WTIC-TV Channel 3 (now WFSB),
Hartford, Connecticutt
Inaugural Sign-On with Dedicatory Prayer
from 21 September 1957

Page modified Monday, 24 August 2020

Connecticut capital city's Channel 3 was the second VHF television station in the state, behind New Haven's WNHC-TV Channel 8 (now WTNH). Interestingly, WTIC-TV operated as an independent station for its first year before getting the CBS-TV network affiliation which it retains today. At the time of WTIC-TV's debut, CBS owned and operated WHCT-TV Channel 18 in Hartford (now WUVN), a UHF-TV station the network acquired a couple of years earlier. Because TV receivers were not required to have UHF tuners prior to 1964, WHCT, like many UHF-TV stations in the 1950s, did poorly in the ratings and in revenue. Late in 1958, CBS unloaded Channel 18 onto the General Tire Corporation, which resulted in WTIC-TV receiving the very popular CBS programming. The Travelers Insurance Company, Channel 3's original licensee, would sell WTIC-TV to the Washington Post Company in 1972, the result being the change of the station's call letters to the current WFSB. Since 1997, WFSB has been owned by the Meredith Corporation. In 1984, the WTIC-TV call letters were resurrected for use by Connecticut's newest UHF station, Channel 61 in Hartford.

Our video clip begins with several seconds of the WTIC-TV test pattern and tone. Following this (drum roll, please) is a film of Channel 3's transmitting tower, the U.S. Flag (with 48 stars) and various scenes of local interest which serves as visual accompaniment for the sign-on announcement and the playing of the National Anthem. Next up is Mr. Paul W. Moranzi (spelling?), President of the Travelers Broadcasting Service Corporation, who delivers a brief opening speech before introducing the Bishop of Connecticut, the Right-Reverend Walter H. Gray, who offers the station's dedicatory prayer.

BONUS AUDIO CLIP: a WTIC-TV Ch 3 Sign-Off from Summer 1964 - Announcer: Ken Murphy

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