The First Venezuelan Broadcaster

This article now forms part of the Radio Heritage Collection ©. All rights reserved to Ragusa Media Group, PO Box 14339, Wellington, New Zealand. This material is licenced on a non-exclusive basis to South Pacific DX Resource hosted on radiodx.com for a period of five years from April 1 2002. Author: Jose M Valdes

This year marks the 77 years of the issuing of the first official license to install a radio station in Venezuela; this first license was granted by the Ministry of Public Works and Economy the 25 of September, 1925, to Mr. Arturo Santana and Mr. Luis Scholtz, who founded “Arturo Santana, Scholtz & Company” with the purpose of operating the “Empresa Venezolana de Radiotelefonía”; it was Mr. Alfredo Moller who had the honor of being the first official announcer of this station, thus becoming the first ever radio announcer in Venezuela. This license not only give them the exclusive right to broadcast, but also the exclusive rights for the commercialization of the receivers. Friday, April 2, 1926, arrived at the port of La Guaira from New York the equipments for the first Venezuelan radio station.

This first station was called AYRE Broadcasting, their studies were located in a building in the corner of El Tejar, and the antenna and the transmitter in a lot nearby the bullring the “Nuevo Circo”, not to far from the Bolivar square in Caracas. AYRE began its transmissions the night of May 23, 1926.

The newspaper El Universal, in its edition of May 24, 1926, depicts its inauguration as: “The Station AYRE Central Broadcasting of Caracas, inaugurated last night, was constructed by the powerful American company Western and its reach is of 2,000 miles, it is moved by two electrical motors, its power is of 12 horses. Its height is 65 meters”.

Thanks to the technical capacity of Mr. Luis Scholtz, AYRE was as good as any of the best stations of its time; the station consisted of a transmitters made by the Western Electric and towers of 65 meters height to support the antenna. Some historical reviews indicate that its power was 1 Kilowatt, but if what was published by the newspaper El Universal is correct, and its power was 12 horses, then its actual power was +/- 9 Kilowatt (12 HP multiplied by the conversion factor that is 746).

Unfortunately this station was in the air a very short time; the dictator of the moment, General Juan Vicente Gomez, did not see Mr. Arturo Santana with very good eyes, Santana was also a colonel in the Venezuelan army and aide-de-camp of his older son, General Jose Vicente Gomez, who was exiled in Switzerland for political reasons; and taking advantage of the serious political turmoil of April 7, 1928, when two military bases in Caracas revolt and a military conspiracy starts up, in which also some university leaders who in the end would finish jailed participated, Gomez, adducing reasons of “state security”, ordered the closing of the station, this action marked the end of the first chapter of the broadcasting history in Venezuela. AYRE was born thanks to the political influence of Colonel Santana, and is this same political influence what determine its closing.

It was not until December 9, 1930, with the inauguration of the “Broadcasting Caracas” in the second floor of the appliance store “El Almacen Americano”, that the Venezuelan again heard a local radio station, the “Broadcasting Caracas” is still transmitting, and now we know it as “Radio Caracas Radio” or RCR, of the broadcasting group 1BC for “1 Broadcasting Caracas”.

73/DX Jose M. Valdes R. (Joe) YV5LIX
10 31 N 66 52 W

P. O. Box 68195
Caracas 1062-A
Edo. Miranda
Venezuela.

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