The purchase of the highest radio tower in St. Louis, and an FM transmitter radiating more power than any now in use in the area, has been announced by C.L. (Chet) Thomas, General Manager of KXOK and KXOK-FM, St. Louis Star-Times radio stations.
Thomas said the tower, which is located atop the Boatmen's Bank Building in downtown St. Louis, will also be used for television transmission when the Federal Communications Commission approves the pending application.
The tower, transmitter and equipment were purchased from station KWK St. Louis and includes a long-term lease on the entire 21st floor of the bank building, which has long been a familiar landmark on the Mississippi riverfront skyline. The tower atop the 23 story building is 574 feet above street level.
The eight-way antenna, fed by a 10 kilowatt Western Electric transmitter, will radiate 70-thousand watts. It will assure a clear, strong signal in a 17,500 square mile area.
Present transmitter operations of KXOK-FM are located in the Continental Building in mid-town St. Louis. The antenna there is 387 feet above street level and it was here that the St. Louis Star-Times pioneered in experimental ultra-high frequency broadcasts through W9XOK more than a decade ago.
The purchase of the new transmitter is subject to FCC approval and KXOK will take occupancy of the new headquarters as soon as approval is received.
Studios of both KXOK and KXOK-FM will remain in the Star-Times building in downtown St. Louis.
KXOK-FM is associated with Transit Radio, and according to Thomas, who is president of Transit Radio, Inc., the station, in addition to being received in thousands of homes throughout the area, sends its programs of music, news, sports, weather reports, time signals and announcements to 1,000 radio-equipped vehicles of the St. Louis Public Service Company.
The negotiations for the sale of the transmitter, tower, equipment and lease were handled by Thomas and Ray Dady, vice-president of KWK. No sale price was announced. Dady said the newly acquired facilities will give the Star-Times station the most powerful FM signal in the area. "It is a splendid plant," Dady continued, "and the tower on the Boatmen's Bank Building is the tallest structure in St. Louis. The Star-Times is fortunate in having acquired this excellent property," he said.
(Originally published in the St. Louis Advertising Club Weekly 12/26/1949).