I found this video a while back, but on this day 81 years ago, KFI in Los Angeles was directly impacted by the events of Pearl Harbor as World War II was at it’s breaking point when the Japanese attacked Hawaii. Concerned that the mainland would be a target, the Army took control of KFI’s transmitter on this day.
It could take just one manager from one of the mergers to completely trash the history or paint the transmitter site with iHeart Media-Red color and completely just cover up any of the history.
KFI had logged the situation even in the earlier days of radio. The concern from the government was that at the time KFI was the blowtorch in the US Pacific region, KCBS (or KQW at the time) or KNX was not on the air yet; that the station needed to be protected to provide critical information. They went so far to turn off the lamps on the tower to deterrent from the enemies.
I say this because KFI was one of the “7 little companies” that became Clear Channel (later iHeart Radio and iHeart Media.) In the last 20something years, one would wondered if those transmission logs would’ve been destroyed, but the reason why I suspect the opposite was the braintrust of the engineers featured in this clip. The old-timer featured is a gentleman named Marvin Collins who had worked at KFI from 1976 to 2000 when the station was virtually all mechanical at the transmitter, and Doug Irwin who was or is their Chief Engineer since 2016 (unsure if he got hit with any of the mass layoffs since with iHeart)
The entire video starting at the beginning
This duo talking broadcast engineering is a rarity as it seems to be that Doug is the solid-state/IT type of a dude with Marvin being the old-fashioned engineer, but both blend together. In the broadcast industry you’re seeing a in-fights between the IT departments and engineering, with either side not wanting to learn from one another.
Very rarely in the industry do you see engineering professionals being ambitexrious between IT and the traditional broadcast technology that supports that medium.
This combined braintrust is also important to keep the history of the signal, and not fully cover up the gunshots or the bodies that had been in the building during a national crisis. It could take just one manager from one of the mergers to completely trash the history or paint the transmitter site with iHeart Media-Red color and completely just cover up any of the history.
The iHeart Southland cluster has been fully consolidated in recent years, and I would suspect neighboring markets are based in L.A. And in recent years KFI had their tower collapse by accident and operating more like a Manchester/Boston area 5,000 watter as they rebuilt