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Plans for video still uncertain

March 23, 1951

Spokane Daily Chronicle

The news that the Federal Communications Commission has a new allocation plan which will increase the number of television stations in the country brought cautious comment from Spokane broadcasters today.

Most took the view it will be some time before there is television in Spokane. They pointed out the FCC freeze on channel allocations is still in effect.

The FCC proposal, the Associated Press reported from Washington, D.C., would assign four very high frequency channels to Spokane, channels 2, 4, 6 and 7. Channel 7 would be reserved for a noncommercial educational station.

Ed Craney, general manager of the Symons Broadcasting Company, was quoted in a news dispatch from Seattle as saying KXLY, Spokane, will file an application as soon as possible for a television station using Channel 4.

Burl C. Hagadone, president of the Inland Empire Broadcasting Company which operates KNEW, said the FCC action “undoubtedly brings television closer for the Inland Empire.”

“However,” he added, “I believer there must be some decision made for the dispute over color television before any actual licensing takes place. Color, which requires a certain type of receiving set, definitely involves the public.

“We hold applications for the Seattle-Tacoma area and certainly will apply for Spokane at such time as the general economics involved become satisfactory.”

He said he thought several channels eventually would be made available to Spokane.

Freeze continues

The FCC announcement brought this comment from Richard O. Dunning, president and general manager of KHQ:

“Despite the fact that the FCC proposal indicates it would assign four television channels to Spokane, the allocation of channels remains frozen by the FCC and there is nothing said in the announcement about unfreezing.

“So as far as I can see it, it doesn’t change the picture. An application for a television channel could have been filed any time within the last two years and, under the freezing order, the application would never have been processed.

“Until the freeze is off certainly the FCC will take no action on channel applications.”

Cole E. Wylie, manager of station KREM,, was out of the city and could not be reached for comment.

Proper time awaited.

At KGA, Harvey Wixson, manager, said: “We’re definitely interested in the FCC announcement, of course. I couldn’t say more, other than that KGA is making plans for television broadcasts when the proper time comes.”

Louis A. Wasmer, owner and operator of station KSPO, is known to have been interested in television. Wasmer was out of the city today. R.G. McBroom, station manager, would make no comment other than “It’s a step in the right direction. It apparently means the FCC is relaxing the freeze.”

One of the first to announce plans for television in Spokane was Bing Crosby. Two years ago, vacationing here, Crosby said he had plans for a television hookup with stations at Spokane, Yakima and Tacoma.

However, questioned last summer at his home at Hayden Lake, Idaho, he said he was making no further plans until the freeze on channels was lifted.

Friday, March 23, 1951

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From → KHQ, KREM, KXLY, Pre-TV

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