HARTFORD RADIO HISTORY
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WADS

690 Khz, Ansonia, CT

Historical information about this station has been hard to find. . Contact us at if you have inforation or recollections to share:  
admin@hartfordradiohistory.com

The call letters were chosen because they stood for Ansonia, Derby and Shelton.
 In the 70s and 80s the studios were located in the Ansonia Mall – since torn down.  The station was very visible as people walked through the mall. It was owned by Ken Dawson.  Brad Harris did the “Talk of the Valley” show for years, Dean Pepin did mornings after that.
Sportscasters were Joe Martin (Marty DiTuccio) and Dan Santoro as well as Jim Scott, Tim Richmond and George Harvey were jocks. Brad Harris
 
was a mainstay as a DJ, sportscaster and sales rep for most of the 60s & 70s and into the 80s also.
     
Sunday mornings for years was a combo of ethnic programs, with Barry Howard's Jewish Variety Hour, Sophie Zembrusky's 3 hour Polish show, a religious show called "The Son-rise Gospel" as well as Irish and German themed programs.
     For a brief time in the early 80s the station ran "after hours" on the local cable network Valley Cablevision as background music for the local ad channel. 
In 1996, WADS 690 Ansonia became Radio Amor, first all Spanish religious station in Connecticut.

(Scroll down for WADS recollections).












WADS Memories


Frank Derak:
     WADS was a great daytime station on Main and Bridge Streets in the Capital Theater building in Ansonia, CT.  The voice of the valley, serving Ansonia, Derby, Shelton and Seymour plus southern CT including Bridgeport and New Haven.  Sydney E. Byrnes was the owner and a regular voice on the air with editorials, news, valley stories and the big one, the terrible flood of 1955.  He was there on top of it.
        Wes Hobby was the operations manager and did a record show with music from the 40’s and 50’s during the mid day and Frank was the inland marine reporter, trailering a marine boat equipped with weather and fishing information gear.  Frank traveled to various inland lakes (Zoar, Candlewood, Compounce) plus off shore Long Island Sound locations in our coverage area.  Great assignment covering all water beauty pageants, board shows, water ski shows and he reported on marine weather and fishing conditions Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
       Steve Powers joined our staff as News Director, with Jim McLean, Gordon Bensing, and Allan Fletcher.  Other personalties included Don Richeson who later became GM of WADS and Tim Richmond.
       We had the reliable music host, and on air talents of Vin Roberts who would come through for us in many emergencies.  Wes, Frank, Steve, Vin, Syd, Don and Mary contributed time and effort on behalf of the station to the Valley Association for Retarded Children and Adults.
    The weekends were filled with ethnic programming including a Polish show starting Victor and Sophie Zembrusky.  We even had a world famous entertainer on the air.  Rose Ria, who lived in the area, who was the organist for many years on “All My Children”, featured on the NBC Radio Network.
      I must not forget the office staff, Lorraine Clifford, who was the office Manager and held it all together. Without her where would we be?  As a matter of fact she was so efficient the station manager Wes Hobby and Lorraine married!  The sales and office staff consisted of Jean Borkowski, Pat Tarquinio, Dorthea Duda, and Barbara Criscola. Lisle Dorian was the Chief Engineer and he was assisted by Angelo Grutadoria. 


Mark P. Chudwick:
   I joined the news staff of WADS in 1977 after graduating from journalism school at the University of Bridgeport.  Station was located in glass-enclosed studios at the former Ansonia Mall.  Kenneth Dawson owned the station at that time.  News Director was Bill Grant, on air folks included Dean Pepin, Walter Short, Tony Napoleon, Steven B (Ed Zel), Jack Whitten.  Station GM was Tim Clark.  Place was held together by Receptionist Fran Tuttle and Payroll Specialist Jeanne Tarby.  Our meteorologist was Dr. Mel Goldstein.    
    Bill Grant returned to our sister station, WKND, and new News Director was Fred Landau.  Fred instituted Walt Dibble-like news reporting with lots of local sound and V/Os.  We personally covered a lot of local news, including as many as three municipal meetings in a single night and ran a lot of local sound.  Station won several AP news awards during my time there, which ran until 1981.  Biggest event was our 24-hour emergency coverage of the Blizzard of ’78 when skeleton air and news staff lived at the station for three days broadcasting emergency information.  Fellow news reporters included John Noonan, Nancy Langdon, Dave Goodale, Scott Thompson, Becky Soukkup, Kerry Kowanowski.  Sports guys included Ed Clements (Clem Najar) and Mike Harmon (Cliff Hennessy)."


Angelo A.Vecchiarelli:
         "Dan Walker, Paul Daley and Brad Harris 1970 WADS. I
worked from 1969 thru 1986 on the air started with WLAE
93.7, WFIF, WKCI, WCCC with Rusty for almost 3 years we put
on all request radio together, my best buddy.. then onto
WICC, WWCO, WNVR, WDRC I started the first Co-ED morning
team in Ct Dan Walker and Suzanne Haze. Feel free to call me
if you need some nostalgia."


Peter J. Danielczuk:
        "I started at WADS on weekends in 1971 when I was attending the University of CT.  Don Richardson was the GM, Brad Harris was the Program Director and News Director.  When I graduated in 1973, I became the morning show host and also did Radio Classified.  Later in 1975 Brad Harris became GM and I became News Director.  I left WADS in 1976 and later returned to do Polka Shows with Dick Yash and then on my own..  Went on to WWCO, WDJZ and WICC with my Polka Celebration shows.  I also remember working with Paul Daley, Wayne Norman and Berry Berman who later started his own CT network.  Also Gary Zenobia.  Besides Southern CT WADS also had a lot of listeners on Long Island."


Richard Phillips:
     "I remember listening to a show on WADS which was called the Swingin' Rhythm King Show. I went to the station because I had won a record.  The DJ was a black man who played music like James Brown and other soul artists.  I won a James Brown LP with James Brown featured on the organ also a 45 rpm of Tramp by Lowell Fulsom which he had been playing a lot.
     "I also remember the many dances that WADS had in the back lot right next to the bridge. They would have a flat bed truck with a band playing.  I saw a band called The East Coast Journeymen
playing there and bought their record of "Down, Down, Down" on Roulette records.
     "I remember somtime in the 80's I think going to the transmitter in a mountain area.  My friend (can't remember his name) did a Slovak show there from the transmitter. (lots of nice rats there)  I collect old doo wop records and he let me have an hour of his show to play some of the old tunes."

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