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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 4284 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, April 9th 2008.
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Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by pvx on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 12:49am CT

In reply to Szake's, T.K.'s, and Fuzzy's comments regarding the letters flashing in the corners of the screen at the beginning--I have seen this as well in other national TV commercials on film from this era.

I have a really good hunch as to what this is--going from my experience working master control in local commercial television and handling the physical airing of commercial spots (albeit much later in the early 2000s on videotape and satellite-delivered video files for on-air playout, as opposed to the film print this commercial is most likely from), this is more than likely an ISCI (Industry Standard Commercial Identifier) code, an unique 4 letter & 4 number identification code assigned to national commercial spots that receive national network and/or local affiliate airing. Each ISCI code is unique to the spot for identification for advertisers, ad agencies, post-production staff, and the station's/network's traffic/logging, ad sales, and and master control personnel. A typical ISCI code is usually in the format of ABCD1234.

I'd hazard to guess that it must of been the industry standard in the 70s to have the ISCI code digits show up on the corners of the first few film frames of the spot, to ease identification for the master control/projectionist/editor at a station to know what spot it was while splicing it together with other commercial films to make a spot reel (or when threading the spot by itself up in a film-chain projector) for airing in a local commercial break.

When the transition to delivering commercials to stations/networks on videotape became more common practice, usually the ISCI code was displayed during the slate & countdown before the spot on the beginning of the tape (obviously not aired, unless the MCO screwed up and switched it up too early ;) )).

I wonder of the ISCI code of this spot is something like xMxHx0x3 (the "x"s being whatever letters/numbers displayed at the left side of the screen, which is mostly cut off in this video), say, something like IMGH1023?


Comment posted in Boxcar Willie - King Of The Road - 20 Great Tracks (Record Offer, 1981) by Phantom on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 5:10pm CT

This album came from Suffolk Marketing which also sold records of Slim Whitman, Jim Nabors, Jim Reeves & Cristy Lane.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by T.K. on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 4:04pm CT

I was able to stop on two frames... the first with M in the upper-right corner and H in the lower-right and the second frame with O in the upper-right and 3 in the lower-right. So... MO, H3? If it was flashing M-O-M, I'd think maybe it was a subliminal message to ask your mother to buy a ticket.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 1:39pm CT

Seriously though, it seems like the letters change in each corner very quickly, like it is cycling through something. I also see an 'O' in the upper-right hand corner. Can't we get the conspiracy nuts to break this down for us? This is probably bigger than the "subliminal" station sign-off message. ;-)


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 1:36pm CT

I still see the X. ;-)


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - 10th Inning with Jack Brickhouse - "Interview with Bob Lurie" (1976) by T.K. on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 8:51am CT

When Lurie said, "Toronto certainly is a great city and I know the commissioner wants to get a team in Washington," he's referring to the Seattle Mariners, the other American League expansion team that had been announced in January 1976.

The A.L. had been embroiled in a lawsuit with the state of Washington, which accused the league of breach of contract for not allowing a local nonprofit group to purchase the bankrupt Seattle Pilots prior to the 1970 season. (The other owners believed their clubs would be devalued as a result of such an arrangement. Instead, the team was sold to Bud Selig and moved to Milwaukee between the end of spring training and Opening Day 1970.) Granting another expansion franchise to Seattle was the league's way of settling the case and avoid paying $32 million in damages.


Comment posted in Boxcar Willie - King Of The Road - 20 Great Tracks (Record Offer, 1981) by Duck 182 on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 3:40am CT

I think I remember my Grandma and Aunt having this on 8 track.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by ER3017 on Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 1:19pm CT

I see it too


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by Szake on Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 9:14pm CT

You can see a M in the upper right hand corner, an H in the lower right hand corner and an I in the upper left hand corner one second into the video.


Comment posted in National Clothing Fashions - "Be a Disco Star Tonight" (Commercial, 1979) by OldTVNut on Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 11:32am CT

Yes, Steve Dahl had killed disco a month earlier at a White Sox game, but there are still some people who refuse to believe that disco is indeed dead.


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