The courtship of NBC by the Herald-Traveler

Scott Fybush
Sat Jun 20 20:20:10 EDT 2009

Kevin Vahey wrote:

> Of course the saga of Westinghouse and NBC goes all the way back to
> Chicago where KYW was the first station in the city and in 1934
> Westinghouse moved it to Philadelphia. NBC has been rumored to have
> played a role in that move. KYW was on 1020 in both Chicago and
> Philadelphia and then would be assigned 1060. Once NBC bought WMAQ in
> 1931 KYW's days in Chicago were numbered.

Ah, but back in 1931 NBC and Westinghouse were far from mortal enemies - 
in fact, they had a close working relationship.

Consider: NBC operated several Westinghouse radio stations, including 
WBZ and KDKA, under what we would now recognize as an LMA that began 
around 1930 and continued for a decade or so, until the FCC started 
investigating "chain broadcasting" and began breaking up such 
arrangements. (NBC had similar operating arrangements with GE, at 
WGY/KOA/KGO, as well; I think there may have been one or two others, too.)

Consider: When KYW fled Chicago for Philadelphia, in order to retain its 
clear-channel assignment by moving it to a "radio zone" that wasn't 
already over its quota for such assignments, it sold its transmitter 
site in Chicago to...NBC's WMAQ, for a dollar.

I believe, though it is not reflected in the paperwork from that 1934 
sale, that one of the quid-pro-quos was that KYW would become an NBC 
affiliate in Philadelphia. Come to think of it, I don't know who *was* 
the NBC affiliate in Philly before KYW came to town...


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