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Don Boyd | all galleries >> Memories of Old Hialeah, Old Miami and Old South Florida Photo Galleries - largest non-Facebook collection on the internet >> 1950 to 1959 Miami Area Historical Photos Gallery - click on image to view > 1953 - WIOD-AM (later WCKR-AM and back to WIOD) radio broadcast towers off 79th Street Causeway
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1953 - WIOD-AM (later WCKR-AM and back to WIOD) radio broadcast towers off 79th Street Causeway

1953 - WIOD-AM (later WCKR-AM and back to WIOD) radio broadcast towers off 79th Street Causeway

79th Street Causeway, Miami, FL

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Guest 13-Jan-2012 10:38
Kinseeker has shared some VERY interesting history of early Miami here on Don's site. I really enjoy reading everything he has to say. But Don is right about the Miami News. It's misleading that hey were in the same building until the News went under, but they were never owned by the Miami Herald....the Miami News was the dominant evening newspaper in Miami, Florida for most of the 20th century, its chief concurrent competitor being the morning-edition of The Miami Herald. The paper started publishing in May 1896 as a weekly called The Miami Metropolis. The Metropolis had become a daily (except Sunday) paper of eight pages by 1903. On June 4, 1923, former Ohio governor James Middleton Cox bought the Metropolis and renamed it the Miami Daily News-Metropolis. On January 4, 1925 the newspaper became the Miami Daily News, and published its first Sunday edition.

Cox had a new building erected for the newspaper, and the Miami News Tower was dedicated on July 25, 1925. This building later became famous as the Freedom Tower. Also on July 25, 1925, the News published a 508 page edition, which still holds the record for the largest page-count for a newspaper.

The News was edited by Bill Baggs from 1957 until 1969. After that, it was edited by Sylvan Meyer until he was fired in 1973, when he removed his name from the masthead the day an owner-ordered endorsement of Nixon ran. Its final editor was Howard Kleinberg, a longtime staffer and author of a comprehensive history of the newspaper.

In 1973 the News moved in with Miami's morning paper, The Miami Herald at One Herald Plaza, sharing its production facilities while maintaining a separate editorial staff. The Miami News ceased publication on December 31, 1988. Many of the newspaper's staff and all of its assets and archives were moved to nearby sister publication The Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach.

Notable former employees include Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Don Wright, Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker, the late columnist John Keasler and best-selling author Dary Matera, who served as a general assignment reporter from 1977 until 1982.

JohnT 23-Apr-2011 21:56
I sold the Miami News Blue Streak (Afternoon Edition of the paper)In 1949 on the corner of NE 2nd Ave and 29th St. Olins Four Corners.It sold for a Nickel and I think I got a Penny of that.
Don Boyd26-Apr-2010 03:32
kinseeker: hold on a second here - the Herald never bought out the Miami News, formerly known as the Miami Daily News. It died as a Cox newspaper. They moved to the Herald building as paying tenants and were printed by the Herald but they were never a Knight newspaper and had their own editorial staff, reporters, photographers, etc.

kinseeker26-Apr-2010 01:50
These towers were constructed when the Miami News (Cox) moved its plant from the News Tower on Bisc. Blvd and 6th St. to NW 12th Ave and the Miami River. The original transmission tower and studios were atop the News Tower.
The forced sale of WCKT came about in the mid 1960s when the Herald bought out the News and moved all operations to the new Herald building on the bay between 14th and 15th sts.
Does the Miami Daily News still exist?
Jeff 09-Nov-2009 15:38
I just came across an interesting tidbit about a station on Miami Beach called WMBF that went on the air in 1925. It was noted that it shared time with WIOD, which infers that the 610 frequency was split between the two stations.

According to the brief note, WIOD took over operations of the station, which leads me to believe that WMBF operated from 1925 to some time in 1926. If the 1925 sign-on date is correct, then WMBF eclipsed WQAM, WIOD and a station in Fulford-by-the-Sea - now known as North Miami Beach [that station was destroyed in the 1926 hurricane] as being the first radio station in Florida.
Jeff 14-Jul-2007 02:54
WIOD was the call letters of AM 610 from 1926 to around 1959. I believe WCKR was in existence from 1959-1962, then it reverted back to WIOD. Rick Shaw got his start in Miami at WCKR alongside "Biggie" Nevins, Johnny Holliday, Johnny Midnight... I once has a 45 with the WCKR Twist/Buitoni Spaghetti Twist. The WCKR side sang the DJ's names... Their broadcast slogan was "Are you a Wacker backer?"

This was when rock and roll was really getting a foothold in Miami. Originally it was WINZ (Bob Green) and WQAM (Charlie Murdock)... then came WCKR and WFUN...

Just to note, WCKT was original a joint ownership between Knight Publishing (The Herald), Cox Publishing (The Miami News) and Niles Trammell (formerly of NBC). The call letters stood for Cox-Knight-Trammell. However, when they started WCKR, The "T" in WCKT took on the inferred meaning of television and the "R" in WCKR meant radio...

The FCC forced a sale, citing that two competing newspapers could not hold ownership in one TV station. WCKT was sold to Sid Ansin (Sunbeam Television Corp.) and Cox retained WCKR, eventually restoring the WIOD calls...
Art Fun 11-Jul-2007 03:00
I believe that in 1953 this was WIOD radio. It didn't become WCKR until about 1956 when Niles Trammell put WCKT Channel 7 on the air and changed the WIOD call letters to WCKR. That little sand spit that the towers sit on was called the Wonderful Isle of Dreams, hence WIOD.