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Original 90-Year-Old WBZ Radio Towers Taken Down In Springfield

SPRINGFIELD (CBS) - The original broadcast towers for WBZ NewsRadio 1030 along I-91 in Springfield were taken down on Saturday.

The towers sat on top of the old Westinghouse plant in Springfield for 90 years. New owners of the former Westinghouse buildings have been clearing the plant property making way for a redevelopment.

Kurt Jackson, a broadcast engineer and tower expert who runs a tower maintenance company, designed and executed the plan to bring down the two 100-foot towers from the roof of the building, which was the original broadcast home of New England's first commercial broadcast radio station.

Jackson climbed the towers on Friday and attached a cable to the top of each tower. Then on Saturday afternoon, he attached the other end of the cable to a winch and then cut into the metal base of the tower structure, allowing the winch to pull the towers over.

Both towers came down without incident.

Prior to the towers coming down, Jackson attached a ham radio antenna in between the two towers and conducted what would be the final broadcast transmission to ham radio operators throughout New England and beyond.

Jackson and a handful of ham radio operators set up their equipment and broadcast from the current WBZ Mobile Newsroom using the original WBZ towers to broadcast their transmissions. The team spoke with more than 75 ham radio operators around the northeast and as far away as Pennsylvania.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030 recently celebrated its 90th anniversary on September 19, 2011.

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