many ways WPOP had no right to be successful.
was an AM station with 5,000 watts of power in a market
dominated by 50,000 watt giant WTIC and the AM/FM
located in New Britain and later moved to downtown
Hartford, for many years the studios were located
next to a smelly swamp in Newington.
changes were frequent, management changes constant,
on-air changes rampant.
it was the first Hartford station to recognize the
potential in rock and roll programming.
pages focus on the period during which WPOP played
music, 1956-1975. No claim is offered for their absolute
accuracy; corrections and additions are welcome (e-mail
webmaster Ed Brouder).
(1380 kc, 250 watts), licensed on March 12, 1935, made its
first broadcast from 147 Main Street in New Britain on July
15, 1935. One day later its call letters were changed to
In June, 1936 the transmitter and antenna were moved
from New Britain to Cedar Street in Newington.
1937 the station's power was increased to 1,000 watts.
studios were pressed into service at 54 Pratt Street
in Hartford in 1940, while WNBC's main studio
remained at 147 Main Street in New Britain.
March 29, 1941 WNBC moved to 1410 kc and the
following November power was raised to 5,000 watts.
main studio and city of license were switched to 54
Pratt Street in Hartford on June 16, 1942.
name changed to WHTD in late October, 1944.
the fall of 1946 the calls were changed again, to
WONS. In October 1953 WONS merged with
WTHT, the station founded by The Hartford Times newspaper.
The owners operated WGTH-TV on Channel 18.
had to be reprinted again February 14, 1954 when the radio
calls changed to WGTH.
July, 1956, RKO Teleradio Pictures, Inc., the station's
eighth owner, sold WGTH to H. Scott Kilgore's Tele-Broadcasters
of Connecticut, Inc., which changed the calls to WPOP
on August first. General Manager Philip A. Zoppi supervised
the move from Pratt Street to 600 Asylum Street.
1958 WPOP was broadcasting Top 40 contemporary music.
In 1959 the studios moved down Asylum Street from #600 to
sold WPOP to Joseph C. Amaturo's WIRE Broadcasting
Company on August 1, 1963. In early 1964 WPOP broke
ground on a Butler pre-engineered building for it studios
and offices at the Cedar Street transmitter site in Newington;
they moved in that summer.
August 1972 it was announced that TV entertainer Merv Griffin's
company, January Enterprises Inc., was buying WPOP
for $2.75 million. Griffin took over the keys the following
June 30, 1975, WPOP abandoned music programming in
favor of the new NBC Radio News and Information Service.
The on air personalities featured in these pages played
the tunes which aired on WPOP between 1956-75.
5, 2009-WPOP transmitter building on Cedar Street in Newington.
Photo courtesy of Steve