The courtship of NBC by the Hearld-Traveler

Kevin Vahey
Sat Jun 20 10:36:39 EDT 2009

Before Bozo WHDH-TV had another show for kids hosted by the late
Captain Bob Cottle.

But he also became a pawn in a game between NBC, Westinghouse and the

Cottle in 1958-9 hosted a Saturday morning show on NBC that was fed
live to the network from Morrisey Blvd. It was The Ruff and Reddy Show
hosted by Cottle and what made it unusual was that the show came from
Boston and not from a NBC affilate. It was the first time NBC had ever
done this and to get NABET New York to agree to let IBEW Boston cover
a show was a major hurdle.

My Dad told me that the H-T coveted NBC and the peacock was so fed up
with Westinghouse they were exploring options. The Herald spent a
fortune being one of the first built from scratch all color studios
and spent millions with RCA for equipment to curry favor. WHDH-TV
would clear any NBC show that channel 4 passed on most notably The
Tonight Show.

Of course WHDH finally became CBS a couple of years later and NBC did
sniff at channel 7 as a possible O&O.

But you have to wonder how things might have changed had NBC moved to
5. My Dad said it would have happened except NBC was worried about the
H-T's license status and for good reason.

In any event Ruff and Reddy with Captain Bob remains one of the few
network shows ever to be produced in Boston (not counting WGBH)

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