Gus Saunders, 680 WNAC Boston | June 16, 1961

Gus Saunders, 680 WNAC Boston | June 16, 1961

Unlike many of Boston’s “historic” radio stations, the story behind WNAC and it’s personalities isn’t quite as well documented as 680s later incarnation as Top 40 formatted WRKO. We know that Gus Saunders did news on WNAC for a time and we know from this aircheck that Roy Leonard was heard doing morning drive, although for how long is a mystery.

Much of what we do know about the history of WNAC (WRKO) was written by Scott Fybush some two decades ago (last updated 02.25.2007) at the Boston Radio Archives:

WRKO is the descendant of Boston’s third licensed radio station, WNAC. WNAC was the key station in the Yankee Network, a regional radio network in the northeast. By the late 30s, WNAC was operating on 1230 AM, with 5000 watts from a transmitter in Quincy, Mass.; WNAC also had a sister station, WAAB on 1410. WNAC moved to 1260 and WAAB to 1440 in the shakeup of 1941; WAAB was moved to Worcester when the FCC eliminated duopolies in 1943. WNAC’s then owners, General Tire, purchased Lawrence’s WLAW 680 and WLAW-FM 93.7 (from the Hildreth and Rogers Company) in 1953, moving the WNAC callsign and programming to 680. As required by the one-to-a-market rule, the old WNAC 1260 was sold at the same time, to Vic Diehm Associates (where it would become WVDA, WEZE, WPZE, and now WMKI); WLAW-FM’s license was turned in. The current transmitter facility in Burlington was the one originally built in 1946-47 for WLAW; WLAW-FM once transmitted from bays atop the center tower.

The above is copyrighted text from // Garrett Wollman, Scott Fybush and Donna Halper. The link to the description of WNAC/WRKO at the Boston Radio Archives is HERE.

Gus Saunders is best known as the longtime host of “Yankee Kitchen” on WEEI 590 and WROL 950. Saunders also was a news reporter/anchor on the old WNAC-TV 7.

Toward the end of this aircheck, there is a few minutes of Jess Cain on 850 WHDH which is definitely worth hearing.


View this aircheck at our official Airchexx Classic Radio YouTube Channel (below)!


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