You will find a substantial amount of information about the history of this station on Dave Kaplan's wonderful WTIC tribute site at http://www.wticalumni.com/history.htm
WTIC (AM) dates back to 1925 when it came on the air with 500 watts of power from the 6th floor of the Travelers 26 Grove St building in Hartford where there were seven studios, most or all with control rooms. The station was licensed to the Travelers Insurance Company ("TIC") and had studios in downtown Hartford.
The 1931 CT State Register shows WTIC owned by Travelers Broadcasting Service, operating on 1060 KHz with 50,000 watts, the most powerful station in the state. By 1941 they had changed frequency to 1080 kHz.
According to contributor Robert Paine, the station broadcast from the observation deck of the well known Travelers Tower, Hartford's first skyscraper, on at least three occasions. These were during the floods of 1936, and the hurricanes of 1938 and 1944. In 1938, Ben Hawthorne and Tom McCray handled the broadcast(s), which WTIC fed to the NBC network. In 1944, Bernard "Bunny" Mullins reported conditions during the hurricane.
The power was increased to 50,000 watt operation on August 2, 1929 making it one of the very first few stations in the world to achieve that power level. The transmitter, affectionately referred to as "old number one" was the very first 50,000 watt transmitter ever manufactured by RCA and reportedly had serial number 001 (although at least one contributor claims he has evidence that it was number 002). This RCA 50 transmitter was the first high power commercial transmitter to use 100-kilowatt tubes, the first to use mercury-vapor type rectifiers throughout, and the first capable of true 100 percent modulation of its full rated 50-kilowatt carrier output.
Studio locations include the Travelers Insurance building on Grove Street, Broadcast House at 3 Constitution Plaza and 1 Financial Plaza, the "Gold" building. In the late '90s WTIC moved to 10 Executive Drive in Farmington where they joined WRCH-FM and WZMX.
(See associated WTIC 1929 and WTIC Technical pages, left)
WTIC Timeline – The Decades at a Glance.
July 29, 1924
Application for a new Class B station by The Travelers Insurance Co., 26 Grove St., Hartford, CT, requesting 860kc. 500 watts, unlimited hours using the call sign WTIC, is submitted.
December 17, 1924
The Travelers is authorized by the Bureau of Navigation, Department of Commerce, to operate on 860kc. Notification is made by telegram.
December 22, 1924
the first test broadcast comes from studio on sixth floor of The Travelers Grove Street building. Vice-President Walter G. Cowles announces. J. Clayton Randall and Herman Taylor are Chief Engineer and Assistant Engineer, respectively.
Talent is recruited from among employees of The Travelers. The 50-voice Travelers Choral Club and a musical commentator, Prof. W. B. Bailey, are featured.
January 27, 1925
First license on 860kc. with 500 watts. Licensee was The Travelers Insurance Co. The original location was: 26 Grove St., Hartford CT.
February 10, 1925
WTIC’s debut, 7:45 to 10:24 p.m. Broadcast at 860 kilocycles (KC) with 500 watts.
Dana S. Merriman, former supervisor of music for West Hartford public schools, named WTIC musical director. Ralph L. Baldwin, supervisor of music for Hartford public schools, named musical consultant.
Col. Billy Mitchell addresses WTIC audience by direct wire from Washington, DC. The talk is officially in observance of an air show in Hartford. Mitchell, detained by the military for court martial on charge of criticizing his superiors, delivers a scathing indictment of the Army’s lack of foresight of the importance of military aviation in future wars.
March 27, 1925
Authorized 630kc. This was an exchange of freq. assignment with WEEI for test purposes.
April 22, 1925
Granted license renewal on 860kc. with 500 watts.
August 19, 1925
authorized 630kc. in an exchange of frequencies with WEEI for tests.
October 17, 1925
Norman Cloutier’s orchestra is heard for the first time, emanating from the Joseph P. Neville Dancing Academy.
January 21, 1926
Granted continuous operation on 630kc. pending action on application.
February 1, 1926
WTIC employs first large musical group, The Travelers Symphonic Ensemble directed by Christian Kriens.
Remote broadcast from Capitol Theater, Hartford. First live presentation of professional vaudeville.
First public broadcast from a moving airplane, Governor Trumbull and Igor Sikorsky.
November 15, 1926
WTIC becomes the 4th station to join NBC network.
June 1, 1927
Granted 650kc, 500 watts, and unlimited hours.
June 9, 1927
By special order, returned to 630kc, 500 watts.
June 15, 1927
Granted 630kc, 500 watts, and unlimited hours.
WTIC introduces first radio quiz show, “Jack Says: Ask Me Another.”
August 19, 1927
Granted 560kc, 500 watts, shared with WCAC. There were extensions.
August 29, 1927
Broadcasting begins on new frequency, 560 KC, with 500 watts.
May 27, 1928
Station begins “Speaking of Sports” series with A.B. McGinley, Hartford Times Sports Editor.
June 5, 1928
Applied for a change of transmitter location, site to be determined, new equipment, power increase to 50kw, change hours of operation from shared with WCAC to unlimited.
June 21, 1928
First broadcast of Yale/Harvard Regatta, remote from New London. Fed to NBC.
September 12, 1928
Granted C.P. to move transmitter to Avon Mountain, CT, and increase power to 50kw. The location was later described as 375 Deercliff Road, Avon CT.
September 15, 1928
Granted C.P. for 1060kc, 50kw, shared with WBAL.
November 7, 1928
Applied for 600kc, 250 watts, unlimited time. This was a reallocation and also involved a change of licensee name to The Travelers Broadcasting Service Corp. Granted 11/14/28.
November 11, 1928
Broadcasting begins at 600 KC with 250 watts.
December 15, 1928
Application for mod of C.P. for 1060kc, 50kw, shared with WBAL, for change of transmitter location and type of new equipment. This permit was canceled and reissued 1/31/29 under the new corporate name, The Travelers Broadcasting Service Corp. Granted 11/14/28.
News bulletins furnished by Hartford Times and Hartford Courant are read at noon and 11:00 p.m.
January 9, 1929
Granted 600kc, 250 watts, shared WCAC.
January 31, 1929
Granted C.P. for 1060kc, 50kw, shared with WBAL. Power to be in accordance with General Order 42. Location to be Avon, CT.
March 1, 1929
Listed as being on 600kc, 250 watts, shared with WCAC.
June 17, 1929
Application for license for 1060kc, 25kw, 50kw experimentally, shared ½ the time with WBAL.
July 2, 1929
License granted for 1060kc, 25kw, 50kw experimentally, shared ½ the time with WBAL.
August 2, 1929
New RCA 50,000 watt transmitter on-line. WTIC broadcasts at 1060 KC. Time is shared with WBAL, Baltimore.
August 5, 1929
Leonard J. Patricelli is hired as New England’s first full-time continuity writer. For some time, he wrote virtually every word heard over the air on WTIC.
Norman Cloutier’s “Merry Madcap’s” begin broadcasting on WTIC.
WTIC begins programming recorded music.
Paul W. Morency becomes General Manager, assuming control from James Clancy.
A model electric kitchen was installed at the WTIC studios in order to permit Florrie Bishop Bowering, hostess of “The Mixing Bowl,” WTIC’s cooking school of the air, to test her recipes before broadcasting them. The kitchen was one floor above the sixth floor studios, and Miss Bowering tried her creations on staff members prior to her program.
January 1, 1930
WTIC issues its first commercial rate card.
First year of part-time operation at 1060 KC completed. Time shared with WBAL.
December 16, 1930
Authorized 660kc, for synchronization tests with WEAF when WBAL is operating on 1060kc. There were extensions.
Ed Begley joined WTIC as a member of the “WTIC Playhouse.”
March 16, 1931
Synchronized broadcasting with WEAF (660 KC) goes into effect.
September 23, 1931
First production of “WTIC Playhouse.”
WTIC organizes New England Network: WEEI, Boston MA; WCSH, Portland ME; WTAG, Worcester, MA; WJAR, Providence, RI; WTIC, Hartford, CT.
July 15, 1932
Automatic frequency control installed.
“Musical Clock” begins, sponsored by Sage-Allen. Runs 7:00 to 8:00 a.m., every other day for over a year.
Irwin Cowper joined WTIC as announcer. He became script writer and continuity editor, later was promoted to assistant sales manager of WTIC and sales manager of WTIC-TV.
“The Men of Song”, organized by Leonard Patricelli, debuts on WTIC.
“The Wrightville Daily Clarion,” featuring Paul Lucas, Eunice Greenwood and Fred Wade, debuts on WTIC. It runs until 1939 and is reincarnated as “Wrightville Folks” for a brief run in 1949.
November 3, 1933
Applied for Special Experimental Authorization to change frequency from 1060kc to 1040kc, using 50kw, operating simultaneously with KRLD. Granted 3/30/34. There were extensions.
May 8, 1934
WTIC begins sharing frequency with KRLD, Dallas, at 1040 KC.
Ben Hawthorne purchases “Morning Watch” time slot, 7:00 to 8:00.
Bernard “Bunny” Mullins joins the WTIC announcing staff.
Joseph Blum, Sid Pearl, Salvatore D’Steffano and Sid Gowan lead musical groups heard on WTIC.
WTIC is operating 17-1/2 hours on weekdays and 14 hours on Sunday.
June 16, 1935
WTIC begins morning, noon, early evening and late evening news broadcasts. News supplied by Transradio News Service.
G. Fox & Company assumes sponsorship of “Morning Watch.”
Andre Schenker, assistant professor of history at the University of Connecticut, begins “History in the Headlines.” He is later named WTIC’s foreign affairs analyst.
“Hull’s Hour of Cheer,” a program of music sponsored by Hull brewing company, is produced by Leonard Patricelli. Bob Steele is one of the announcers.
WTIC provides extensive public service during the spring floods.
WTIC withdraws from New England Network. Joins Yankee Network. Transradio News Service discontinued, news now taken from Yankee Network, and for the next two years, no local newscasts originate at WTIC.
September 29, 1936
Granted authorization to rebroadcast programs from station W1XEV to determine the usefulness of very high frequencies to form a relay link, for the period 9/29/36 to 2/1/37.
October 1, 1936
A chap by the name of Robert L. (for Elmer) Steele, was hired as a junior announcer. Not one to settle down for long, he only stayed with the station full-time until 1991. Unwilling to let go completely, he kept his hand in part-time until his much-mourned passing in December 2002. You might say he practically died in the saddle (at about 202 ¾ pounds). Just like Bob, I guess. (What say one of his features is named “The Bob Steele Memorial Antenna Switch?”) The Word for the Day is “miss,” as in “we miss you.”
September 1, 1938
Yankee Network News is discontinued. The Transradio News Service is reinstated, and Transradio’s Central Connecticut bureau is given space at WTIC.
September 21, 1938
WTIC again serves the community by devoting its facilities to coverage of the hurricane recovery effort.
January 30, 1939
Applied for C.P. to install directional antenna for night use. License granted 12/1/39.
Travelers Broadcasting Service Corporation applies to the FCC for a television broadcasting license.
Robert S. “Bob” Tyrol was hired as an announcer. At 17, he is the youngest member of the announcing staff.
February 5, 1940
Travelers Broadcasting begins operating an experimental FM station, W1XSO.
March 29, 1940
Authorized to operate on 1040kc, 50kw, DA-N, unlimited time, simultaneously with KRLD.
September 10, 1940
Authorized 1040kc, 50kw DA-N, to be used following sunset at Dallas, TX.
N. Thomas Eaton is hired as News Director.
WTIC and The Hartford Courant created “The Mile O’ Dimes,” to raise money for the fight against polio. In 15 years, over $1,200,000 is collected.
January 15-30, 1941
The first “Mile O’ Dimes” drive is held. A special red-and-white broadcast booth was erected on the north side of Asylum Street, across Main Street from the Old State House. James Clancy was appointed director, with engineer Jack Murphy as custodian of the booth.
March 24, 1941
Under NARBA, they were granted 1080kc, 50kw, DA-N, using the directional antenna following sunset at Dallas, TX.
March 29, 1941
WTIC begins operations at 1080 KC.
July 26, 1941
Ed Anderson describes one of the final runs of Hartford’s yellow trolley cars, scheduled to stop running Sunday, July 27. Remote broadcast is made over shortwave transmitter WEKW.
December 4, 1941
A span of the under-construction Bulkeley Bridge collapsed killing and injuring workmen. Bob Steele reports from the scene, on the west bank of the Connecticut River, a short distance from the Dutch Point power station.
December 7, 1941
“The Sabbath Message” is in progress from Studio G. Fred Wade is given a message and signals the minister, who cuts short his sermon. Wade reads the first bulletin about the attack on Pearl Harbor. WTIC switches to the NBC network before organist Hal Kolb has to play “Joy to the World.”
December 15, 1941
FM station begins operation on a permanent basis. Call letters are changed to W-53-H. “The Morning Watch” is added to the schedule.
December 23, 1941
Voluntary transfer of control of licensee corp., to the Travelers Insurance Co. from the Travelers Bcst. Service Corp.
World War 2
Some of the war-related programs heard produced locally by WTIC are:
Connecticut Yankees at Camp Wheeler
The Armed Forces Club Sing
Uncle Jim’s Victory Garden
Here Comes the Band
You’re in the Army Now!
Connecticut on the Alert
Wings for Tomorrow
Connecticut Men and Women in the War
The Victory Hour
Produced by WTIC and broadcast over the NBC Network, was “The United States Coast Guard on Parade.” Originating at the Coast Guard Academy in New London and emceed by Bob Tyrol, the program was aimed at promoting Coast Guard recruitment.
Announcer Tyrol became so enamored with what he was saying about the Coast Guard, he joined, became a Lieutenant (j.g.) and commanded a vessel in the Pacific. Not only the youngest announcer on WTIC and NBC, he was the youngest Coast Guard officer in the war.
Semper Paratus, Bob.
“Gems of American Jazz,” debuts, hosted by George Malcolm-Smith. It runs until 1951.
“Yale Interprets the News” is heard over WTIC. Bernard Mullins is the interrogator.
January 18, 1942
WTIC is operating under the U.S. Office of Censorship’s Code of Practices. A short time later, WTIC is authorized to sell War Bonds.
WTIC brings the NBC program “Information Please” to the Bushnell Auditorium for the start of the Second War Loan Drive in Connecticut. 3,300 bond purchasers raised more than $203 million in War Bonds.
July 4, 1943
WTIC’s V-for-Victory hourly time tone goes on the air.
November 1, 1943
W-53-H FM call letters are changed to WTIC FM.
The annual “Mile O’ Dimes” campaign collected $51,358, or more that 5-7/8 miles.
July 6, 1944
WTIC facilities are put at the disposal of fire and Red Cross authorities following the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus fire.
December 20, 1944
WTIC initiates a series on alcoholism, the first radio series of its kind.
Moshe Paranov begins the series “Encores,” featuring the WTIC String Ensemble.
January 14, 1946
The fire prevention campaign gets under way as Governor Baldwin calls a state conference on fire hazards.
“Songs of Acadia,” featuring pianist Laura Gaudet, debuts on WTIC. (Announcer: Bob Tyrol?)
“The Downhomers” begins a series of early morning broadcasts which are fed to the New England Regional Network.
June 21, 1946
Applied for C.P. to install new transmitter (Westinghouse 50-HG-1). Granted 8/2/46. License granted 9/3/47.
Frank Atwood is appointed Farm Program Director at WTIC. Farm Safety Week is observed July 21-27.
Noontime music program with Rudy Martin begins.
Jean Colbert is named hostess of “Radio Bazaar” and Director of Women’s Activities at WTIC.
“Cinderella Weekend” premieres on WTIC.
August 22, 1947
Bob Steele covers the blow-by-blow action of the Willie Pep-Jock Leslie featherweight championship bout.
WTIC sets up quarters at the Eastern States Exposition. Bob Steele, Frank Atwood, “The Downhomers” and “Quiz of Two Cities” are broadcast from the fair.
November 8, 1947
“Mind Your Manners” debuts with Allen Ludden.
Glenn Rowell (of the Gene and Glenn comedy team) and Leonard Patricelli organize a Hartford Friendship Train to raise funds and gather food for Europe’s hungry.
April 11, 1948
WTIC FM begins operations at its current frequency, 96.5 megacycles.
Tape recorders are added to WTIC’s facilities.
WTIC receives a Variety magazine award for youth programming, including “Mind Your Manners,” the Farm Youth Program and “Carnival Junior Legion.”
WTIC’s “Mind Your Manners” receives the George Foster Peabody Award and the Ohio State Broadcasting Award for the most outstanding youth program in the nation.
November 7, 1950
WTIC’s statewide reporting receives overwhelming public commendation.
WTIC broadcasts “You and Your Child,” John J. Scherescheswsky’s educational and entertaining feature on parenting.
December 6, 1952
“Ross, The Musical Miller” takes over the afternoon drive time, 5:10 to 6:00 p.m.
April 12, 1952
“The Bob Steele Show” grows in popularity and is lengthened to run from 6:45 to 8:00 a.m.
June 12, 1954
WTIC carries the premier broadcast of “Monitor” from the NBC Radio Network.
August 10, 1955
WTIC goes on the air with special broadcast, “Connecticut on the Alert.” Governor Abraham Ribicoff and others warn citizens of the approaching hurricane, “Connie.”
November 15, 1955
The Travelers Weather Service develops probability forecasting. WTIC is the first station to broadcast weather reports using the new method.
November 16, 1955
WTIC inaugurates a new series called “Yale Reports.” A replacement for “Yale Interprets the News,” the series provides analysis and interpretation of important issues as well as music, theater and folklore.
December 31, 1956
WTIC interrupts regular programming to cover the St. Joseph’s Cathedral fire.
April 20, 1957
WTIC begins regular coverage of Boston Red Sox baseball.
December 8, 1957
WTIC AM and WTIC FM presents their first stereophonic broadcast. Listeners need two receivers, spaced about six feet apart, to hear stereo.
Hartford Times editor Sereno Gammell hosts WTIC’s first nighttime issue-oriented telephone talk show, “What’s Your Opinion?”
April 4, 1960
Weather reports are relayed to Earth from a satellite 400 miles in space. Satellite reports become part of WTIC and Travelers Weather forecasts.
August 22, 1960
Network radio serials come to an end (on NBC).
September 29, 1961
Studio location changed to Broadcast House, Three Constitution Plaza, Hartford, 15, CT.
November 22, 1963
“Mikeline,” WTIC’s ‘neighbors-over-the-backyard-fence’ call-in program, is interrupted by word of the wounding of President Kennedy. Bob Ellsworth and Floyd Richards are hosting the program as one of the most significant events of the 20th Century unfolds.
July 24, 1964
Voluntary assignment of license to Broadcast Plaza, Inc.
July 14, 1965
WTIC is the first station to broadcast on a laser beam. Beam links the Springfield Museum of Science of Science and WTIC studios in Hartford.
WTIC’s Leonard Patricelli works with Edmund Downes of The Hartford Courant to develop the Martin Luther King Fund.
July 28, 1969
WTIC carries the voices of the first men to walk on the Moon.
WTIC aids in the promotion of The Stamford Drug Curriculum. The 96-page educational guide, designed to familiarize schoolchildren with the hazards of drug use, was eventually distributed nationwide and in several foreign countries.
August 12, 1971
Transmitter changed to Continental Electronics 317C.
January 30, 1974
Voluntary assignment of license to Ten-Eighty Corporation.
September 3, 1974
Studio location changed to One Financial Plaza (Gold Building).
January 25, 1977
Application for voluntary transfer of control of licensee corporation to David T. Chase. Granted 2/23/77.
November 11, 1979
Westinghouse 50-HG-1 now listed as the auxiliary transmitter.
WTIC – newspaper items.
5/9/2005 9:27 PM
The Hartford Daily Courant, Tuesday, February 10, 1925
(photo caption: The smaller studio at station WTIC. This studio for alternate use is fully equipped with soundproof walls and curtains for managing the acoustics, and up-to-date loud speaker of its own which operates when anything is going on in the large studio elsewhere.
(Hartford Times, February 10, 1925, pg. 17)
TRAVELERS RADIO IN DEBUT TO-NIGHT
Station WTIC, Broadcasting at
348.6 Meters Wave Length,
to Have Formal Opening
ELABORATE PROGRAM TO BE SENT ON AIR
Vice-President Walter G. Cowles Will Make Introductory Address at 7:45
This is the official opening night of Broadcasting Station WTIC, Travelers Insurance company, Hartford, broadcasting at a wave length of 348.6 meters. After months of preparation the new station is ready to send it programming (unintelligible) and at 7:45 p.m. Vice-President Walter G. Cowles, in charge of broadcasting at the new station, will face the microphone in one of the beautifully equipped studios and will officially introduce Station WTIC to the world of radio. His fifteen minute announcement will be followed by music by the Heimberger trio from the Hotel Bond and by vocal selections by a quartet from the Mendelssohn Glee club in New York, brought to the city for the occasion by Ralph L. Baldwin, of Hartford, conductor of the Mendelssohn club and consulting musical director of the Travelers station. They will be followed by vocal selections by Mrs. Gertrude McAuliffe of Hartford, contralto, accompanied by Mrs. Burton Yaw, pianist. The musical program will continue until 10:30 when Station WTIC will sign off for the evening, to be heard again on Thursday evening when the station will broadcast the program of the Victor artists.
The Travelers program will be announced by Vice-President Cowles and Elliott E. Buse, manager of the Travelers station, who will alternate at the microphone. Dana S. Merriman, the musical director of the studio, will have supervision of the program, and the mechanical portion of the work will be in charge of J. Clayton Randall, engineer of plant, Herman D. Taylor, chief operator, and William F. Coleman, assistant operator. This staff has made all preparations for the opening and no last minute details have been left to occasion a possible delay.
The orchestra, which will open the program, is well known to Hartford. It is led by Emil Heimberger, violin, with Philip Moss as pianist and Lee Joseffer, cello. A special program has been arranged for the trio’s share in the evening’s entertainment.
The Mendelssohn quartet is made up of four of the best vocalists of the famous Mendelssohn Glee club of New York, which, for some years, has been conducted by Ralph L. Baldwin, who conducts the Hartford Choral club. The members of the quartet are Carl F. Mathleu, first tenor; Joseph Mathleu, second tenor; Harold N. Wiley, baritone, and Stanley Boughman, bass.
The new station’s studio rooms, each as nearly soundproof as possible, have been completed and WTIC is fully prepared to go ahead with its regular schedule of programs. It will broadcast twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays with special programs on other occasions, such as the Victor program on Thursday evening and the broadcast of the inauguration of President Coolidge when that event occurs. There have been a number of delays in the completing of the work, which has been under the direction of Vice-President Cowles, and Hartford has waited with interest the opening of the regular schedule.
The station has been “on the air” previously, with experimental programs and with a broadcast of the program of Christmas carols by the Travelers Choral club. The delay in opening has occasioned many rumors and reports that there was all sorts of trouble have filtered about the city. Most of the delay of the past week or so has been due to the fitting and decorating of the studio rooms. During that time there have been tests of the apparatus on occasions, leading to reports that the station was opened, and dozens of calls have been received by the radio department of THE TIMES inquiring as to the programs.
The station is fully equipped for giving the most complete studio programs, but is also equipped with leadings for broadcasting of programs from distant points in the city and elsewhere. Its programs will include not only the choicest talent in this section, but rebroadcasts of some of the best programs to be put out by other stations, such as WEAF, New York, from where the Victor program will be started to a dozen different stations Thursday evening. TRAVELERS RADIO STARTS TONIGHT
New Station’s First Program
to Be Broadcaster
The Travelers Insurance company radio station will be formally opened tonight when at 7:45 Vice-President Walter G. Cowles, through whose efforts the station was started, will make an introductory announcement through the air from the station, WTIC.
The studio program will open at 8 o’clock, broadcasting Emil Heimbergers trio, violin, cello and piano selections at the Hotel Bond. Several selections will be sung by a male quartet from the Mendelssohn Glee Club of New York, composed of Carl F. Mathleu, first tenor; Joseph Mathley, second tenor; Harold N. Wiley, baritone; and Stanley Boughman, bass. Miss Gertrude McAuliffe, contralto, will sing and the station will sign off at 10:30 p.m.
The government experts have pronounced the station one of the finest in the country and it will no doubt to be heard from coast to coast tonight. In addition to the regular army of radio enthusiasts, Travelers representatives all over the United States and Canada will be turning the dial to 348.6 meters when the big transmitter opens up.
Two Nights A Week
WTIC will broadcast every Tuesday and Friday evening a regular program. Thursday of this week an added attraction has been arranged, however, and the local station will relay the Victor Talking Machine Company program from WEAF, New York, at 8 p.m. The Travelers station has been listed as class B and will use 500 watts.
The new broadcasting station has a four room studio, each room being as nearly sound proof as science can devise. The walls have been treated with a sound proof mixture and the floors are covered with thick carpets. One of the rooms is a reception room, where the artists assemble and wait their turn. There are two studio rooms from which programs can be broadcast. One smaller than the main studio, gives opportunity for numbers to be given in quick succession.
The Hartford Daily Times, Friday, February 13, 1925 pg.31
Last Night On The Air
BY R. W. C.
Thanks to WTIC, the Travelers station, the fourth Victor concert, broadcast jointly by WEAF, WTIC and ten other prominent station last evening was the best to date so far as clearness of reception was concerned and it was perhaps well that the local station was linked with the other for it was a noisy night for me on other than nearby broadcasters. The concert brought before the microphone Emilio De Gogorza, world famous baritone, Mme. Renee Chemet, the French violinist, and the Victor Salon orchestra, and the hour’s program was one that would appeal to all classes of music lovers for the selections ranged from the better grade of popular numbers to famous arias from popular operas. De Gogorza was in fine voice and his numbers were exactly as we have heard him on many of his Victor records. Mme. Chemet’s playing was charming and this Victor artist has added thousands of new friends and admirers through her appearance “on the air.” The Victor Salon orchestra opened the concert with a carefully selected list of numbers. Aside from the fact that the reception from WTIC was better than any we have had on previous concerts, the concert itself proved one of the most enjoyable of the series. Applause is due to the artists, the Victor company and the Travelers. We anxiously await the next Victor hour which comes two weeks from last evening.
* * *
Previous to the opening of the concert, Vice-President Walter G. Cowles of the Travelers, told his hearers of the method used in broadcasting such an event in conjunction with another station and corrected the erroneous understanding that many have that it is retransmitted. It is of course a direct transmission over wires exactly the same as the broadcast of the central station at which the concert is held. There was not a hitch or a break during the two hours the Travelers was broadcasting and the excellent modulation of the station resulted in almost perfect reception.
* * *
The Hartford Daily Courant, Thursday, December 4, 1930, pg.1
Plan For Full
Time On Air
WEAF Every Other
Day Basis of Scheme
Now Before Commission
Petition Asks Baltimore
Coordinate With WJZ –
Work Begins At Once if
Permit Is Granted
Station WTIC, of Hartford, will soon be on the air full time if the Federal Radio Commission grants applications filed this week by the Travelers Insurance Company, The National Broadcasting Company and the Consolidated Gas, Electric Light and Power Company of Baltimore, the latter owners of Station WBAL, which now shares a wave length with WTIC. Every other day WTIC would then be synchronized with WEAF of the National Broadcasting Company and the remainder of the time would be on its own wave length of 1060 Kilocycles.
This first permanent synchronizing plan under normal broadcasting conditions – long a dream of radio engineers – will not only effect an important step in the development of network transmission, but will also enable WTIC and WBAL, which have hitherto shared a wave length, to give full time service in their respective areas.
Alternate on Channels.
This is the plan, as outlined in the joint petitions now before the commission: Instead of remaining silent on alternate days, WTIC and WBAL will synchronize with one of NBC’s key stations in New York. WTIC will coordinate its transmitter with WEAF and WBAL will broadcast on the same wave length as WJZ. In the meantime, the two stations will retain the wave length of 1060 kilocycles now jointly allotted to them. WBAL will use this channel one day, while WTIC synchronizes with, and accepts programs from WEAF; and on the following day the positions will be reversed, with WBAL and WJZ in the synchronizing roles.
M. H. Aylesworth, president of NBC, announced several weeks ago that synchronization was definitely past the laboratory stage. But the fact that a practical application was imminent became know only this week, when petitions were filed by NBC; by the Travelers Insurance Company, representing WTIC; and by the Consolidated Gas, Electric Light and Power Company of Baltimore, representing WBAL.
The synchronization of the two sets of stations, if successful, will culminate years of experiments by radio engineers. C. W. Horn, general engineer of NBC, has wrestled with the problem ever since the idea was first conceived, and for the past 12 months has been supervising NBC’s intensive work leading to the present solution.
“In undertaking to synchronize WTIC and WEAF, and WBAL and WJZ,” Horn declares, “we face what is perhaps the most difficult possible set of conditions. All of the stations involved have high power. Furthermore, they are not far apart geographically, their service areas adjoin, and dangers from interference are consequently great. This means that the synchronization must be perfect.”
“We feel, therefore, that if the synchronizing set-ups work in these instances, we shall have given a final demonstration that our equipment is adequate, and that the theoretical and practical problems are solved.”
If the construction permits are granted by the Federal Radio Commission, work will begin immediately on the necessary equipment. On those days when WTIC yields to WBAL, WTIC will then be synchronized with WEAF on the latter’s wave length of 660 kilocycles; and on the following day, WBAL will share WJZ’s band of 760 kilocycles. The arrangement will not only afford the two associate station a full-time broadcasting schedule, but will also make available many new NBC features in the Hartford and Baltimore areas.
The Hartford Daily Times, Thursday, December 11, 1930, pg.24
SPEAKS OVER WTIC
Louisiana Expert Talks During
Farm and House Hour.
Miss Mary Mims, home economist of the University of Louisiana, addressed Connecticut’s farm folk over station WTIC this noon on the Farm and Home forum hour. In her talk, she mentioned a few of the outstanding features of the American Farm Bureau federation convention which closed yesterday at Boston, pointing out that the sessions provided a medium for co-operative discussion and study of the nation’s farm problem.
Pleading for more co-operative effort along the lines of marketing of farm products, Miss Mims stated that production must be adjusted to meet demands. Co-operation in the United States must know no sectionalism, emphasized the speaker.
Miss Mims was one of the speakers at the national farm bureau federation convention and was engaged to address the Connecticut radio audience by S. McLean Buckingham, state commissioner of agriculture. To-night, she is scheduled to address the Middlesex county farm bureau meeting at Middletown.
Wednesday, December 30, 1936, pg.1
SINGS JAN. 10
Rapee Will Conduct, with
Milton Cross Master
Grace Moore will come across the continent to sing in Hartford Sunday night, Jan. 10, at Bushnell Memorial.
The event will be one in the series of “Good Neighbor” concerts arranged by General Motors, which will be presented at Bushnell that evening in response to an invitation from Governor Cross.
Miss Moore will sing; the 70-piece General Motors Orchestra will play under the direction of the permanent conductor, Erno Rapee, and Milton J. Cross, widely known announcer, will serve as master of ceremonies.
Three Previous Concerts
On Oct. 4, the first such concert was staged in Philadelphia. The two other concerts in the limited series were held in Minneapolis and Cleveland.
Part of the concert here on Jan. 10 will be broadcast. Upwards of 10,000,000 listeners have been estimated to be tuned in at that time - a nation-wide audience that will hear Cross tell of the wonders and beauty of Bushnell Memorial Hall.
More than 60 stations of the NBC-WEAF network will broadcast part of the concert throughout the United States and Canada, between 10 and 11 p.m. WTIC will be the local transmitter.
Hartford Times, Monday, January 11, 1937
Trinity Glee Club Announces Schedule
The concert schedule of the Trinity Glee Club has been announced by John D. Banks, business manager, as follows:
Jan. 19, Hartford Retreat; Feb. 16, broadcast over Station WDRC; Feb. 26, Glee Club Festival at Bushnell Memorial; Apr. 9, St. Margaret’s School, Waterbury; Apr. 16, Briarcliff Manor.
A broadcast over WTIC in the spring is anticipated.
Clarence E. Watters, college organist, is rehearsing the group.
The Hartford Daily Times, February 18, 1937, pg.1
WTIC Replaces Tele-
phone with Transmission by Radio
A new method of receiving programs from the radio station at Connecticut State College for re-transmission now is being used with success by Station WTIC in Hartford.
Instead of using telephone wires to bring the college programs here, where they are broadcast, WTIC now is employing what J. Clayton Randall, plant manager, describes as a “uni-directional receptor array.”
A complicated appearing antenna system suspended from the two old towers of WTIC, the receptor had been mistaken for the transmitting antenna of the police radio station.
It is used to receive on the three-meter band short wave, ultra-high frequency transmissions from the college at Storrs. The transmissions then are re-broadcast on the regular frequency of WTIC.
According to Mr. Randall, reception from the Storrs station, W1XEV, is comparable to that afforded by telephone wires. There is no static.
The Storrs station recently discontinued its regular broadcast department.
WTIC’S CHIEF ANNOUNCER
Paul Lucas, chief announcer of Station WTIC of Hartford, is a member of that considerable army whose members are distinguished by the words, “I was once a newspaper man myself”. Paul forsook the Fourth Estate to enter radio, which might be termed the Fifth Estate, After the customary apprenticeship of writing up obituaries, lodge notes, police court news and editing copy on a Connecticut newspaper, he was appointed
In his spare hours he was announcer for and gave monologues in the broadcasts of the WTIC Jesters, who were destined to achieve national fame as the Tastyeast Jesters of the national network. His appearances with the Jesters proved the “open sesame” to a radio career, for in 1927 he was offered a position as announcer on the WTIC staff. That was when the Connecticut was operating on only 500 watts. Paul has remained with the station and is now chief announcer of New England’s only 50,000 watt broadcaster. In his present capacity, six other announcers address him as “the boss”. And a darn good boss he is, too, for a more amiable person would be hard to find.
Lucas writes his own continuities and each week offers an intimate chat entitled “Behind the Scenes”, in which he discusses current events in the realms of radio and gives inside tips on what goes on in the WTIC studios.
The Hartford Daily Courant, Sunday, December 14, 1930, pg. 10 E
Station Review Shows Growth In Past Year
WTIC Achieves Record in Operation and for Consistent Long-Range Coverage
With New Year’s just around the corner, when recapitulations of the events of the waning year are in order, Station WTIC of Hartford looks upon 1930 as the period of its greatest progress.
Firmly established as one of the nation’s leading stations by virtue of the efficiency and power of its new 50,000-watt transmitter, WTIC has endeavored to build up an organization in keeping with the excellence of its technical facilities. With this aim in view, it has possessed itself of the largest staff of musicians and entertainers maintained by any station, except the key station of the two major national networks.
The highlights of the year at WTIC besides the augmenting of its staff include the introduction of several ambitious programs, the forming of several hook-ups with WTIC as the key station, and the transmission of a number of important programs in association with the National Broadcasting Company.
An unprecedented record has been achieved by WTIC during the year for consistent long-range coverage. Since January, the Connecticut station has obtained proof that it is heard as far east as France and as far west as Australia. Indeed, reports from France, England and Ireland indicate that WTIC is heard more frequently and more distinctly in Europe than any other station operating on long wave. The farthest point northward at which WTIC programs are heard appears to be of the northern coast of Siberia in the Arctic Circle, while the farthest southern points are in Chile and Bolivia in South America.
Under its present schedule of operation, WTIC is on the air 55 hours a week, A summary of schedules for the year reveal that the quotas allotted various types of programs each week are in general as follows: 14 hours of classical music; 13 hours of popular dance music; 11 hours of programs that combine both popular and classical music, five and half hours of educational material, including agricultural and domestic features; five and a half hours devoted to topics of interest to the feminine audience; an hour and 15 minutes of humorous and dramatic features; two and a half hours of news bulletins and sports chats; 30 minutes of juvenile entertainment; and about three hours of features miscellaneous in content.
Seventy-seven per cent of the time that the transmitter was in operation this year was devoted to programs emanating directly from the WTIC studios, while 23 per cent was occupied by programs broadcast through the National network.
During the year, WTIC has fed programs from its own studios to five other New England stations. It has transmitted several programs sponsored by various communities, notably Halifax, Nova Scotia; Hamilton, Ontario; Great Barrington, Mass.; and Norwich, Conn.
Among the celebrities who have addressed the radio audience through WTIC microphones during 1930 are William Gillette, Florence Reed. Paul Muni, Mary Boland, Winchell Smith, Robert E. Sherwood, Governor John H. Trumbull of Connecticut, Mayor Walter E. Batterson of Hartford, Neal O’Hara, Billy B. Van, “Lester Green,” Motor Vehicle Commissioner R. B. Stoeckel of Connecticut, United States Senator Felix Hebert of Rhode Island, Robert MacGunigle, “Kid” Kaplan, “Bat” Battalino, Secretary of the Interior Ray Lyman Wilbur, National Commander O. L. Bodenhamer of the American Legion, and Harry K. Morton.
Plays Important Role.
WTIC played an important role in the recent state election campaign, when noted political leaders spoke in behalf of the Democratic and Republican candidates for the governorship, and when Governor-elect Wilbur Cross and Lieut. Governor Ernest E. Rogers addressed the audience on the eve of the election.
Through the facilities of the network, WTIC this year broadcast five speeches by President Hoover, and brought to its auditors the voices of King George of England and Premier Ramsay McDonald from overseas.
A number of musicians of national renown have taken part during the year in the weekly “Travelers Hour,” the roster containing such entertainers as Howard Preston, baritone of the Chicago Opera Company; several network stars, including Erva Giles, Robert Simmons, Ruth Rodgers, Alma Kitchell, Lanny Ross, Amy Goldsmith, Earle Spicer, Thelma Kessler, Gitia Erstinn, Leslie Frick and Alois Havrilla; John Goss, the English baritone; Nicholas Vasilieff and the Russian Cathedral Quartet; Alexander Kisselburgh, celebrated oratorio soloist; Allan Burt and May Silveira of the American Opera Company, Helen Jepson and Fenanda Doria of the Philadelphia Opera Company.
The following chronological summary will refresh memories of member of the WTIC audience on some of the high points of the year:
The first notable feature of 1930 was the rebroadcast through the network of the five-power naval parley in London. The program went on the air at 6 A. M., but those who arose that early were rewarded by hearing speeches by King George and Ramsay MacDonald. Also during January, WTIC broadcast proceedings from the Hartford Auto Show, with music by Vincent Lopez and his orchestra, Peter Van Steeden and the New Yorkers, and Sam Lanin’s Troubadours. The broadcast of the annual Hartford Chamber of Commerce banquet was four hours chockful of entertainment, with J. J. Pelley, president of the New York, n
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