|Channels||Analog: 32 (UHF)|
|Founded||May 15, 1957|
|Call letters' meaning||W
WRLP came into existence because of the technical limitations UHF stations faced in the 1950s. The Springfield market was designated as an all-UHF market because it was too close to Boston, Hartford and the Capital District for VHF service. This area is very mountainous, making UHF reception difficult. Soon after WWLP signed on, the station's owners, the Putnam family, realized that much of the northern portion of the market—including Greenfield, Brattleboro, Vermont and Keene, New Hampshire--could not get an acceptable signal. They decided to open WRLP as a full-time satellite of WWLP.
The station debuted on May 15, 1957. WRLP came from Roger L. Putnam, brother of WWLP founder William Putnam. The transmitter was located on Gunn Mountain in Winchester, New Hampshire; one of the highest points in the region. The station could also be seen in Springfield as well, creating a strong combined signal with over 50% overlap.
For its first 17 years, WRLP was a money-bleeding full-time satellite of WWLP. However, in 1974, the Putnams and their company, Springfield Television, decided to air separate programming on WRLP in prime-time, including a fully separate newscast. It picked up Boston Bruins, Celtics and Red Sox telecasts, and soon appeared on cable systems across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and upstate New York. At one point, 70% of the station's audience was on cable. Unfortunately, cable coverage was not factored in by advertisers at the time, so WRLP reaped almost no windfall from its large cable audience. The station continued to lose money.
Finally, the Putnams ran out of patience, and WRLP went off the air on April 9, 1978 with almost no fanfare. Almost immediately afterward, the station's transmitter was dismantled and transported to Utah to start KSTU in Salt Lake City.