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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 6464 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, April 9th 2008.
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You are correct. I can't believe I typed the wrong thing and no one caught it earlier!


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The F & M in Buffalo Grove was at Dundee and Buffalo Grove Roads, not Dundee and 12.


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There was also an F & M in Joliet off Larkin Avenue. Last I checked it was home to Big Lots.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Creature Features - "The Raven" (Opening & Bumper Excerpts, 1978) by AdoreSixtyFour on Monday, November 17th, 2014 at 1:59pm CT

I'm so glad this footage has turned up--I remembered seeing Creature Features in the late '70s and early '80s, but every historical reference I could find on the Interwebs told me that it ended in May 1976, so I assumed my memory was just wrong...until now! I also remember the simple opening with the blue slide. I must have been up late during summer vacation to see it, and I don't know which movie I saw (Kronos, maybe, since I remember seeing that on CF, though it only aired once in the "classic" era...when I was 9), but I remember being shocked (and thrilled!) to see it still on the air. I still have dreams about the show, too--usually that somebody has at least briefly revived it and I've stumbled across it on cable. (You listening Antenna TV? Cozi? This?)


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - Monster Rally Movie - "Opening Outtakes" (1976) by AdoreSixtyFour on Monday, November 17th, 2014 at 1:47pm CT

Wow...I remembered Monster Rally (I think I watched every local horror-film showcase in the '70s & '80s), but had completely forgotten this super-cool opening!


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These puppets were later used on a show called I.N.K. -- Interesting News for Kids. I thought it was on WMAQ, but maybe I'm wrong on that. The mic was named Mike Rafone, (get it?), and the show also featured a character who was a spider that looked like a black glove with a huge black pin cushion sewn onto the top of it. This is the ONLY reference I've seen to the show in years.


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - Monster Rally Movie - "Opening Outtakes" (1976) by Larkin Royal on Monday, November 17th, 2014 at 1:47am CT

Did this ever go anywhere, or was it just an opening, which was also used, (as I remember), as a commercial? I don't remember ever seeing the host doing any bumpers or skits, ala Svengoolie.


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - Monster Rally Movie - "Opening Outtakes" (1976) by NuBnPrnc2k on Sunday, November 16th, 2014 at 3:03pm CT

That was great! Put this with the Long Chevrolet Newsboy commercial.


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - Monster Rally Movie - "Opening Outtakes" (1976) by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, November 15th, 2014 at 7:42pm CT

The response to this clip was...shall we say...more muted than I expected. ;-) But I guess people are a bit ho-hum after 7 years of FuzzyMemories discoveries? :-)


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