Another compression of time. XER’s signal was initially 50,000, 75,000 or 100,000 watts in 1931, depending on the source. In 1932, Mexico authorized an increase to 500,000 watts, but then Mexico shut the station down altogether.
It wasn’t until it reopened as XERA that the station boasted a new 500,000-watt transmitter and an innovative antenna system that Brinkley claimed gave it the “effective transmitting power” of one megawatt, or one million watts. XERA’s advertising emphasized the claim that XERA was “the world’s most powerful broadcasting station,” and probably it was, but it’s also hard to verify.
We found at least one 1931 news clipping reporting that XER was “75,000 watts, or about 25,000 watts more than the most powerful station in the US.” In 1932, we found news clippings stating that XER began at 50,000 and gradually increased to 80,000, and that Brinkley intended to increase further to 150,000, “8,000 watts less than the world’s largest at Warsaw, Poland.”