HARTFORD RADIO HISTORY
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WLAT (WHAY)
910 Khz, WLAT. Former call signs: WHAY, WRCH-AM, WRCQ, WNEZ, New Britain/Hartford

1967 artist's conception of Radio Towers Park, 130 Birdseye Rd, Farmington. Note the 910 towers behind the building.  This facility housed the 910 and WRCH-FM studios from 1967 - 1990.  For a short period of time the tower in the middle of the photo also supported the WRCH-FM antenna.



This picture was taken in the fall of 1972 of the building that housed WRCH-AM and FM. It shows the AM antenna towers. The FM antenna was on the right tower.

(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: admin@hartfordradiohistory.com.)

You may also be interested in the "WLAT (WRCH) Memories" pages and the "WRCH-FM" pages. 



    WHAY came on the air for the first time in 1949 with studios at 22 Grove Hill in New Britain and the transmitter at the present location, 130 Birdseye Rd (but with the transmitter in a different building, now gone, photo below). The station was authorized to operate on 910 KHz with 1,000 watts of power and the call letters stood for "What's Happening Around You."

At some point in the 50s the station was acquired by the DeDominicis family with an all-Italian format most of the day lasting until 1961.

 The call letters were changed in 1961 to WRCH and a few years later the station adopted a beautiful music format.

In 1967 new studios were constructed at the tower site on Birdseye Road. They called the facility "Radio Towers Park". 

Originally 910 operated directional both day and night with 5,000 watts.  In the late seventies the station received permission to operate non-directional during the day with 4600 watts.
        The call letters were changed to WRCQ ("91 Q") in the 1974 and the station adopted a Music of Your Life Format.     
        
Contributor Tom Ray:
        " I installed AM stereo equipment in 1983 . . . and I had to have it on in time for the Ad Club picnic.  AND - convert the WRCQ studio to stereo (I found the right channel modules in the attic).  It was purchased as a Harris system converted to (actually modified to) C-Quam.  Transmitter it was installed on was  Harris MW-5A.  We were playing Big Band at the time."
         After American Radio purchased the station in 1990 the format was changed to rebroadcasting CNN Headline News with the call letters WNEZ. Studios were located at 10 Executive Drive in Farmington.

In 1998 Mega Broadcasting purchased the station and changed the format to Spanish and the call letters to WNEZ. At that time the studios were in an office complex on Route 6 in Farmington.

In 1999, Mega moved the studios to Cedar Street in Hartford where the station shared space with 1230 WLAT.

In 2000 the station moved to 330 Main Street in Hartford.  The facility consisted of five studios and by 2003 WNEZ, 1230, and WKND 1480 had joined WLAT in the facility.

In May, 2001 Mega swapped the call letters with their other Hartford area station (1230 Manchester) and the result was that 910 became WLAT.

The station was purchased by Freedom Communications in 2002.

Gois Broadcasting purchased the station in 2008 and moved the studios to Burnside Ave in East Hartford.

1961


1964


1964


1968


1969


1970


1971


1971


The main broadcast studio of the Golden 91Q with Rick Paulsen doing the Sunday/Monday overnight shift. This was only a part-time gig for Rick. Rick did afternoons at WNTY-AM in Southington and was for a time "Captain Cash", an action character spokesman for the Connecticut Lottery in the 70’s.

Above:  The five towers at Radio Towers Park in Farmington.  The four towers on the left in the picture are used for the 910 night pattern, beaming the signat at the city of license, New Britain. The tower barely visible on the right is the day tower which is non-directional.  2002 photo.

Above:  New WLAT studio at 330 Main St. Hartford (2000). 
Above:  WLAT Production Studio at 330 Main Street in Hartford, 2000.
Above:  Current WLAT studio on Burnside Ave in East Hartford (2008)
Above:  Former WRCQ Chief Engineer Lee Steele proudly displays the "WHAY" license plate he was given by the late Hilis Holt, original owner of radio station WHAY. (2006).

Above:  Shortly after Freedom Communications purchased WLAT they moved the studios from Farmington to this building at 330 Main St in downtown Hartford.  Shortly thereafter WNEZ and WKND were also moved into the building.  2009 photo.


Above:  910 tower site from the air showing four of the five towers.  Original transmitter building is in lower right.  Present transmitter building is not visible but would be at bottom of photo.  1985 photo.

Above:  Aerial close up of the riginal WHAY transmitter building off Birdseye Rd. in Farmington.  1985 photo.


1991

Above: Original WHAY 910 Transmitter building on Wolfpit Rd in Farmington.  This building was in use from 1947 - 1967 when the transmitters were moved to the new Birdseye Rd. facility. At that point this building was converted into an apartment.  In 2005 the building had fallen into disuse and was demolished. 2005 photo.
Above: Another view of the old WHAY transmitter building taken in 2005.  The building had very robust construction, including steel beams in the floor to support the heavy transmitters of the day. 2005 photo.


This room housed the WRCH production studio back in the seventies and eighties.  Today it is a production studio for Connecticut School of Broadcasting.

Back in the seventies this room housed the 91Q audio studio.  In this 2009 photo we can see a recording studio operated by Connecticut School of Broadcasting occupying the space.


The revamped main studio control board after the beautiful music format passed into Connecticut radio history. If you look closely, someone carved 91Q into the nerf-ball used a windscreen on the mike.

While Lou Terri played the music, Pat Shean was the afternoon newsman. This picture was taken in the newsroom of WRCH-AM.


1959


Main Studio.



Rick Paulson on WRCQ



Record library.



Master control area with AM and FM transmitters visible
through the window.








L-R AM phasor, main AM transmitter, FM transmitter.









Radio Towers Park




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