One of the true pioneers of broadcasting in our region was a fellow by the name of Ed Bold, who owned WSNJ AM & FM Radio in Bridgeton, NJ.
Edward L. Bold was born in Camden, New Jersey and was graduated by Glassboro High School in Glassboro, NJ in 1939. Ed and his wife, Katherine have been residents of Bridgeton for over a half century. After school, Bold found employment with RCA Victor in Camden working on an assembly line. When there, he showed an interest in radio repair and co-workers showed him how things worked and how to fix malfunctioning equipment.
During the Second World War, Ed Bold served in the United States Coast Guard where he received training and instruction in radio communications. After his service discharge, Bold took a job at WSNJ where a young Bill Haley (of "Rock Around the Clock" fame) was yodeling on the station.
Most of Ed's duties at the broadcast outlet moved over the their FM side, WSNJ-FM, New Jersey's first fully licensed FM radio station. That was in 1946. The AM station came on the air in August of 1937.
Over time, Ed went to various radio and electronics repair schools and college including M.I.T., the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He left WSNJ on at least two different occasions. The first time he left, Bold returned to RCA Victor to troubleshoot and repair broadcast equipment. These duties took him to many stations across the United States. He returned to WSNJ and left again to join Fred Wood to install the first cable television system in Cumberland County, New Jersey. Bold later managed the Garden State Cable Company, which was then purchased by Comcast.
About 1970, Ed formed a partnership that gave him half of the station. Twenty years later, in 1991, Ed and his wife, Katherine became the sole owners of WSNJ AM & FM Radio. Since 1970, Ed was also the station's Chief Engineer as well as their manager.
The outlets had a reputation of being "your friendly family radio station" which was pretty much Ed's concept. In 1990, the Chamber of Commerce of Bridgeton honored WSNJ. They were selected as the organization's service division's "Business of the Year."
Ed Bold was a member of the Bridgeton Rotary Club and a former member of the area's zoning board. Ed Bold passed away on Tuesday, March 4, 2003 from cancer. He had been in declining health for several years. The Bolds had two daughters, Susan and Lynn.
In September of 2001, Ed Bold announced the sale of his stations to New Jersey Radio Partners, owned by Ed Seeger and Andrew Guest's American Media Services of Charleston, S.C. The reported price seems to be 20 million dollars. However, there are reports as high as 24 million bucks. This includes the two licenses, real estate and self supporting tower.
Carl Hemple, General Manager of nearby (to Bridgeton) WVLT and WMIZ called Bold, "a true pioneer of broadcasting leading the way for others."
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Written and researched by Broadcast Pioneers member Gerry Wilkinson
© 2003, All Rights Reserved
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