Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Amon G. Carter was the founder and publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper and a tireless promoter of Fort Worth. In 1922, he and partner Harold Hough founded WBAP-AM, the first licensed radio station in the city. By the mid-1940s, Carter and Hough could see that a new medium known as television would eclipse radio, so they applied for a television broadcasting license in May 1946.
Carter chose a then-sparsely populated area of east Fort Worth as the site for the station, which quickly became known as Broadcast Hill, so-called for its prominent high point above most of the city, with the station’s antenna on top to reach as many people as possible.
Joseph R. Pelich was hired as the architect for the new television station, which was the very first facility in the United States designed specifically for television broadcasting. The 74,000 square foot building was even designed with large rolling exterior doors to accommodate all manner of things that might appear on the air, including cars, fire trucks, cattle, and elephants! Pelich wrapped the building’s exterior in a Spanish-Mediterranean architectural motif.
WBAP-TV went on the air on September 27, 1948, to broadcast a local campaign stop by Harry S Truman, and for the next 65 years it was home to the NBC affiliate in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. Its call letters changed to KXAS in 1974 as part of a sale to Lin Broadcasting Company. In 1983, the site received a Texas Historical Marker, noting WBAP’s role as the first television station in Texas and in the southwest. In 2013, KXAS relocated to far East Fort Worth's CentrePort Business Park at 4805 Amon Carter Blvd. The street was built on the former runway of Amon Carter Field, which later became Greater Southwest International Airport (1953-1974).
Text provided by Daniel Haase.
Joseph R. Pelich, Fort Worth
Former Radio and Television Station