Music Till Dawn on WEEI

Scott Fybush
Sat Feb 23 19:28:41 EST 2008 wrote:
> I forgot that CBS also owned KMOX AM TV in St Louis. In any event CBS
> did own WBAY in Green Bay for a few years. Once CBS lost the rights to
> carry Packers games they sold it.

The old rule was actually 7/7/7, but no more than 5 of the TVs could be 
VHF. After brief flings with UHF O&Os in the 50s (NBC had WBUF 17 
Buffalo and WKNB 30 New Britain/Hartford; CBS had WHCT 18 Hartford and 
WXIX 19, later 18, Milwaukee), each of the nets settled back to 5 Vs.

The canonical lineup was as follows -

NBC: WNBC 4 NY, KNBC 4 LA, WMAQ 5 Chi, WKYC 3 Cleveland, WRC 4 DC
CBS: WCBS 2 NY, KNXT 2 LA, WBBM 2 Chi, KMOX 4 St. Louis, WCAU 10 Phila
ABC: WABC 7 NY, KABC 7 LA, WLS 7 Chi, WXYZ 7 Detroit, KGO 7 SF

I believe only CBS had the maximum 7 AM/FM before the rule was changed. 
Those were WCBS 880/101.1 NY, KNX 1070/93.1 LA, WBBM 780/96.3 Chicago, 
WCAU 1210/98.1 Philadelphia, KCBS 740/97.3 San Francisco, WEEI 590/103.3 
Boston and KMOX 1120/103.3 St. Louis.

It's true that WEEI was the only 5 kW AM in a sea of 50s. I suspect the 
logic within CBS was that WEEI's 5 kW on 590 wasn't much worse than the 
directionally-impaired options up the dial at 680 and 850. 1030 was 
never available.

And here's a bit of oft-forgotten trivia: NBC almost did a deal with RKO 
General in the early sixties to acquire WNAC AM-FM-TV. I think RKO would 
have ended up with WRC AM-FM-TV in Washington in exchange.

Had that happened, WNAC would have become an NBC O&O. One wonders what 
would have happened to WBZ-TV - would Westinghouse have automatically 
gone with the #2 network, CBS? Or would the company, which fancied 
itself (not without cause) to be a network unto itself, have considered 
affiliating with ABC, which would probably have been much more tolerant 
of the frequent pre-emptions for local programming that Westinghouse was 
wont to do?


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