Call Letters Meaning on Wikipedia

Mon Jun 10 15:57:09 EDT 2019

We're all quite lucky to have Donna with us, who knows and has researched all of these good broadcasting tidbits. Three cheers for Donna!

<div>-------- Original message --------</div><div>From: Donna Halper <> </div><div>Date:06/10/2019  2:01 PM  (GMT-05:00) </div><div>To: Gary's Ice Cream <>, 'Jim Hall' <>, 'Boston Radio Mailing List' <> </div><div>Subject: Re: Call Letters Meaning on Wikipedia </div><div>
</div>On 6/10/2019 12:05 PM, Gary's Ice Cream wrote:
> I had always heard that since WHDH started on Cape Ann and a fish company
> was somehow involved that the callsign stood for "We Haul Dead Haddock".

It was started in Gloucester, by the Matheson family, who did not own a 
fish company as far as I know.  The father, John J. Matheson, had indeed 
been a captain on a fishing vessel many years earlier, but by the time 
WEPS (1926) and WHDH (1929) went on the air, the family ran a radio and 
electronics shop.  WHDH made its debut in June 1929, and soon opened a 
Boston studio in the Hotel Touraine. But because the city of license was 
still Gloucester, the station had promised to serve the fishing 
community; so every day, in the midst of the music and news and sports 
from Boston, there would be a program for the Gloucester and Cape Ann 
fishermen, and that may be where the joke originated.

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

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