Boston and ABC Radio
Mon May 17 09:39:24 EDT 2010
I remember listening to NBC's weekend "Monitor" program on WEZE ca.
1961 when I was 12. At this point I remember the Monitor intro
electronic beeps more than the actual programming which verged on dull
(at least to a kid) compared to what was coming out of WMEX (whose
towers were a good outfielder's toss down the Neponset's south bank
Neither station had what you would call a rock-crusher signal where I
was in Arlington. WCOP (1150) and WNAC (680) ruled on cheap radios
with WHDH (850), WBZ (1030), and WEEI (590) next. Luckily I quickly
graduated to good radios.
I remember WORL-950 carrying Paul Harvey at noon in the early '60s.
Not sure if that was Mutual or ABC. CBS was WEEI-590 at that point and
for a while I was a fan of "Yours Truly Johnny Dollar" (a detective
show), one of the last leftovers of radio drama. I think they also
carried another CBS drama called "Suspense". Local WEEI stars included
talker Paul Benzaquin and weatherman E. B. Rideout (a real name, or a
play on "he'll be right out" ? - never could figure out that one).
ABC used to have the Breakfast Club which I remember more out of
WABC-770 NYC than from any Boston affiliate. I had some serious wires
high in pine trees out behind my house so picking up the NYC 50 kW's -
even daytimes - was not that tough.
It is true that by the '60s, network radio meant mostly news and some
limited amount of big-event sports coverage such as the World Series.
I'm not sure how long WEZE was a full NBC affiliate, but I seem to
remember when they dropped most NBC programming other than news.
They continued with news for a number of years after dropping other
A. Joseph Ross, J.D.
I'm pretty sure that the 1260 studios did not move to the street-level
location in Park Sq until after Diehm sold the station to Air Trails
and the calls had changed from WVDA to WEZE. By then, as WEZE, the
station was no longer an affiliate of any of the (by then) four ABC
radio networks; it had become an NBC Radio affiliate. And IIRC, it did
not remain an NBC affiliate for terribly long. No Boston-market radio
station carried NBC Radio's full lineup, but at one point, most of the
NBC Radio programming that made it onto the air in Boston appeared on
WNAC 680. That was part of the early stages of the rapid decline of
what had been America's premiere radio network. NBC was probably glad
that the market's second-best signal was clearing some of its
programs, but I doubt whether one person in 100 interviewed at random
on the streets of Boston or Cambridge could have identitied the
station that was carrying the largest amount of NBC Radio programming.
In fact, anyone who had thought about it would have been likely to
have answered, "NBC Radio--is there really still an NBC Radio?"
Dan Strassberg (email@example.com)
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