WBCN, Channel-13, and the old Hancock tower

A Joseph Ross joe@attorneyross.com
Thu Dec 2 00:53:30 EST 2021

It occurs to me that WTAG must have an interesting transmission pattern 
to avoid interference with 590 in Boston and 590 in Albany.

On 12/1/2021 9:20 AM, John Andrews wrote:
> On 12/1/2021 2:32 AM, A Joseph Ross wrote:
>> WSRS, which used to be WTAG-FM?  What's its story?
> Joe,
> WSRS was born as W1XTG on June 17, 1940, on 43.4 MHz from a turnstile 
> antenna mounted on WTAG's #2 tower in Holden, MA. It was owned, of 
> course, by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, with programming coming 
> from 18 Franklin Street in Worcester. The station would have been on 
> the air earlier, except the original three WTAG towers were leveled in 
> the 1938 Hurricane. Trivia: parts of that original turnstile antenna 
> are still visible about 20' down from the top of the #2 tower.
> The T&G bought 20 acres of land on Little Asnebumskit Hill in Paxton 
> in August, 1940. They filed an application for 300 kw from a 300' 
> tower at that site, but that app was a casualty of regulations and WWII.
> Programming during WWII was complicated due to labor shortages (the 
> station had an all-female staff at one point), network restrictions on 
> simulcasts, lack of revenue on the FM side, and so on. In 1944, the 
> call letters became WTAG-FM, and the frequency was moved to 46.1 MHz. 
> After the war, the 92-108 MHz band came along, and they moved to 102.7 
> MHz. That was done by hack-sawing the brass pipe used in the turnstile 
> antenna, after modeling by Prof. Hobart Newell at WPI showed that the 
> higher frequency signal would not be badly distorted by the shorter 
> antenna inside the tower.
> They moved to 96.1 MHz in 1947. The postponed move to the present 
> Paxton site was not done until December, 1948. Allowance in developing 
> that location had been made for TV operations on Channel 5 and Channel 
> 20, but they never took place for reasons covered in earlier email 
> trails on this reflector. The original Paxton tower was 192', and is 
> still there, and has an auxiliary antenna on it.
> As is well-known, WTAG-FM was sold to Norman Knight in 1963, and it 
> continued in Knight Communications' ownership until the Capstar sale 
> in the late '90s. They put up a new 330' tower in 1991, and that is 
> currently in use, although with an antenna less ice-sensitive than the 
> original.
> John Andrews (WTAG 1970-96)

A. Joseph Ross, J.D. · 1340 Centre Street, Suite 103 · Newton, MA 02459
617.367.0468 · http://www.attorneyross.com

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