The first decade of FM broadcasting, starting in 1936 to 1946, occurred in the 42 - 50 MHz band.  The frequency band was changed to the current 88 to 108 MHz band in 1946.  FM stations operating in the old frequency band were required to move to the higher frequencies and most did so before 1948.

Many initial call signs in the FM band were assigned in the following manner:
      an initial "W" or "K", depending on whether the station location was east or west of the Mississippi River,
      followed by two numbers, and
      one or two letters usually representing the community of license, for example "PH" for Philadelphia.
Like K 47 SL (now KSFI, Salt Lake City, UT).

 

Additional early FM licensed stations with FCC History Cards and FCC Facility ID Numbers, 1938 to 1947:

First Licensed Date First call sign, city, state 
(links to History Cards)
Facility ID
(links to current
station info)
11/14/1938    WDNG, Anniston, AL    71344
11/21/1938    WBOE, Cleveland, OH (now deleted)    12018
5/08/1939    WCNY, New York, NY    3539
3/13/1941    WBKY, Lexington, KY    4303
9/18/1941    KALW, San Francisco, CA    58830
1/15/1942    W 51 C, Chicago, IL    28620
1/29/1942    W 51 R, Pochester, NY    71204
5/20/1942    W 47 P, Pittsburgh, PA    59968
9/09/1942    W 57 A / W 85 A, Rochester, NY    15530
9/09/1942    W 53 PH, Philadelphia, pA    20348
9/30/1942    WIUC, Urbana, IL    68940
11/06/1942    W 53 H, Hartford, CT    66465
11/18/1942    W 45 BR, Baton Rouge, LA    4053
11/18/1942    W 69 PH, Philadelphia, PA    25094
1/26/1943    W 75 NY, New York, NY    51249
1/23/1943    W 71 NY, New York, NY    63781
3/02/1943    W 73 PH, Philadelphia, PA    9622
3/02/1943    W 75 P, Pittsburgh, PA    73889
3/16/1943    K 45 LA, Los Angeles, CA    28631
3/16/1943    W 65 H, Hartford, CT    71244
3/23/1943    W 45 D, Detroit, MI    9618
3/23/1943    W 47 PH, Philadelphia, PA    25438
3/30/1943    W 67 NY, New York, NY    9611
3/30/1943    W 67 C, Chicago, IL    9613
5/04/1943    W 59 NY, New York, NY    29022
8/25/1943    WBEZ, Chicago, IL    66649
9/21/1943    W 35 NY / W 39 NY, New York, NY    73355
11/02/1943    W 49 D, Detroit, MI    59592
4/26/1944    WTAG-FM, Worcester, MA    35225
8/08/1944    W 51 NY, New York, NY    19615
10/08/1945    W 83 C, Chicago, IL    73233
03/31/1946    WWST-FM, Wooster, OH    74201
1/26/1947    WBGO, Newark, NJ    48699
6/24/1947    WGNC-FM, Gastonia, NC    6587
7/11/1947    WCPI-FM, Bristol, VA    6876
7/11/1947    WINC-FM, Winchester, VA    41810
8/19/1947    WCLT-FM, Newark, OH    71285
9/11/1947    WNDB-FM, Daytona Beach, FL    10343
9/18/1947    WSTV-FM, Steubenville, OH    65408
9/18/1947    KISU / KSUI, Iowa City, Iowa    66626
9/18/1947    WMIX-FM, Mount Vernon, IL    73103
9/24/1947    WFUV, New York, NY    22033
10/09/1947    WFAS-FM, White Plains, NY    14380
10/20/1947    WFAH-FM, Alliance, OH    14914
11/17/1947    W 63 SY / WSYR-FM, Syracuse, NY    48725
11/17/1947    WKNP, Corning, NY    53611
11/18/1947    WHPE-FM, High Point, NC    5164
11/18/1947    WKRC-FM, Cincinatti, OH    11276
11/18/1947    KCRW, Santa Monica, CA    59086
11/18/1947    WFOB-FM, Fostoria, OH    67709
11/18/1947    WCEC-FM / WFMA, Wake Forest, NC    74125
11/20/1947    WLBC-FM, Muncie, IN    17602
12/01/1947    WATC-FM, Ashland, OH    2925
12/01/1947    WJTN-FM, Jamestown, NY    29919
12/01/1947    WJMC-FM, Rice Lake, WI    67197
12/20/1947    WWHG-FM, Hornel, NY    5309
12/24/1947    WEAW-FM, Evanston, IL    67073


Per the History Cards:

   77 additional FM stations were licensed in 1948,
 143 additional FM stations were licensed in 1949, and
   74 additional FM stations were licensed in 1950.

(These counts may not include FM stations deleted before 1980 and removed from the History Cards.)

 


These additional history cards were also in the folder above:
1/10/1936 (STA)   W8XWJ, Detroit, MI The Evening News Association
Deleted 1/1/1941
Apex AM modulation
7/22/1941 W 77 XL, Lansing, MI WJIM, Inc.
Deleted 9/7/1942
Apex AM modulation
6/3/1937 KA-9952, Jackson, MS Licensed 3/28/1938, Deleted 2/18/1952
(Misplaced intercity relay history cards)

 



For more information on AM and FM radio broadcasting, please visit the Audio Division website, and the Broadcast Radio Links page.

For more information on Television broadcasting, please visit the Video Division website.

FCC > Media Bureau > Audio Division and Video Division, (202) 418-1600.

Bureau/Office: 

Updated: 
Tuesday, September 25, 2018