WBAP/KXAS Tv-Radio Studios – Barnett

WBAP Fort Worth’s first licensed radio station, was founded by Harold Hough and Amon G. Carter, Sr. in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram building, which also housed the newspaper owned by Mr. Carter. The station began service in 1922 with 10 watts of power, which increased to 50,000 watts by 1932. The station moved to the Blackstone Hotel in 1929, then to the Medical Arts Building in 1938. Mr. Carter built a new building for the radio station and a new television station, WBAP-TV, in 1948. The first television broadcast occurred September 27, 1948, when a speech by President Harry S. Truman was broadcast from the steps of the Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal. WPAP-TV was the first TV station in the Southwest, and one of the earliest stations in the United States. WBAP-TV was the first station to produce a daily newsreel and to operate a remote unit to film news on location. The station also had the first professional weather reporting program. In 1949, WBAP radio also began broadcasting in FM. WBAP’s two story building at 3000 Barnett Street is faced in buff-brown brick and constructed without windows. The main block has a hipped red tile roof, brick quoins and a long, central, shed-roofed portico. The Spanish/Mediterranean style building is a design by Joseph R. Pelich, the architect of several of Fort Worth’s finest public school buildings, numerous residences and many buildings at Texas Christian University (SW-93). Pelich was also the first president of the Fort Worth Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Much of the original interior of Pelich’s building is intact, including the original 1948 TV studios. The first color telecast in Texas occurred here in 1954. In 1971, WBAP-AM won Billboard magazine’s award for Country Music Station of the Year. WBAP-FM changed its call letters to KSCS in 1973, and was sold to Capital Cities Communications, Inc. in 1974. The television station changed its call letters to KXAS in 1974. The building will be eligible for the National Register once it is fifty years old. The radio station received a Texas Historical Marker in 1982.

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