1951 US Army Film: Independent Radio Station WMCA

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Kris Partridge, who shares the following:

I belong to a FaceBook group “The Broadcasting Club” and [recently] there was posted a link to a YouTube video of a 70 year old 1951 US Army film called “The Independent Radio Station WMCA”. It’s worth a view to show what the thinking was 70 years ago:

From YouTube:

In 1951 the US Army made this film showing how an independent radio station operates. There was certainly a cold war propaganda motive for the US Army to produce this film, but today, when independent stations are a rarity, this film gives a detailed view of how a large market, independent radio station, WMCA New York, went about producing its programming and paying the bills in post war America.

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Thank you so much for sharing this, Kris!

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3 thoughts on “1951 US Army Film: Independent Radio Station WMCA

  1. Don Hall

    That was hilarious! I intend to steal/borrow some of the narration for my Part 15 station imaging, especially “This is independent radio in a democracy”. Seriously, though, what was the Army doing producing a film like this? Who was the intended audience? Basic trainees?

  2. Mario

    Growing up in the NYC-Metro area from the 50’s to the 80’s, I remember WMCA very well, it was a very popular Rock ‘n Roll station in the 60’s. The DJs were referred to as “The Good Guys” and were known for giving out Good Guys T-shirts over the air. At some point WMCA became a religious station and other Rock and Roll stations like WINS, WABC (770), and WMGM changed formats. WINS (1010) became all news. WABC became talk radio, and I think WMGM changed it’s call to WHN and was playing country music. Rock ‘n Roll AM stations dwindled in the late 60’s as FM was becoming more popular. At that time a magazine debuted called FM Guide, which I subscribed to. It covered the schedules for all FM stations in the NYC area. If you go to Americanradiohistory.com you’ll find archived issues of FM Guide. Back then (late 60’s), FM stations were an eclectic mix of rock, classic, folk, jazz, ethnic and what can only be described as uncanny music. Nowadays FM is mostly rock at least at my present QTH. Thanks for the post Kris, and Thomas too.

    1. Tom

      I remember WMCA very well Mario. They were the #1 rock station in NY in the mid-60’s with Dandy Dan Daniels, Harry Harrison & BMR, B. Mitchel Reed among others. Split my music listening between them, WABC & WINS. Remember Murray the K & submarine race watching?


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