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Italo A. Martino
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A native of New Haven, Italo A. Martino was born January 3, 1894. He became interested in radio in 1909 as an amateur. Having an electrical contractor's license, he began selling radio receivers in the spring of 1922.

He joined Franklin M. Doolittle's radio manufacturing company in late 1923. At that time Doolittle operated WPAJ (born December 10, 1922). The call letters were changed to WDRC in 1925.

Italo A. Martino at Doolittle's New Haven radio store  
  Italo A. Martino in 1936

In 1930 Martino became WDRC's chief engineer, supervising the station's move from New Haven to Hartford. He was responsible for installation and maintenance of the transmitting plant and studios.

He was crucial in the construction and operation of Connecticut's first frequency modulation station, W1XPW in 1939 and conducted many early FM experiments.

In 1940, Martino made a field intensity survey of W1XPW covering a total of 82 Connecticut cities and towns, giving field strength values and distance in miles from Meriden Mountain where the FM transmitter was located. The survey was submitted to the FCC during its FM hearings when Martino appeared as a witness.


In 1941, he made a complete survey of W1XPW that resulted in the FCC issuing a regular broadcast license as WDRC FM.

From November 1943 through June 1945, Martino made a series of recordings of Major Armstrong's W2XMN for the FCC's engineering division. They were used as an aid in the Commission's study of propagation characteristics on the 42 to 50 megacycle band.

In September 1945, Martino became a director of WDRC, Incorporated. When the company reorganized as the Connecticut Broadcasting Company in May 1947, he became a 20% owner and assumed the title of vice president.

Italo A. Martino in 1941  
  Italo A. Martino in 1946

During the late 1940s and early 1950s Martino was instrumental in the company's application for a VHF TV channel in Hartford. Ultimately, the attempt was unsuccessful.

Italo A. Martino died at his Woodbridge, CT home March 2, 1952 at the age of 58.

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