While the stations of the Boston media landscape have remained (mostly) constant for the past few years, there was a time of great change in the city.
The year is 1982. WCVB has been making waves with its NewsCenter5 format for four years after having been restarted in 1972 and rebranded in 1978. WBZ, then an NBC affiliate, was still a powerhouse but was quickly losing ground to channel 5. The smaller players, WLVI and WSBK, were still a few years away from their current iterations, and WXNE on channel 25 was a non-factor. This leaves WNAC, the old channel 7.
WNAC had been founded in 1948, two weeks after WBZ. Owned in conjunction with several other radio outlets under RKO General, WNAC had operated without issue until the end of the 1970s. At this point, the shady corporate dealings of its parent company caught the eye of the FCC when it came time to renew the broadcasting license. Due to a lengthy investigation by the federal government, the FCC decided to strip RKO General of all of their broadcast licenses. The winning applicant for the Boston license, New England Television, purchased the intellectual property and facilities from RKO in order to cut their losses. Hit the jump for a history of the new station’s first newscast.