WBCN Moves Down to Ground Level For seven years WBCN broadcast from studios on the top of the Prudential Tower. Now they're back on ground level. Their new studios are located at 1265 Boylston Street, directly behind Fenway Park. Tony Barardini, WBCN's program director, cited a lack of space as the reason for the move-plus a dislike for riding the elevator 50 floors. "We needed more space, and the price for getting it on the 50th floor of the Prudential would have been exorbitant," he said. "Now we own our own building. It makes more sense financially." July 1980
WBCN's move in 1973 to the Prudential Tower-then the tallest building in town-was controversial from the start. Critics blamed the high rents and resulting financial pressures for the station's becoming more commercial and for its deviation from its original free-form style. Soon after the move, Andrew Kopkind, who did news commentaries for WBCN, wrote, "WBCN's retreat to the stratosphere atop the Prudential skyscraper is nicely symbolic of its isolation from the lives of its listeners." But over the last few years the sta11
tion regained much of its involvement with the community and its former zaniness, and the staff grew fond of their location and its bird's-eye view of the city. The latest move was accomplished in true WBCN style: with a live broadcast narrated by announcers Mark Paranteau and Tracy Roach from the St'-irfleet Studios bus as they traveled from the Prudential to the new studios. The new facility includes a huge air stL!dio-with room enough for
WBCN's large record library and .â€˘enough space left over to fit a rock band or two. There is also a large production studio and two smaller studios used for news and production. The news department-which previously worked out of a corridor -has a room of its own. In addition there is considerably more office space. WBCN's new address is 1265 Boylston Street, Boston 02215. The phone numbers remain the same: Listener Line 536-8000; Business 266-1111. MK
WITS Gets Power Increase The Federal Communications Commission has granted the application of WITS for a power increase and a transmitter move. The FCC action means that WITS may be able to retain its lucrative Red Sox contract. WITS presently broadcasts with 50,000watts day~ime but must reduce power to 5,000 watts at night. Its new authorization is for 50,000 day and night. The Red Sox believed that 5,000 watts at night was not enough to adequately cover the Boston area, and they made clear that if WITS did not get a power increase they would transfer the contract to one of the city's AM stations that did have 50,000 watts nighttime power. 12
The WITS application had been opposed by WNTN in Newton and WDLW in Waltham, both of which claimed the WITS's proposed transmitter location in Waltham would cause interference with their signals. The Committee for Community Access also wrote to the FCC expressing concern that the studio move contemplated by WITS from Boston to Waltham would make the station less accessible to talk show guests and to the public.