British Broadcasting Company

British Broadcasting Company

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The British Broadcasting Company Ltd was a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 commercial company formed on 18 October 1922 by British and American electrical companies doing business in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 (and anxious to build sales of their products by ensuring that there were radio broadcasts to which their radio-buying customers could listen) and licensed by the British General Post Office
General Post Office
General Post Office is the name of the British postal system from 1660 until 1969.General Post Office may also refer to:* General Post Office, Perth* General Post Office, Sydney* General Post Office, Melbourne* General Post Office, Brisbane...

. Its original office was located on the second floor of Magnet House, the GEC buildings in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and consisted of a room and a small antechamber. On 14 December 1922, John Reith
John Reith, 1st Baron Reith
John Charles Walsham Reith, 1st Baron Reith, KT, GCVO, GBE, CB, TD, PC was a Scottish broadcasting executive who established the tradition of independent public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom...

 was hired to become the Managing Director of the company at that address. The company later moved its offices to the premises of the Marconi Company
Marconi Company
The Marconi Company Ltd. was founded by Guglielmo Marconi in 1897 as The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company...

. The BBC as a commercial broadcasting company did not sell air time but it did carry a number of sponsored programmes paid for by British newspapers. On 31 December 1926, the company was dissolved and its assets were transferred to the non-commercial and Crown Chartered British Broadcasting Corporation
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

.

Post Office stations


In Britain prior to 1922, the General Post Office
General Post Office
General Post Office is the name of the British postal system from 1660 until 1969.General Post Office may also refer to:* General Post Office, Perth* General Post Office, Sydney* General Post Office, Melbourne* General Post Office, Brisbane...

 (GPO) retained exclusive rights given to it by government, to manage and control all means of mass communication with the exception of the printed word for which authority had devolved to another governmental entity. The laws which evolved into the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1947, upon which all modern British communication laws are built in one way or another, concern four essential activities: the establishment of a station for purposes of broadcasting; the use of a station for purposes of broadcasting; the installing of a transmitter at a station, and the use of a transmitter at a station. All four of these activities require a government licence which was originally granted by the General Post Office.

"Electrical" Post Offices


The invention of the electrical telegraph came under the control of the Telegraph Act 1869 which was based upon a law that forbade the encoding of electrical cables with messages without a licence. The messages were viewed as electrical forms of a letter. This invention was followed by the wireless telegraph which was then placed under the Wireless Telegraph Act 1904. The invention of the telephone
Telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

 with its switchboards and routing systems was interpreted by the GPO as an electrical post office. When the telephone was combined with the wireless telegraph to create wireless telephony, the same reasoning was used to control this new medium which became known as wireless broadcasting. However, because wireless broadcasting messages were no longer point-to-point but scattered, there were complaints about this interpretation.

Advent of wireless broadcasting


In the USA, the development of the telegraph, wireless telegraph, telephone and wireless telephony proceeded according to the dictates of entrepreneurial commercial interests concerned only with supply and demand for profit. By the end of 1920 commercial broadcasting stations programming to the general public were already being licensed in the United States by the Commerce Department and offering daily programming. Some of the stations which were launched then, including WWJ
WWJ (AM)
WWJ is Detroit, Michigan's only 24-hour all-news radio station. Broadcasting at 950 kHz, the station is owned and operated by CBS Corporation subsidiary CBS Radio. The station first went on the air on August 20, 1920 with the call sign 8MK...

 in Detroit, KCBS
KCBS
KCBS may refer to:* KCBS-TV, a television station licensed to Los Angeles, California, United States* KCBS-FM, a radio station licensed to Los Angeles, California, United States...

 in San Francisco and KDKA
KDKA-TV
KDKA-TV, channel 2, is an owned and operated television station of the CBS Television Network, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. KDKA-TV broadcasts from a transmitter located in the Perry North neighborhood of Pittsburgh, and its studios are located in downtown Pittsburgh at Gateway Center....

 in Pittsburgh (the first station specifically licensed for the purpose) continue in daily 24-hour operation today under the ownership and management of CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

. This approach was not possible in the United Kingdom due to the tight legal controls of state monopoly held by the GPO. Therefore licences to commence test wireless broadcasts had to be obtained from the GPO and initially, some companies in Britain were successful in obtaining a licence for limited times and purposes.

First test broadcasts


Beginning in 1920, a number of licences were issued to British and American subsidiary companies in Britain for the purpose of conducting experimental transmissions under terms of a licence issued by the General Post Office in accordance with the Wireless Telegraphy Act
Wireless Telegraphy Act
Wireless Telegraphy Act is a stock short title used for legislation in the Republic of Ireland, South Africa and the United Kingdom relating to wireless telegraphy....

 of 1904. On 15 June 1920, Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company, Limited
Marconi Company
The Marconi Company Ltd. was founded by Guglielmo Marconi in 1897 as The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company...

, in Chelmsford
Chelmsford
Chelmsford is the county town of Essex, England and the principal settlement of the borough of Chelmsford. It is located in the London commuter belt, approximately northeast of Charing Cross, London, and approximately the same distance from the once provincial Roman capital at Colchester...

, Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

, was licensed to conduct an experimental broadcast featuring Dame Nellie Melba. The signal was received throughout Europe and as far as Newfoundland. Further transmissions were also made.

Military intervention


On 23 November 1920 the General Post Office halted all further transmissions due to complaints of alleged interference with Armed Forces military communications. As the number of wireless receiving sets increased during the early 1920s, the General Post Office came under extreme pressure from hobby listeners to allow the experimental wireless broadcasts to resume.

Test transmissions resume


On 14 February 1922, which was two years after ceasing their original transmissions, the Marconi Company was issued a licence for experimental transmissions under the call sign 2MT
2MT
2MT was the first British radio station to make regular entertainment broadcasts.Transmissions began on 14 February 1922 from an ex-Army hut next to the Marconi laboratories at Writtle, near Chelmsford in Essex...

. Peter Eckersley was given charge of providing both the broadcast entertainment and the engineering. The station operated out of a hut in a field at Writtle
Writtle
The village of Writtle lies a mile west of Chelmsford, Essex, England, it has a traditional village green, complete with duck pond and a Norman church; and was once described as: 'one of the loveliest villages in England, with a ravishing variety of ancient cottages'...

 near Chelmsford.

On 11 May 1922, the Marconi Company was issued another licence for experimental broadcasts from a station identified as 2LO
2LO
2LO was the second radio station to regularly broadcast in the United Kingdom . It began broadcasting on 11 May 1922, for one hour a day from the seventh floor of Marconi House in London's Strand...

which was located at Marconi House in the Strand, London. The programme consisted of a boxing commentary of the fight between Kid Lewis and Georges Carpentier. Further tests were also advertised as demonstrations of "Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony" which were "subject to permission from the Postmaster General
United Kingdom Postmaster General
The Postmaster General of the United Kingdom is a defunct Cabinet-level ministerial position in HM Government. Aside from maintaining the postal system, the Telegraph Act of 1868 established the Postmaster General's right to exclusively maintain electric telegraphs...

". These demonstrations were performed by the "Demonstration Department (of) Marconi's London Wireless Station 2LO".

On 16 May 1922, Metropolitan Vickers Company, Ltd. ("Metrovick"), in Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

 commenced test broadcasting from its own station identified as 2ZY.

A committee is appointed


On 23 May a committee of representatives was appointed from the "Big Six" companies — Marconi, Metropolitan-Vickers, Radio Communication Company, British Thomson-Houston, General Electric and Western Electric. The Post Office also pressed for the inclusion of a representative from the smaller firms manufacturing radio equipment in the UK — Frank Phillips of Burndept.

Incorporation and shares


On 18 October 1922, the British Broadcasting Company, Ltd. was incorporated under the 1908 to 1917 Companies Acts with a share capital of £100,000., with 99,993 cumulative ordinary shares valued at £1 each:
The holders of the Cumulative Ordinary Shares are entitled to receive out of the profits of the Company a fixed Cumulative Dividend at the rate of 7½% per annum on the capital for the time being paid up thereon but are not entitled to any further or other participation in profits.

Directors

  • The Rt. Hon. Lord Gainford, Headlam Hall, Gainford, Durham
    Durham
    Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

    . (Chairman);
  • Geoffrey C. Isaacs, Marconi House, Strand, WC2. (Managing Director, Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Co. Ltd.);
  • Archibald McKinstry, The Red Lodge, Southill Avenue, Harrow on the Hill. (Joint Managing Director of Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Export Company, Limited.);
  • Major Basil Binyon, "Hawtthorndene", Hayes
    Hayes, Bromley
    Hayes is a place in the London Borough of Bromley, south-east London, England. It has two main areas of activity: the ancient village and suburban Hayes.-The ancient village of Nimrods :...

    , Kent
    Kent
    Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

    . (Managing Director of Radio Communication Company, Limited.);
  • John Gray, "Beaulieu", Park Farm Road, Bromley
    Bromley
    Bromley is a large suburban town in south east London, England and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Bromley. It was historically a market town, and prior to 1963 was in the county of Kent and formed the administrative centre of the Municipal Borough of Bromley...

    , Kent. (Chairman of the Hotpoint Electric Appliance Company, Limited.) (BTH
    British Thomson-Houston
    British Thomson-Houston was a British engineering and heavy industrial company, based at Rugby, Warwickshire, England. They were known primarily for their electrical systems and steam turbines. They were merged with the similar Metropolitan-Vickers company in 1928, but the two maintained their own...

    );
  • Sir William Noble, Magnet House, Kingsway, London WC2. (Director of The General Electric Company, Limited.);
  • Henry Mark Pease, 18 Kensington Court Mansions, London W8. (Managing Director of Western Electric Company, Limited.)


The initial remit of the British Broadcasting Company, Ltd., was to establish a nationwide network of radio transmitters many of which had originally been owned by member companies, from which the BBC was to provide a national broadcasting service.

International origins


The BBC, Ltd., was formed using a blueprint that the US Navy and the General Electric Company had attempted to institute in the USA. Early in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, all of the ship-to-shore and transatlantic radio stations controlled by a US subsidiary company of Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company, Limited in Chelmsford, England, were seized and handed to the US Navy for the duration of the War. After the War, the US Congress forced the US Navy to divest itself of the stations and they turned to the General Electric Company which in 1919 formed a subsidiary called the Radio Corporation of America. With the US Navy on its board, RCA
RCA
RCA Corporation, founded as the Radio Corporation of America, was an American electronics company in existence from 1919 to 1986. The RCA trademark is currently owned by the French conglomerate Technicolor SA through RCA Trademark Management S.A., a company owned by Technicolor...

 then absorbed the former Marconi stations.

In 1926 RCA created the National Broadcasting Company
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

, the first network in the United States. Peaking in the 1930s, there were attempts to bring all radio communications in America back under single monopoly control by using the patent laws. This move failed. However, it was against the backdrop of these developments between 1922 to 1927 in which the original British Broadcasting Company. Ltd. was formed and then merged into a Crown corporation, in part to sever the influence of the General Electric Company in the USA.

The General Electric Company, Ltd. (GEC) in Britain, which was represented on the board of the BBC, had ties to General Electric International, which was a subsidiary of the General Electric Company in the USA. The Western Electric
Western Electric
Western Electric Company was an American electrical engineering company, the manufacturing arm of AT&T from 1881 to 1995. It was the scene of a number of technological innovations and also some seminal developments in industrial management...

 Company. Ltd., in the UK was originally formed as a subsidiary of American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T
AT&T
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation headquartered in Whitacre Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States. It is the largest provider of mobile telephony and fixed telephony in the United States, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services...

) in the USA where it served as its manufacturing subsidiary to equip the AT&T Bell Telephone
Bell Telephone
Bell Telephone may refer to:* Bell Telephone Company, several telephone companies with similar names* Bell Telephone Building , various* The Bell Telephone Hour, a long-running radio and television concert program...

 system. Metropolitan Vickers Company, Ltd., was originally formed as the British Westinghouse
British Westinghouse
British Westinghouse Electrical and Manufacturing Company was a subsidiary of the American Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company. British Westinghouse would become a subsidiary of Metropolitan-Vickers in 1919; and after Metropolitan Vickers merged with British Thomson-Houston in 1929, it...

 Company. Westinghouse and AT&T were both represented in RCA
RCA
RCA Corporation, founded as the Radio Corporation of America, was an American electronics company in existence from 1919 to 1986. The RCA trademark is currently owned by the French conglomerate Technicolor SA through RCA Trademark Management S.A., a company owned by Technicolor...

. British Thomson-Houston
British Thomson-Houston
British Thomson-Houston was a British engineering and heavy industrial company, based at Rugby, Warwickshire, England. They were known primarily for their electrical systems and steam turbines. They were merged with the similar Metropolitan-Vickers company in 1928, but the two maintained their own...

 Company, Ltd., was a controlled UK subsidiary of the General Electric Company in the USA. The Hotpoint
Hotpoint
The Hotpoint Electric Heating Company is a British brand of domestic appliances. The brand is currently fully owned by Italy's Indesit....

 Electric Appliance Company, Ltd., was formed by British Thomson-Houston (BTH) in 1921.

The only other company later added to the original shareholders of the British Broadcasting Company, Ltd., was Burndept Limited. It represented the interests of over 20 small electrical manufacturers in the UK.

Income


The British Broadcasting Company Ltd., did not sell air time for commercials but its license did allow for it to carry sponsored programming, and eight such sponsored broadcasts were aired in 1925. However, the main source of its income was from the sale of radio receiving sets and transmitters manufactured by its shareholding member companies as well as from a portion of the government (GPO) license fee that had to be purchased by BBC listeners.

1922

  • 18 October: British Broadcasting Company, Ltd. formed but not registered.
  • 1 November: First broadcast receiving licence introduced.
  • 14 November: 2LO began broadcasting on mediumwave
    Mediumwave
    Medium wave is the part of the medium frequency radio band used mainly for AM radio broadcasting. For Europe the MW band ranges from 526.5 kHz to 1606.5 kHz...

    , from Marconi House to London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

     with the first newscast read by Arthur Burrows
    Arthur Burrows
    Arthur Burrows was one of the first employees of the British Broadcasting Company and was the first to hold the position of Director of Programmes. Burrows was previously a journalist and also a keen wireless enthusiast...

    , first Director of Programmes.
  • 15 November: 5IT in Birmingham
    Birmingham
    Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

     and 2ZY in Manchester
    Manchester
    Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

     began broadcasting. All three BBC stations broadcast General Election results.
  • 14 December: John C. W. Reith hired as the Company's Managing Director.
  • 15 December: British Broadcasting Company, Ltd., registered as an incorporated company.
  • 30 December: John Reith began work as Managing Director.
  • 31 December: 35,774 receiving licences issued by General Post Office. BBC staff numbered 4 employees.

1923

  • 18 January: Postmaster General
    United Kingdom Postmaster General
    The Postmaster General of the United Kingdom is a defunct Cabinet-level ministerial position in HM Government. Aside from maintaining the postal system, the Telegraph Act of 1868 established the Postmaster General's right to exclusively maintain electric telegraphs...

     Neville Chamberlain
    Neville Chamberlain
    Arthur Neville Chamberlain FRS was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his appeasement foreign policy, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the...

     issued a broadcasting licence to the British Broadcasting Company, Ltd., from the General Post Office.
  • 13 February: 5WA began broadcasting to Cardiff
    Cardiff
    Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

    , Wales
    Wales
    Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

    .
  • 6 March: 5SC began broadcasting to Glasgow
    Glasgow
    Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

    , Scotland
    Scotland
    Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

    .
  • 16 March: First return of shareholders filed. Substantiated claim. (Clark 2010)
  • 1 May: Studios opened at Savoy Hill.
  • 29 August: First network news delivered by all BBC stations.
  • 28 September: First published edition of Radio Times
    Radio Times
    Radio Times is a UK weekly television and radio programme listings magazine, owned by the BBC. It has been published since 1923 by BBC Magazines, which also provides an on-line listings service under the same title...

    .
  • 1 October: Publication of Sykes Committee Report on Broadcasting.
  • 10 October: 2BD began broadcasting to Aberdeen
    Aberdeen
    Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

    , Scotland.
  • 17 October: 6BM began broadcasting to Bournemouth
    Bournemouth
    Bournemouth is a large coastal resort town in the ceremonial county of Dorset, England. According to the 2001 Census the town has a population of 163,444, making it the largest settlement in Dorset. It is also the largest settlement between Southampton and Plymouth...

    .
  • 16 November: 6FL began broadcasting to Sheffield
    Sheffield
    Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough of South Yorkshire, England. Its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and with some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely...

     as the first relay station.
  • 26 November: First experimental broadcast to North America
    North America
    North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

    .
  • 30 December: First landline relay from Radiola Paris, France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

    .
  • 31 December: First broadcast of Big Ben
    Clock Tower, Palace of Westminster
    Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London, and is generally extended to refer to the clock or the clock tower as well. It is the largest four-faced chiming clock and the third-tallest free-standing clock tower in the world...

     chimes. BBC staff numbered 177 employees.

1924

  • 5 February: First daily broadcast of the Greenwich
    Greenwich
    Greenwich is a district of south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.Greenwich is best known for its maritime history and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time...

     time signal.
  • 17 February: First daily broadcast of the Big Ben time signal.
  • 28 March 5PY began broadcasting to Plymouth
    Plymouth
    Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

     as a relay station.
  • 1 May: 2EH began broadcasting to Edinburgh
    Edinburgh
    Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

    , Scotland as a relay station.
  • 11 June: 6LV began broadcasting to Liverpool
    Liverpool
    Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

     as a relay station.
  • 8 July: 2LS began broadcasting to Leeds
    Leeds
    Leeds is a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. In 2001 Leeds' main urban subdivision had a population of 443,247, while the entire city has a population of 798,800 , making it the 30th-most populous city in the European Union.Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial...

     and Bradford
    Bradford
    Bradford lies at the heart of the City of Bradford, a metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, in Northern England. It is situated in the foothills of the Pennines, west of Leeds, and northwest of Wakefield. Bradford became a municipal borough in 1847, and received its charter as a city in 1897...

     as a relay station.
  • 9 July: 5XX began experimental broadcasts on AM longwave
    Longwave
    In radio, longwave refers to parts of radio spectrum with relatively long wavelengths. The term is a historic one dating from the early 20th century, when the radio spectrum was considered to consist of long, medium and short wavelengths...

     from Chelmsford, Essex.
  • 15 August: 6KH began broadcasting to Hull
    Kingston upon Hull
    Kingston upon Hull , usually referred to as Hull, is a city and unitary authority area in the ceremonial county of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It stands on the River Hull at its junction with the Humber estuary, 25 miles inland from the North Sea. Hull has a resident population of...

     as a relay station.
  • 15 September: 2BE
    2BE Belfast
    2BE was the call sign of the first official radio station in Northern Ireland which started broadcasting from Belfast in 1924 on a frequency of 682 kHz. Operated by the British Broadcasting Company, later Corporation, the station was in 1936 subsumed into the Northern Ireland Regional...

    began broadcasting to Belfast
    Belfast
    Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

    , Northern Ireland
    Northern Ireland
    Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

    .
  • 16 September: 5NG began broadcasting to Nottingham
    Nottingham
    Nottingham is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England. It is located in the ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire and represents one of eight members of the English Core Cities Group...

    .
  • 21 October: 6ST began broadcasting to Stoke-on-Trent
    Stoke-on-Trent
    Stoke-on-Trent , also called The Potteries is a city in Staffordshire, England, which forms a linear conurbation almost 12 miles long, with an area of . Together with the Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme Stoke forms The Potteries Urban Area...

     as a relay station.
  • 12 November: 2DE began broadcasting to Dundee
    Dundee
    Dundee is the fourth-largest city in Scotland and the 39th most populous settlement in the United Kingdom. It lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea...

     as a relay station.
  • 26 November: First transatlantic relay broadcast from KDKA
    KDKA (AM)
    KDKA is a radio station licensed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Created by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation on November 2, 1920, it is one of the world's first modern radio stations , a distinction that has also been challenged by other stations, although it has claimed to be the first in...

    , Pittsburgh
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the US Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Allegheny County. Regionally, it anchors the largest urban area of Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley, and nationally, it is the 22nd-largest urban area in the United States...

    , Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania
    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

    , USA.
  • 12 December: 5SX began broadcasting to Swansea
    Swansea
    Swansea is a coastal city and county in Wales. Swansea is in the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan. Situated on the sandy South West Wales coast, the county area includes the Gower Peninsula and the Lliw uplands...

     as a relay station.
  • 31 December: Over 1 million receiving licences had been issued by the General Post Office. The BBC had 20 radio transmitting stations in operation and 465 employees.

1925

  • Various dates: Eight sponsored concerts are broadcast by the BBC. (See Briggs History, Vol.1, in reference section below.)
  • 3 April: BBC Deputy Managing Director Rear-Admiral Charles Carpendale became President of the First General Assembly of the International Broadcasting Union at Geneva
    Geneva
    Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

    , Switzerland
    Switzerland
    Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

    .
  • 6 April: 2LO transmitter power increased during move from Marconi House to the roof of Selfridges
    Selfridges
    Selfridges, AKA Selfridges & Co, is a chain of high end department stores in the United Kingdom. It was founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge. The flagship store in London's Oxford Street is the second largest shop in the UK and was opened on 15 March 1909.More recently, three other stores have been...

     department store in Oxford Street
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

    .
  • 17 July: First edition published of The Radio Supplement.
  • 27 July: 5XX experimental AM longwave station moved from Chelmsford to Daventry
    Daventry
    Daventry is a market town in Northamptonshire, England, with a population of 22,367 .-Geography:The town is also the administrative centre of the larger Daventry district, which has a population of 71,838. The town is 77 miles north-northwest of London, 13.9 miles west of Northampton and 10.2...

     where it commenced regular broadcasting on 1600 metres.
  • 31 December: BBC staff numbered 658 employees.

1926

  • 4 January: John Reith began to impose his dress code on BBC radio announcers who had to wear evening dress to match BBC performing artists in evening dress.
  • 5 March: Parliamentary Crawford Committee published its broadcasting report which called for the termination of the British Broadcasting Company, Ltd., and the creation of a Crown
    The Crown
    The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms and any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof represents the legal embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial...

     chartered, non-commercial British Broadcasting Corporation beginning in 1927.
  • 18 June: BBC The Radio Supplement was replaced by BBC World Radio publication.
  • 22 July: Final return of shareholders filed. Substantiated claim. (Clark 2010)
  • 14 November: The International Broadcasting Union issued its Geneva Plan which reduced the number of BBC wavelengths. This forced the company to restructure by replacing its local radio stations with regional radio stations.
  • 16 December: Over 100 staff and directors of the British Broadcasting Company, Ltd., attended a dinner party for Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
    Stanley Baldwin
    Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, KG, PC was a British Conservative politician, who dominated the government in his country between the two world wars...

    .
  • 20 December: Publication of the Crown charter and licence agreements creating the British Broadcasting Corporation.
  • 31 December: The General Post Offices had issued 2¼ million receiving licences. The contracts of 773 British Broadcasting Company Ltd staff were terminated and, with the dissolution of the company, shareholders were paid at par value.

See also


  • BBC Radio
    BBC Radio
    BBC Radio is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927. For a history of BBC radio prior to 1927 see British Broadcasting Company...

     – a specific article about BBC domestic radio broadcasting services.
  • BBC Television
    BBC Television
    BBC Television is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The corporation, which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927, has produced television programmes from its own studios since 1932, although the start of its regular service of television...

     – a specific article about BBC domestic television services.
  • BBC World Service
    BBC World Service
    The BBC World Service is the world's largest international broadcaster, broadcasting in 27 languages to many parts of the world via analogue and digital shortwave, internet streaming and podcasting, satellite, FM and MW relays...

    – a specific article about BBC external radio and television broadcasting services.

External links