So will the WBZ-AM and WBZ-FM calls change?

RadioInsight Community Forums Northeast Boston So will the WBZ-AM and WBZ-FM calls change?

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Nathan Obral 3 weeks, 1 day ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #178394

    Fenway1912
    Participant

    The calls on Sports Hub are pretty much irrelevant so I think that is a back burner issue but WBZ-AM is another story. ( as is KDKA-AM Pittsburgh)

    In Boston, Pittsburgh and Minneapolis CBS Television as used the calls on branding unlike stations in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

    How is this going to play out?

     

    #178395

    raccoonradio
    Participant

    Is there some kind of agreement where iHR and Beasley may be allowed to use WBZ calls for a period, then they must change?

    We had situations where same calls were used on AM,FM, TV then some changed but one entity could stop another owner from using them.So if I buy some AM or FM station and decide to call it WHDH, subject to FCC approval, doesn’t Ansin have the right to say, oh no, you can’t?

    Beasley has WBCN calls parked in Charlotte..CBS used to own 1660 there but Beasley got the station in a swap.How about WBCN 98.5? People think of BCN as progressive rock but remembet for years they had the Pats.

    #178409

    nowradioguy
    Participant

    In Boston, Pittsburgh and Minneapolis CBS Television as used the calls on branding unlike stations in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

    Would you kindly reword the above so I can understand what you are trying to say?
    #178415

    raccoonradio
    Participant

    May mean that Ch 4 brands as WBZ more than “CBS4”.

     

    #178418

    Eric Jon Magnuson
    Participant

    May mean that Ch 4 brands as WBZ more than “CBS4”.

    Correct.  The same also applies in Baltimore–although, to be fair, the WJZ calls weren’t used for radio locally up until a decade ago.  (Conversely, KYW-TV in Philadelphia uses “CBS3” as its primary branding.)

     

    #178422

    Bill Recto
    Participant

    May mean that Ch 4 brands as WBZ more than “CBS4”.

    Correct. The same also applies in Baltimore–although, to be fair, the WJZ calls weren’t used for radio locally up until a decade ago. (Conversely, KYW-TV in Philadelphia uses “CBS3” as its primary branding.)

    In San Francisco the CBS O&O’s are referred by Call letters like KPIX 5 for CBS programming and KBCW for CW programming plus some CBS shows that gets pre-empted by KPIX 5 because of News and sports reasons.

    I say nothing is going to happen with the WBZ Call letters though for now on the radio side just management changes today.

    #178423

    Joseph_Gallant
    Participant

    Some years ago, the FCC loosened call letter regulations in what became known as the “WMAQ Rule” (named after Chicago’s WMAQ radio and TV; when WMAQ owner NBC got out of the radio station ownership business, the radio station was able to keep the call letters WMAQ-AM even though it was no longer under common ownbership with WMAQ-TV). I believe that under the rule, WBZ-1030 and 98.5 could keep their existing call letters (more information on this would be appreciated!).

    However, I could see WBZ-98.5 change call letters to WSPH (as far as I know, WSPH is avaialble, and it does spell-out “SPorts Hub”. This is something that (if the WSPH call letters had been available then) CBS should have done when the Sports Hub got launched.

    #178431

    Eric Jon Magnuson
    Participant

    Some years ago, the FCC loosened call letter regulations in what became known as the “WMAQ Rule” (named after Chicago’s WMAQ radio and TV; when WMAQ owner NBC got out of the radio station ownership business, the radio station was able to keep the call letters WMAQ-AM even though it was no longer under common ownbership with WMAQ-TV). I believe that under the rule, WBZ-1030 and 98.5 could keep their existing call letters (more information on this would be appreciated!).

    From a purely regulatory/FCC-based view, the WBZ calls should be able to stay on both stations.  However, there’s also the sales agreement to deal with–and the big unknown there (for me, at least) is whether any rights that CBS Corporation gave Entercom regarding shared call letters would be transferred to a different owner of one of those stations (i.e., iHeart for the AM, or Beasley for the FM).

    #178444

    nowradioguy
    Participant

    May mean that Ch 4 brands as WBZ more than “CBS4”.

    For those who were not aware: WBZ-TV ceased using the “CBS4” identifier several years ago. There was even an on-air campaign during one of the Super Bowls that “WBZ-TV was back!”
    Two anecdote from a Boston Globe article:
    (1) at one of the industry awards dinner, some folks from a rival TV station said to the good folks from channel 4 sitting at an adjacent table: “Hey, if you don’t want the WBZ call sign, we’d love to have it!”
    (2) a cab driver picked up the new channel 4 GM at the airport. The GM said to the cabbie, “Take me to CBS4, please.” The cabbie said, “CBS4? Hey, whatever happened to WBZ-TV?” As the story goes, the GM took this to heart, did some research, and the CBS4 moniker was dropped, despite what the other CBS TV O&O’s were doing.
    #178445

    nowradioguy
    Participant

    Some years ago, the FCC loosened call letter regulations in what became known as the “WMAQ Rule” (named after Chicago’s WMAQ radio and TV; when WMAQ owner NBC got out of the radio station ownership business, the radio station was able to keep the call letters WMAQ-AM even though it was no longer under common ownbership with WMAQ-TV). I believe that under the rule, WBZ-1030 and 98.5 could keep their existing call letters (more information on this would be appreciated!).

    From a purely regulatory/FCC-based view, the WBZ calls should be able to stay on both stations. However, there’s also the sales agreement to deal with–and the big unknown there (for me, at least) is whether any rights that CBS Corporation gave Entercom regarding shared call letters would be transferred to a different owner of one of those stations (i.e., iHeart for the AM, or Beasley for the FM).

    Someone on the other message board posted in response to one of my obviously lame queries: “What is ‘unknown’ about iHeart? They’re acquiring WBZ. Things change; get over it.” So, now, how can you possibly say we the WBZ-AM call sign’s being transferred to iHeart is a “big unknown”?
    #178446

    Eric Jon Magnuson
    Participant
    Someone on the other message board posted in response to one of my obviously lame queries: “What is ‘unknown’ about iHeart? They’re acquiring WBZ. Things change; get over it.” So, now, how can you possibly say we the WBZ-AM call sign’s being transferred to iHeart is a “big unknown”?

    Basically, it boils down to this:  The overall sales agreement between Entercom and CBS Corporation includes items about how Entercom can continue using the shared call letters (e.g., WCBS, KCBS, WBBM, and WBZ here) on those radio stations.  While there’s a lot of latitude regarding those rights (albeit a bit less when it comes to WCBS and KCBS specifically), I don’t think that anyone has explicitly said that Entercom’s rights regarding those call letters would automatically go along with any stations that ended up being owned by someone else.  In other words, it’s possible (although I wouldn’t say probable) that the agreement allows CBS Corporation and/or Entercom to essentially have a say in whether the call letters could be maintained on stations that aren’t ending up with Entercom.

     

    #178447

    nowradioguy
    Participant
    Someone on the other message board posted in response to one of my obviously lame queries: “What is ‘unknown’ about iHeart? They’re acquiring WBZ. Things change; get over it.” So, now, how can you possibly say we the WBZ-AM call sign’s being transferred to iHeart is a “big unknown”?

    Basically, it boils down to this: The overall sales agreement between Entercom and CBS Corporation includes items about how Entercom can continue using the shared call letters (e.g., WCBS, KCBS, WBBM, and WBZ here) on those radio stations. While there’s a lot of latitude regarding those rights (albeit a bit less when it comes to WCBS and KCBS specifically), I don’t think that anyone has explicitly said that Entercom’s rights regarding those call letters would automatically go along with any stations that ended up being owned by someone else. In other words, it’s possible (although I wouldn’t say probable) that the agreement allows CBS Corporation and/or Entercom to essentially have a say in whether the call letters could be maintained on stations that aren’t ending up with Entercom.

    Eric, I didn’t misunderstand you; I was just being facetious. To me, anything surrounding iHeart in this entanglement is still a big unknown.
    #178471

    Nathan Obral
    Participant

    Neither WBZ or WBZ-FM have to change their callsign. Both have the opportunity to keep the calls on a long-term basis with CBS.**

    For ol’ 1030, it’s obvious, as they’ve been known as “WBZ” for well over 95 years… but 98.5 has been known as “The Sports Hub” since day one. That’s their identity. They don’t need to retain the WBZ-FM calls; Beasley could use any callsign – heck, even WBCN – on 98.5, and it wouldn’t make any difference to the average listener.

    One other thing to consider: iHeart has no need to either move or simulcast 1030 WBZ’s programming on FM, nor is there any need to use the WBZ-FM calls on any of their existing FM signals. So there’s no urgency for the current WBZ-FM to change calls.

    ** However, had Cox traded to attain 1030 and 98.5, there would have been the little issue of both stations becoming co-owned with a TV station that’s a direct competitor to WBZ 4. Of course, that didn’t happen.

    Recorded in Ultra Stereo, the ultimately superior cousin to Normal Stereo!

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