demise of WHDH (AM) was: Nightcap

Kevin Vahey
Sun Jan 4 00:42:16 EST 2009

The end of WHDH(AM) was one of the saddest days in Boston broadcast
history. I remember Howie Carr doing a remote outside channel 7 giving
away anything with a logo on it.

I have always speculated on what the Boston broadcast landscape would
look like today if the Herald-Traveler had won the fight to keep
channel 5. It was an ugly case and it came down to the Globe and the
Kennedy family doing everything that could to destroy the newspaper.

Boston Broadcasters (BBI) talked a good game to the FCC and on paper
looked like a deserving license holder. But as we found out a decade
later it was all a sham for Metromedia to finally get the license.

WCBV has been a good station since 1972 but the original WHDH-TV was
also excellent. their news department was by far the best in the 60's.

Had the Herald kept channel 5 it would have been the Record-American
owned by Hearst that would have folded and the HT and the Globe would
have slugged it out.

Would the HT have cashed out later? We have no way of knowing. My best
guess is they would have continued to be a smaller version of the
Chicago Tribune and might still exist today.

Carry it one step further and what would channel 7 be like today? My
best guess is Mugar would have sold to Murdoch to give him a VHF
outlet in Boston. Mugar found out it was impossible for a one station
outlet to compete against chains and O&O's for strip programming which
prompted the disaster called LOOK. ABC most likely would have wound up
on a UHF outlet.

Radio? The station flourished under Blair and their Stuart St studios
were a showcase. But Blair cashed out and once Jess retired in 1991
HDH had lost its soul BUT you have to wonder if the station was still
linked to channel 5 it would be as strong as ever today.

Food for thought anyways.

On 1/3/09, Larry Weil <> wrote:
> At 9:37 PM -0500 1/3/09, Richard Chonak wrote:
>>I found a recording of the Roby Yonge stunt via his Wikipedia
>>article. Are there any other audio clips of notorious departures
> Which makes me suddenly remember the infamous toilet flush at the end
> of WHDH(AM)'s final broadcast.
> --
> Larry Weil
> Lake Wobegone, NH

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