ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — One of the first radio stations in New York and in the country, WGY started broadcasting in the Capital Region in 1922. As the historic station prepares to mark its 100th anniversary Sunday, NEWS10 ABC is taking you back to when it all started.
At 7:47 p.m. on February 20, 1922, WGY took to the air for the first time. The first program lasted 63 minutes, featured 11 musical performances, and concluded with a violin performance of “Ave Maria.”
That historic night Kolin Hager, who would become WGY’s station manager, took to the air to say the following, “This is radio station WGY in Schenectady, ‘W’ for wireless, ‘G’ for General Electric, and ‘Y’ for the last letter in our city.” From that moment on, it was a new era in radio history.
The previous antenna was located on Building 40 of the GE campus, but it eventually moved to its current location at 679 Mariaville Road in Rotterdam. It’s twice as tall as the previous antenna, and it features thirteen miles worth of grounding wire.
Located near the intersection of Interstate 90 and Interstate 88 in Rotterdam, the WGY tower is hard to miss. Standing at 625 feet, it’s a living piece of radio history.