WHRC-TV, Channel 46 (Ind.)

Norwell, Massachusetts (12/6/86 - 09/19/89)
Owned by The Massachusetts Channel 46 Corporation

  • WHRC-TV began its' short life as WRYT-TV at 12 noon on Saturday, December 6, 1986. The facilities were modest, at best. They were using an old TTC TV transmitter, designed for translator use. The antenna was perched high above the transmitter site on a 300 foot self-supporting tower. The studios ? There was no live camera facilities. The facility consisted of the transmitter, 2 U-matic video tape decks, an audio mixer, a satellite receiver, a Quanta character generator (very primitive) and an EBS unit. That was it. It was located inside of an old bathroom of a video store in Hanover, MA, just off of Route 3. The tower and antenna are still there, though the station has long since moved away. The total output power (ERP) was 6,000 watts. The transmitter was only capable of 800 watts. It was the minimum facility for a "full-powered" TV station. That would be the status for Channel 46 until April, 1988. At that time, WRYT became WHRC-TV from a new temporary Brockton site with 952,000 watts of visual power from high above Cary Hill on Bedford Street. The station was "state-of-the-art" with a new 60 kW UHF transmitter, 12 U-Matic decks, several satellite receivers and other assorted sundry items. Channel 46 had fairly good cable coverage, as well, including Boston and the suburbs.

  • However, all that changed in November, 1988 when WHRC was forced to leave the Brockton site due to the weight of the antenna, which was side mounted toward Boston. The tower owners were concerned of ice forming on the antenna and possibility of a tower collapse due to the extra weight. The station was silent for two months until a new Foxboro site was arranged and installed. A major problem with the Foxboro site was that the tower was NOT wired for "three-phase" voltage. So, Channel 46 had to improvise with a diesel generator. UHF transmitters use a lot of juice to run, and the generators (all three of them) took a beating. It was just too much for them to handle this high powered transmitter. One by one, they failed. Technically the station was a disaster. Half the time, the color signal was non-existent. The station was not in good economic straits from day one. Slowly but surely, by the summer of '89, it was all falling apart. Program distributors were not being paid and other creditors not being paid, as well. The owner was going through a messy divorce in California (a 50/50 ownership state), which didn't help matters much. The station was on the block with several suitors wanting to buy. The owner never got the price he wanted. Meanwhile, our paychecks were bouncing, all the way to the bank.

  • Finally, the diesel fuel supplier said "enough is enough". With that in mind, at 1:13 PM on September 19, 1989, the generator drank its' last drop of diesel. The operator on-duty, namely "yours truly" knew what happened. After the transmitter went silent, I turned off the console for the last time, put my key on the rack, put on my coat and locked the building and left. I NEVER DID get paid for those last eight weeks worth of work.

  • Channel 46 would be silent for over eight years, until Paxson Communications bought the license in December of 1996. Today, WWDP-TV, Channel 46 is owned and operated by Shop NBC. ON A PERSONAL NOTE: I had the distinct pleasure of being one of the FIRST Master Control Operators of the new reborn Channel 46/WHRC in December, 1996 (now known as WWDP). Originally, Channel 46 was part of the PAX-TV Network as WBPX-TV. As of June 14, 1999, the station reverted back to broadcasting infomercials, 24 hours a day. On September 18, 2000, WWDP began broadcasting the Spanish network Telemundo during most of their broadcast day. On July 1, 2002, the Telemundo affiliation came to an end and moved on to ZGS Broadcasting's WTMU-LP, Channel 32 in Boston and eventually was joined in simulcast mode with NBC owned and operated WNEU (formerly WGOT and WPXB) Channel 60/Merrimack, NH. At the present time, WWDP broadcasts the Shop NBC home shopping service, 24 hours a day. The PAX-TV affiliation is now on WBPX-TV, Channel 68 in Boston, as well as full-powered satellite stations WPXG/Channel 21 in Concord, NH and WDPX/Channel 58 in Vineyard Haven, MA. It is the same license dating back to 1986. WWDP-TV will be switching to VHF-DT Channel 10 on February 17th, 2009 at midnight on the night of the final Digital Transition. Channel 46 analog will leave the air at the same time.

    History written and updated on 12/13/2008 by Peter Q. George 1