“Will television be here—in Idaho—this year, or next year, or the year after?
“E.F. McDonald, jr., president of Zenith Radio Corporation, thinks it’s premature introduction of television will retard development of television. He gives the following reasons: Television is still in the experimental stage, and replacements will make sets sold now obsolete, as receivers must be matched to and synchronized with the transmitting stations.
“The Federal Communications Commission has issued only 18 television licenses, all of which are experimental and noncommercial.
“Many technical problems of television are unsolved. One is elimination of interference by sparkplugs of autos.
“Television programs cannot be broadcast beyond a radius of 30 to 50 miles from the station. Therefore, it would require 2000 transmitting stations to cover the United States.
“The stupendous cost of transmitting television at the present eliminates paying for it by advertising. The cost of one hour’s program each day would be more than one million dollars a year.”
Somehow, broadcast engineers got over those hurdles. Today there are about 7,900 TV stations in the U.S. In Idaho, where TV was invented, there are 20. But to give Mr. McDonald his due, there probably weren’t many TV sets sold in Idaho in 1939. The first television station didn’t start broadcasting in the Gem State until July 12, 1953, when KIDO-TV (now KTVB) went on the air.