AM in Boston after WW II was: WBZ-AM Allston backup is no more

Doug Drown
Wed Oct 21 09:04:29 EDT 2020

WTAG was, under the Telegram & Gazette and later under Knight, a 5 kw
regional station that operated as though it were a 50 kw clear channel
station --- a class act in every respect, with an excellent news staff
(including a Boston bureau), a longtime NBC affiliation, engaging air
personalities, and a strong signal that easily covered the whole county
plus well into western Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont ("NBC for
Worcester and all of Central New England").  All that having been said,
during the period of its newspaper ownership the station made a couple of
colossal blunders by not pursuing the Channel 5 allocation and then, ten
years later, selling off WTAG-FM, which became WSRS and almost immediately
became a huge success with its new Muzak-connected format.

In short: great management but lacking in foresight.  A bit of an enigma.
Go figure.

On Wed, Oct 21, 2020 at 3:47 AM Kevin Vahey <> wrote:

> WTAG was owned by the Worcester Telegram and Gazette and they obviously had
> political clout in Washington with the old FRC and then the FCC.
> Worcester at the time was the second-largest city in New England and still
> is today and civic and political leaders there resented Boston. That is the
> reason the Mass Turnpike when first built in 1957 did not have a direct
> Worcester exit.
> What baffles historians is that WTAG was granted the TV license for Channel
> 5 and they then decided they didn't want it. Was getting a network
> affiliation for a Channel 5 in Worcester an issue?
> Worcester had a vibrant AM market into the mid-'70s - WBZ was the only
> Boston station that factored.
> In 1975 that was shattered when WPJB-FM in Providence flipped to Top 40 and
> the station became huge in Central Massachusetts.
> On Wed, Oct 21, 2020 at 12:44 AM Martin Waters <>
> wrote:
> > Kevin Vahey wrote:
> > >
> > > 590 WEEI - Covered the market well plus the Merrimack Valley and South
> > Shore - Only 5kw but at 590 that wasn't an issue - The weakness was in
> what
> > would become Metro West because of WTAG at 580
> >
> >     It's always been a mystery to me that two stations both started
> around
> > 1925 ended up on first adjacent channels despite being located so close
> to
> > one another. It's hard to figure why in those early days, when frequency
> > assignments were shuffled around often and there were few stations on the
> > air yet, some other arrangement was not made.
> >

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