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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 7521 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, April 9th 2008.
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Comment posted in WWJ Channel 4 - "Partial Station Sign-Off" (1978) by AnnArborMI90 on Sunday, October 23rd, 2016 at 9:13am CT

Channel 4 must have switched to using the Moog "Star-Spangled Banner" not long after this. That happens to be my personal favourite rendition of it.

Comment posted in Primetime Live - "Chicago Cubs - Wait 'Till This Year" (1989) by W.B. on Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 at 10:27pm CT

I'm certainly pullin' for the Cubbies to take the Series, for sure. Someone mentioned the Red Sox - one of the Cubs' execs who helped bring the team to their current position, was in charge at the Red Sox when they assembled the players that took home quite a few World Championships over this century.

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - Ending of Saturday Night Movie, Reflections and Station Sign-Off (1977) by W.B. on Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 at 8:55pm CT

And New York's Channel 7, WABC, also tended to show badly worn color prints of old movies. One screening of "The Best of Everything" [1959] in the mid-'80's on their "Late Movie" (with Alan Parker's "Unlimited Love" as the theme) was especially yellowish.

As for the bad color on this film, one person on YouTube speculated it may've been due to this being an Eastman print, fading over time.

Can anyone say with certainty what kind of color slide WLS used for their 1974 test pattern (inaugurated the year they began transmitting from their circular polarized antenna atop the Sears [now Willis] Tower), based on the 1984 sign-on and the extreme fading and discoloration seen thereon?

And finally, can anyone envision in their head how the "swirling stars" would have fared with Walter Raim's "Big Show" theme as used for years on WABC's "4:30 Movie" and their other movie shows?

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - Ending of Saturday Night Movie, Reflections and Station Sign-Off (1977) by AnnArborMI90 on Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 at 8:11pm CT

Our channel 7 in Detroit was also known for bad colour quality when they were showing old movies. I have a few movie recordings off of WXYZ from the early 80s, and "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying" has particularly bad colour quality.

Comment posted in WTTW Channel 11 - Doctor Who - "The Max Headroom Pirating Incident" (1987) by Smctopia on Thursday, October 13th, 2016 at 8:17pm CT

I don't think this was asked elsewhere but since he first tried to hack in to WGN and the Channel 11 audio makes several WGN references, is it possible "Max" prerecorded this and wasn't broadcasting it live?

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - Ending of Saturday Night Movie, Reflections and Station Sign-Off (1977) by Smctopia on Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 at 7:40pm CT

The woman in the AARP ad kind of sounds like Shirley Jones.

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - Ending of Saturday Night Movie, Reflections and Station Sign-Off (1977) by W.B. on Tuesday, October 11th, 2016 at 8:59pm CT

Would anyone out there know what kind of color system was used on that print of "The Guns of Navarone" for the color to go so bad? I know that the print would've been 16mm . . . and what was it about one of the RCA(?) film chains for the blacks on the circle 7 logo to be dark maroonish and the whites almost beigeish? And people thought that no two color cameras of the same model produced the same pictures?

Comment posted in JFK's First Trip to Chicago - "Lost" 16mm Footage (1961) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, October 10th, 2016 at 10:11pm CT

Thanks for the compliments and info, everyone. Hopefully we can incorporate the info into the description at some point.

Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - WGN Presents - "The Two Mrs. Carrolls" (Bumper Promo, 1984) by Burr-Rabbitt on Monday, October 10th, 2016 at 8:38pm CT

@69TH&STONY, that's what I'm talking about!!! I grew up in the IDA B.WELLS of of 37th st. With what you said to that added breeze that comes from the lake, especially on a warm summer night!!

Comment posted in JFK's First Trip to Chicago - "Lost" 16mm Footage (1961) by Tommy33 on Monday, October 10th, 2016 at 3:57pm CT

A little more info on this fascinating piece:
The motorcade is proceeding north on Dearborn in Downtown Chicago and it stops on Michigan Avenue in front of the Conrad Hilton Hotel where the CPD scuffle with a Secret Service Agent. You can see the Prudential Building (then the tallest building in the city) in the background. The protesters are demonstrating across the street from the hotel. That evening the President, Mayor Daley and the entourage leave the Conrad Hilton for the banquet at the Original McCormick Place which was totally destroyed by a fire in 1967. This footage is really something. Great find Fuzzy!

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