WBZ radio leaving Soldiers Field Road
Sat Aug 25 19:17:55 EDT 2018
The last item broadcast from SFR, around 5:57, was Carl Stevens, "WBZ water cooler," with bytes of other reporters talking about the studio move. Mike Macklin was the last anchor before the switch, presuming it went ahead as planned. Garo Hagopian did the headlines after the CBS hourly, then the wretched infomercial that first soiled the airwaves when CBS owned it.
On the station history: WBZ was the station licensed to Springfield until 1931. A Boston studio was opened in 1924 and WBZA-Boston was added in 1925 as a simulcast. While the Hotel Kimball in Springfield was the WBZ/WBZA studio almost from the beginning, the first few months of broadcasting was from a studio on the top floor of the Westinghouse factory building in East Springfield where the rooftop horizontal wire antenna was located. The simulcast mostly was on different frequencies at first, until the Westinghouse engineers got the synchronization right within a year or two. Power increases in Springfield brought it up to at least 15 kW by the end of the 1920s, but the Boston-area signal still was lacking. After it became WBZA -- one source tells me it was in 1931 -- WBZA reduced to 1 kW for the rest of its time existence. The antenna always was the original horizontal antenna. The towers remained until five or ten years ago. In 1931, Westinghouse swapped the call letters so WBZA was in Springfield and began using the new transmitter site in Millis for WBZ-Boston, at 25 kW, increased to 50 kW in 1933. Earlier, WBZA-Boston used at least a couple different transmitter sites. I recall seeing a photo of a rooftop horizontal wire antenna on top of one of the hotels where the studios were located. I have never seen much information about the Millis transmitter site. I wonder whether it was a horizontal wire or a vertical radiator? Anyone have a photo?
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