The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Saturday, January 21, 2006
LBJ and the FCC - still just scraps
If someone's written the story of that long and profitable (to LBJ) relationship, I've yet to track it down (even on the new, tantalising Google Books).
There a snippet in Radio Reader: Essays in the Cultural History of Radio by Hilmes and Loviglio (p372):
Citing alleged interference with San Antonio's clear-channel WOAI at 1200 and Texas A&M station at 1150, KTBC, backed with Johnson's political clout, sought and obtained a reallocation from the [FCC] to an uncluttered area at 590 AM, and in the late 1940s it increased its power to 5,000 watts, making it the most powerful station in the Austin area by far, with a daytime coverage area that blanketed thirty-eight countries, extending from Dallas to Corpus Christi.
That's a tad over 400 miles, according to Mapquest.
GB also flags a passage (p140) in Erik Barnouw's Tube of Plenty:
During the closing months of 1952, a number of new stations received a go-ahead. Among the first was KTBC-TV, Austin, Texas, licensed to Mrs Lyndon B Johnson, wife of the US Senator from Texas; before it even reached the air, advertising sales were such that Broadcasting magazine reported: "AUSTIN'S BRINGING IN A GUSHER."
Johnson's pocket was bulging with peckers...
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