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WKOB (Pirate)
Hartfordradiohistory.com does not advocate illigal activities.  Pirate stations are listed in the interest of historical accuracy and because listeners are often fascinated by them.  Operating a radio station without a license is a federal crime punishable by fines and/or imprisonment.


 "The Mighty Twelve Hundred" was on the air from 1972 to 1976 from various locations in New Britain. They had a very professional sounding top-40 format with professional jingles. WKOB used an nice old RCA console and a home-built transmitter.  Their final location was The Station Youth Counceling Center on W. Main St. which is where the FCC found them two days after a large article appeared about them in The New Britain Herald.

    We heard from WKOB's former Chief Engineer in Dec, 2009:  "WKOB first went on the air in December 1972 from Joe S's basement. It was first in the New Britain Herald on the first Tuesday in October 1973(Oct.3?). WKOB apeared in the New Britain Herald a number of times, all good publicity. In August 1974 WKOB moved to (a residence) on Wooster St. In December 1975 the operation continued in the basement of The Station Youth Counceling Center on West Main St. That building has long since been demolished. On the last Monday of January, 1976(26th?) the FCC came knocking after a large article appeared in the Hartford Courant. (there was extensive) television coverage (of the bust)!
    The "WKOB" jingles were edited from a Gwynsound demo of KOB(Albequerque) and WOLF(Syracuse).
    Some of the WKOB staff have gone on to careers in professional radio.

    In late 1974 there was a personel split with some of the staff leaving to start up "Radio 1040" in Kensington. They were shut down by the FCC in December 1975 a few weeks before WKOB returned to the air from West Main St. 

Text:  Joseph Senk, prime mover behind "pirate" radio station WKOB looks out through the window of his sound proofed basement studio prior to going "on the air," last night.  Sent and friends have operated the station from his 477 Shuttle Meadow Ave. home for nearly a year.

October 2, 1973 article in New Britain Herald

Contributor Dave Putterman:
 In 1973 when I met Joe Senk, the originator of WKOB pirate radio, I didn't realize how much my life would change from then on.

I became involved with that station which operated on Shuttle Meadow Avenue in New Britain, Connecticut and got bit by the "broadcasting bug" from then on.

As time went on, personality conflicts (normal teenage stuff) separated some of the persons and I was lucky enough to have WKOB moved to my parents home on Wooster Street in New Britain from late 1974 through late 1975.  From that location, we had a 100 foot tower located in the backyard which was located on top of a mountain in the west end of New Britain.

In late 1975, WKOB expanded its operations and moved to the Sheldon Community Guidance Clinic on W. Main St. in New Britain.

On Sunday, January 25, 1976, a reporter from the Hartford Courant wanted to get us more publicity so he ran a feature article on us in the Sunday Courant.

Subsequently, a rival newspaper in New Britain, the New Britain Herald, did some research and contacted the FCC for unknown reasons.

On or about the same day that article was published, January 27, 1976, an agent from the FCC had made a personal visit to WKOB, walked in and posted a notice of "cease-and-desist" on the window of the broadcasting studio.  That was the day that the music died.  It was said that WKOB was a professionally sounding radio station and one of the biggest on the east coast of the United States.  Although WKOB was advertised as transmitting with a 25 watt transmitter, during the nighttime hours it was increased to 50 watts.  WKOB could be heard throughout Central Connecticut and had a large listener base.

Throughout the years of being involved with WKOB, I have been fortunate enough to meet and still be friends with a lot of folks who are still in radio and TV broadcasting to date who are announcers, engineers and production specialists.  You know who you are!

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