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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 6350 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, April 9th 2008.
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Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - The Gong Show (Commercial Break #1, 1978) by Studio76Art on Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 at 11:52pm CT

The song playing at the end of "We've Got the Hits" is "Whenever I Call You 'Friend'" by Kenny Loggins, which was his first hit as a solo artist.


Comment posted in ON TV - Subscription Television Chicago (1983) by Zappi on Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 at 3:01pm CT

This video should definitely be recaptured, it's much lower quality than later videos on here.


Comment posted in Grange Dodge (Commercial, 1978) by HUdson 3-2700 on Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 at 12:44pm CT

Seeing the van in the high weeds with its door open makes me think that the driver is off burying someone...


Comment posted in Old Chicago - "Charlie Baffle" (Commercial, 1977) by Brian1978 on Monday, July 28th, 2014 at 9:52am CT

I'm WAY too young to remember Old Chicago, but from looking at these old commercials, it looks like it was an indoor type of amusement park, kind of like what Camp Snoopy or I think it's Nickelodeon Land at Mall of America. Am I right?


Comment posted in Old Chicago - "Monsters of the Midway" (Commercial, 1979) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, July 28th, 2014 at 9:43am CT

@Brian1978 - Well, they did air the same commercial that day (almost - see below) but the one posted here did come from an entirely new and undiscovered Bozo's Circus episode that I found, which aired on Wednesday, July 11th 1979.

By the way, the version of this ad that did air during Chicagofest interestingly has a slightly different opening title card - all in white versus the oscillating multi-color seen here. Take a look.


Comment posted in Old Chicago - "Monsters of the Midway" (Commercial, 1979) by Brian1978 on Monday, July 28th, 2014 at 9:09am CT

This was the second commercial during the first break of the special, "Bozo at Chicagofest" taking place on August 3rd, 1979. I will always think of it being after the commercial for Dispensa's Kiddie Kingdom.


Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - AM Chicago (Preview & Pre-Show Break, 1981) by Studio76Art on Sunday, July 27th, 2014 at 8:02pm CT

Wow, old post! Anyway, that's Steve Vinovich ("Mannequin") as the hapless father in the Aunt Jemima ad.


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Big Movie - "Waterloo Bridge" (On-Screen Station ID & Commercial Break, 1978) by Studio76Art on Saturday, July 26th, 2014 at 8:23pm CT

I like that several minutes of the film was shown, even if it was just for the onscreen ID. After watching, I felt as if I actually earned that commercial break. :')


Comment posted in Spout (Commercial, 1979) by GalagaFleetCommander on Saturday, July 26th, 2014 at 3:14pm CT

"So whaddya got Johnson?"

"A brand new gum named for something your bathwater comes out of!...and wait until you see the commercial I came up with!"



Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Monstrous Movie - "I Was A Teenage Frankenstein" (Opening, 1981) by VintageCanada on Friday, July 25th, 2014 at 4:44pm CT

What? No MGM Lion here?


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