Most of us if not all of us remember when we lived in Korea listening to the Armed Forces Korea Network (AFKN) radio and TV because we only had one channel to listen to….:)
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF AFKN?
When war broke out in Korea IN 1950, Army broadcasters set up in Seoul, in the Bando Hotel, the old American Embassy Hotel. When the Chinese entered Seoul in December, 1950, the crew moved to a mobile unit that was just completed and retreated to Daegu, South Korea.
Due to the large number of American troops in Korea, a number of stations were also started. Mobile units followed combat units to provide news and entertainment on the radio.
By the time the 1953 armistice was signed, these mobile units became buildings with transmitters, and a network, American Forces Korea Network, was born.
Canadian and American television personality Jim Perry began his broadcasting career fresh out of high school with the Armed Forces Korea Network, under his birth name of Jim Dooley, spending one year in Korea before moving on to the University of Pennsylvania to advance his education.
American Forces Korea Network (AFKN), was the largest of Armed Forces Network’s Pacific TV operations, although there are also AM and FM operations from military bases around Korea now .
AFKN began TV operations on 15 September 1957, and consisted of an originating studio at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, and six relay transmitters throughout the peninsula. AFKN’s first live television newscast aired on 4 January 1959.
Until December 2007, the channel was widely available to non-military audiences on cable television, but following complaints from US companies trying to sell programs in South Korea. USFK requested that the Korean Broadcasting Commission direct the removal of Pacific Prime from the Korean cable lineups. American Forces Network-Korea discontinued analog over-the-air TV broadcast 1 May 2012, due to request from the Korean government since many local residents could receive current over-the-air U.S. network programming, resulting in decreased sales of US programs to Korean stations.
The picture is of the AFKN headquarters building on main post in the 1960’s. Also Casey Kasem use to work for AFKN radio when he was in the Army and stationed in Korea. Also our very own famous Kim Cole use to work there during the summer. 🙂
by Peter T Yeschenko