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January 2, 1940 - An FCC license renewal application showed that The Doolittle Broadcasting Co. owned 55% of WDRC; Franklin M. Doolittle individually owned .2%; partners Lawrence W. Lowman and Sam Pickard (in trust for Patricia Jane Pickard of Miami Beach) continued to own 22.4% each.

January 21, 1940 - Franklin Doolittle was elected to the board of directors of FM Broadcasters, Inc., an organization designed to further the cause of frequency modulation, or "staticless," broadcasting. John Shepard the 3rd, head of the Yankee Network, was chairman. Among the other directors was WTIC's Paul Morency.

August, 1940 - WDRC AM became a fulltime 5,000 watt directional station.

September 1940 - W1XPW broadcast a regular program schedule 12 hours a day. Doolittle's newspaper ads stated, "W1XPW is starting this new schedule so that high fidelity programs will be available for demonstration purposes, and for reception by purchasers of FM sets. The September 4th issue of Variety reported:

"WDRC is divorcing itself from its offspring FM station, W1XPW, putting same officially on its own two feet Monday [as of September 16, 1940]. At that time, W1XPW will become a separate entity, broadcasting its own programming and maintaining its own staff. Believed to be the only FM in the country to maintain its own set-up, it will operate at the start on a 12-hour a day basis."

December 6, 1940 - WDRC Inc. was granted a permit for an FM station at 46.5mc, distinct from the previous "Apex" experimental station. Commercial operation commenced January 1, 1941.

audio - February 14, 1941 February 14, 1941 - Doolittle's FM took part in a unique radio relay test. Major Edwin H. Armstrong, speaking by telephone (from New York) to the Yankee Network studios in Boston, was fed to Yankee's W1XOJ transmitter at Paxton. The signal was relayed, by FM, to W1XER atop Mt. Washington...back to Paxton...on to W1XPW on Meriden Mountain...and on to Armstrong's W2XMN in Alpine. Engineers at each site spoke freely over the air with each other, without static. (note: this excerpt was recorded by WTIC engineer Robert S. Coe [who later joined WDRC]; he made the recording from the off-air signal of W1XOJ. The first voice is that of Major Armstrong, followed by Paul deMars of the Yankee Network.)

March 29, 1941 - WDRC AM moved to 1360kc where it remains today.

May 5, 1941 - The FCC granted W1XPW the first commercial FM authorization in Connecticut. The calls were changed to W65H ("65" represented the middle numerals of the assigned wavelength, 46,500 kc; "H" stood for Hartford). It was on the air every day from 2-10PM. Doolittle published the first general rate card, selling a one-time hour-long program, in prime time, for $25.

Martino, Haase, Doolittle, Malo at W65H

September, 1941 - W65H aired the first all-request dance band program on an FM station.

Management staff of WDRC/W65H (l-r): Italo A. Martino, engineer (seated); Walter B. Haase, program director; Franklin M. Doolittle, president; William F. Malo, commercial manager. click for enlargement

October, 1941
- FM Magazine, p.42 : "W65H, the FM outlet of WDRC, Hartford, is using billboards as a part of their efforts to build up their audience. Connecticut dealers report FM set sales show resulting increase." click for enlargement
October, 1941 - W65H billboard

October, 1941 - W65H aired the first commercial FM program. Programming consisted of dance, symphonic and classical music...sports...frequent news programs...live concert and semi-classical music...and interviews.

February 8, 1942 - An additional three hours of daily programs were added to the schedule of W65H, originating at Major Armstrong's W2XMN in Alpine, NJ and W43B in Boston.

March 18, 1942 - The U.S. Treasury issued gold seal commissions to WDRC announcers Ray Barrett, Robert M. Provan, Jr., Edwin G. O'Connor, Jerry Piven, Harvey Olson and Elliott Miller. They were authorized to sell defense bonds on the air during their programs.

January 7, 1943 - At the capitol in Hartford, WDRC provided live coverage of the swearing in of Governor Raymond E. Baldwin (right) by Chief Justice William M. Maltbie (left).

January 27, 1943 - The first concert artist to perform on W65H was Miss Florence A. Morrison, the same pianist who performed on WPAJ's inaugural broadcast from New Haven in December 1922.

January 7, 1943 - inauguration of Gov. Baldwin

November 1, 1943 - W65H became known as WDRC FM.

February 1, 1944 - WDRC FM increased its schedule from 6 to 11 hours per day, signing on at 1:00 p.m. instead of 6:00 p.m.

March 1944 - 19-year-old Charles R. Parker joined WDRC as a control room operator.

April 3, 1944 - Doolittle purchased 68 acres atop Talcott Mountain in Farmington, "as a site for a future television station and for other future radio purposes." He stressed TV would not be available on a broad scale immediately after the war, though frequency modulation would be in general use.

Billie Burke's "Fashions in Rations"

1943 postal frank for Billie Burke's
radio show

June 16, 1944 - WDRC FM operated at 1.1kw.

1944 - During World War II, Franklin M. Doolittle was appointed Technical Advisor to the Defense Communications Board in Washington, DC. Doolittle and Walter B. Haase (right) assumed co-general manager responsibilities at WDRC AM/FM.

WDRC's Walter B. Haase
Walter B. Haase
1944 Radio Annual ad
1944 Radio Annual ad

1944 - WDRC FM was part of New England's FM American Network (left), relaying wireless programs from New York's WGYN (via Armstrong's WFMN in Alpine, NJ) to Yankee's WGTR in Paxton, MA and on to WMTW on Mt. Washington, NH. click for enlargement.

July 15, 1944 - FCC license renewal paperwork showed Sam Pickard no longer owned shares in WDRC and WDRC FM. Doolittle Broadcasting Co. owned 71%; Franklin M. Doolittle individually owned .2%; Colonel Lawrence W. Lowman, of the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, D.C., owned 28.8%.

September 17, 1944 - The first broadcast was heard from WDRC's branch studio in New Haven, for the purpose of special educational and cultural programs.

October 2, 1944
- WDRC's first news broadcast from The Hartford Courant. The programs aired Monday through Saturday evenings from 6:05-6:15PM. The station aired daily news programs from the newspaper until 1951. Seated (l-r): managing editor George Stansfield; political writer Jack Zaiman; standing: editor and publisher Maurice S. Sherman; announcer Harvey "Longfellow" Olson and Franklin M. Doolittle.

August 6, 1945 - FCC ownership forms indicate that Lawrence W. Lowman (back at CBS following his war service) still owned 144 shares of common stock in the corporation, or 28.8%. Doolittle Broadcasting Co. itself owned 355 shares (71%) and Franklin M. Doolittle owned 1 share (.2%).

September 4, 1945 - Lawrence W. Loman relinquished his post as Director of WDRC, Incorporated and was replaced by longtime Vice President and Chief Engineer Italo A. Martino (below left).


Courant news broadcasts - October 2, 1944
First WDRC news broadcast from
Hartford Courant newsroom

Italo A. Martino
Italo A. Martino

September 26, 1945 - The FCC approved WDRC FM's high band operation at 94.3mc, while continuing low band operation at 46.5mc, effective January 1, 1946. Simultaneous operation on both frequencies was authorized for a period of time, so various sources provide conflicting information on the station's precise frequency during the next few years.

November 19, 1945 - WDRC debuted a wire recorder by broadcasting a pre-recorded interview with Hartford Mayor Mortensen.

February, 1946 - A list of stations in The Journal of Frequency Modulation (p.22) indicates WDRC FM was broadcasting at 94.3mc with 7kw of power.

WDRC Incorporated seal

November 8, 1946 - WDRC FM shifted to 106.3 MHz in the high band, keeping its low band frequency of 46.5mc.

March 20, 1947 - The FCC directed WDRC FM to yet another new frequency, 94.3mc.

May 22, 1947 - WDRC Inc. became Connecticut Broadcasting Company. Doolittle continued to own 60% of the stock; Haase and Martino owned 20% each.

Connecticut Broadcasting Company seal
WDRC/CBS logo June 12, 1947 - NAB records indicate WDRC FM was broadcasting on 93.7mc with 7kw of power.
Continental Network relay map June 19, 1947 - On a Thursday night, the three-month old Continental Network, comprised of all FM stations, aired a concert by the USAAF Band from Bolling Field (near Washington, DC) on 18 stations using wire and over-the-air relay stations. WDRC FM played a pivotal role, delivering the signal to northern New England's Yankee Network affiliates. click for enlargement

March 29, 1948 - WDRC FM operated at 94.3 MHz.

April 11, 1948 - FM programs were picked up direct from New York, without wires, and re-broadcast to WDRC FM listeners.

December 31, 1948 - WDRC FM ceased broadcasting on the low band frequency of 46.5 megacycles. It continued broadcasting on 93.7mc as authorized in March, 1947.

WDRC FM logo @1946

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