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KWTV to Retire Historic Broadcast Tower; Once Billed as World’s Tallest

News9.com – Oklahoma City, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports |

An Oklahoma City broadcast tower that once was billed as the tallest man-made structure in the world is now destined for recycling. A “towering piece of broadcast and Oklahoma history” said KWTV anchor Kelly Ogle, who climbed the tower for a farewell story–and to tell the unique history of the structure, which among other things led to the station’s choice of call letters:

The tower stands at more than 1,572 feet tall, around 300 feet higher than the Empire State Building, making it at one time the world’s tallest manmade structure. So tall In fact, (station owner John) Griffin decided against the call letters KOMA and instead chose KWTV, standing for “world’s tallest video”.

By the fall of 1954, we reached the widest coverage of any station in the southwest with the view from the top reaching a 60-mile horizon.

“It was real big deal,” (former station general manager Jack) DeLier said. “We had a grand dedication, Johnny Carson was the master of ceremonies, and Vera Ellen who was a film actress and dancer at that time, climbed up on the elevator to the 1,300 foot level and danced on the platform.”

The station no longer uses the tower, and so the massive piece of Oklahoma history will soon be brought down, piece by piece, and sent off for recycling.

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