February 7, 1967 — WNAC Staff Terminated
Nearing the time for the changeover from WNAC to WRKO, this article appeared in
The Boston Traveler, written by Television Editor Eleanor Roberts.
WRKO's granddaddy of a radio headache caused by fans screaming over the loss of Gus Saunders, Roy Leonard and Jim Dixon, Mary Sparks, Fred Gale and Palmer Payne, may be compounded by the possibility of an engineer's strike affecting both WNAC radio and TV.
As for the station's "magnanimous gesture" in offering "booth" jobs to the boys, some of them don't think it's all that altruistic. "Fire us and there's severance pay to consider," one man, who for obvious reasons, prefers to remain anonymous, said. "Put us in a 'booth' and if we get another job elsewhere — they save money."
"It's the cleanest sweep in 23 years even to the request to change the call letters to WRKO," Gus Saunders, who has been with the station since 1944, remarked. "It's ironic, because my Boston Kitchen show was one of their biggest moneymakers."
"We were No. 1 with the women in the ratings, had a waiting list of sponsors and when our cookbook was published, sold 15,000 copies at $1 each in three weeks. But that's show-biz, as they say."
Gus, like the others, will make the switch to TV but it's a far cry from having your own show to being relegated to "booth" work. Loyal fans are rallying to the aid of their favorites, even contacting sponsors, threatening to boycott their products if they continue to advertise on the station. But such gestures seldom accomplish anything.
(end of article)