Maine Broadcasting System/WCSH 6

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Maine Broadcasting System


One Congress Square

Henry Rines, husband of Adeline Rines and father of Mary Rines Thompson (site W10 and site SA01), founded Maine’s first commercial radio station as well as the WCSH 6 television station, NBC’s oldest network affiliate. WCSH 6’s radio tower initially stood atop Rines’s Congress Square Hotel (site S20), which became part of his new Eastland Park Hotel (site S03). There the station maintained its headquarters. After Henry’s sudden death in 1939, his son William ran it for several years until his early death in 1970. His sister Mary Rines Thompson then took over, at their mother Adeline’s request, as chairman of the board of what had become the Maine Broadcasting System. She was one of very few female executives in America who ran a major media enterprise. Portland had two such women: the other was Jean Gannett Hawley (site C06) Under Mary’s leadership, the station’s operations were relocated in 1977 to its present site. Mary retired in 1983, handing the reins to her son, Frederic L. Thompson. The company stayed in the family until 1998, when WCSH6 and its Bangor sister, WLBZ 2, were sold to Gannett Co., Inc. (no relation to Guy Gannett), publisher of over 1,200 publications, including USA Today.