WBZ: History Repeats Itself

It was late 1964 when I first heard WBZ-1030 in Boston from East Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver, Canada. WBZ suddenly won two honours simultaneously:

  1. My most distant DX to date, an honour that WBZ would hold for more than a year; and
  2. My favourite station for listening.

WBZ beat out WNBC-660, WABC-770 and WCBS-880 as my most distant DX catches. I had heard all three New York City stations for the first time less than two months earlier.

WBZ was my favourite because they played the latest Top 40 hits first, even before my previous favourite, WLS-890 in Chicago. In fact, a new song I heard that first night on WBZ took a full month before it was played locally in Vancouver. I tracked it traveling Westward across the continent, first to WLS then eventually to KJR in Seattle until finally reaching Vancouver’s radio stations.

History would repeat itself nearly 52 years later, on November 18, 2016, when I heard WBZ in Edmonton, Canada. Of course, the music is long gone, replaced by an All News format.

Unlike Burnaby, where WBZ was impossible to hear with KTWO in Casper, Wyoming moving to 1030 KHz a few years later than my first WBZ reception, WBZ can be heard most evenings underneath KTWO, though never before as clearly as that November evening when WHO Des Moines was heard sometimes stronger than CKST Vancouver on 1040 KHz.

KTWO’s night-time directional pattern reduces the signal enough in Edmonton to allow WBZ to be heard. I never heard a hint of WBZ with KTWO on the air when I lived in Burnaby thanks to KTWO’s strong signal pattern in that direction.