Entertainment

Historians Reflect On Anniversary Of First-Ever NYC Radio Broadcast

Jack Dempsey Heavyweight Fight Was First Broadcast In 1921
Radio mixing board (file/credit: Clipart.com)

Radio mixing board (file/credit: Clipart.com)

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Tuesday marks the 92nd birthday of the first ever radio broadcast in New York City.

That first broadcast was of the Jack Dempsey heavyweight fight on July 2, 1921.

The author David Halberstam recalled that the very first broadcast got many stations started as people began buying receivers to listen in.

A new book titled “New York City Radio,” by Alec Cumming and Peter Kanze, celebrates the rich history of the medium in the largest media market.

“People remember growing up listening to their AM radio by their ear or in their bedroom. You would often develop a relationship which was very one-on-one,” Cumming told WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot. “You didn’t see other people there, you didn’t see the studio audience, you just heard the voice speaking with you. It was very personal.”

As Cabot reported, radio legend Pete Fornatale often said radio is the most intimate form of communication we have.

“New York City radio may be a little bit more fast-moving, maybe a little bit more cynical, witty. The sound of the radio is much like the sound of the city; very fast-moving, ready for the next big thing, very cosmopolitan,” Cumming said.

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