Donna Halper dlh@donnahalper.com
Fri Jul 22 12:41:45 EDT 2011

On 7/22/2011 9:31 AM, Doug Drown wrote:
>>> That site was likely on the campus of
> Babson College, which was somehow related to the original owner, The
> Babson Statistical Organization.
> What a great name that would be for a rock group!    -

While anything is possible, there's no direct connection that I know of 
between the original owner of the former WBSO, which went on the air 
from Babson College in late January 1927, and Arde Bulova, who as Dan 
and others have pointed out, was indeed a shady character, although his 
partner Harold LaFount was a bigger one, from what the newspapers 
reported.  Roger Babson was a famous economist and also a deeply 
religious Christian (who, sad to say, was not terribly fond of Jews and 
who during the 1930s wrote a controversial article he had to walk back 
very quickly about how Jews were persecuted because of their "sharp 
business practices" and the fact that they were, in his view, not 
generous like Christians... don't even begin to get me started on those 
assertions).  Babson used his station to preach, as well as to broadcast 
a fairly well-received ongoing series of programs about the economy, in 
terms the layperson could understand; the station also had some music 
and some news, but was best known for the "Midnight Ministry" and the 
economy programs.

In mid-1935, WBSO was purchased by three guys who worked in sales for 
the late great John Shepard 3rd at the Yankee Network,  George 
Crockwell, James Phelan and William Eynan.  By December, the station was 
renamed WORL and by April of 1936, the Needham location was no longer in 
use; the new station was officially broadcasting from Boston, with 
offices at 910 Beacon Street and studios in the Myles Standish Hotel.  
In the early 1940s, the station was operating from an area common to 
several other Boston stations, what is today the called the Theater 
District, home of what was then the Bradford Hotel (where WBZ 
operated)-- WORL set up at 216 Tremont (today part of Emerson College, I 
believe)  The three Shepard guys found the station too expensive to 
operate, opening the door for George Lasker to take it over and to very 
quietly (according to the newspapers) get Arde Bulova and Harold La 
Fount involved, which was not widely known at the time it occurred.  
Bulova & La Fount owned stations in NY and would ultimately get into 
trouble with the FCC, as noted earlier.  There was an FCC ruling in 1947 
ordering the station off the air, and one reason given was the secretive 
process by which Arde and Harold were sold more and more of WORL's 
stock.  After a long battle, WORL went dark at the end of April 1949, 
returning to the air with new owners in 1950.

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