Worcester's Channel 5 allocation (was Re: MyTV joins MyNetwork)

A. Joseph Ross joe@attorneyross.com
Sun Jul 23 23:39:14 EDT 2006

On 23 Jul 2006 at 23:23, Doug Drown wrote:

> Just what the point was of all this is anyone's guess.  As mentioned
> earlier, Worcester was already being served by two other NBC
> affiliates (4 and 10).  I suspect Mr. Putnam may have seen WJZB as
> something of an experimental springboard toward something with more
> local programming and a more fulsome schedule.  Unfortunately, it
> didn't happen.  Ironically, in Boston, at about the time WJZB went
> dark, The Archdiocese of Boston put WIHS-TV (now WSBK) on the air, and
> Kaiser/Globe's WKBG-TV (now WLVI) followed not long afterward.  Both,
> obviously, became successful.  And Worcester itself, by the early
> '70s, saw the advent of State Mutual's WSMW Channel 27 (now WUNI),
> which seemed to have done modestly well for several years as an indie
> with local newscasts and programming.  If WJZB had hung in there a
> little longer, it might have made it.

Yes, now you've jogged my memory!  It's too bad the WJBZ license 
apparently was relinquished.  When WTAO-TV Channel 56 in Boston went 
dark in 1956, Harvey Laboratories kept the license, so that when UHF 
finally started to become viable, they at least had something to sell 
to Kaiser-Globe.  By the mid-1960s the all-channel law had taken 
effect, and it was obvious that UHF's biggest problem -- nobody able 
to receive the signals -- was going to be solved.

I remember knowing about WJBZ and looking for it when my parent 
bought a new TV with a UHF tuner some time in 1966 or 67, but by then 
it was gone.
> When I served my first pastorate in the Athol area about ten years
> later, I used to watch WRLP regularly.  It carried the full NBC
> schedule.  Originally the station had been a repeater for WWLP, but by
> the time I came to Royalston it was doing its own Greenfield-based
> newscasts, and covered the Keene-Brattleboro-Greenfield-Athol region
> really quite well.  WRLP operated for many years, and was discontinued
> in the late '70s, just as the region's population started growing.  
> I've often wondered why.  Insufficient advertising revenue?   The
> advent of cable?  Perhaps someone in this forum can fill us in.
I've always wondered about that, too.  I used to watch WRLP some of 
the time when I visited Western Massachusetts in the 1970s.  That 
area is one of the few places in the country where UHF flourished 
somewhat before the all-channel bill.  The Albany, NY area was 
another until, in the late 1950s, the two UHF stations got VHF 
allocations.  But in both the Albany area and the Pioneer Valley, 
there was only one VHF station, and the UHF stations were able to get 
network affiliations, which motivated people to buy TV sets with UHF 

A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                           617.367.0468
 15 Court Square, Suite 210                 Fax 617.742.7581
Boston, MA 02108-2503           	         http://www.attorneyross.com

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