Tuscarawas Broadcasting Founder
James Natoli, Jr.
July 4, 1918-June 1, 2017
Jim was born to Ignazio James Natoli and Maria (Casmo) Natoli in Mill Township where he lived on the family dairy farm with his 8 siblings, Anthony, Sam, Peter, Mary, Jennie, Marcia, Mae, and Rose. He was a graduate of Uhrichsville High School in 1936 before serving in the Army from 1941 to 1944 in the Signal Core as a staff Sargent. While in the army, he was in charge of broadcasting and using the “Handkey operations” — dots and dashes better known as Morse Code.
Jim attended Akron University in the area of Electrical Engineering and went to the University of Southern California for Radio Training. He passed the FCC Exam and received a First Class License as a Radio Engineer and gave FCC exams for 1st and 2nd class licensees. He worked in Wilson, North Carolina as an engineer for a radio station and then in Detroit, Michigan at WXYZ. He returned to Cleveland, Ohio where he started his 30 year career for WKYC – Channel 3 as a camera man in audio, video, tape technician, recording and lighting. Jim was known to be able to do many functions in the world of television broadcasting and had the opportunity to meet with people like Doug Adair, Mona Scott and Frank Sinatra, to name a few.
In 1959, the Tuscarawas Broadcasting Company, Inc. was developed in partnership with his mother, Maria C. Natoli. While he was working in Cleveland, he started WBTC AM Radio 1540 in 1963, and in 1970, he received approval from the FCC for the 6,000 watts FM station known as WNPQ, 95.9 – “The Light.” He worked full time at WBTC until he was 96 years old and continued to be the President of the Tuscarawas Broadcasting Company until his death.
In 2016, Jim pursued the AM/ FM translator project that was initiated by the FCC for AM stations to acquire an FM frequency which resulted in WBTC 101.9 FM. Jim was a wealth of information in the area of broadcasting and technology, as he was involved in the first years of black and white TV and saw many innovations throughout his life.
Broadcasting was the fabric of Jim’s life along with his love of God to whom he gave all the credit for his 98 years of good health and success. His goal was for the Tuscarawas County Broadcasting Company Inc. to continue providing services to the communities it served.
He loved all types of music and even played the harmonica and the saxophone in high school in the orchestra. He enjoyed doing remodeling at the family farm homestead and was instrumental in building the barn and silo for the Natoli dairy farm. He loved listening to the WBTC every day and loved the new “Forgotten Favorites” format music. He especially enjoyed sports -Ohio State, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and the local high school sports which he also aired on his radio stations.
Jim enjoyed cooking spaghetti and eating good Italian food, and he shared his homemade bread and peanut brittle with others. He especially enjoyed going to Bob Evans with his friends and enjoyed talking with people about sports and radio.