The Newsroom

Is NBC prepping to end affiliation WHDH 7 Boston?

A battle is brewing in Boston. NBC is again at loggerheads with Sunbeam (December 2015)

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MO
Mouseboy33
http://www.newenglandone.com/media/k2/items/cache/0bf5bc097f33c250825823673984474e_XL.jpg
NE NewsOne
An interesting story is happening in Boston tv. Speculation is rife that NBC is planning to pull its affiliation with long-time NBC station WHDH 7. The relationship with WHDH's owner Sunbeam and NBC has always been strained for years. NBC and Sunbeam battles go way back to Miami and WHDH's sister station WSVN Ch7, and the big affiliate swap that happened there in the late 80s/early 90s.

In Boston, there is speculation that NBC could move NBC programming from WHDH Ch 7 to the Telemundo affiliate WNEU Ch 60 (which is already owned by NBC). This change would mean a huge drop down the dial for a major market. NBC would then push the Telemundo affiliation to a digital channel like 60.1. NBC also already own NECN (New England Cable News) a 24hr cable news channel. So a existing news team is already in place to cover Boston and all of New England. Speculation further hotted up when WHDH's chief meteorologist left WHDH to join NECN and also at the local FOX affiliate WFXT, a popular female chief anchor suddenly quit and hasnt said where she is going. Leading many to speculate she may jump to NECN and the new NBC Boston station. It seems to observers that NBC is stacking the deck for this switch.

Sunbeam's owner has repeatedly refused to sell WHDH and WSVN over the years. Most insiders think that if NBC pulls this off, would WHDH have to utilize the programming on its CW affiliate station (WLVI) that it already owns? WLVI would then become independent or align with an digi-net.

http://www.newenglandone.com/news/local-news/item/1284-beantown-breakup-nbc-actually-leaving-whdh.html

http://www.adweek.com/tvspy/pete-bouchard-maria-stephanos-nbc-and-rumors-at-bostons-whdh/160543

Boston Herald has nice article
http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/television/2015/12/nbc_dials_up_heat_ch_7_set_to_lose_network_affiliation_in_2017
Last edited by Mouseboy33 on 22 December 2015 6:39pm - 2 times in total
HB
HarryB
I know this would go off topic, but affiliates in USA are named in four letters - for example in the above post, it has, WHDH, WSVN, NECN etc. I've never actually been able to work out what these stand for in relation to the region.

So also, does a broadcaster, Fox, NBC, ABC etc work with the region?

I think in Los Angeles it is, theres a ABC7?! Who decides to have a 7? Wink
MO
Mouseboy33
The short version:
The tv stations (including radio stations) can choose and must register with the FCC what their callsign is. (NECN is not a call sign, its just the cable channel name..like CNN). And they are required by law to show or mention on air their registered call sign on the hour every hour. In general most stations east of the Mississippi river start with W and those west of the Mississippi start with K. (There are couple of exceptions. KDKA -2 in Pittsburgh is one such anomaly) Also In Canada all stations call letters start with a C and in Mexico they start with an X.

Not sure what you mean when you say does a broadcaster work with the region. Sorry.

Many of the major ABC stations are Ch 7. WABC -NY is Ch7 and KABC - LA is Ch7, but KGO- SF and WLS- Chicago are also Ch7 as well but dont have unique call letters. (ex: WLS Chicago stands for W orld L argest S tore, when it was owned by Sears and WGN Ch9 stands for W orlds G reatest N ewspaper as it was owned by the Chicago Tribune Newspaper. WGN is also a AM radio station) Same thing for NBC and CBS. Those original legacy stations were able to secure the network call letters back in the day. Unfortunately for FOX...the call letters for KFOX were secured for a station in El Paso TX and WFOX were secured by a station Jacksonville FL.

When you hear ABC7 or NBC4 or CBS2. There are not call signs. This is merely marketing crap dreamed up by the network branding depts a few years ago. Many stations (especially network owned and operated stations) use his "branding" to link the station to the network in viewers minds. This practice started in the late 90s when networks insisted or mandated that the affiliates incorporate the network logo and somehow the network name. That is why you get these long newscast names and odd looking logos with the network logo attached like a pimple. So now you get a mix of branding some stations proudly only use their call signs but will feature a network "pimple" logo or some will be called NBC6 or ABC24 or FOX5.
Sunbeam owned stations always shunned network logos. Especially WSVN. They never referred to or hardly ever showed the FOX logo. And their news casts never did either. WHDH would show the NBC logo and initially they even used the NBC chimes on their newscasts, but that practice pretty much stopped. Though you will see the NBC logo at times, it would never be called NBC 7. They preferred to be called Channel 7. Actually most Americans will refer to a station as Channel [X] rather than say ABC7.

WSVN Ch7 Miami stand for S E V E N
Last edited by Mouseboy33 on 22 December 2015 6:54pm - 3 times in total
southern_boy and Markymark gave kudos
TI
tightrope78
I know this would go off topic, but affiliates in USA are named in four letters - for example in the above post, it has, WHDH, WSVN, NECN etc. I've never actually been able to work out what these stand for in relation to the region.

So also, does a broadcaster, Fox, NBC, ABC etc work with the region?

I think in Los Angeles it is, theres a ABC7?! Who decides to have a 7? Wink


As in most things read Wikipedia!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_affiliate
NY
NYTV
I know this would go off topic, but affiliates in USA are named in four letters - for example in the above post, it has, WHDH, WSVN, NECN etc. I've never actually been able to work out what these stand for in relation to the region.

So also, does a broadcaster, Fox, NBC, ABC etc work with the region?

I think in Los Angeles it is, theres a ABC7?! Who decides to have a 7? Wink


The broadcasters own and operate some stations (referred to as O&O) per a limit set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), while the rest are owned by independent owners/ companies.

The W and K in the call letters are as follows:
"W" means East of the Mississippi River and "K" is West of the Mississippi. (save for Louisiana and Alabama)
And as for the rest of the call letters, it could stand for the former legal name of the network (e.g. KABC & WABC- American Broadcasting Company, KABC & WNBC- National Broadcasting Company) or named after the inaugural owner of the station (WABD - Alfred B. Dumont. WABD would later be WNEW and is currently WNYW) or may be just an assortment of letters separate from programming/ network.
SK
Skygeek
I used to live in Boston and did my apprenticeship over there, so I am intimately familiar with its local news market - to the extent of being friends with many of its journalists (of the on and off-air variety) more than a decade after I moved back to the UK.

The fun story behind the letters WHDH is that New England has a longstanding, vibrant fishing industry, and what's now an NBC-affiliated TV station was once a pirate radio station operating off a trawler, so its call letters stood for: "We Haul Dead Haddock".

True story!
Last edited by Skygeek on 22 December 2015 7:21pm
MA
Markymark
During a recent trip to Boston and New England, I noticed a Vermont station (based in Burlington) that was
both a Fox affiliate and one of the other three (can't remember which one) The same local news team presented a show on Fox at 10pm, and the other network at 11pm (I think !) Is that 'double affiliation' common ?
MO
Mouseboy33
It becoming more and more common. Its called a duopoly. WHDH owns CW affiliate WLVI and they broadcast 7 News on that channel as well. There are situation where another channel that doenst have a newscast will contract to another station to do a broadcast. For example WCIU 26 Chicago (branded as The U) has a broadcast at 7pm created by market leading WLS 7 (branded as ABC7 Eyewitness News). It has the clunky name of ABC7 Eyewitness News on WCIU the U. Its a mouthful. [url] http://www.wciu.com/shows/abc7[/url]
Last edited by Mouseboy33 on 22 December 2015 8:00pm
MO
Mouseboy33
I used to live in Boston and did my apprenticeship over there, so I am intimately familiar with its local news market - to the extent of being friends with many of its journalists (of the on and off-air variety) more than a decade after I moved back to the UK.

The fun story behind the letters WHDH is that New England has a longstanding, vibrant fishing industry, and what's now an NBC-affiliated TV station was once a pirate radio station operating off a trawler, so its call letters stood for: "We Haul Dead Haddock".

True story!


Well I wouldnt say it a true story. But its a nice ancedote.
According to the Call Letter Orgins website:
"WHDH, Boston originally had studios on the water in Gloucester. Its calls never really stood for We Haul Dead Haddock, but it was often said that they did".
So i would say its call letter origins are murky....or fishy Rolling Eyes at best. I'd say it probably got that reputation because for years it was all was in last place. And was always dead in the water behind WCVB (ABC) and WBZ (CBS) until Sunbeam took over and tabloid-ized the station and the ratings increased dumping WBZ into last place. But there has been few affiliation swaps in Boston in the past. Channel 7 has only had those call letter since the 90s, i think.
You can check out alot more about the call letters and the origins at this site.
http://nelson.oldradio.com/
Last edited by Mouseboy33 on 22 December 2015 8:25pm - 2 times in total
SK
Skygeek
I used to live in Boston and did my apprenticeship over there, so I am intimately familiar with its local news market - to the extent of being friends with many of its journalists (of the on and off-air variety) more than a decade after I moved back to the UK.

The fun story behind the letters WHDH is that New England has a longstanding, vibrant fishing industry, and what's now an NBC-affiliated TV station was once a pirate radio station operating off a trawler, so its call letters stood for: "We Haul Dead Haddock".

True story!


Well I wouldnt say it a true story. But its a nice ancedote.
According to the Call Letter Orgins website:
"WHDH, Boston originally had studios on the water in Gloucester. Its calls never really stood for We Haul Dead Haddock, but it was often said that they did".
So i would say its call letter origins are murky....or fishy Rolling Eyes at best.
You can check out alot more about the call letters and the origins at this site.
http://nelson.oldradio.com/

Only going by what my old pals at the station told me!
RK
Rkolsen
I used to live in Boston and did my apprenticeship over there, so I am intimately familiar with its local news market - to the extent of being friends with many of its journalists (of the on and off-air variety) more than a decade after I moved back to the UK.

The fun story behind the letters WHDH is that New England has a longstanding, vibrant fishing industry, and what's now an NBC-affiliated TV station was once a pirate radio station operating off a trawler, so its call letters stood for: "We Haul Dead Haddock".

True story!


Well I wouldnt say it a true story. But its a nice ancedote.
According to the Call Letter Orgins website:
"WHDH, Boston originally had studios on the water in Gloucester. Its calls never really stood for We Haul Dead Haddock, but it was often said that they did".
So i would say its call letter origins are murky....or fishy Rolling Eyes at best.
You can check out alot more about the call letters and the origins at this site.
http://nelson.oldradio.com/

Only going by what my old pals at the station told me!


A lot of times there may be backronyms created. But regarding WHDH they used to occupy Channel 5 in Boston but their FCC revoked their license to operate due to improprieties and the next day WCVB signed on. WCVB means W Channel V (five) Boston.

WHDH TV's call sign originated from its sister radio station whose call sign was assigned by the FCC in sequential order.
MO
Mouseboy33
Back on topic. Ed Ansin Sunbeam owner(which owns WHDH Boston and WSVN Miami) spoke out to the Boston Globe. Seems NBC keeps trying to screw him over. Like they did back in Miami in the early 90s when NBC pulled its affiliate from WSVN and bought WTVJ and WSVN was forced to affiliate with FOX, hence the birth of the OTT tabloid format that Sunbeam perfected at WSVN and transplanted to WHDH Boston. The tabloid was WSVN's saving grace to keep viewers by turning their news product into "must see programming".

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/12/22/ansin-owner-whdh-accuses-nbc-playing-hardball-with-channel-negotiations/o9giEDI4eYIoPeuzRbw8DN/story.html#

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