James Lindberg (James B. Lindenberg)


James Lindberg (James B. Lindenberg)

Lindenberg, James

James Lindberg (James B. Lindenberg)

James Lindberg (James B. Lindenberg) was a soldier, engineer, businessman, broadcast media owner, and Philippine television pioneer. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA on 21 December 1921. He died on 28 April 2009. He was married to Soledad S. Lindenberg.


Lindenberg was the first to acquire a Philippine franchise to operate a television station for his Bolinao Electronics Company (BEC). A US Air Force officer who was part of the American troops who fought the Japanese and ended the war in the Philippines in 1945, he established the BEC in 1946 upon discharge from the US military and after marrying Soledad S. Lindenberg of Bolinao, Pangasinan. With his wife, Patrocinio Hennings, John Hennings, and Jose Calado, he first set up a local radio transmitter manufacturing operation using surplus war communications equipment. In 1949, he applied for a television franchise, which Congress granted on 14 June 1951. Unable to import equipment necessary to go on the air due to import restrictions at the time, he shifted to radio and established DZBC.


In 1952, Judge Antonio Quirino bought the majority shares of BEC and renamed it Alto Broadcasting System (ABS). His goal was to use television to help campaign for his brother Elpidio, who was seeking reelection to the Philippine presidency. With help from the Radio Corporation of America, the new company sent Arcadio Carandang, Romualdo Carballo, Harry Chaney, and Jose Navarro to the United States for technical training and import equipment to put the first Philippine television station on air on 23 October 1953. Lindenberg remained part-owner, executive vice president, and chief operating officer of ABS.


Elpidio Quirino was not reelected. ABS then suffered from financial difficulties due to the high cost of production of local programs and weak advertiser support given the low number of households with television sets. The station relied mostly on imported canned shows. In 1957, Eugenio Lopez and his brother Fernando acquired ABS from Lindenberg and Quirino. The Lopezes then already owned Chronicle Broadcasting Network (CBN). In 1961, the Lopezes combined the two companies and called it ABS-CBN.


Lindenberg is often called the “Father of Philippine Television,” but the same honor is also accorded Antonio Quirino.


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