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WKNB-FM, New Britain, operated on 103.7 in the 40s/50s, sister sister to WKNB on 840 KHz.
The 1948 edition of the CT State Register & Manual shows a listing for a construction permit for WONS-FM granted to then-WONS-1410 (owned by Bill O’Neill’s Yankee Network) for 102.9. (Now of course the second WDRC-FM channel.) The company’s “standard” xmtr building with the curved opaque windows (same as the current WPOP-1410 in Newington) was constructed along with a tower across Deercliff Road and south of the ‘TIC complex near the Avon/Farmington line. In those early days of FM, with the much stronger emergence of TV, the 102.9 CP was returned without the station’s ever being constructed. The ownership of the languishing building and tower remained “in house” however, and their site became the first xmtr location of WGTH-18 – of which O’Neill’s General TeleRadio owned a little over 50%.
From 1947 Billboard mag:
"WKNB has been promoting FM via dealer coops, station break announcements on AM adjunct and running a contact with FM converters as a prise. Has also broadcast Boston major league baseball games, thus offering programioing of wide interewsst to stimulate sale of FM receivers and has installed FM set in bars and grills, so that a wider section of the public can hear FM reception. 1948 Rural Radio Network, first fulltime FM format for farmers and agricultural interests, begins on WKNB-FM 103.7."
Their antenna was located on a short, 60' self-supporting tower on the west side of Deercliff Rd in Avon, about 800' south of the original WHCT-TV, channel 18 site, both long gone. There is at least once report that the original WHCT channel 18 self-supporting tower on Deercliff Rd, near the Avon/Farmington line, was originally built for an FM station although since the licensee of the original channel 18 also owned WTHT if true the tower was probably built for WTHT-FM.
Contributor Bill Davies:
"(Sister station WKNB-AM, a daytimer carried the NY Yankee games to the extent possible – many more day games then – within their authorized hours. Later they added WKNB-FM-103.7 and broadcast the full schedule as I recall, extending beyond their usual 10P signoff as necessary. (The old St. Louis Browns were then the westernmost venue of the American League.) Live baseball hadn’t yet reached central CT TV viewers, and FM receivers were neither abundant nor inexpensive. Win Needles once told me that, as a WKNB sales employee, he delivered fixed frequency (103.7, of course) FM sets free to many bars in the area. This encouraged fans to come in and listen to the Yankee games while quaffing a few!
"Later the FM side changed to WFHA, variously affiliated with classical music and agriculture-oriented FM networks, then, suddenly, operated from 7A to 1A with their “Sports Parade” format. The music was interspersed with various team scores but primarily horse race results – so I expect it was a great service to your neighborhood bookie in those pre-OTB days! I don’t know who financed it, and I don’t remember any or much of a spotload. Apparently the well ran dry, and, shortly thereafter, the station went off.
In late 1962 WRYM (formally WKNB AM) received a Construction Permit (CP) from the FCC for a 10,000 watt FM station on 100.5 MHz. A copy of the application and engineering exhibit are below. We're not sure why but WRYM never built this station.
Up until the '90s this plot of land, actually the front yard of a residence on the west side of Deercliff Rd on Avon Mountain near the Avon/Farmington line, contained a relatively small, self-supporting tower which originally supported the WKNB-FM antenna. The tower was completely removed in the late 90s.
1963 Construction Permit allowing WRYM to build a 10kw station on 100.5 Mhz!
Associated FM application engineering exhibit notifying the Commission of a change in tower. The original plan was to put the proposed WKNB-FM antenna on the existing WKNB (AM) tower on Willard Ave but after the original FM application was submitted it was determined that the tower would not support the antenna. The application above is based on the AM tower being replaced which never happened because the FM station was never built.
WKNB FM Transmitter Site