KMOD in Modesto, California, came on the air March 20th, 1950 on 1360 kilocycles AM with a power of 1,000 watts with studios located on Adams Ave off Old Oakdale road in east Modesto. The license was issued by the FCC to Radio Modesto.
Liviing in a time when any listening spectacle imaginable can be found, it's hard to believe that the advent of FM radio had such an impact on Valley listeners. But, such was the case back in the afternoon of April 3, 1948.
In the late 40's a group seeking to put the third AM station on the air in Modesto applied for a frequency of 1010 kcs and then amended their application for 970 kcs which was granted. The station came on the air on November 1, 1951 with the call letters KBOX.
The station's call letters came from the initials of the partners. "T" and "R" from T.R. McTammany, and "B" from Bill Bates. The FCC assigned the letter K that designated a station West of the Mississippi river.
Reverend Paul J. Pietsch, founder of Missionary Gospel Fellowship in Turlock, suggested in 1946 that some Christian businessmen in Turlock start a new radio station in Turlock. The first thought of the Turlock group was to establish the station on Colorado Avenue on four acres acquired for this purpose.
The Modesto Radio Museum is a virtual (on-line) museum dedicated to preserving the history of commercial broadcasting in Modesto and the area beginning in 1933 when KTRB signed on the air in Modesto. Our goal is to increase and preserve the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of their efforts. It is designed to provide a collection of artifacts, photos and information on the people who pioneered the way.
In 1933 Bill Bates and Modesto businessman T.R. McTammany created a verbal partnership which led to the valley's first commercial broadcast station KTRB. The station was the only station in Modesto until April 1948 when the McClatchy newspaper organization put KBEE-FM on in Modesto. In 1949 a group of Turlock, CA businessmen got together and built the third station KTUR, followed soon by KMOD in March 1950 and KBOX late in 1951.
A freeze on new licenses was lifted in 1963 when KLOC in Ceres hit the air followed by KOSO, Patterson, CA ; KMIX FM in in Turlock 1978; KQKK, Manteca, CA ; KDJK, Oakdale, CA; KITA-FM, Modesto, CA; KPLA, Riverbank, CA ; KEJC-FM Modesto, CA and KMPH in 2006. We hope you enjoy your visit to this on-line museum and the history of the men and women who brought broadcasting to the San Joaquin Valley of California in 1933.