The Yankee Network in 1936

1936 was a pivotal year in the history of Shepard's Yankee Network, operating out of WNAC 1230. In 1932, WBZ/WBZA had been leased to NBC, and were being operated as NBC Blue network stations. CBS saw the benefits of this arrangement, and decided that it would do better to control its Boston affiliate as well, and cut the middle-man (Shepard) out of the arrangement. After being rebuffed by WLAW 680 in Lawrence, CBS leased, and then exercised their purchase option on, WEEI 590, in September of 1936 when the affiliation contract with WNAC ran out. NBC was left looking for a new Red network affiliate, and found a ready partner in Shepard's Yankee Network and its key station, WNAC. According to ``The History of Boston Radio to 1941'', a doctoral dissertation by Gerald W. Kroeger on file in the Boston Public Library, the following stations were Yankee Network affiliates in 1936:

WLBZ	Bangor
WNAC	Boston
WICC	Bridgeport
WSAR	Fall River
WDRC	Hartford
WLLH	Lowell and Lawrence
WFEA	Manchester
WNBH	New Bedford
WCSH	Portland
WEAN	Providence
WPRO	Providence
WMAS	Springfield
WATR	Waterbury

The WDRC-WNAC connection would later prove significant in the early history of FM broadcasting in New England: Major Armstrong built a demonstration FM inter-city relay network for Yankee, linking the national networks in New York with WNAC by way of Meriden, Conn., and Paxton, Mass.; those relay stations later became the first WDRC-FM and WGTR (sister to WAAB) instantiations (neither of which were successful).

Shepard also operated the Colonial Network, key station WAAB, with mostly the same set of affiliates; stations shown in bold above were also Colonial stations. At this time, the Shepard radio interests employed over 800 people in Boston.

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