WJZB-TV

WJZB-TV

Infobox Broadcast
call_letters = WJZB-TV
station_
station_slogan =
station_branding =
analog = 14 (UHF)
digital =
affiliations = Defunct
founded = 1953| location = Worcester, Massachusetts
callsign_meaning = W
J
ohn
Z.
Buckley
owner = Evans Broadcasting
former_callsigns = WWOR-TV (1953-1964)| former_affiliations = Independent (1953-55, 1964-69)
ABC (secondary, 1953-55)
DuMont (secondary, 1953-55)
"silent" (1955-58)
NBC (1958-64, secondary 1953-55 and 1964-69)

WJZB-TV was a television station in Worcester, Massachusetts, which existed on UHF channel 14 from 1953 to 1969.

The station signed on in December 1953 as WWOR-TV (no relation to the current New York City station), the second independent station in the Boston area. The transmitter was located on Asnebumskit Hill in Paxton, Massachusetts. It was a secondary affiliate of ABC and DuMont, and also cleared whatever NBC programs that WBZ-TV didn't air. Unfortunately, WWOR had signed on just after the FCC opened the UHF band, and television manufacturers were not required to include UHF tuning capability. Even with an expensive converter, WWOR's signal was marginal at best. No one was willing to advertise on a station that was barely viewable, and channel 14 went dark in 1955.

In 1958, WWOR's owners, Salisbury Broadcasting, merged with Springfield Television Corporation, owner of WWLP-TV in Springfield. The station returned to the air as a satellite of WWLP. It was only on the air for six hours a day to protect WBZ-TV. After six years, Springfield Television decided to turn channel 14 into the second independent station in the Boston area, under new call letters, WJZB (for John Z. Buckley, a WWLP staffer). It began airing Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics games, and also aired old movies, syndicated sports programs, travelogues and other standard independent fare. It also retained a part-time NBC affiliation. With a terrestrial footprint that covered Boston, Providence and eastern Connecticut, the station appeared to be on strong footing.

Unfortunately, the channel 14 transmitter was not capable of broadcasting in color. The station's fate was sealed in 1966, when Storer Broadcasting bought struggling independent WIHS-TV (channel 38) and changed the calls to WSBK-TV. WSBK immediately snapped up most of WJZB's stronger shows, including the Bruins. WJZB limped along for another year, until Springfield Television cut the station's operations back to 90 minutes a day, the minimum to retain the license. The station signed on at 6 pm and signed off at 7:30 pm, its sole programs being WWLP's evening newscasts and "The Huntley-Brinkley Report".

In 1969, Springfield Television sold WJZB to Buckley and his new corporation, Evans Broadcasting. Buckley planned significant upgrades, including a new color transmitter capable of 1 million watts of power. However, the studio and transmitter were destroyed by fire in the spring of 1969. The station never returned to the air, and Buckley returned the license to the FCC, which deleted it in 1971.

References

[http://www.geocities.com/radiojunkie1/wjzb.html Entry at UHF Morgue]


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