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WRTB-TV, Channel 2

WRTB-TV, Channel 2 construction permit dates back to 1949, when Raytheon
planned to operate a commercial television station from Waltham, MA.  
Though Raytheon had plenty of technical ability to construct and operate
a television station, programming was NOT their main product.  TV at that
time was still a young medium and Raytheon's TV operations were simply
one of many irons in the fire for that company.  WRTB-TV never made it
to the air even after several delays and many renewals of it's CP.  Word
has it that the WRTB CP was given as a gift to WGBH.  Boston at that time
had NO educational VHF allocation.  Only UHF Channel 68 was available for
the fledgling educational system in Boston.  UHF was not doing well at 
that time.  WTAO-TV, Channel 56 in Boston was sucking pond water and
died after 3 years of operation in 1956.  There were several CP's in
the Boston area in 1955, namely WXEL-TV Channel 38, WJDW-TV Channel 44,
WHEF-TV Channel 62 (Brockton) and others.  Raytheon probably got a nice
tax write off in giving the valuable Channel 2 commercial allocation
to a non-profit "WGBH Educational Foundation" that brought public TV
to Boston.  BTW: Channel 44's allocation was originally a commercial
one.  But people knew that the higher you go in frequency, the less
coverage and higher power bills would follow.  UHF tuners simply
sucked.  The WJDW/44 CP was given as a gift to WGBH who officially
had Channel 44 reallocated to non-commercial status in 1965.  WGBX-TV
was to be the first all-COLOR non-commercial station in America.  But
by the time 1967 rolled-in, Channel 44 was simply a simulcast of
Channel 2 from the time it signed-on in 1967 until 1969.  Channel 44's
mainstay separate programming was mainly telecourses for college credit.
Otherwise, what you saw on Channel 2 was on Channel 44.  Until 1974,
even the Annual Channel 2 Auction was simulcast on 44.  
      Since Channel 68 was reallocated from non-comm to commercial
status in 1965, that less than desirable channel stayed silent until
1979.  Fortunately when WQTV hit the air that year, the UHF tuners
were much, much better in selectivity and sensitivity...thus a high
"U" had a better chance of making it.  WABU has proven that quite well.

- -Pete-

Peter Q. George, N1GGP                  *  "Scanning the bands since 1967 !" 
P.O. Box 1183                           *                  +
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