Radio Station WNYC AM
By Edward Golub
The following story grew out of the old photo sent to us by Lawrence Golub, son of author Edward, who is now 90 years old. It's always a pleasure to read the old radio-connected stories, especially when they are accompanied by an interesting photo that evokes radio history. (Editor)
I worked for WNYC AM as an engineer from August 1937 to January 1940. Those were the Depression years and getting a civil service job as an engineer at a radio station, which was my goal at that time, was an accomplishment. My first duties included rewiring the studios and master control using lead-covered wire. The assistant chief engineer, Bill Pitkin, who designed the system, was a retired Navy man. Thus the lead.
WNYC then operated on 810 KC -- it was cycles then, not Hertz. Edwin Armstrong was still experimenting with FM transmission. WNYC operated from approximately sun up to evening because being on the same frequency as another distant station caused interference to that one.
WNYC was owned and operated by New York City with studios in the Municipal Building in downtown Manhattan and the transmitter in Queens at the edge of the East River. Being licensed and operating from the early 1930s, it could be considered about the first public broadcasting station with programs consisting of classical and semiclassical music, talks, news and public events in the city. Music programs were both live and recorded. Incidentally, records were spun by the announcers not the engineers (BT, i.e., before tape).