We Are Broadcasters
National Association of Broadcasters
First FM Master Antenna Goes into Service  (1965)

Moment 70: First FM "Master Antenna" Goes into Service

Today it is common to use RF combiner technology to allow multiple FM radio stations to use a single transmission antenna. The first such "master antenna" system was built and installed on New York City's Empire State Building in 1965 by Andrew Alford, an American electrical engineer and founder of the Alford Manufacturing Company. The antenna consists of 32 elements arranged in two rings above and below the building's observation gallery on the 102nd floor. It was replaced by a new FM combiner system in 1990, but the original antenna remains in place as a backup.

Related Content

PILOT: 50th Anniversary of the First FM Master Antenna Commemorated

November 2, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the first commercial radio broadcast. To celebrate this special anniversary, we’re shining a spotlight on 100 key moments in radio's history.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating your favorite radio memories throughout 2020. Use the hashtag #Radio100 across social media to share these moments with the world. Here’s to 100 wonderful years of radio, and to at least 100 more!

View All Moments »