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WBBM Channel 2 - Partial Anthem, Sign-Off, & Bars (1978)

Here's a clip that's pretty rare - Includes the ending of the National Anthem (recording starts late for some reason), the Station Sign-Off (with voiceover by Jerry Harper), about 24 seconds of black, and then color bars on WBBM Channel 2. Watch during the color bars for a on-screen ID and voiceover. (different announcer)

Also includes a cool "color-lightning" station ID animation before the color bars. (Voiceover by?)

This aired on local Chicago TV in 1978. (about 90% sure)

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This clip aired in 1978, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

FM, have you forgotten? The voice is Jerry Harper. ;-)

Edit: Channel 2 followed suit when channel 9 became an 24-hour station followed by channel 7.

Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Friday, November 21st 2008 at 11:55pm.

Which one is Jerry Harper - the ID voiceover or the one during the color bars? Sounds like two different people. (or should I say two different '2' people. ;-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, November 22nd 2008 at 1:31am.

Interestingly, the colors on the print WBBM used of the CBS "SSB" film were more faithful to the original than the way-faded print used at that same point by WCBS-TV in New York. I have some questions, though: In what year did WBBM forsake the famed CBS test pattern design of old in favor of the EIA RS-189A style color bars seen at the end? And was there a reason that, as of c.1978, WBBM didn't have the "Seal of Good Practice"?

And B.T.W., the tone WBBM used with those bars measured at 401 Hz.

Another thing: After the legalese, the final sentence of this sign-off differed from that used by WCBS and Philadelphia's WCAU-TV: "Our next regularly scheduled program will come to you at _____ A.M. Good morning (WCAU varied the very last sentence as "Good night and good morning")."

Comment posted by W.B. on Saturday, November 22nd 2008 at 3:55am.

Been waiting to see a WBBM-TV sign-off. Despite the partial SSB film going first then the sign-off, which follows the CBS script with some variant, that jarring lightning ID and then the color bars instead of the CBS style TP. I'm thinking WBBM wanted to one-up its sister stations, especially WCBS-TV.


Thanks fuzzy for this.

Comment posted by BobAnthony on Saturday, November 22nd 2008 at 5:38am.

From what I could tell, Mr. Harper handled the sign-off script. I did notice the WBBM slide used at that point used the same Serif Gothic fonts as WCBS (and, from 1978-84, KNXT in Los Angeles, now KCBS-TV) used for its "2" logo. Wonder if this slide was created pre-1975 or so, given that by this time WBBM's "2" logo was in Avant Garde Bold?
Comment posted by W.B. on Saturday, November 22nd 2008 at 10:47am.

Jerry Harper is doing the sign-off and not the 2nd part with the ID.
Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Saturday, November 22nd 2008 at 12:35pm.

Anyone know how old the film was.

Was it somewhat recent or much older?

Comment posted by MIKEPROSPECT on Monday, November 24th 2008 at 3:18pm.

The voice for the station ID. at the end sounded like an old tape.
Maybe it plays automatically every so often, like every 30 minutes (per FCC)?

Comment posted by armitagenlowell on Tuesday, November 25th 2008 at 3:22pm.

To 'MIKEPROSPECT': It looks like the "SSB" film dated back to the mid-1960's if not somewhat earlier. (The 50 stars are a key to dating.) As I said, I give kudos to WBBM for keeping their "SSB" film print in better shape than WCBS-TV did theirs. I was informed WCAU-TV in Philadelphia also used this "SSB" film, but can't say about either KMOX-TV (now KMOV) in St. Louis or KNXT (now KCBS-TV) in Los Angeles, though in both cases it wouldn't be surprising if they did. I was also curious as to which orchestra played this version, as it's one that sounds a might different from the various arrangements that the bands of each branch of our military had at their disposal.
Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, November 25th 2008 at 4:20pm.

Thanks for putting this up. Sign-ons and sign-offs are a thing of the past now. Are stations still required to report owner, operator, broadcast and technical information sometime during the day, or is that now a thing of the past?
Comment posted by ro46214 on Wednesday, November 26th 2008 at 8:07am.

To ro46214...no, they don't have to give owner, operator, or broadcast information. Some stations still do it-but it's not required.
Comment posted by MATSYLPOFF on Wednesday, November 26th 2008 at 3:09pm.

Hmmm... starting at the :26 mark, they don't have the "2" for their channel, just the capitalized "TWO." Maybe another way 'BBM wanted to "one-up its sister station... WCBS-TV," quoting BobAnthony?
Comment posted by BuffaloBound on Wednesday, November 26th 2008 at 3:14pm.

I also noticed that the tone sounds like a very elongated version of their news radio division's top of the hour "BUNG" tone.
Comment posted by armitagenlowell on Wednesday, November 26th 2008 at 3:31pm.

Yeah, armitagenlowell... when I turn the sound up and down, it does sound like that TOH "bong."
Comment posted by BuffaloBound on Wednesday, November 26th 2008 at 4:55pm.

Actually, as I said, the tone accompanying the color bars was 401 Hz . . . the "bong" was 433 Hz modulated by an 866 Hz signal.
Comment posted by W.B. on Wednesday, November 26th 2008 at 5:02pm.

I remember this! I used to think, "Wow, I'm up REALLY late!"
Comment posted by ScarlettOHara on Sunday, October 16th 2011 at 5:02am.

The V/O during the color bars is Ed Roberts, who can also be heard on some other WBBM clips on this site.

The V/O during the station ID animation is Jerry Harper. It sounds exactly the same as the 1980 station ID which aired after the CBS News Special Report, John Lennon: The Dream is Over.

Comment posted by IAmNomad on Sunday, November 25th 2012 at 3:52am.

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This clip has been viewed 6957 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Friday, November 21st 2008.
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Comment posted in Montgomery Ward - "Gifts They'll Cherish" (Commercial, 1981) by MisterUptempo on Monday, August 3rd, 2015 at 10:47pm CT

The voiceover on this spot was done by none other than Herb Graham, a very familiar voice in Chicago for decades.

I remember him best from his program on the old FM100, called The Hour in the Middle of the Evening. He was also the voice of Bubbie Beaver, on Channel 2's Sunday morning program, The Magic Door.


Comment posted in Beatlemania At The Shubert Theatre (Commercial #1, 1980) by Detroit4Chicago on Monday, August 3rd, 2015 at 7:56pm CT

This somewhat reminded me of Stars on 45.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Bozo's Circus - "Frazier's Pledge" (1978) by Smctopia on Thursday, July 30th, 2015 at 8:15pm CT

I tried playing it again (on Firefox). I had to let it buffer several times but I got it to play but the sound still wasn't in sync with the picture.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Bozo's Circus - "Frazier's Pledge" (1978) by Smctopia on Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 at 9:05pm CT

I'm currently on the go and using my IPad so right now I can't play anything. I will have to try it tomorrow when I have a chance.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The Nine O'Clock News - "Farewell, Frazier..." (1985) by Brian1978 on Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 at 8:41pm CT

@Loyal32Fan: All that is on display at the new Museum of Broadcast Communications. The chair, painting of Garfield Goose, and the bookcase are on display right when you walk in the doors and Frazier's costume is on display by the Garfield Goose puppets, which is in an area that also has all the different costumes from Bozo's Circus and Ray Rayner show. While I do like the building since they have more room for exhibits, I do NOT like having to pay $12 for admission! It's like what happened to the Museum of Science and Industry. For the longest time, it was free admission then when they started charging admission, it got expensive. I dread the day they start charging admission to Lincoln Park Zoo. Sadly, I think that day will happen within a few years. Will there be ANYTHING left to do for free in Chicago anymore?


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Bozo's Circus - "Frazier's Pledge" (1978) by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 at 12:02am CT

Smctopia - Are you still having problems playing the entire clip? (I'm waiting on posting new clips until we have these issues worked out - I really wanted to move forward with the new file format)


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The Nine O'Clock News - "Farewell, Frazier..." (1985) by Loyal32Fan on Friday, July 24th, 2015 at 7:35pm CT

I remember visiting the Museum of Broadcast Communications back in 1998. I saw Thomas' costume from his Garfield Goose show on display. I also saw the chair with the book on it from Family Classics also on display. It was very interesting.


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Strawberry Shortcake: Pets on Parade (Break #3, 1984) by Brian1978 on Friday, July 24th, 2015 at 3:18pm CT

I bet the reason Wicket had the last name Warrick is because he was played by then child actor Warrick Davis who would later become popular as the star of the movie Willow.


Comment posted in WTTW Channel 11 - "The Doctor Becomes A Prisoner" (Promo, 1991) by Loyal32Fan on Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 at 10:08pm CT

I just found out there is a network that airs the original Doctor Who series weeknights. It's RETRO TV (Channel 25.2).


Comment posted in Brookfield Zoo - "Seven Seas Panorama" (Commercial, 1981) by Szake on Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 at 10:06pm CT

Old Time: The clip moved to http://www.team1sports.com/index.php/videoPlayer/view?broadcast=56045 but it is still at 0:30:11 in the one hour show.


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