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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 6426 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, April 9th 2008.
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Wonder if that song was what was floating in Joan Baez' head when recording her version of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" whereby how she sings one of the lines, sounds like "There goes the Robert E. Lee."


Comment posted in Panos Productions (Demonstration Reel, 1978) by W.B. on Sunday, May 28th, 2017 at 9:46am CT

Funny . . . they didn't look all that much like Donny & Marie in that storyboard . . .


Comment posted in District Furniture & Appliances - "Come Down to the District" (Commercial, 1978) by Smctopia on Saturday, May 27th, 2017 at 10:20pm CT

"Waiting for the Robert E. Lee" shows up in a lot of stuff from this era, including an episode of Laverne & Shirley (in one of the Shotz Talent Show episodes) and in Disney's Bicentenial "America on Parade" in their theme parks.


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Comment posted in District Furniture & Appliances - "Come Down to the District" (Commercial, 1978) by Szake on Saturday, May 27th, 2017 at 8:50pm CT

Rick: That jingle was referred to on the Bill Leff show you and I were on late night on WGN Radio back in December of 2012.

The song is public domain, and I heard it in one of those bouncing ball sing along cartoons, I recognized it as the District Furniture song. https://youtu.be/jLI3xzwAGDQ?t=4m4s

Nice Photoshop job of combing the intro and ending graphics into one thumbnail image.


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Thanks, Kevin for the ID on the source of the jingle!


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This jingle was based off of the song "Waiting For The Robert E. Lee." The furniture shot, but not the logo or banjo player looks like it could have been shot in the Ridgewood High School TV Studio, from the white cylorama curtain to the C stand light just in the frame on the left side of the screen. They had just rented a servo zoom controller to upgrade a manual crank zoom and were probably ancy to use it. There was also a locally produced Preparation H ad pretending to be at a race track shot on videotape with the same setup.


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That Bingo head was from a commercial for the Muscular Dystrophy carnival kits featuring the Banana Splits.


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