News, radio and television have worked together for decades, as a source of information, inspiration, and entertainment. Connecticut has indelibly made its mark on the field, with many avenues of broadcasting in its past.
WTIC-TV (now WFSB) celebrates fifty-seven years on air this year, though one of its pivotal moments in history began in 1969. From that year until 1970, Leonard J. Patricelli (President of Broadcast-Plaza, Inc.) presented twenty-eight editorials on WTIC Radio and Television, which discussed themes that equally relevant today. In “Americans on the Moon”, Patricelli states that in celebration of the momentous occasion on July 23, 1969, “the flag will fly from all eight masts on Constitution Plaza tomorrow”. Patricelli emphasized racial equality, tolerance and justice in “Riot is an Ugly Word” (September 4, 1969), after over 400 Black and Puerto Rican residents in Hartford were arrested during a riot. His closing remarks said it all: “Yes, riot is an ugly word. Backlash is just as ugly”.
One would be remiss without mentioning Bob Steele, who was once described as a “Connecticut institution”. His career at WTIC Radio began in 1936, when he auditioned for and became the station’s radio announcer. Steele initially performed station breaks, introductions and commercials, and he later presented such quintessential segments as “Strictly Sports” and “Word for the Day”. Bob Steele was a fixture of WTIC for 55 years, after he retired in 1991.
You can find references to radio- and television- related material in our online catalogs. In other news, be sure to watch our “From the Vault” segment every first Thursday morning for the rest of 2014, in collaboration with the Hartford Courant and Fox61.