The History of WBZ NewsRadio: The 1940s

Among The Popular Live Vocalists On WBZ Were Hum And Strum (Left) And Georgia Mae (Right)

Among The Popular Live Vocalists On WBZ Were Hum And Strum (Left) And Georgia Mae (Right)Photo: WBZ NewsRadio

Transmitter Dedication

Transmitter DedicationPhoto: WBZ Archive Photo

July 27, 1940: WBZ dedicates its new 50,000 watt transmitter in Hull, MA. Atomic energy is part of the story, as the splitting of an atom of U-235 starts the transmitter and attracts considerable local news coverage. In keeping with the theme of new inventions, the mayor and governor are among those who try to predict what life will be like 25 years from now.

February 26, 1941: WBZ demonstrates the new FM technology on sister station W1XK, with a broadcast of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

March 29, 1941:WBZ moves from its previous location at 990 AM to its present dial location, 1030 AM.

October 26, 1941: Eleanor Roosevelt gives a talk from the WBZ studios; her broadcast is also carried coast to coast by NBC.

Malcom McCormack

Malcom McCormackPhoto: WBZ Archive Photo

1942: WBZ is very active in providing servicemen and women with the most news – the “Incentive Network Plan” offers 25 newscasts daily over a special closed circuit into the Charlestown and South Boston shipyards. Also in 1942, popular entertainer Malcolm L. McCormack begins to host an early morning feature, “The New England Farm Hour.”

Bump Hadley

Bump HadleyPhoto: WBZ Archive Photo

Spring 1942: Former major league pitcher Irving “Bump” Hadley joins WBZ as a sportscaster.

Carl DeSuze

Carl DeSuzePhoto: WBZ NewsRadio

April 1942: Carl DeSuze joins WBZ, beginning nearly four decades on the air.

June 15, 1942: WBZ switches from being an NBC Blue station and becomes affiliated with the NBC Red network. Also during that week, famous bandleader Fred Waring begins a week of live broadcasts.

January 8, 1944: WBZ inaugurates “New England Junior Town Meeting,” a current events discussion show for high school-aged students.

July 1944: Continuing its involvement with education, WBZ offers workshops, in conjunction with Boston University, for teachers who want to understand more about radio.

November 26, 1946: WBZ’s 25th anniversary celebration features performers from the early days along with current stars. Had you listened back then, you would have heard such popular entertainers as country singer Georgia Mae and her Buckaroos, vocalists like Ray Dorey and Chester Gaylord, and courageous Dotty Myles, who despite having been severely burned in 1942’s Cocoanut Grove fire, was making a musical comeback.

March 16, 1946: After commissioners of education from all six New England states hold a conference about radio in education, WBZ helps to form a committee that focuses on improving educational programs.

April 24, 1947: WBZ is awarded the First Annual Peabody Award for news commentary.

October 16, 1947: The cornerstone for the new WBZ Radio and TV studios is placed. A time capsule is buried, containing a taped transcription of a WBZ program, some 1947 Boston newspapers, a copy of the popular book Tom Swift and his Photo Telephone, and predictions about the future of radio and TV by various editors of newspapers and magazines.

June 1948: WBZ’s entire operation moves to Soldiers Field Road, where it still remains today. When WBZ-TV goes on the air, many of the WBZ radio announcers do double-duty, appearing on both radio and television. One of the first to do this is newsman Arch MacDonald.

Arch Mcdonald

Arch McdonaldPhoto: WBZ Archive Photo

Art Amadon

Art AmadonPhoto: WBZ Archive Photo

Dinny Whitmarsh

Dinny WhitmarshPhoto: WBZ Archive Photo

Majorie Mills

Majorie MillsPhoto: WBZ Archive Photo

June 17, 1948: WBZ moves to new studios on Soldier’s Field Road, with WBZ-TV.

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