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WGN Channel 9 - Station Sign-On (1980)

Here is a mostly complete Station Sign-On from WGN Channel 9. The National Anthem was cut.

The announcer doing the Station ID at the beginning is Carl Greyson and the voiceover for the Sign-On is Steve Hunter.

Followed by "WGN Television - 24 Hours a Day" ID with "Last Farewell" music (voiceover by Steve Hunter); which in turn is followed by part of opening titles of William Tell (a.k.a. The Adventures of William Tell), a British-produced syndicated adventure series that lasted 39 episodes from 1958 to 1959 and starred Conrad Phillips in the title role.

This aired on local Chicago TV in 1980.

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This clip aired in 1980, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

Since this sign-on announcement would have been a stock tape that was plugged in every morning, the announcer over the ID slide was probably just the studio announcer on duty.

I think the program was called "The Friendly Giant" or something...it was out of Europe.

Comment posted by SuperCFL on Wednesday, April 9th 2008 at 9:38am.

At first I thought it was "Robin Hood", but now that I think about it, I'm not really sure what that opening was. Too bad it wasn't "Sea Hunt" :-)
Comment posted by madsixtian on Wednesday, April 9th 2008 at 5:07pm.

The voiceover for the still of the receiver dish; I am pretty sure that was Carl Greyson. The VO. for the rest; I am not sure.
Comment posted by armitagenlowell on Wednesday, April 9th 2008 at 9:46pm.

I believe that show at the end is "The Adventures of William Tell" which was a syndicated UK import from the 1950's. I remember seeing it as a kid, but I didn't know it was shown as late as 1980.
Comment posted by bobk on Thursday, April 10th 2008 at 8:17pm.

Definitely Carl Greyson at the start like armitagenlowell said and unmistakably Len Johnson for the rest of it.
Comment posted by Erniebaud on Friday, April 11th 2008 at 4:53am.

You are correct that is The Adventures of William Tell. British show from the late 50's. WGN use to run this and the Biography series very early on weekend mornings.
Comment posted by telefrank on Saturday, April 12th 2008 at 6:45am.

At the end of this clip, it reminds me SO MUCH of the Ricola cough drop ads!
Comment posted by mgg75 on Monday, April 14th 2008 at 7:28pm.

Didn't the theme go like "HECANTELL, HECANTELL, HECANTELL"????.
Comment posted by Telenews on Friday, May 16th 2008 at 9:51pm.

Has a complete version of this sign-on (with the National Anthem intact) ever turned up?
Comment posted by SuperCFL on Sunday, June 21st 2009 at 9:37am.

So, that's what the '80s NAB bug looks like up close. I remember when Paramount Network Television used it between 1980 and 1982 on most of their shows including "Happy Days" and "Mork & Mindy." At least one or two Stephen J. Cannell shows had it also.
Comment posted by RocketBoy on Friday, June 10th 2011 at 12:56pm.

So if WGN serves viewers "24 hours a day," as they say in the station ID in this clip, why was there a sign-on announcement?
Comment posted by KBA on Friday, June 10th 2011 at 1:11pm.

A formality at this point. Sister-station WPIX Channel 11 in New York had a daily sign-on during the 1980's and into the '90's that can be found here (as voiced by the late Bill Biery who, along with Ralph Lowenstein, was the "Voice of 11 Alive" during that period).
Comment posted by W.B. on Friday, June 10th 2011 at 1:39pm.

The announcer doing the sign-on is Steve Hunter, not Len Johnson.

I always had the same question as KBA. For whatever reason, they would always do the entire sign-on routine every morning around 5:00 or so, even though they'd been broadcasting all night. Maybe it was some sort of legal requirement or something?

William Tell was a great show! It's been released on DVD, although for some reason they replaced the opening music on the DVD release, though with the same video (I believe).

Comment posted by RLaPorte on Sunday, January 29th 2012 at 3:16pm.

Sign-on V/O info changed, and info on what program was shown at the end of this clip added, to description.
Comment posted by W.B. on Sunday, January 29th 2012 at 4:59pm.

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This clip has been viewed 7371 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, April 9th 2008.
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Comment posted in WMAQ Channel 5 - Editorial 5 - "ERA for Illinois" (1976) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, June 27th, 2016 at 9:25am CT

Hold the presses - we started getting a difference of opinion in the WMAQ alumni group as to who the VO person actually was. I am trying to sort it all out but it seems likely that it is actually Jerry Mitchell, and not Henry "Hank" Cooke. More details as they become available on these FuzzMem stations, and on FuzzyMemories' Overnight.


Comment posted in WMAQ Channel 5 - Editorial 5 - "ERA for Illinois" (1976) by W.B. on Sunday, June 26th, 2016 at 10:44am CT

P.S. Modified clip description to correct the spelling of the esteemed editorial director.


Comment posted in WMAQ Channel 5 - Editorial 5 - "ERA for Illinois" (1976) by W.B. on Sunday, June 26th, 2016 at 10:39am CT

Aha, Henry Cooke. How long was he with WMAQ? Ditto for Lorry Young.

As for Lee Hanna - he was brought in by parent network NBC to 'MAQ in 1976 to try to lift the station from last place, after propelling NYC sister station WNBC Channel 4 to the top with its 2-hour "NewsCenter4" newscast. Alas, for a variety of reasons, Mr. Hanna's tenure at WMAQ didn't work out and he was gone by 1978. Ron Powers, in the 1980 edition of his book "The Newscasters: The News Business As Show Business," had a section about Mr. Hanna's ill-fated WMAQ foray in his chapter of the ups and downs of WNBC's "starship newscast."


Comment posted in WMAQ Channel 5 - NewsCenter5 Update, Break & Today Excerpt (1975) by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, June 25th, 2016 at 2:59pm CT

Finally able to ID the other WMAQ-TV voiceover person featured in this clip - Henry Cooke. Thanks to Deb Segal.


Comment posted in National Pride Car Wash (Commercial, 1980) by ER3017 on Saturday, June 25th, 2016 at 1:40pm CT

I checked and there are in several in the chicago reigon


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Family Classics With Frazier Thomas - "Boys Town" (Opening, 1981) by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 at 10:35pm CT

Upgraded the video file on this one.


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I remember drinking those diet sodas back in the '70s. They had a nasty aftertaste, almost tasted like metal.


Comment posted in Asch and Associates - "Bill Cassidy Commercial Demo Reel" (1975?) by W.B. on Friday, June 17th, 2016 at 4:19am CT

In some ways, the Asch logo is reminiscent of a portion of the logo for WNET Channel 13 in Newark, NJ / New York City, as used from c.1972 to about 1977. I wonder if the same designer did both logos?


Comment posted in Mattel - "Mork & Mindy Toys" (Commercial, 1979) by LaPrincess on Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 at 9:27pm CT

For some unexplained reason I received the Mork and Mindy game from some program that was giving all the kids toys for Christmas because so many apparently were poor (we weren't so I don't know why they included all kids). Anyway it was a card game and one of the creatures on the card was called oopadoo and we would call one of our dogs that.


Comment posted in WBBM Channel 2 - So You Think You Know Chicago? (Part 2, 1974) by OldTVNut on Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 at 8:05pm CT

Why is it when I watch this, I end up thinking of the Weird Al Yankovic video "I Lost On Jeopardy"?


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