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Empire State Building Marks 80th Anniversary

iStockphoto/Katie Clarke
The Empire State Building (ESB) celebrated its 80th anniversary on Sunday, May 1. A press release announcing the anniversary focused on the building's efforts to retrofit the building to reduce its carbon footprint. This January it became New York City's largest commercial purchaser of 100 percent renewable energy.

The press release mentions broadcasting from the building. In its outline of ESB history it notes that in June 1951 WNBT television became the first media outlet to begin regular transmissions from a new multi-antenna transmitting platform atop ESB. (Television transmissions had occurred on an experimental basis from the Empire State Building as far back as the early 1930s.)

The release also notes that "The building is the center of New York City's broadcasting operations; the skyscraper's robust broadcasting technology supports all major television and FM radio stations in the New York metropolitan market."

ESB is the tallest building in New York City, with a height of exactly 1,454 feet, 8 9/166 inches (443.2 meters) to the top of its lightning rod/antenna. On clear days, visibility from the ESB Observatory extends some 80 miles, with views of five states – Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.