Dennis & Callahan criticized for "election postponed" joke

Thu Nov 6 06:32:18 EST 2008

And the cases of these two Boston commercial TVs aren't the only cases
of the FCC's revoking the license of a commercial broadcasting station
licensed to the Boston market. In either the late 30s or the 40s, the
station that is now WROL lost its license--I believe for unauthorized
transfers of control. I think that, at the time, the station's call
letters may still have been WBSO. WBSO stood for Babson Statistical
Organization, which may have been an antecedent of today's Babson
College. (Or did I read that Babson just recently became Babson
University?) Best I can tell, the station was a 1 kW daytimer licensed
to Boston with transmitter in Wellesley, but the frequency was that
era's equivalent of the current WROL's frequency of 950 kHz. (That is,
WBSO operated on 920 before NARBA reshuffled AM frequency assignments
on March 31, 1941.) After it lost its license, the station remained
dark for an extended period but was resurrected after WHDH (AM) moved
its transmitter from Saugus to Needham, freeing up the old WHDH
transmitter site for use by another station. I don't know whether the
successor to WBSO (at first, its call sign was WORL) was in any way
related to the station that lost its license (except that both
stations operated on 950 and were licensed to Boston). WORL ran 5
kW-D, though it may have run 1 kW for a while after it first signed on
from Saugus.

Somewhat curiously, the WBSO calls were to have been resurrected
not far from Boston, I believe in the 80s, on a station that held a CP
for 650 kHz in Clinton MA, south of Fitchburg. That station was never
built, but its 10 kW directional daytime signal on 650 (at first it
was to be 1 kW-N; later, 2.3 kW-N) would have made it audible at least
in Boston's western suburbs. Anyhow, WORL changed its calls first to
WRYT and later, when it could not get back the WORL calls (which, by
then, had migrated to the Orlando FL market), to WROL. Another curious
coincidence is that today's WORL (Licensed, IIRC, to Altamonte Springs
FL) is on 650 and is owned by Salem Communications, the owner of
today's WROL Boston. Oh, what a tangled...

The above is all from memory. If any of it is incorrect, please set
the record straight! Thanks.

Dan Strassberg (
eFax 1-707-215-6367

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "A. Joseph Ross" <>
To: "Garrett Wollman" <>
Cc: "BostonRadio Mailing List" <>
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2008 1:25 AM
Subject: Re: Dennis & Callahan criticized for "election postponed"

> The Channel 5 case involved a decision to set aside the original
> award of the channel assignment to the Herald Traveler.  Because the
> original award was voided, a competitive process did not give
> the benefit of its good record of performance that would normally be
> given to an incumbent licensee.
> The Channel 7 case involved revocation of the license because RKO
> general was found guilty of corrupt practices and therefore
> unqualified to hold a license.
> -- 
> A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                           617.367.0468
> 92 State Street, Suite 700                   Fax 617.507.7856
> Boston, MA 02109-2004          

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