Call Letters Meaning on Wikipedia

Gary's Ice Cream
Mon Jun 10 12:56:22 EDT 2019

"We Have Dandy Halibut" instead?

Gary F.
Gary’s Ice Cream – Chelmsford Creamery, Inc.  Chelmsford, MA
Ice Cream College – classes in Massachusetts and Florida

-----Original Message-----
From: Boston-Radio-Interest <> On Behalf Of Donna Halper
Sent: Monday, June 10, 2019 12:08 PM
To: Jim Hall <>; Boston Radio Mailing List <>
Subject: Re: Call Letters Meaning on Wikipedia

On 6/10/2019 10:44 AM, Jim Hall wrote:
> I am always amazed at the "Call Letters Meaning" section of entries 
> for radio and TV stations on Wikipedia. I wonder who writes them (and 
> why). For example, WNEU in Merrimack NH has listed that its call 
> letters stand for "New (or Nueva)

I spend way too much time fixing errors on Wikipedia, especially with regard to radio history.  The "meaning" of call letters is a frequent area of contention.  Often, folks confuse an advertising slogan for what the call letters meant-- the call letters were often sequentially assigned back in the old days; but then the sales department retrofitted those calls with a slogan, and everybody in the audience assumed that's what the call letters must represent. As you and I know, many of the folks who contribute to Wikipedia are not media historians, so their contributions (although well-meaning) are sometimes not accurate. Fixing the mistakes is an ongoing battle, sad to say.  And no, WHDH never stood for "we haul dead haddock..." ;-)


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

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