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Bruce Elving shares a 1950 letter from WTOP’s Clyde Hunt in Reader’s Forum

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This is in regard to your Feb. 1 story about the former WTOP(FM), now WHUR, at 96.3 in Washington, with its antenna mounted inside the tower, and a followup letter by Jim Manning in the April 21 issue.

Well, I received the station 60 years ago, in 1950, when, as I learned from the article, it transmitted from Virginia. This was before it embraced its inside-tower location in the District.

You’ll note that one of the persons mentioned in the article, Clyde M. Hunt, director of engineering, was my pen pal. He wrote a letter July 24, 1950 verifying my report of WTOP(FM) reception in Duluth, Minn.

At that time, the FM station had 20 kW effective radiated power with an input power of 8.55 kW and antenna gain of 2.45. Polarization would have been all horizontal in those days. Hunt mentioned receiving DX reports for the FM station from Pontiac, Ill., Tipton, Okla., Littleton, N.C., and Eglin Field, Fla.

You’ll note from the copy of the letter, enclosed, that WTOP was owned by the Washington Post, it was in postal zone 4, it was affiliated with CBS and no phone number is shown on the letterhead.

I am sure the Washington Post regretted taking WTOP(FM) off the air, and subsequently donating the facility to WHUR, now a top-rated station owned by Howard University.

I enjoyed the article about AM DX in the April 21 issue. This letter might bring to light a long-time interest of mine in FM DX listening.

Bruce Elving
Esko, Minn.