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WGN Channel 9 - "RTA Study" (Editorial, 1980)

Here is an Editorial on WGN Channel 9 given by then corporate vice-president, Orion Samuelson.

The topic is about a study done by the RTA to identify which parts of the suburbs most need new public transportation routes.

Voiceover by Len Johnson.

This aired on local Chicago TV on early Saturday, September 20th 1980.

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This clip aired on Saturday, September 20th 1980, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

Samuelson is also known for hosting U.S. Farm Report that has been a Saturday morning staple for many years.
Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Wednesday, April 9th 2008 at 5:52pm.

Interesting. As a former employee of Metra (part of RTA) I can verify they'll never improve south suburban transportation and will keep wanting more money. Most of the money isn't even going to the transportation but upper management. I won't even get into how corrupt all of the transportation agencies (Metra, Pace, CTA etc) are. Of course anyone from Chicago knows the government is corrupt so I guess this isn't a surprise.
Comment posted by LaPrincess on Wednesday, April 9th 2008 at 9:38pm.

The 198o census figures? And now we're getting ready for the 2010 census! The same can be said for the suburbs, but the suburbs are now far south and far west. Plainfield, Plano, Sugar Grove, Homer Glen, and Hampshire just to name a few. Back in 1980 these hardly showed up on maps.
Comment posted by MST3K1993 on Wednesday, April 9th 2008 at 10:28pm.

DO NOT FORGET "TOP 'O' THE MORNING SHOW." AT THE TIME,WGN STAFF ANNOUNCER BOB BELL READ THE NEWS AFTER A PRETAPED "FIVE MINUTES TO LIVE BY" SERMONETTE,THEN LIVE THE ORION AND MAX ARMSTRONG HOG REPORTS FOR A HALF AN HOUR. THEN , WHILE A HALF HOUR OF CARTOONS PLAYED THE SET WAS STRUCK AND THE SAME STUDIO WAS READIED FOR THE FAY RAYNER SHOW. AFTER RAY,THE STUDIO WAS READIED FOR BOZO'S CIRCUS REHEARSALS,THEN IN THE NEXT STUDIO AT 11:00 AM PHIL DONAHUE CAME ON LIVE AS THE MOMS AND DADS AND KIDS OF ALL AGES FILED INTO STUDIO 1. WHEN DONAHUE WENT OFF THE AIR JUST BEFORE NOON,THERE WERE A FER COMMERCIALS,THEN A WHISTLE BLEW. AN ERA OF LOCAL LIVE PRODUCTIONS LIKE THAT WILL NEVER COME AGAIN. ALAS.
Comment posted by ROGERRENNER on Thursday, April 10th 2008 at 8:50am.

The voiceover announcer is Len Johnson. He had been with WGN for many many years.

http://wgngold.com/people/johnson-len.htm

Comment posted by Erniebaud on Thursday, April 10th 2008 at 10:01am.

Thanks, Ernie. I'm still kind of rusty on ID'ing the WGN announcers. I updated the info. If you see any more clips with the info lacking, please post a comment. :-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Thursday, April 10th 2008 at 12:16pm.

I think I vaguely remember the editorials, but not by much. What time of the day was this played, and was it on a weekday or weekend?

As an employee of a Chicago mass transit agency (not RTA), I agree completely with Orion. Even today I see soooooooo much money being dumped into consulting or studies, and I keep asking myself "why??!!!".

Never knew Orion was a corporate VP, and I remember well both US Farm Report at 7 a.m. Saturdays and Top O' The Morning at 6 a.m. weekdays (actually 5:55 for a while there).

Comment posted by SuperCFL on Thursday, April 10th 2008 at 12:47pm.

At least on this night, the Editorial aired right after WGN Presents, before Nightbeat. This was early Saturday morning probably about 1am.
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Thursday, April 10th 2008 at 12:50pm.

Certain announcers I can pick out in a heartbeat. Len Johnson is one of those because in our house, Wally Phillips was always on and Len was his newsman for 8 years. Others, I'm not so sure about but I'm glad to help out when I can. :-)
Comment posted by Erniebaud on Thursday, April 10th 2008 at 5:23pm.

Pat Paulsen was a VP. as well. ;)
Comment posted by armitagenlowell on Saturday, April 12th 2008 at 6:57pm.

I always liked these cute local station editorials. I just wish we could get some real Archie Bunkers on behalf of "Guns for everyone" every now and then or Floyd R. Turbo...American. Sure beats court shows and "The Insider" right?


Comment posted by Galagafleetcommander on Monday, April 21st 2008 at 8:56pm.

Almost all of WGN's editorials were written by Bob Manewith, a longtime behind-the-scenes news guy who had the title of "editorial director."
Comment posted by kba on Tuesday, April 22nd 2008 at 8:21am.

So much for the dull deregulation of the FCC, This seemed to disappear along with the other classic standards.
Comment posted by Telenews on Friday, May 16th 2008 at 9:54pm.

I remember Harry Shearer mentioning that he did an imitation of Orion Samuelson (or maybe it was his running partner, Max Armstrong) when he did a guest spot on a Miami Vice episode where he played an FBI agent investigating the theft of bull semen. (http://miamivice.wikia.com/wiki/The_Cows_of_October) No one's posted it to youtube, unfortunately.
Comment posted by APM on Tuesday, September 28th 2010 at 2:32pm.

LOL! I just watched that episode of Miami Vice not too long ago. I'll have to re-watch it and let you know who it was he did an impression of.
Comment posted by Pete on Tuesday, September 28th 2010 at 4:56pm.

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This clip has been viewed 5793 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, April 9th 2008.
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Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in KNBC Channel 4 - Ending of NewsCenter4 - Early Edition with Paul Moyer & Kelly Lange and Editorial Reply (1977) by W.B. on Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 at 7:48pm CT

Added name of Merrill Lynch ad spokesman to description (info courtesy of a YT user).


Comment posted in Sanka (Commercial, 1980) by David H on Saturday, September 17th, 2016 at 11:28pm CT

The only place I can find Sanka now is on amazon. At least it's still around, stopping people from feeling edgy.


Comment posted in Butternut Bread - "Snoopy For President Sweepstakes" (Commercial, 1980) by David H on Saturday, September 17th, 2016 at 11:17pm CT

Dolly Madison Zingers were better than Hostess Zingers.


Comment posted in WBBM Channel 2 - Channel Two News - Coverage of Sam Giancana Funeral (1975) by FuzzyMemories on Friday, September 16th, 2016 at 8:59am CT

A portion of this clip was featured in a recent episode of AMC's The Making of the Mob: Chicago.

The episode was the Second Season finale, entitled "Last Man Standing" and premiered on August 29th 2016. After notorious mobster Sam Giancana meets his end, one of the characters watches the evening news for updates. See a screen shot from this episode as well as our end credit here.


Comment posted in WBBM Channel 2 - Hunter - "The Costa Rican Connection" (Opening, Preview Breaks & Ending, 1977) by ChitownTVFan on Thursday, September 15th, 2016 at 7:21pm CT

The 1977 version of Hunter first aired on CBS on Friday, February 18, 1977 during the midseason until its cancellation three months later on May 27th with only 9 shows aired. The last 4 of them didn't air nor did the 1976 series pilot.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1980) by Smctopia on Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 at 10:08pm CT

This ad features footage of the Lobster ride that was located at the Marriott's Great America in Santa Clara California as the one in Gurnee has five cars per arm, not four.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by Smctopia on Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 at 10:06pm CT

The footage of the Lobster ride in this ad is actually from the Marriott's Great America in Santa Clara, CA and not the one in Gurnee. The giveaway is that California's Lobster had four cars per arm while Gurnee's has five. Gurnee's Lobster was renamed East River Crawler but in 2017 will revert to the Lobster name and be relocated to where the Orbit was located. Orbit is being removed.


Comment posted in WBBM Channel 2 - Hunter - "The Costa Rican Connection" (Opening, Preview Breaks & Ending, 1977) by W.B. on Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 at 9:10am CT

Modified clip description with corrected info of run of better-known (and completely different) series of same name.


Comment posted in KNBC Channel 4 - Ending of NewsCenter4 - Early Edition with Paul Moyer & Kelly Lange and Editorial Reply (1977) by W.B. on Friday, September 9th, 2016 at 3:26pm CT

Thanks for advising as to that theme music (it did sound as if it came off a vinyl record, as when they looped from the end to the beginning the early part sounded much clearer on the high end than on the fadeout before they started again).

On another note - does anyone note the slight resemblance between Paul Dandridge and longtime anchor at NYC sister station WNBC Channel 4, Chuck Scarborough? (As has been noted by others over the years.)


Comment posted in KNBC Channel 4 - Ending of NewsCenter4 - Early Edition with Paul Moyer & Kelly Lange and Editorial Reply (1977) by RocketBoy on Thursday, September 8th, 2016 at 11:22pm CT

Thanks once again for this piece of classic So Cal TV history.

On a side note, in regards to the ending theme, I'm actually surprised they went through the trouble of listing the theme's composer in the credits. With that small piece of information, this is what I found, thanks to Billboard Magazine...

"Nightly News"
Composed by Donald Craig
Arranged by Del Kacher
Performed by Chris Delton with the Electric Modes

According to Billboard, the station had started using that song to close out their newscasts around Spring 1973 and was in use at KNBC for 11-13 seasons. That's about as much information I can provide for now. Hope that helps.

P.S.: Here's one more music tidbit for W.B.'s benefit. Prior to that theme, NBC 4 used James Stein's "The World Had Quite a Day Today" as their closing theme for roughly 2 years.


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