FCC grants KTRB permit for TV Station

February 17, 1954

The Federal Communications Commission in Washington D.C today granted KTRB Broadcasting Company, Inc., of Modesto a permit for a television station. KTRB-TV which would be Modesto's first TV station.

An Associated Press dispatch said KTRB  was assigned Channel 14, in the ultra high frequency (UHF) range. William Bates, owner of KTRB Broadcasting company, Inc., said granting of the permit "present a terrific challenge" to serve this area with television. At the time, the nearest television station was KTVU Channel 36 in Stockton.

The station would have 20,000 watts of radiated power, and an expected staff of about 20. They will be in addition to his present staff which operates radio station KTRB, also owned by Bates. This is its 21st year on the air.

(Editor's Note: KTRB-TV never came on the air.   Although a transmitting site on Mt. Oso west of Patterson, CA had been secured and some of the needed equipment built by KTRB engineers, Mr. Bates decided to not put the station on the air in 1954.  He decision was based on the belief that the station would not be financially  successful primarily because the UHF TV band was not well established and only a limited amount of viewers were capable of receiving the UHF channels (14-83).   KMJ-TV Channel 24 in Fresno and KTVU Channel 36 in Stockton  were on the air in the valley and both were struggling.  Channel 36 later went off the air while parent company McClatchy newspapers keep Channel 24 operating at a loss.  The transmitting site on Mt. Oso was later sold to Knox LaRue of KSTN in Stockton.)

KTRB's engineers built some of the TV equipment upstairs at KTRB Modesto.  Man on the left unknown. Engineer on the right is Joe Rice. W6EQO.
Site on Mt. Oso owned by KTRB that was to become the transmitting site for KTRB-TV 14.
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