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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 5631 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, April 9th 2008.
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Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Mid-Day Report With Clif Mercer (1980) by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 at 6:25pm CT

Upgraded the video file on this one. (report is complete now)


Comment posted in WMAQ Channel 5 - Editorial 5 - "ERA for Illinois" (1976) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, June 27th, 2016 at 9:25am CT

Hold the presses - we started getting a difference of opinion in the WMAQ alumni group as to who the VO person actually was. I am trying to sort it all out but it seems likely that it is actually Jerry Mitchell, and not Henry "Hank" Cooke. More details as they become available on these FuzzMem stations, and on FuzzyMemories' Overnight.


Comment posted in WMAQ Channel 5 - Editorial 5 - "ERA for Illinois" (1976) by W.B. on Sunday, June 26th, 2016 at 10:44am CT

P.S. Modified clip description to correct the spelling of the esteemed editorial director.


Comment posted in WMAQ Channel 5 - Editorial 5 - "ERA for Illinois" (1976) by W.B. on Sunday, June 26th, 2016 at 10:39am CT

Aha, Henry Cooke. How long was he with WMAQ? Ditto for Lorry Young.

As for Lee Hanna - he was brought in by parent network NBC to 'MAQ in 1976 to try to lift the station from last place, after propelling NYC sister station WNBC Channel 4 to the top with its 2-hour "NewsCenter4" newscast. Alas, for a variety of reasons, Mr. Hanna's tenure at WMAQ didn't work out and he was gone by 1978. Ron Powers, in the 1980 edition of his book "The Newscasters: The News Business As Show Business," had a section about Mr. Hanna's ill-fated WMAQ foray in his chapter of the ups and downs of WNBC's "starship newscast."


Comment posted in WMAQ Channel 5 - NewsCenter5 Update, Break & Today Excerpt (1975) by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, June 25th, 2016 at 2:59pm CT

Finally able to ID the other WMAQ-TV voiceover person featured in this clip - Henry Cooke. Thanks to Deb Segal.


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I checked and there are in several in the chicago reigon


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