KVQ was a short-lived Sacramento, California AM radio station, which operated from February 2, 1922 until December 20th of the same year. It was initially licensed to J. C. Hobrecht, although a few months after its start ownership was transferred to the Sacramento Bee newspaper. KVQ was Sacramento's first broadcasting station.


Station advertisement (1922).[1]

KVQ was licensed as Sacramento's first broadcasting station on December 9, 1921 to store owner J. C. Hobrecht.[2] The station's establishment was largely due to the efforts of thirty-year-old Carlos McClatchy, son of the Sacramento Bee's editor and publisher, C. K. McClatchy. Carlos recognized the potential for the then-new idea of radio broadcasting, and convinced the Bee's owners to help finance the new station's operations. An arrangement was made to construct a studio in the newspaper's headquarters at Seventh Street between I and J Streets, with a transmitting antenna atop the building.[3] KVQ made its debut broadcast at 5:30 P.M. on February 2, 1922.[4] The station was primarily used to publicize the Hobrecht store and the Bee, and, as was the common standard at the time, did not accept advertising.

Initially there was only a single wavelength, 360 meters (833 kHz), available for radio station "entertainment" broadcasts,[5] which required stations in various regions to develop timesharing agreements that allocated operating hours. By November 1, 1922 there were seven "Inland Stations" sharing time on 360 meters, with KVQ allocated 6:30 to 7:30 P.M. daily except Sunday, plus 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. Wednesdays, 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. Saturdays, and 6:00 to 7:00 P.M. Sundays.[6]

A few months after the station debuted, ownership was transferred from J. C. Hobrecht to the Bee's publisher, James McClatchy,[7] followed a short time later by a transfer to "Sacramento Bee (James McClatchy Co.)".[8] However, KVQ suspended operations on December 20, 1922[9] and was formally deleted on January 2, 1923,[10] with the Bee explaining that the station had been shut down in order to "bow to the wishes of Superior California radio fans who sought new fields to conquer and desired the additional quiet hour in the early evening used by the Bee to catch the concerts of stations in far eastern states".[11]

In some accounts KVQ has been credited as being a direct predecessor to station KFBK,[12] which was first licensed as Sacramento's second station on August 16, 1922, and initially operated in conjunction with the Bee's primary newspaper competitor, the Sacramento Union.[13] In 1925 the Bee returned to the broadcasting field after a near three-year absence, joining with KFBK's original owner to convert the station to commercial operations.[14] However, early reviews in the Bee treated KVQ as a separate station from KFBK,[15][16] and government regulators at the time consistently considered the two to be separate, unrelated stations.


  1. ^ "fun for every one!" (Hobrechts advertisement), Sacramento Bee, March 6, 1922, page 13.
  2. ^ "New Stations", Radio Service Bulletin, January 3, 1922, page 2. Limited Commercial license, serial# 250, issued for a one year period to J. C. Hobrecht for operation of KVQ on 360 meters (833 kHz).
  3. ^ "A Buzz in the Ether" (chapter 1), Sacramento on the Air: How the McClatchy Family Revolutionized West Coast Broadcasting by Annette Kassis, 2015.
  4. ^ "Victor Artists Will Give Bee Radio Concert To-day", Sacramento Bee, February 2, 1922, page 1.
  5. ^ "Amendments to Regulations", Radio Service Bulletin, January 3, 1922, page 10.
  6. ^ "Central California Broadcasting Schedule---Effective Nov. 1, '22" ("Inland Stations" section), Radio magazine, December 1922, page 36.
  7. ^ "Alterations and Corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, September 1, 1922, page 7.
  8. ^ "Alterations and Corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, November 1, 1922, page 7.
  9. ^ "KVQ Quits Broadcasting Field In Interest Of Fans", Sacramento Bee, December 20, 1922, page 1.
  10. ^ "Strike out all particulars", Radio Service Bulletin, February 1, 1923, page 7.
  11. ^ "Year Has Seen Big Development in Radio Field", Sacramento Bee, February 22, 1923, page 18.
  12. ^ "Radio stations 40 or more years old in 1962" (KFBK entry), Broadcasting, May 14, 1962, pages 123-124.
  13. ^ "Date First Licensed", FCC History Cards for KFBK (FCC.gov).
  14. ^ "Sacramento Bee Calling, Hello, Hello" (chapter 2), Sacramento on the Air: How the McClatchy Family Revolutionized West Coast Broadcasting by Annette Kassis, 2015.
  15. ^ "Five Radio Stations Give Service to Sister State", Sacramento Bee, February 3, 1932, page A-Five.
  16. ^ "The Bee Pioneered Radio in Superior California", Sacramento Bee, April 24, 1937, page 3-R.

Further readingEdit

  • Sacramento on the Air: How the McClatchy Family Revolutionized West Coast Broadcasting by Annette Kassis, 2015.