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Re: Inquiry: 1st with Rock

On Mon, 5 May 1997, Dan Strassberg wrote:

> Yes, Flanagan did move to WPTR. He wasn't there for all that long, though.
> Does anyone know what became of him after that? I don't think he made the
> move to WPTR while I was still at RPI. That would put the time of his move
> after May '56. If I had to guess, I'd say it was proably not until at least
> 1957.

I think it was probably around fall 1956.
> Boy was that complicated, and I don't think the dust settled for several
> years! Here's my recollection of what happened: The ABC Radio affiliate in
> the Capital District had been WXKW (850), which went silent because of
> technical problems. I believe that several stations were involved in buying
> out the license. At that point, ABC Radio moved to WROW, but it didn't stay
> for long. (WROW had been the Mutual affiliate. As I recall, Mutual moved to
> WABY, even though WOKO with a 5-kW signal, seemed a better choice.) ABC was
> regarded as the weakest of the TV networks. WROW held a CP for Channel 41.
> They wanted a better network than ABC. NBC was unavailable because WGY's TV
> station, WRGB, the area's only VHF allocation, had it locked up.

Mutual moved to WABY?  If so, it didn't stay there long, I remember it on
WPTR until ABC moved to WPTR, whereupon Mutual moved to WOKO.
> The new owners of WTRY did not hold a TV CP and _did not want_ a radio
> network affiliation. WROW's management (by then, maybe Capital Cities--WROW
> was their first acquisition) were more than happy to take the CBS Radio
> Network affiliation, especially because it would likely guarantee the CBS TV
> affiliation for channel 41. WPTR held a CP for a never-built UHF on Channel
> 23. So ABC radio moved from WROW to WPTR, and it looked as if WPTR-TV was
> going to be the ABC affiliate. But that left the owners of the permit for
> Channel 35 (no longer the group that owned WTRY) with no network. That would
> have been a disaster for them. Independent UHF stations in medium markets
> (especially mixed UHF/VHF markets) were not able to survive in those days.
> Through whatever means (building first was probably the main one), Channel
> 35 secured the ABC TV affiliation. That made WPTR's proposed TV station not
> economically viable, so it wasn't built.

As I recall, when I arrived in Albany in late 1953, Channel 41 was already
on the air, apparently as a sometime ABC affiliate, though WRGB still
carried many ABC programs (Including Space Patrol, fortunately!).  Channel
35 came on as a CBS affiliate after the first of the year, with a CBS eye
in the dot of the i of WTRI.  Channel 35 went off later, when Channel 41
became a CBS affiliate.  Throughout all of this, WRGB continued to carry a
lot of CBS programs as well.  It was when Channel 35 came back on as an
ABC affiliate (in 1956 I think) that the networks finally got sorted out,
and the CBS programs all went to Channel 41 and the ABC programs went to
Channel 35, leaving Channel 6 with NBC (Though, for some reason, they
still carried "You Asked For It," which was an ABC show).  Until then, we
used to get Ed Sullivan on WRGB on Friday nights and Jack Benny on Sunday
afternoons and quite a few of the CBS soap operas and other daytime shows
on Channel 6.

  A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                                          617/367-0468
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