Beep at top of the hour on WBZ disappeared

Martin Waters
Fri Sep 28 08:11:10 EDT 2018

     WTIC: The FCC rules in 1973 required that the TV station go to a different owner (Washington Post) than the radio stations, which could be, and in this case were, sold as a pair to another new owner.
    While Travelers owned the three stations, the unique time tones also were broadcast by channel 3.
    The tones first were broadcast on July 4, 1943, when for the Allies the war was far, far from being won. The chief engineer and a station executive came up with it.
    The CE started with Morse for V, as in victory. Three dots and a dash. The station executive heard it during development and noted that it closely followed the pattern of the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth. So they modulated the four tones to mimic the musical notes, and the rest is history.
    The station says the time signal is triggered precisely so that the START of the final tone marks the exact hour.

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