|Branding||7 NBC (general)|
7 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||The News Station|
|Channels||Analog: 7 (VHF) |
Digital: 42 (UHF) returning to 7 in 2009
NBC Wx+ (DT2)
|Founded||June 21, 1948|
|Call letters' meaning||taken from former sister station WHDH-AM|
|Former callsigns||WNAC-TV (1948-1982)|
|Former Affiliations||CBS (1948-1961, 1972-1995)|
ABC (secondary 1948-1957, full-time 1961-1972)
DuMont (secondary, 1948-1956)
|Transmitter Power||316 kW (analog)|
948 kW (digital)
|Height||306 m (analog)|
288 m (digital)
|Website||7 NBC's Website|
WHDH-TV ch. 7 is the NBC-affiliated TV station for Boston, Massachusetts, serving eastern Massachusetts & southern New Hampshire. It's transmitter is located in Newton, Massachusetts. Owned by Sunbeam Television, WHDH is sister to CW affiliate WLVI-TV. The 2 stations share studios located at Bulfinch Place (near Government Center) in downtown Boston.
The station is the largest NBC affiliate that is not a network-O&O station. Sunbeam Television, which is based in Miami, Florida, owns that market's FOX affiliate, WSVN. WHDH and WSVN share resources when covering each other's news.
WHDH offers NBC Wx+ on it's 2nd DT subchannel. Via digital cable, it's offered on Comcast ch. 297 and Verizon FiOS ch. 860.
History[edit | edit source]
Ch. 7 first went on the air on June 21, 1948 as WNAC-TV, the second TV station in Boston (12 days after WBZ-TV). It was owned by General Tire along with WNAC-AM 680 (now WRKO), flagship of the Yankee Network, a New England regional radio network. General Tire had purchased the Yankee Network in 1943. WNAC first broadcasted from studios at 21 Brookline Avenue (which had also been home to WNAC radio and the Yankee Network) before moving to it's current facilities at 7 Bullfinch Place near Government Center in 1968.
In 1950, General Tire bought the West Coast regional Don Lee Broadcasting System. 2 years later, it bought the Bamberger Broadcasting Service (WOR-AM-FM-TV in New York City) and merged it's broadcasting interests into a new division, General Teleradio. General Tire bought RKO Radio Pictures in 1955 after General Tire found RKO's film library would be a perfect programming source for WNAC and it's other TV stations. The studio was merged into General Teleradio to become RKO Teleradio, after the film studio was dissolved, the business was renamed RKO General in 1959.
WNAC-TV was originally a CBS affiliate, but shared ABC programming with WBZ until 1957 when (the original) WHDH-TV signed on ch. 5. It switched affiliations with WHDH in 1961 and joined ABC. It stayed with ABC until 1972, when ch. 5 lost it's license. The owners of the station that replaced it, WCVB-TV, planned to air more local programming than any other station in the country, heavily preempting CBS programming in the process. CBS was not pleased at the prospect of massive preemptions on what would have been it's 2nd largest affiliate and largest affiliate on the East Coast. It immediately moved back to WNAC, leaving WCVB to affiliate with ABC. However, WNAC utilized the version of the circle 7 logo it had adopted in 1973 until 1977, when ABC complained it was infringing on it's trademark & it began using a Times-Serif-Italic "7." In 1980, a stylish, strip-layered "7" was introduced, which ended up being the last logo redesign under RKO General ownership.
2 legendary Boston TV personalities had shows on WNAC: Louise Morgan, who hosted a talk show and was known as "New England's First Lady of Radio and TV" and Ed McDonnell, who as the costumed (as an astronaut) character "Major Mudd," hosted a popular children's show in the 1960s and early 1970s.
By 1965, RKO General faced numerous investigations into it's business and financial practices. Though the FCC renewed WNAC's license in 1969, RKO General lost the license in 1981 after General Tire admitted to a stunning litany of corporate misconduct as part of a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Among other things, General Tire admitted that it had committed financial fraud over illegal political contributions and bribes. However, in the FCC hearings, RKO General had withheld evidence of General Tire's misconduct and had also failed to disclose evidence of accounting errors on it's own part. In light of RKO's dishonesty, the FCC stripped RKO of the Boston license & the licenses for WOR-TV in New York and KHJ-TV in Los Angeles. The FCC had previously conditioned renewal of the latter 2 stations' licenses on WNAC's renewal. An appeals court partially reversed the ruling, finding that RKO's dishonesty alone merited having the WNAC license yanked. However, it held that the FCC had overreached in tying the other 2 license renewals to WNAC's renewal & ordered new hearings.
RKO appealed this decision, but after almost 2 years of legal action agreed to a settlement in 1982. It agreed to sell ch. 7 to New England Television, a merger of 2 of the original rivals to the station's license controlled by Boston grocery magnate David Mugar. The transfer took effect on May 22, 1982. At that time, the station's call letters were changed to WNEV and the "7" logo was dropped in favor of a new SE7EN logo. This logo would change to one of a number 7 made up of seven dots in 1987.
In 1990, Mugar bought WHDH (850 AM, frequency now occupied WEEI) and renamed the TV station WHDH-TV. Those call letters had previously been used by what is now WCVB from 1957 until 1972. In fact, the call letter change took place on March 12, 1990 - 18 years to the day they had last been used on Ch. 5. In June 1993, WHDH-TV was sold to Sunbeam Television of Miami (controlled by Ed Ansin), who still owns the station today. Shortly afterward, it adopted it's present circle 7 logo, the same one also used by WSVN.
Over the years, ch. 7 as WNAC had preempted little network programming. As WNEV, the station prempted programming in moderation, in favor of more locally-produced shows. The preempted programs often aired on WHLL (now WUNI-TV). From 1989 to 1990, the station delayed CBS This Morning in favor of a children's show called Ready To Go. In February 1994, CBS This Morning was dropped & picked up by WABU (now WBPX). WHDH then began an expanded morning local newscast.
WNEV/WHDH also had exclusive rights to Lottery Live, broadcasting the state lottery games 6 nights a week from the fall of 1987 until February 1994. Originally hosted on WNEV by Andi Waugh, she was replaced within a year & a 1/2 by Dawn Hayes, who began her long run as host during this era. For the majority of it's time (or heyday) on Ch. 7, both drawings of the evening were played during the last 2 commercial breaks of Jeopardy!. The daily Numbers Game drawing would always air at 7:52 p.m. (following the conclusion of "Double Jeopardy!"), while the specialty game of the evening (e.g. Mass Ca$h) would air at 7:58 p.m. Weekend hosts for this era included Linda Ward, Linda Frantangela and Jill Stark (who sometimes filled in for Hayes on weekdays from 1993 to 1994). After WHDH changed ownership in 1993, the games were subsequently moved over to WCVB-TV, ch. 5.
WHDH stayed with CBS until January 2 1995, when WBZ took over the CBS affiliation as part of a group deal between CBS and WBZ's owner, Group W. FOX considered an affiliation deal with WHDH. but since FOX already owned WFXT, WHDH took over the NBC affiliation, ending ch. 4's 47-year affiliation with NBC. Since joining NBC, ch. 7 has cleared the entire NBC lineup.
Between 1996 and 1997, WHDH also produced a mid-morning weekday newsmagazine for the NBC network called Real Life.
In May 2006, WHDH began offering NBC Wx+.
On September 14, 2006, it was announced that Tribune Broadcasting would sell WLVI-TV, Boston's The CW affiliate, to Sunbeam Television, owners of WHDH and WSVN, for $117.3 million, after much speculation that Sunbeam would buy WLVI. The sale was approved by the FCC in late-November giving Boston it's 2nd TV duopoly (the other one being WBZ-TV and WSBK-TV). WLVI moved from it's Dorchester studios to WHDH's facilities in downtown Boston.
DTV[edit | edit source]DT channels
Analog-to-DT conversion[edit | edit source]
After the analog TV shutdown and DT conversion, which is tentatively scheduled to take place on June 12, 2009, WHDH-TV will move it's DT broadcasts back to it's present analog ch. 7.
News operation[edit | edit source]
As WNAC-TV, the station was the first to promote a newscast with a jingle called Move Closer to Your World in 1970. 2 years later, the station's news director moved to WPVI-TV in Philadelphia and took the theme music with him, where it became famous. It was also during that time that a young news personality by the name of Chuck Scarborough assumed the role of lead anchor at the WNAC news department. Scarborough would later move on to WNBC in New York, where he remains today and be prominently featured on NBC News.
For many years, WNAC-TV was a distant 3rd behind WBZ-TV and WCVB. However, due to Scarborough's presence & those of other up-and-coming journalists, the station had begun to be fairly competitive with WCVB and WBZ in the early 1970s. For a brief period in 1974, WNAC's 6:00 p.m. news actually catapulted from 3rd place to 1st, thanks in part to it's new hit lead-in, Candlepins For Cash, a local bowling show which had premiered the previous year. However, WNAC's news operation wasn't able to maintain this momentum for long; the RKO fiasco caused a sharp drop in the ratings.
By the time New England Television bought the station, a massive attempt to bring ch. 7 as WNEV out of the ratings basement occurred with the infamous "dream team" headed by Tom Ellis & Robin Young. Ellis had previously maintained WBZ's dominance in the news market and then helped WCVB reach #1 during his tenure there (1978-82). Young, on the other hand, had no hard news experience but was well-known to Boston viewers as former co-host of Evening Magazine. Despite a massive influx of capital and marketing (including the launch campaign "There's A New Day Dawning" and a highly-financed promotional campaign employing the refrain "Feel Good About That"), the "dream team" failed to take the market by storm.
What would follow for WNEV's news in the next few years was more shakeups, both in talent and identity due to ongoing sagging ratings, starting with the axing of Robin Young from the news in late 1983 (she would remain on the station as the host of specials and events through 1987). Tom Ellis would remain on with a more suitable co-anchor replacement, Diane Willis, but by 1986, Willis left and Ellis was demoted from anchoring to a smaller role. At that time, WNEV then promoted a shining talent from other dayparts, Kate Sullivan and newcomer Dave Wright to become the new lead duo. Ellis, meanwhile, left the station altogether at the end of that year. In September 1987, numerous changes occurred when R.D. Sahl, another anchor from other slots joined Kate Sullivan as her new partner on weeknights. That same month, WNEV became the 1st Boston TV station to launch a 5:00 p.m. newscast, which was anchored by Dave Wright & Diana Williams (who moved to her current job at WABC-TV in 1990). Although WNEV/WHDH would spend the rest of it's years under Mugar in the ratings basement, Sahl became regarded as the strongest figure the station had going for it, at 1st with Sullivan and then her early 1990s replacement, Margie Reedy. In addition, ch. 7's news identity constantly changed under Mugar, changing from NEWSE7EN (1982-84) to The New England News (1984-1988) to News 7 New England (1988-1990) to News 7 (1990-1993).
Amid all the local prominent journalists who attempted to leverage WNEV's news, a few future national talents had brief stints at the station in the 1980s. Bill O'Reilly, long before his national exposure on Inside Edition and FOX News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, co-anchored NEWSE7EN Weekend in 1982-1983. Soon after, O'Reilly also became the host of the station's weekday afternoon talk/lifestyle program, New England Afternoon (which replaced the ill-fated 2-hour magazine show Look, canceled after it's 1st season). His successor on the weekend newscast was Paula Zahn, now a well-renowned newswoman of many TV networks, who co-anchored with Lester Strong from 1983-85. Later, for 6 months during 1988, future Today host Matt Lauer hosted WNEV's mid-morning talk show Talk of the Town. Then in the early '90's, 2 more would later hit the big time: Edye Tarbox, who was an anchor/reporter at WHDH from 1990 to 1992, now goes by the name E.D. Hill & has been at FOX News Channel since 1999. Rehema Ellis, who anchored and reported at WHDH in the same period, is now with NBC News.
However, there were abrupt changes when Sunbeam bought the station in 1993. New station owner Ed Ansin brought Joel Cheatwood, the creator of WSVN in Miami's fast-paced news format, to Boston. Most of the station's prominent newscasters, including R.D. Sahl, wanted nothing to do with Cheatwood and promptly resigned. Cheatwood introduced a considerably watered-down version of the WSVN format. However, it was still shocking by Boston standards.
Nevertheless, the new format soon rejuvenated WHDH's ratings, especially after switching to NBC. For most of the last decade, WHDH has waged a spirited battle for 1st behind long-dominant WCVB. In 2002, WHDH was noted as having the best newscast in the US in a study published by the Columbia Journalism Review. In previous studies, the station was deemed as having 1 of the worst newscasts.
The station, in partnership with MetroNetworks, launched the TrafficTracker truck during the Democratic National Convention held in Boston in 2004. With traffic reporter Marshall Hook behind the wheel of 1 of the station's live vehicles, WHDH became the only station in the market to produce live traffic reports from the road. They continue to launch the TrafficTracker during snowstorms, including the December 13, 2007 storm that resulted in paralyzing commutes that, in some cases, exceeded 7 hours.
As of August 2006, WHDH airs the Boston area's only weekday 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. news. Before this point, WBZ-TV also broadcasted the news at this time.
As of December 19, 2006, WHDH has been producing WLVI's nightly 10:00 p.m. news under the name 7 News at 10 on CW 56.
WHDH shares it's resources with WJAR, the NBC affiliate for the state of Rhode Island & Bristol County, Massachusetts, for news coverage of southeastern Massachusetts. WWLP, the NBC affiliate in Springfield, shares it's resources with WHDH for news coverage of western areas of the state.
The station operates a Bell LongRanger 206L news helicopter entitled "Sky 7." The station's weather radar is presented on-air as "Storm Scan Doppler" with a signal coming from the radar at the National Weather Service local forecast office in Taunton.
On February 29, 2008, it was reported that the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike caused a significant loss in viewers during the late news. WHDH-TV finished at 11:00 p.m., with an average of 166,100 total viewers, down from 199,900 viewers in 2007.
On May 23, 2008, the station preempted an appearance of Alan Alda on the daytime show, "Live With Regis & Kelly" to report a minor news event. Because the news event posed no immediate public threat, the station was criticized for censorship via preemption.
On July 29, 2008, WHDH began doing broadcasts in HD, complete with a 16:9 Aspect Ratio. It's the 2nd station in Boston to broadcast news in HD, with WCVB-TV being the 1st. It also revealed a new TV studio & graphics for a more compatible look with their sister station (WSVN, which curiously remains without HD news).
News/Station Presentation[edit | edit source]
Newscast Titles[edit | edit source]
- Yankee News Service (1953-1959)
- Television 7 News/TV-7 News (1959-1964)
- The Boston 7 Report (1964-1970)
- New England Today/New England Tonight (1970-1972)
- Boston 7 Newsroom (1972-1974)
- Newsroom 7 (1974-1982)
- NEWSE7EN (1982-1984)
- New England News (1984-1988)
- News 7 New England (1988-1990)
- News 7 (1990-1993)
- 7 News (1993-present)
News team[edit | edit source]
- Adam Williams - weekday mornings and at Noon
- Anne Allred - weekday mornings and at Noon
- Matt Lorch - weeknights at 4:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 10:00 p.m.
- Kim Khazei - weeknights at 4:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m.
- Randy Price - weeknights at 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 11:00 p.m.
- Frances Rivera - weeknights at 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m., and 11:00 p.m.
- Steve Cooper - weekend mornings and reporter
- Christa Delcamp - weekend mornings
- Brandon Rudat - weekend evenings and reporter
- Lauren Przybyl - weekend evenings and reporter
- Pete Bouchard (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief seen on weeknights
- Dylan Dreyer (AMS Seal of Approval) - weekday mornings and at Noon
- Jeremy Reiner (Certified Broadcast Meteorologist) - weekends
- Joe Amorosino - Director seen on weeknights at 6:00 p.m., 10 p.m., & 11:00 p.m.
- host of BMW Sports Xtra
- Larry Ridley - weekend evenings and sports reporter
- Julie Donaldson - sports reporter
- Kevin Shea - fill-in
7 FastTrak Traffic
- Marshall Hook - weekday afternoons
- TrafficTracker Truck reporter
- Karen Kiley - weekday mornings
- Kevin Michaels - weekday morning fill-in
- Jim Ryan - weekday afternoon fill-in
- Byron Barnett - host of Urban Update
- Johnathan Hall - investigative
- Dan Hausle - fill-in anchor
- Andy Hiller - political editor and "Hiller Instinct" segment producer
- Dr. Deanna Lites - health
- Hank Phillippi Ryan - "Hank Investigates" segment producer
- Janet Wu - fill-in anchor
- Romeo - entertainment segment weeknights at 10:00 p.m.
- Sorboni Banerjee
- Victoria Block
- Linda Ergas
- Grant Greenberg
- Nicole Oliverio
- Michelle Relerford
- Ryan Schulteis
- Victoria Warren
Past personalities[edit | edit source]
- Katy Abel - parenting beat reporter (1992-1999)
- Teri Adler - reporter (1997-2005, now working in real estate)
- Eddie Andelman - sports critic at large (1974-1979)
- Garry Armstrong - reporter (1971-2002)
- Juli Auclair - reporter (2002-2006)
- Caterina Bandini - anchor (1995-2006)
- Susan Banks - anchor (1981-1982, last at WKBW-TV in Buffalo, now retired)
- Amalia Barreda - reporter (1982-1992, now at WCVB)
- Linda Blackman - reporter (1975-1977, now a motivational speaker)
- Barbara Borin - sports (1975-1977)
- Dave Briggs - sports reporter (2004-2008, now at CSN New England)
- David Brudnoy - commentator (1973-1983, deceased)
- Gayle Sinibaldo-anchor/reporter (1976-1979, now retired)
- Susan Burke - anchor/reporter (1981-1983)
- Terry Casey - Fill-in & Senior Weather Producer (1994-2007, now at WCVB-TV)
- Kim Carrigan - anchor (1994-2001, now at WFXT)
- Christine Caswell - reporter (1994-2000)(now at NECN & Boston College)
- Tom Chisholm - weather (1987-1995) now at WMTW Portland, ME
- Liz Claman - weekend anchor/reporter (1994-2000, now at FOX Business News)
- Eric Clemons - sports anchor/reporter (1991-1994)
- Jack Cole - anchor (1975-1981, deceased)
- S. James Coppersmith - GM/station manager (1970s)
- John Corcoran - arts and entertainment reporter (1985-1989)
- Joe Day - longtime political editor (1982-1993)
- John Dennis - longtime sports anchor (1977-1997, now at WEEI-AM)
- Jeffrey Dederian Reporter (1996-2001, later worked in Rhode Island)
- Jack Edwards - sports reporter/anchor (1988-1991, now at NESN)
- Sara Edwards - arts and entertainment reporter (1991-2003, now at CN8)
- Rehema Ellis - weekend anchor/reporter/Urban Update host (1985-1993, now at NBC News)
- Tom Ellis - anchor (1982-1986, now @ NECN)
- Debbie Enblom - entertainment reporter (1989-1991, now at PR firm)
- Bob Faw - reporter (1970, now at NBC News)
- Carmen Fields - reporter/host of Higher Ground (1979-1986, now working in public relations for KeySpan)
- Bob Gamere - Sports anchor and host of Candlepins for Cash (1975-1982)
- Gary Gillis - sports anchor/reporter (1983-2004)
- Jeff Glor - anchor/reporter (2003-2007, now national correspondent for The Early Show)
- Gerry Grant - anchor (1993-94)
- Todd Gross - chief meteorologist (1984-2005, now at KTVX-TV)
- Dolores Handy - weekend anchor (1986-1989)
- Peter Henderson - reporter (1987-1994)
- Sean Hennessey - reporter/anchor (1996-2007, now at WCBS-TV)
- John Henning - reporter/anchor (1964-1968, 1977-1981, deceased)
- Brad Holbrook - anchor/reporter (1980-1982)
- Tanya Kaye - reporter (circa 1977-??)
- Kristy Kim - morning anchor/reporter (1997-2001, now Kristy Lee at NECN)
- Nichelle King - weekend anchor/reporter (2005-2007, now at WPTV)
- Janet Langhart - special features reporter ("Janet Langhart's Special People" on NEWSE7EN, 1982-1983)
- Matt Lauer - Talk of the Town host (1988, now the co-host of The Today Show on NBC)
- Gene Lavanchy - sports anchor (1993-2003, now at WFXT)
- Mike Lawrence - reporter (1982-1998)
- Mike Leavitt - reporter; Southern MA bureau chief (circa 1977-??)
- Roy Leonard - anchor (1958-1967)
- Harvey Leonard - longtime chief meteorologist (1977-2002, now at WCVB)
- Maurice Lewis - anchor (1972-1979)
- Phil Lipof - anchor/reporter (2001-2006, now at WABC-TV)
- Kate Lurie - weekend anchor/reporter (1998-2000) PR consultant
- Mike Macklin - reporter (1994-2007)
- John Marler - Anchor at 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 11:00 p.m. (1995-1998) husband and wife anchor team
- Cathy Marshall - anchor (1995-1999) wife and husband anchor news team
- Chris May - anchor until 2006 now at KYW-TV
- Darlene McCarthy - noon anchor (1992-1997)
- Mish Michaels - meteorologist (1992-1999, now at WBZ-TV)
- Wendi Nix - Weekend Sports Anchor (2002-2006, now at ESPN, occasional guest on Sports Extra)
- Miles O'Brien - reporter (1987-1989, now at CNN)
- Ted O'Brien - anchor (1974-1981)
- Bill O'Connell - Sports Anchor (1982-1984)
- Bill O'Reilly - weekend anchor (1982-1983, now at FOX News Channel)
- Ryan Owens - reporter (2001-2006) works for ABC, former co-host of World News Now, currently a network correspondent
- Paul Reece - reporter (circa 1977-??)
- Margie Reedy - anchor (1990-1993, recently at NECN)
- Mary Richardson - anchor (1978-1980, now at WCVB)
- Angela Rippon - Arts & Entertainment (1984-1985) returned to BBC in the UK
- Dave Rodman - reporter (1970-1977)
- R.D. Sahl - anchor (1983-1994, now at NECN)
- Ron Sanders - reporter (1979-1998, now at WBZ-TV)
- Chuck Scarborough - anchor (1972-1974); now at WNBC in New York
- Steve Sheppard - reporter (1971-1978) with ABC News (1978-1982)
- Samantha Stevenson - anchor/reporter (1971-1973)
- Lester Strong - anchor/Urban Update host (1984-2000)
- Kate Sullivan - anchor (1984-1990)
- Mike Taibbi - investigative reporter (1977-1983, now at NBC News)
- Edye Tarbox - anchor/reporter (1990-1992, now E.D. Hill at FOX News Channel)
- Garvin Thomas - reporter (1997-2002, now at KNTV in San Francisco, CA)
- Jilda Unruh - investigative reporter (1994-1997)
- Lyn Vaughn - anchor/reporter (1979-1983)
- Dr. Fred Ward - weather (1971-1979)
- Ken Wayne - reporter (1971-1979)
- Mark Wile - Weekend anchor/reporter (1985-1989)
- Diana Williams - anchor (1987-1990, now at WABC-TV in New York)
- Diane Willis - anchor (1983-1986, now in Missouri)
- Chikage Windler - meteorologist (2000's, now at KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities)
- Dave Wright - anchor (1986-1988, later at ATV in Nova Scotia, now retired)
- Robin Young - anchor (1982-1987, now at WBUR-FM)
- Paula Zahn - anchor/reporter (1983-1985)
- Jay Scott - anchor (1978)
- Stuart Soroka - weather (1972-1979) deceased
- Craig Stevens - weekend anchor/reporter (1997-1999 now anchor at sister-station WSVN in Miami)
- Cynthia Vega - freelance reporter (1998-1999, now at WFAA-TV in Dallas)
Out-of-market coverage[edit | edit source]
WHDH-TV is 1 of 6 local Boston TV stations seen in Canada on the Bell TV satellite provider. It's also carried via the Anik F1 satellite to several Canadian cable companies, particularly in Atlantic Canada. Other cable systems also carry WHDH, such as Citizens Cable Television in the Thousand Islands region of New York State & Bermuda CableVision.