(This section is under construction. The text below is a draft history, more information is needed. Please contact us with corrections, updates and/or suggestions. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
By the 1950's Torrington, CT was home to not one but two radio stations. WLCR 990 KHz AM, Litchfield County's first station, and WTOR, 610 Khz AM. WLCR went silent in 1964 (bought out and shut down by WTOR!) and in the eighties WTOR become WSNG and was being operated as a repeater for an out of town network leaving the city without a radio voice.
Seeing an urgent need for a local radio station, in 1990 Dr. Isadore Temkin and local attorney, the late Robert Sullivan, decided to bring local radio back to the city. The
On February 7, 1990 the
Dr. Temkin realized that if they could move the proposed station's antenna a bit farther away from CPR's tower in
For the first two and a half years of the station's operation the WAPJ antenna was on this tower on the UConn Torrington campus. The WAPJ studios at this time occupied two rooms in the facilty office area.
This is where WAJP started out in 1997. The studio was in the wing directly to the left of the sign and the antenna was on the tower behind the building. 2009 photo.
On July 18, 1996, the FCC issued a Consent to Transfer the CP to the LCCHE. This was followed by ten months of intense work, acquiring equipment, conducting auditions, developing a program schedule, placing the antenna on the tower, and building the new studio.
WAPJ signed on for the first time at 7pm on March 17, 1997 on 89.9 MHz. A gala event was held in the UConn auditorium to celebrate the launch of the new station and many area dignitaries were in attendance.
The formal license to cover was issued by the FCC on November 7, 1997.
John Ramsey recalls:
“While I had been doing broadcast engineering professionally for over 20 years in 1997 yet I had never had a chance to help put a station on the air from scratch so I offered to build the station for them pro bono. Scott Baron was my assistant and we had a great time building the studio and setting up the transmitter system.
"The first time I visited the campus I was amazed to find that there was a 300 foot tall radio tower right behind the main building so I knew there wouldn’t be any problem finding a place to put the antenna.
"The entire facility consisted of a single small office divided in half by a wall with a sliding glass door. The inner area served as the studio proper while the outer area served as an office. The studio was built around a large audio console donated by WHCN in
Ken Fuchsman, UConn’s Continuing Education Coordinator, was quoted in a newspaper article “The format will feature everything from public service programming to classical music. We’ve been gratified by the number of talented people who have stepped forward to lend their time and talents to WAPJ. People in this community and the UConn campus are looking forward to this new voice for
In some ways the UConn location was ideal, little or no facility cost, access to the student body and school infrastructure, a very supportive staff and a tall tower. But the fact that the school building was only open during times when the school was in session severely limited the ability of station volunteers to access the station. This is one of the reasons it was decided that the programming of WWUH be carried at times when the building was closed and the station would otherwise be off the air. This arrangement allowed WAPJ to remain on the air 24 hours a day.
The station operated with 100 watts ERP from this location and despite the high tower it had some coverage problems to the north and west due to high terrain around the site. To eliminate these problems the station applied to the FCC on August 4, 1999 to move the antenna to the existing antenna farm on
WAPJ carried the Torrington Twisters in 2001 and 2002, with Dave Sweet handling the play by play. Dave Sweet became general manager in 2002.
By 2001 Uconn needed the space occupied by the station so the license was transferred to the Nutmeg Conservatory of the Arts (approved by the FCC on June 9, 2001) and new studios were built in the basement of the newly renovated Nutmeg Ballet building on
The Nutmeg Conservatory of the Arts became in licensee in the early 2000's and the studios were moved to the basement of this newly renovated building
In 2004 the Ballet needed the space that the studios occupied so the license was transferred to the current licensee, the I.B. and Zena H. Temkin Foundation, and the studios were moved to
The main studio furniture donated by WWUH and was build in the store front with a large window facing Water Street. . . many stations were located in store fronts back in the forties and fifties so it seemed appropriate for a small town station with a desire to be highly visible to the public.
Tony Henry was appointed station manager in 2004 and was instrumental in bringing many innovations to WAPJ including election night coverage, live broadcasts from the Memorial Day Parade and expanded sports coverage.
In 2005 the station was granted a license for a translator on 105.1 MHz with 20 watts to provide additional building-penetration coverage in downtown
From day one WAPJ has chosen to fill in the gaps in their local programming with programming from WWUH and WMNR.
Single-bay WAPJ antenna on side of WZBG tower on Highland Ave., approx. 1300 feet above sea level. This extreme height helps compensate for the station's low power (40 watts).
Water St. air studio just prior to the start of studio construction, 2004.
Water St. production studio under construction, 2004.
WAPJ's Water St. studio
WAPJ's store front Air Studio. 2008 photo.
2006 station manager Tony Henry (R) on remote.
Joseph Montebello (R), the host of WAPJ radio program "Between the Covers," discusses the literary world with Oliver Wolcott Library Director Ann Marie White during the program's February 2 debut. ""Between the Covers" is broadcast Wednesdays at 2 p.m. on 89.9 FM and 105.1 FM.
105.1 Mhz Translator
Tony Henry (C), Mike Roots (R)
The following is a list of show titles and hosts from when WAPJ first went on the air. Below is a list of some of what was on the schedule when WAPJ was located at the
The list is not complete.
Gardening and Travel Barney Laschever
Banking Unplugged Jeff LeLonde and John Janco
Sports Talk Larry Wright and Art Benedict
Cooking With Arthur Arthur Rosenblatt
Coming Home Davyne Verstandig
Unbounded Awareness Jon Benda and Charles Glueck
Around and About Ken Edwards
It’s Your Money Robert and Pat Goldberg
NASCAR Report ?
News from Susan B. Anthony Project ?
Crossworks (World Music) Frank Kramer
Quieting (Soothing Music) Jay Potter
The Blues Blast Leo Ostar
Positive Vibrations (Reggae Music) Mike Roots
Uconn News Adrian Lyon
Sweet Swingin’ Sounds Dave Sweet
The World Beat Show John Long
Breakfast With… Dave Barger
Jazz Spectrum Ken Fuchsman
Jazz Peter McEeachern
Jazzy Mornings Jams Cin B (Cindy Barbieri)
The Eclectic Styles of Andy Styles Andy Styles
The All-Star Jukebox Mike Polowy
Oliver Wolcott Tech News ?
What’s Happening at NCCC ?
My Favorite Things (Music Mix) Holly Thomen
Health Topics Sue Herbert
Movie Reviews Susan and Shelley Fromme
Mostly Music Ed Parsons
Finance Bob Strawson
The Hour Hour Lani Peck
Morning Elixir John Long
Sal’s Music Box Sal Barbieri
Hold That Girl Jon Benda
Thursday Nite Dance Party Mike Whittaker
Classic Rock Gerry Morzella
Magnetic Northwest Eric Jacklin
Rock with Nate and Box Nate and Box
The Jubilee Praise Hour “The Miracle Man” Robert Hayes and Mike Roots
Big Bands Gerry Morzella
Morning Show (title unknown) Rachel Hannon
Conversation With… Dave Sweet
Disky’s Dissertations (segment) Ed Diskovich
History Bites (segment) Mark McEachern
On Broadway (?) Stuart Brown
Hip-Hop/Rap Show Lady ________ (?)
Dr. Izadore Temkin, WAPJ founder, in the station office 2011.
Live Sports Talk on WAPJ.
Renovations were completed in early January, 2012.
Above and below, newly renovated WAPJ Air Studio, January, 2012.
Miscellaneous Morning Show
Holly and Barrie on The Miscellaneous Morning Show
Volunteer Brian Lillie on the air on WAPJ.
Torrington's Mayor Ryan BIngham with WAPJ's Jacque.