How Boston Stations Covered NBC Affiliation Change

By Kevin Eck 

After yesterday’s announcement of next year’s change in the Boston affiliation landscape, the local affiliates let viewers know about the changes in varying degrees of detail.

CBS-owned WBZ, Cox-owned WFXT and NBC-owned regional cable network necn reported the news in brief. WBZ repeated the speculation the signal would be broadcast through the Telemundo station WNEU. NBC-owned necn, which will share facilities with the new station, called it the first broadcast triopoly in the U.S. and assured viewers the signal would be broadcast over the air.

ABC affiliate WCVB did a live shot from outside WHDH and played up the perceived difficulty viewers would have in finding NBC programming. The package by reporter Kelly Tuthill also had an interview with Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, who has been called on by WHDH owner Ed Ansin to help his station keep the NBC affiliation.

WHDH had the most extensive coverage. The station featured a 3-minute report from Dan Hausle, who said NBC told him the new station’s signal would be broadcast from WNEU in New Hampshire. Hausle showed a coverage map to underscore how hard it would be for Boston viewers to watch their favorite NBC shows if that actually happened. The story also underscored the support for Ansin’s argument with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

WHDH’s story went on to paint a rosy future, using Ansin’s Miami station WSVN as an example. WSVN lost its NBC affiliation in 1988 and is now one of the strongest Fox affiliates in the nation.

7News Boston WHDH-TV