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ETpro's avatar

Who got WHO?

Asked by ETpro (34415points) November 14th, 2012

That’s right, who got WHO—as opposed to the much more common “Who got whom?” even though the later might be deliciously NSFW and the former is, at least as intended here, safe for even the most priggish work environments.

In this question, I’m looking not for someone who got nailed, but for the person bright enough to apply for the radio call letters, “WHO” back in the early days of broadcast radio. The station has been around for ages. It’s heartland conservative talk radio. It is located in Des Moines, Iowa.

Who was smart enough to apply for such a great set of call letters? Did the current owners of it buy it or apply for it back in the early days of radio and stick with it through the Great Depression and beyond? What’s the history of who’s WHO?

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5 Answers

FutureMemory's avatar

Wow…you on the pipe?

Strauss's avatar

WHO was the call sign originally licensed to Bankers Life, according to the stations website. The station is now owned and operated by Clear Channel Communications.

In the early 1920’s there were a lot fewer stations, so 3-digit call signs were not uncommon. In 1922, Popular Science Monthly listed 22 broadcasting stations, as reported by the website Early Radio History. Most of these had what were called “limited commercial” licenses, although there were some listed as “experimental” and “government”. The US has call signs beginning with “W” (generally located east of the Mississippi River) and “K” (generally west of the Mississippi).

ETpro's avatar

@FutureMemory If I were, then I could just quit and dry out. But this is how my mind always works. Believe me, you don’t want to see its function when chemically influenced.

@Yetanotheruser Banker’s Life? An Insurance Company? Amazing. Thanks.

Strauss's avatar

@ETpro It wasn’t unusual for insurance companies in that era to invest in radio stations.

ETpro's avatar

@Yetanotheruser Never knew that. Thanks.

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