Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Welcome back WBZ-TV now bring back Eyewitness News too

Our friends at posted a blog entry from the Herald that the suits over at 1170 Soldiers Field Road want to their TV station to be known again as WBZ-TV.


Why CBS executives ever made the change in the first place makes you wonder if they used to work at the T. WBZ is the most famous call sign in New England and one would think that they would want to cross promote the television station with WBZ Radio1030 which practically everyone has a preset button for because of news/weather and traffic updates. But someone, probably in New York decided that the station must be known as CBS4. CBS did this with the majority of stations they owned ( with major exceptions in Pittsburgh-KDKA and Minneapolis-WCCO )but they figured if we can trash the WCBS-TV name in New York, we can do the same in Boston.

For many of us who grew up in Boston WBZ-TV was family. It was Boston's first television station when it began programming on June 9, 1948. Many of us have fond childhood memories of Big Brother Bob Emery and Boomtown with Rex Trailer (who is still going strong).The station was best known for local news. We welcomed Victor Best, Arch McDonald, Jim Jensen, Tom Ellis, Tony Pepper, Jack Chase, Don Kent, Liz Walker, Bob Lobel, Bruce Schwoegler, Jack Williams into our homes. People came to trust Eyewitness News whenever a major story broke. It was never a major storm unless Shelby Scott was outside being blown away in it. The station however fell on hard times in 1995 when it switched network affiliations from NBC to CBS a changed forced by WBZ's owner Westinghouse buying CBS Television. The station even deleted its history page from their website because it was so tied in with NBC. Channel 7 which had never been a major force in the TV news area suddenly overtook Channel 4 in ratings and competed neck and neck with Channel 5. The station also suffered when Liz Walker retired to become a minister and they tried a number of new faces with no success. While the station is still ranked third in news ratings behind Channels 5 and 7 things have improved since Jack Williams was returned to the anchor job he never should have lost to begin with.I hope with the station bringing back the call letters WBZ-TV they would also consider bringing back the Eyewitness News slogan the station used for nearly 30 years.
Some of you may remember these musical themes that WBZ-TV used over the years
WBZ-TV History (3:04)

WBZ-TV Sports History

So as you can see WBZ-TV has had a glorious history as a local station and we are pleased that CBS has seen the errors of their ways.


Dani B. said...

Great move by WBZ. I hated when they switched to CBS4 Boston. It was terrible and generic sounding as if we were some small podunk market. WBZ has character.

Anonymous said...

Though WBZ call letters are back in the spotlight, it will never be the same. Don't take this wrong, but they lost me due to these changes. The CBS switch, which was FORCED destroyed them,...BUT GOOD. I hope CBS sells them and WSBK.