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Arch MacDonald

Arch MacDonald

Arch MacDonald (July 18, 1911, Fort Lauderdale, Florida – June 3, 1985, Needham, Massachusetts)[1] was a 20th-century American broadcast journalist and television pioneer in Boston.

MacDonald started in broadcasting at WPRO (AM) in Providence, Rhode Island.[1] He began working at WBZ (AM) radio in Boston in 1936. When WBZ-TV began television broadcasting in 1948 as an NBC affiliate, MacDonald was the station's first news anchorperson (not called that, as that term was not yet extant).[2] He hosted the station's first broadcast, shown at 6:15 PM on June 9, 1948.[3]

In 1969, after two decades at WBZ-TV, MacDonald was recruited away by WKBG-TV (UHF channel 56) to host its new 10:00 PM newscast, Ten PM News, the first prime time newscast on a commercial television station in the Boston market. The program (which was the first on-air job for Natalie Jacobson) was not a financial success and WKBG-TV dissolved its news department at the end of 1970. MacDonald remained at the station for another year and hosted a weekday morning interview program.[citation needed]

MacDonald at one time or another worked for all three network-affiliated television stations in Boston, and several radio stations, in the course of his 54-year career.[2] He worked up into the year of his death at 73, his last job being editorial director of WRKO radio in Boston.[1]

MacDonald was elected to the Academy of New England Journalists in 1967,[3] received the Governor's Award for lifetime achievement from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1983,[1] was honored at a 1984 ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, where a letter from Ronald Reagan describing MacDonald as "a Boston institution" was read,[1] and was elected to the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2009.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e United Press International (June 2, 1985). "Arch Macdonald, Boston Broadcast Journalist". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Arch Macdonald Dead at 73; Was News Anchor in Boston". New York Times. June 3, 1985. Retrieved April 21, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Donna Halper (June 9, 1998). "WBZ Timeline". Boston Radio. Retrieved April 21, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Our 2009 Inductees". Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 22, 2015.