Westinghouse's WBZ in Springfield, Massachusetts actually began broadcasting in September 1921, Springfield's very first remote broadcast from the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield! The choice of Springfield as a location may not be obvious today, but the Springfield plant had been selected as the place where Westinghouse would turn out those newly demanded receivers that were supposed to be the financial base of this new phenomenon called broadcasting.
Once on their feet and accepted as a new form of media, the station was known as "WBZ The Broadcasting Station of New England" This is the earliest known slogan from the 20's and 30's.
WBZ just recently celebrated their 75th anniversary. Click on the link below to go to their page for a chronological history of events that has lead to the incredible success that started right here in Springfield.
Later in 1922, July to be exact, The Department of Commerce history shows two local call letter assignments. W H A X assigned to Holyoke and W I A P assigned to Springfield.
An FM Frequency assignment was also granted to Westinghouse in Springfield. 42.6 W1XSN Licensed to Westinghouse Electric, East Springfield, MA. @ 1000 watts.
This later became:
WBZA-FM 99.1 (97.1) WBZA-FM Springfield (M). Licensed to Westinghouse Radio Stations Inc. Channel 246 (97.1).
W1XSN/W81SP/WBZA-FM Springfield, Mass. (Westinghouse E. & M. Co.) On air with experimental broadcasts Aug. 29,
1939, programmed from the studios of WBZA. (This date was supplied by Donna Halper, who reports it appears in notes
written by Gordon Swan.) This station is listed among FM stations licensed and operating in Broadcasting of Mar. 15, 1940.
It is one of several listed as having an FM construction permit in Broadcasting magazine of Aug. 1, 1939.
It received its commercial license June 19, 1943.
The following is taken from the June 1948 issue of Radio Craft magazine showing the sign on of 94.7 WMAS-FM Springfield MA and the reassignment of WBZA-FM from 99.1 to 97.1.
In 1950 other FM stations began appearing ... interestingly enough you'll notice that a new FM called WSPR-FM had been granted a frequency at what we know now as WPKX-FM, (KIX 97.9) licensed to Enfield, Connecticut in the early 1990's.
97.1 WBZA-FM Springfield MA 20000
97.9 WSPR-FM Springfield MA 13000
101.9 WSFL-FM Springfield MA 11000
Some new information recieved from Bill Davies of North Haven tells us that these FM's all signed on. In fact Bill who, "had become very enthusiastic about the emerging FM band", remembers hearing all three of these stations and recalls such specifics as: "the WSPR-FM signoff mentioning the transmitter site on Mount something in Wilbraham." Taken from an email Bill sent to us:
By 1958 WBZA-FM, WSPR-FM and WSFL-FM had fallen off the frequency allocation list, however another Commercial FM and two Educational allocations had appeared!
WSCB-FM Springfield 88.9