HARTFORD RADIO HISTORY
Your Subtitle text
WICC-TV

In March of 1953, a month after WKNB-TV, Channel 30 signed on as Connecticut's first UHF station, people in Bridgeport decided to take a chance with WICC-TV Channel 43. The station, named for the popular radio station at AM 600, offered a mix of local programming as well as ABC and DuMont. The driving force of this station that went nowhere was the late Bob Crane. Yes, the star of "Hogan's Heroes" and some later movies of---(ahem)---ill refute, was a popular radio star on WICC and hosted a variety show on Channel 43.
Some of the stunts WICC tried were ridiculous for their time. One of the station's stars, Morgan Kaeolean tried using a robot. He sent the machine to New York to try and promote the station. The robot was arrested, right on the spot. Another thing that went wrong for Channel 43 was the fact that no one was watching. Why? UHF was practically new at the time. So, for about $100, a LOT of money back then, one could buy an adapter to attach to the TV to pick up the UHF signals. The station did boast of some history. A man named Dick Alexander worked for Channel 43. He was the first African-American announcer in CT.
Eventually, WICC-TV's Bob Crane tried a last ditch effort to get viewers--BY PAYING THEM!!! If anyone was watching they would have seen Bob holding a crisp $100 bill right on camera. The first caller could phone the station and get the $100. NOBODY CALLED! In December, 1960, the station went off the air. A few months later, most of WICC's programming was destroyed in a fire,except for a film showing the last day of WICC's programming. That was featured in a special produced by CT Public TV called..... "You're On The Air."
In 1987, Channel 43 was purchased by a group of women and renamed WBCT-TV, with a line-up of some community programs and infomercials and home shopping. In the early 90's it became WHAI-TV with the same line-up. The station, in 1998 was to have become a part of Lowell Paxson's Pax-TV as WBPX, but some deals fell through and Channel 43 was left as an all-infomercial channel, with rumors of a switch to Spanish Home Shopping as WBPT. Pax-TV can be seen on WPXN-TV channel 31 (formerly WNYC-TV and WBIS) in New York. The rest of CT can see Pax on WHPX-TV, Channel 26 in New London (formerly WTWS-TV). A potential sale to TV Azteca Spanish Network had been in the offing but never materialized.
The call letters stand for "Industrial Center of Connecticut", Bridgport's name at the time. These days, it is called "Park City."
Morgan Kaeolean still works for WICC AM as traffic reporter during the morning. Is affectionately known as "Captain Traffic."


WICC-TV Memories

Stuart Cook
 

In 1999, it became WSAH after its sale to the SHOP AT HOME network. In 2006, it would be sold to Muticultural Television. Multicultural ran SHOP AT HOME until that company went out, then GEMS TV. It 2009, the station changed its format, carrying the RTV network along with infomercials. Then in 2012, the station was sold to NRJ TV, who changed affiliation to MeTV (along with informercials), and changed the call letters to the present ones, WZME. RTV now airs on its secondary channel, 43.2. 


Photos below are of the WICC-TV transmitter site on Booth Hill. 1967. Courtesy of Xen Scott.

Website Builder