What We're About
- The Jacksonville Broadcasters Association was organized to preserve the rich history of Northeast Florida's radio and television industries.
- The association is open to those past and present broadcasters who have served this region’s proud broadcasting heritage.
- Our members represent journalism, engineering, on-air talent, production and technical staff, sales, and management.
The Jacksonville Broadcasters Association, Inc. is a non-profit corporation registered in the State of Florida. The association is not affiliated with any current or past broadcasting or media company or entity.
Television arrived in Jacksonville in 1949, 28 years after Philo Farnsworth invented the first TV. WMBR-TV signed on channel 4 from a post-war Quonset hut building at the southern end of Main Street Bridge (Alsop Bridge). It was a CBS and DuMont network affiliate. It was also the state's second TV station. In 1958 the station changed its call letters to WJXT.
A second Jacksonville TV station, WJHP-TV, followed in 1953 on UHF channel 36 with NBC and ABC affiliations. It was owned by the Jacksonville Journal, the city's afternoon newspaper. The station went dark four years later unable to overcome the difficulties of UHF technology.
In 1957 WFGA-TV launched channel 12 as an NBC network affiliate and became known as the first TV station in the U.S. to be built from the ground-up as a color broadcasting station. In 1974 new owners changed the call letters to WTLV. At one point it swapped networks to ABC and then back to NBC.
A community-owned TV station signed on WJCT-TV, channel 7, in 1958. It began as an educational station with N.E.T. as its primary network. Later it transitioned into a public station member of PBS.
An ABC Network station, WJKS, began transmitting on channel 17 in 1966. Today it is a CW Network affiliate under the call letters WCWJ.
From monochrome to color, VHF to UHF, analogue to digital, Jacksonville TV stations gained national recognition for proactive community involvement leading to social and political change.
1925. It was the year of The Great Gatsby...Sears opening its first store, Chrysler introducing its first automobile, Nashville's WSM radio signing on the Grand Ole Opry and Jacksonville residents tuning in to the NBC radio network on its first station, WJAX on AM 930.
Two years later WMBR joined the airwaves with CBS programming on 1460. But, it took another 13 years before a local newspaper — The Metropolis — signed on WJHP, 1320, with its local programming augmented by the Mutual Radio Network.
WPDQ, 600, introduced the Florida-American Radoio Network to northeast Florida in 1942.
In 1958, WAPE, called The Big Ape, set fire to the coastline from Florida to the Carolinas with a 50-thousand watt signal and a music format called Top 40. Every station break was punctuated with the scream of a Tarzan-like ape.
Radio built its reputation and success upon the personalities of the men and women behind the mike. Their names became legend...Tommy Tucker, Ted Chapeau, Ed Bell, Marshall Rowland, Ken Knight, Virginia Atter, Greaseman , Willie Martin, Johnny Shaw, the Devil's Son-in-Law, and the live bands led Toby Dowdy, Jimmy Strickland...Johnny Jelinick.
Today there are scores of AM and FM stations in our coverage area, from one end of the dials to the other, broadcasting music, commentary, religion, auctions, as well as traditional news, weather, traffic reports and sports.