KSYM-FM to host celebration of 100 years of radio in San Antonio
September 15, 2022
Radio and television celebrities from far and wide will converge on San Antonio College to celebrate the 100th anniversary of radio broadcasting in San Antonio.
The event will take place from 3-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, at the Longwith Radio, Television and Film Building at the corner of W. Courtland Place and N. Main Avenue on the SAC campus. It is free and open to the public
San Antonio’s first radio station was KTSA, established as WCAR in 1922 at 1140 AM on the dial. It moved to its current frequency, 550 AM, in 1935. Shortly after KTSA began, WOAI radio at 1200 AM went on the air and both have broadcasted continuously since.
In conjunction with the anniversary event, Donnie Meals, station manager of SAC’s KSYM-FM, plans a grand reopening of the station, which went remote during the COVID pandemic. The college has renovated the main broadcast studio and built a new studio B for live news and interviews. KSYM has been back on the air since August 23. Meals is eager to show guests around.
The Society of San Antonio Radio Broadcasters (SoSARB) is co-sponsoring the event with KSYM radio. Tim McKee, president of SoSARB, said the event will include live music, refreshments, speeches, tours, and a reunion of many SAC alums.
SAC’s radio station, KSYM, plans a live broadcast of the anniversary event. The SAC radio station, which has operated since 1966, is part of the academic program which was the beginning of many broadcast careers, and many SAC alums still work in San Antonio.
“We expect to see many friends, old and new, at this event,” Meals said. One of many members of the San Antonio Radio Hall of Fame expected to be in attendance, Meals anticipates that many memories of a century of broadcasting will be shared.
“We are a community of talented, passionate on-air personalities,” Meals said. “Our kindred spirit binds us, no matter how long or how far our careers separate us.”
Sonny Melendrez, a well-known San Antonio radio personality and another Hall of Fame member, will serve as master of ceremonies on the day of the event. He has also worked with McKee, SoSARB, and KLRN-Public TV to produce a series of vignettes about radio in San Antonio. The series will premiere at the SAC event and air on KLRN during September and October.
Henry Peña, Hall of Fame member and long-time San Antonio personality on Spanish language stations KUKA and KCOR, will recount a brief history of Spanish-language radio and TV in San Antonio.