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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 7913 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, April 9th 2008.
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For anyone who knows their jingle production companies: Can anyone say for certain which firm would have done that for this station at the end of htis commercial?


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - The Honeymooners (Bumper #1, 1979) by W.B. on Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 at 2:22pm CT

I should also note that at the time that bus was first purchased, both New York City Omnibus and Fifth Avenue Coach were controlled by a Chicago-based firm, The Omnibus Corporation (I detected a Chicago connection somewhere besides this WFLD airing). In 1954 that company sold the last of its various bus company interests around the country (they once controlled the Chicago Motor Coach Company, and that had been palmed off to the Chicago Transit Authority in 1952), with NYC Omnibus acquiring Fifth Avenue Coach. In 1956 that company rebranded itself Fifth Avenue Coach Lines, Inc. (with bus routes operated by the heretofore individual companies administered under FACO Division [10 routes] and NYCO Division [21 routes]). Later that year they purchased the bankrupt Surface Transportation Corporation which operated a handful of routes in Manhattan and every route in The Bronx (and whose upkeep was so p-poor, the joke was they came from the factory in that condition); their routes would be administered by a wholly-owned subsidiary started up by FACL, Surface Transit, Inc. All of these routes would be taken over by MaBSTOA in 1962 as the result of a strike against FACL and Surface Transit, brought about when new management led by an out-of-town wheeler-dealer named Harry Weinberg laid off 29 light-duty workers in retaliation for the city not granting his request for a fare hike.

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That sounds like Michael Bell doing the voiceover.


Comment posted in Magic Sand by Wham-O (Commercial, 1981) by Smctopia on Tuesday, July 4th, 2017 at 10:45pm CT

Ah, here's how Magic Sand worked! http://www.retroland.com/magic-sand/


Comment posted in Magic Sand by Wham-O (Commercial, 1981) by Smctopia on Tuesday, July 4th, 2017 at 10:43pm CT

I always wanted Magic Sand but my mom said it was "too messy". How DID it get instantly dry?


Comment posted in Marvel Comics - "Summer Escape"
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A park in Chicago near where my Grandma lived used to have red slides like the ones in this ad, as well as the concrete dolphin. And of course Marvel is now owned by Disney. One of the smartest acquisitions they made (along with Lucasfilm)!


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There is a hand at 5:15 in the lower right hand corner of the keyer just before the credits begin.


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Morrand: This Victory Auto Wreckers Ad actually has THREE different phone number seen in this commercial. If you pause the video at 1:40, an old ending title graphic says 263-3405 for a split second in a smaller font than the duplicate ending title graphic with the more familiar 860-2000. The tow truck has 766-012? painted on it.


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The answer in how Snipets got around so early to non-Field stations, lay in an ad put up on eBay: Starting in 1978, these segments were nationally syndicated via The Samuel Goldwyn Television Company. This factor may explain why pre-'77 Kaiser-made episode-lets bore Field copyrights. There is still a yuuuuge question-mark as to whether Snipets made it to the biggest TV market in the country, New York City, and if so, on which station?

That this aired within Big Blue Marble also bears some irony. In NYC, that show aired for quite a few years on WPIX Channel 11 (which also ran WLS Chicago-originated Gigglesnort Hotel on Saturday mornings for a few years beginning in '77). Today KTLA is a sister station to WPIX - and therefore, also, to Chicago's own WGN Channel 9.


Comment posted in WTTW Channel 11 - Soundstage (Opening, 1977) by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, June 24th, 2017 at 11:38pm CT

Pushbutton - Great story, thanks for sharing. :-)


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