The courtship of NBC by the Hearld-Traveler

Scott Fybush
Sun Jun 21 01:58:03 EDT 2009

A. Joseph Ross wrote:

> So did this have anything to do with the network swap between 
> channels 4 and 7 back in the 1990?  As I recall, that was BEFORE 
> Westinghouse's purchase of CBS.

Short answer, no. WBZ went to CBS as part of a CBS/Westinghouse alliance 
that was announced in the spring of 1994. By the time of the affiliation 
swap on 1/2/95, that alliance had evolved into the all-out purchase of 
CBS by Westinghouse.

Long answer, sort of: Westinghouse was still pre-empting some NBC shows 
("Later," for instance) right up to the end, and if a stronger affiliate 
had been available, NBC would no doubt have looked to jump, but channel 
7 was still a weak player back then, and it was far from a given that 7 
and NBC would join forces after WHDH lost the CBS affiliation to WBZ; I 
recall talk of NBC looking to buy channel 56 at the time.

(It didn't help that WHDH and Ed Ansin had their own history of network 
issues; Ansin had fought with the network over its plans to disaffiliate 
from his WSVN in Miami, which left NBC owning a CBS affiliate in Miami 
for a few months, and he had no qualms about ditching CBS programming on 
WHDH if he could, so CBS's morning show was airing on WMFP for a while 
in 1994 while "7 News" ran through 9 AM on WHDH.)


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