneapolis-St.Paul, MN CBS  
1 Jul WBRC TV Birmingham, AL ABC  
15 Jul WBTV TV Charlotte, NC CBS  
10 Jul WJAR TV Providence, RI 10  NBC  
26 Jul WCPO TV Cincinnati, OH CBS  
15 Aug WOTV TV Grand Rapids, MI NBC  
30 Aug WTVN TV Columbus, OH ABC WSYX
1 Sep KMTV TV Omaha, NB CBS [NBC]  
15 Sep WJAC TV Johnstown, PA NBC [ABC]  
15 Sep WJXT TV Jacksonville, FL CBS  
16 Sep KABC TV Los Angeles, CA ABC  
17 Sep WFAA TV Dallas-Fort Worth, TX ABC  
22 Sep WFMY TV Greensboro-High Point, NC CBS  
5 Oct WBNS TV Columbus, OH 10  CBS  
5 Oct WOR TV New York-Secaucus, NY Ind WWOR
16 Oct WDAF TV Kansas City, MO NBC  
31 Oct WOC TV Davenport, IA NBC KWQC
11 Nov WTTV TV Bloomington-Indianapolis, IN Ind  
15 Nov KRON TV San Francisco, CA NBC  
15 Nov WSAZ TV Huntington-Charleston, NV NBC  
30 Nov KOTV TV Tulsa, OK CBS  
1 Dec WBNG TV Binghamton, NY 12  CBS  
1 Dec WKTV TV Utica, NY NBC  
3 Dec KRLD TV Dallas-Fort Worth, TX CBS KDFW
11 Dec WOAI San Antonio, TX NBC KMOL
19 Dec WJW TV Cleveland, OH CBS  
1950
15 Feb KENS TV San Antonio, TX CBS  
15 Feb WSYR TV Syracuse, NY NBC WSTM
21 Feb WOI TV Ames-Des Moines, IA ABC [PBS]  
27 Mar WHAS TV Louisville, KY 11  CBS  
2 Apr WTAR TV Norfolk, VA CBS WTKR
1 May WJIM TV Lansing, MI CBS WLNS
1 Jun WKZO TV Kalamazoo, MI CBS WWMT
1 Jul WHBF TV Rock Island, IL CBS  
30 Sep WSM TV Nashville, TN NBC  
1958
1 Jan WMBD TV Peoria, IL CBS  
6 Jan WIPR TV San Juan, PR PBS  
20 Jan KUED TV Salt Lake City, UT PBS  
21 Jan KMOT TV Minot, ND 10  NBC  
22 Jan KRSD TV Rapid City, SD ABC KEVN
1 Feb WFTV TV Orlando, FL ABC  
2 Feb WRIK TV Ponce, PR PTC WLUZ
8 Feb KIRO TV Seattle, WA CBS  
11 Feb WTVC TV Chattanooga, TN ABC  
17 Feb WETV TV Atlanta, GA PBS WPBA
Feb WSUR TV Ponce, PR    
3 Mar KTVU TV Oakland-San Francisco, CA CBS  
5 Mar KDUH TV Scottsbluff-Hay Spring, NB ABC  
15 Mar KULR TV Billings, MT NBC/ABC/CBS  
1 Apr KVIQ TV Eureka, CA NBC/ABC/CBS  
5 May KNME TV Albuquerque, NM PBS  
2 Sep KAYS TV Hays, KS CBS  
5 Sep WKPC TV Louisville, KY 15  PBS  
10 Sep WJCT TV Jacksonville, FL PBS  
14 Sep WTAE TV Pittsburgh, PA ABC  
5 Oct KRTV TV Great Falls, MT CBS  
8 Oct KCMT TV Alexandria, MN CBS/NBC/ABD  
12 Oct WJRT TV Flint, MI 12  ABC  
27 Oct WEDU TV Tampa-St Petersburg, FL PBS  
5 Nov KGLD TV Garden City, KS 11  NBC KSNG
10 Nov WUFT TV Gainersville, FL PBS  
17 Nov KAII TV Wailuku, HI NBC  
28 Nov KCOO TV Aberdeen, SD ABC KABY
30 Nov WKBW TV Buffalo, NY ABC  
2 Dec KNOP TV North Platte, NB NBC  
5 Dec WTOL TV Toledo, OH 11  CBS  
1960
Jan KDSJ TV Lead-Deadwood, SD 5 NBC KIVV
29 Feb KRET TV Richardson, TX 23 PBS  
27 Mar WSLA TV Selma, AL 8 CBS WAKA
2 Apr KPEC TV Lakewood Center-Tacoma, WA 56 PBS  
28 Apr WIPM TV Mayaguez, PR 3 PBS  
13 May WOLE TV Aguadillo, PR 12    
15 May KHVO TV Hilo, HI 13 ABC  
23 May WKBM TV Caguas-San Juan, PR 11   WLII
23 May WGTV TV Athens-Atlanta, GA 8 PBS  
1 Jun WDTV TV Clarksburg-Weston, WV 5 CBS  
12 Jun KORN TV Mitchell-Sioux Falls, SD 5 ABC KDLT
31 Jul KSOO TV Sioux Falls, SD 13 NBC KSFY;
14 Sep KERA TV Dallas, TX 13 PBS  
20 Sep WFSU TV Tallahassee, FL 11 PBS  
1 Oct KCBY TV Coos Bay, OR 11 CBS  
5 Oct KBYC TV Mankato, MN 12 CBS  
10 Oct WGTE TV Toledo, OH 30 PBS  
19 Oct KWCS TV Ogden, UT 30 independent KOOG
7 Nov KNRR TV Pembina, ND 12 CBS  

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Page updated 13 June 2009
David Fisher