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July 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Paley Center for Media on Friday celebrated the 70th anniversary of commercial TV, the day on which the NBC-owned station in New York, operating on channel 1, dropped its experimental call letters and became WNBT. On its website, the website provides a copy of the television schedule for the week of June 30-July 5, 1941 that the station sent out to owners of TV sets in the area. (In the upper right-hand corner are the words “Preserve For Posterity.”) The Center also posts several news articles, many of them noting that 22 other experimental stations had been granted commercial licenses. The New York Times’s article reported that they would also go on the air that day, while other newspapers indicated that they would debut within a month. Few, if any, did. While Los Angeles was one of the cities that was expected to offer commercial television in 1941, two experimental stations in that city continued to operate until well after World War II. Paramount’s W6XYZ became KTLA in 1947 and Don Lee’s W6XAO became KTSL (now KCBS-TV) the following year.