Donna Halper dlh@donnahalper.com
Wed Jun 5 00:32:01 EDT 2019

On 6/4/2019 4:05 PM, Doug Drown wrote:
> I have an historical question: When General Tire purchased WLAW in Lawrence
> back in 1953 and moved WNAC
> from 1260 to WLAW'S 680 frequency, was it more a merger of the two stations
> or an acquisition?  Did General obtain any of WLAW's intellectual property
> and hire any of its on-air staff, or did the station for all intents and
> purposes become defunct?

Beware:  the answer to this is complicated!!!  It also started with 
WNAC, which had been trying to get a better frequency & more wattage for 
ages and ages, but the FRC and then later the FCC kept saying "no." John 
Shepard 3rd had lots of health problems in the mid-to-late-1940s, and 
that caused him to abandon the effort to improve WNAC's dial position; 
but his executive staff carried on the fight after Shepard died in June 
of 1950.  Meanwhile, the Rogers family, which put WLAW on the air in 
1937 (co-owned back then by Hildreth & Rogers, of which Irving Rogers 
was president), was finding it increasingly more expensive to maintain 
the station, which by then had studios in Boston as well as Lawrence.  
The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune (which the Rogers family also owned) was 
having financial problems, and Irving Rogers decided it was time to sell 
the radio station in May 1953. What ended up was a bit of a swap. WNAC's 
owners-- the Yankee Network division of General TeleRadio, purchased 
WLAW. Meanwhile, the old WNAC frequency (1260) and some of its equipment 
got sold to Victor Diehm, who turned it into WVDA. Diehm got the best of 
both stations-- he also got WLAW's Boston studio, then in the Hotel 
Bradford.  Meanwhile, WLAW's 680 (and 50,000 watts) became the new WNAC, 
which already had a studio complex for AM, FM, shortwave, and TV, on 
Brookline Ave.  Some of the old WLAW air staff did get hired by WNAC. 
Others found work at other stations--  in the early 1950s, there were 
still a lot of radio stations on the air in Boston...

Donna L. Halper, PhD
Associate Professor of Communication & Media Studies
Lesley University, Cambridge MA

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