The programming was your basic home town radio according to various reports. WBIS was the flagship station of the Bristol Red Sox, Double A team and the local American Legion had a long running program hosted by Jim Bates.
The transmitter and single non-directional tower were on
Actor Bob Crane worked at WBIS in1950.
During the 1955 hurricane, the Plainville Civil Air Patrol squadron provided a generator that kept WBIS on the air throughout the emergency.
In the early sixties the station was owned by Eric Stoe Hatch. Dick Kilbourn was GM, Bob Douglas was the newsman and Justin Ternowski was the engineer in the fifties.
Lee Steele started in Nov, 1960 as Chief Engineer.
In 1966 the station acquired a new transmitter, a Bauer 707. Believe it or not this transmitter was purchased in kit form and it was assembled piece by piece by Lee P. Steele, the station's Chief Engineer.
In early 1967, the station moved to
Prior to starting WWUH, Clark Smidt worked at WBIS.
Don Moline was at WBIS from 1976 to 1986 doing the morning drive show and also was the Program Director. He recalls that from August '76 thru mid 77 the format was easy listening. From 77 through '86 it was Adult Contemporary and the last several years the station was a 50/50 split of A/C and Oldies. During most of this period Barbara Bukowski was the receptionist/traffic manager. Pete Liss was the newsman.
In 1977, David Rogers purchased the station from Robert Baker. John Hiatt was hired to run the radio station.
Jack Roberts, a 25 year veteran of the station, did a 15-20 minute (open ended) show discussing various goings on in
Hark Cleary also worked in sales and became GM.
“WBIS was the first commercial station to hire me as Chief Engineer. I took over from legendary engineer Lee Steel who had worked at WBIS since the early sixties. I have lots of fond memories of working at WBIS, but two stand out. The first was the tag sale show, "the Neighborly Exchange," with Val McCormick, which that station ran every morning. I was always amazed to see the four or five phone lines tied up for the entire hour the show was on, it was that popular. Another time I was working at the transmitter site which was in a residential area on
The station went dark (off the air) around May, 1986 and came back on sometime in the '90s with studios were relocated to
In the '90s the station received permission to go full time. This required a change in frequency to 1120 KHz, the removal of the old tower and the construction of a three-tower, in-line, antenna system.
In 1993 the station entered into an LMA with Oscar Nieves and adopted a Spanish language format and the call letters changed to WPRX, which stands for “Puerto Rican Extraordinaire.”
Bob Radil: "After (new owner) Oscar took control the first 2 studio locations were both on Main St. in New Britain. In 1998 they moved to studios on West Main St. at the corner of Washington. In the fall of 2002 the studios moved to the Sergeant St. Hartford location. There was that brief LMA in 2004-2005 (with Freedom Broadcasting) . In late 2006 the station was forced to vacate and temporarily located in a factory building on the north side of 321 Ellis St. in New Britain. This was supposed to be only for a couple months while a new space was being prepared on the 5th floor in a building on the south side of Ellis St. 14 months later, January 2008, they moved in."
In 2000, the studios were relocated to Sergeant St. in
In 2000 the WPRX studios were moved to this building on Sargeant St. in Hartford
Above: WPRX's 3 towers, added when the station changed to 1120 khz and went full time in the '90s.
"Home built" AM transmitter, built from a kit by Chief Engineer Lee P. Steele in 1966.
New Britain Herald aritcle welcoming WPRX to the city.
Production Studio, 2009 Photo.
WPRX Air Studio, 2009 photo.
Main Street Studio, 1976
Collins 10 channel control board in air studio, 1977.
I worked at WBIS in Bristol, doing Sundays sign-on to sign-off. It was the job no one else wanted. As a high school kid in 1970, I was glad to be paid $2.50 an hour, thanks to Tom Ford who hired me. CE Lee Steele was a great guy, too!