History of Pioneer High-Fidelity Station W1XBS

From: mikedow@gat... (Mike Dowling)
Newsgroups: rec.radio.broadcasting
Subject: Pioneer Station W1XBS, later WBRY/WTBY in Conn.
Followup-To: rec.radio.broadcasting
Date: 24 May 1995 11:25:17 GMT
Organization: Roosevelt Middle School
Lines: 14
Distribution: world
Message-ID: <3pv52t$2s8@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu>
References: <3ps68c$cmo@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu>

My father tells me that W1XBS in Waterbury, Connecticut was the first hi-fi experimental station of its kind. The dial position was 1590.

They became a highly directional 5k station as WBRY in 1939 with a CBS affiliation, but the dial position at 1590 was too far from the two (and later three) other local stations at 1240, 1320 and 1380.

The station later became WTBY in the sixties and finally WQQW in the mid seventies. Oddly, they finished first in the rating for the first time in 1989, but the station went dark shortly after (even though they were the top local station) after a major political scandal sent some of the station's owners to jail.

[WQQW went of the air in 1992. The license holder eventually agreed to a buyout by WWRL in New York City and relinquished its license in 1997, allowing WWRL to raise daytime power to 25kW. -RPK]

W1XBS Booster Stations

On August 1, 1936, Broadcasting reported on W1XBS's request for booster stations:

Two 100-watt booster stations for W1XBS, Waterbury, Conn., each with 100 watts and tied together with the "mother" station by land-line, are proposed in applications filed with the FCC Broadcast Division July 24 asking for such stations in New Haven and Bridgeport. This novel tieup, if approved, would mark the first three-way synchronized chain.

W1XBS is one of the pioneer "high-fidelity" stations operating on the 1530 kc. special broadcast channel with 1,000 watts full time. Because of the high attenuation in New England as well as the "skip" effect of this high frequency, the station is not heard well in Bridgeport, 30 miles away, or in New Haven, 20 miles distant. [...]

Since the FCC policy has been to foster experimental work on these channels, it is expected favorable action may be taken on the applications.

According to the FCC history cards for WQQW, the booster application was dismissed at the request of the applicant. Still, it makes for an interesting footnote.