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WOR Channel 9 - News Update (Excerpt, 1979)

Here's one more quick bit I found from WOR Channel 9 in New York - a slide with an excerpt of a live news update. These people must have had an early cable system here that picked this up.

Voiceover by Ray Marland.

"Have a nice day if you can..."

This aired on Chicago TV (via Cable) likely in October of 1979.

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This clip aired in October 1979, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

Ray Marlin (as apparently his spelling might've been, though the way he says it does sound a bit like "Marland") worked for THIS Channel 9 (as opposed to the one they dare not speak whose calls ;) ) on a freelance/part-time basis; other parts of the week, he also announced for WTNH Channel 8 in New Haven, CT. (I thought I heard his voice for a "College Bowl" type show promo/I.D. for that station in 1984.) His "Have a nice day if you can" was what amounted to a trademark closing catchphrase.

But WOR's announcing staff, at that time, consisted of such voices as Russ Dunbar (who usually handled the sign-on shift, up to after "Romper Room" and "Straight Talk" were on), Frank McCarthy (an original host of "Million Dollar Movie" in the early years from its start-up in 1954), Phil Tonken (who did many nationally-run TV and radio ad V/O's from the 1960's up to the early '80's), Ted Mallie (who, in the waning years of his career, announced for the children's show "Steampipe Alley" which was an early gig for its host Mario Cantone), and Jesse Elin Browne (the station's only full-time female staff announcer). Also working in the announcing booth at that time, on a relief / fill-in / sub-announcing basis, was Barbara Korsen who today is the announcer for ABC's "America This Morning." (Ironically, in 1990 Ms. Korsen replaced Bill Owen as the announcer for what was then "World News This Morning" - after which Mr. Owen, who'd been with ABC as an announcer since 1960, went to what is now WWOR-TV for the next few years). Prior to 1977, another announcer for the station was Bob Jordan (who died that year). After 1982 and for many years thereafter, it was just Messrs. Tonken and Mallie who then became the Voices of Channel 9.

Comment posted by W.B. on Friday, August 7th 2009 at 1:45am.

And WB I believe some in the WOR-TV announcing staff also served as announcers on WOR Radio 710 on the dial. I think Ted Mallie was among them.

Fuzzy/WB I wonder, was this segment done prior to WOR signing off for the night? I know in '79 or '80 WOR went 24 hours doing only a sign-on sequence at 5AM, including the following:

*Station slide and announcement

*INTV Slide (Association of Ind. TV Stations, which WFLD showed at their sign-off--which is here at Fuzzy Memories)

*A film about the pledge of allegiance (It NEVER Meant More [Amen I say] ). Followed by the Mormons version of our National Anthem, one of my all-time favorites, which the script called "A Salute to our nation."

*Two hands folded in prayer ("We pause now for a moment of prayer")

*Religious portion

*News update

Comment posted by BobAnthony on Friday, August 7th 2009 at 4:13am.

It was around the time of this aircheck that WOR-TV went 24/7.

But as to the announcers also doing radio: This was prior to summer 1968, when WOR-TV moved its studios, tape and film facilities, and master control to 1481 Broadway (previously, they had studios at 1440 Broadway where WOR Radio was based, and also at the Empire State Building [for news and public affairs specials] where their transmitter was then, and went back to after the 9/11/2001 attacks that brought down the World Trade Center). Tonken, Mallie, McCarthy and Dunbar, in fact, all dated back to the 1940's and also did announcing work on Mutual Radio shows during the OTR era. (For example, Mallie was the final announcer for "The Shadow" in its last two years - 1953 and '54 - on the air; one of his predecessors in that capacity was Sandy Becker who later gained fame as a children's show host on what was WABD when he started there, and became WNEW-TV a few years later, all the while on Channel 5 which is now Fox WNYW.)

Among those who handled sign-off duties pre-'79 were the aforementioned Mr. Jordan, Mr. Marlin, and Ms. Browne.

Comment posted by W.B. on Friday, August 7th 2009 at 9:52am.

W.B., I happened to stumble on this outtake of Sandy Becker.
He seemed like he was very funny.
This is one of the funniest things I had ever seen.

(WARNING: He drops an "F" bomb. So, ask mommy and daddy if you can watch this! ;) )


Comment posted by armitagenlowell on Friday, August 7th 2009 at 10:50am.

Much respect to NY's channel 9,but man I miss seeing our own in all of it's cool TV programming glory! A pitiful shame!! :-(
Comment posted by 69TH&STONY on Sunday, August 9th 2009 at 4:28am.

"Have a nice day if you can?"?

Is the sky falling? Is the world coming to an end? Why would an announcer say "Have a nice day if you can?"?

Comment posted by CelesteK on Tuesday, August 11th 2009 at 2:00pm.

And this was before SYNDEX, meaning that if you watched WOR(correction, WWOR) anytime from 1990 onward, some programs airing for people within the environs of NYC wouldn't be aired outside of a 75-mile radius. Nope. Instead, you got "WWOR, EMI Service." Just what the --- was THAT?!?!

If I'm watching an out-of-town station, I want to be exposed to what the people in that city's environs see. It's called, "do as the Romans do."

Comment posted by on Wednesday, August 12th 2009 at 7:59pm.

And this was before SYNDEX, meaning that if you watched WOR(correction, WWOR) anytime from 1990 onward, some programs airing for people within the environs of NYC wouldn't be aired outside of a 75-mile radius. Nope. Instead, you got "WWOR, EMI Service." Just what the --- was THAT?!?!

If I'm watching an out-of-town station, I want to be exposed to what the people in that city's environs see. It's called, "do as the Romans do."

From "BuffaloBound"

Comment posted by on Wednesday, August 12th 2009 at 8:00pm.

At least this channel 9 allows old footage to be viewed.
Comment posted by on Thursday, August 13th 2009 at 1:22am.

As does "that" Channel 9's sister station, WPIX Channel 11.
Comment posted by W.B. on Thursday, August 13th 2009 at 5:01pm.

Prior to 1968, when WOR-TV moved its studios, VT facilities, and telecine/master control to 1481 Broadway, all of their announcers did both radio and TV. After 1968, the announcing pool was split up so that Tonken, Mallie, Dunbar and McCarthy all did television only, while Fred Maness, Bruce Eliot, Dick Willard and Chris Cunningham worked exclusively on WOR Radio 710.

As for what their sign-offs looked like, they came after the late news and had:
- Station slide and announcement
- INTV slide
- A promo of WOR Radio's overnight schedule and morning "Rambling with Gambling" (with a circa 1970 slide of WOR Radio's then current logo, and John Gambling inside the "O")
- The two hands folded in prayer ("We now conclude our broadcast day with a Moment of Prayer.")
- The religious portion
- The Mormons SSB (I can't remember if the Pledge preceded same on sign-offs)
- Cut carrier (or in other words, snow)

Given Ray Marlin's announcing what's closed, I'm surmising this was Monday, October 8, 1979 - Columbus Day.

Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, April 13th 2010 at 12:09pm.

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This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Thursday, August 6th 2009.
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OOOPS! It seems that somebody got Jane Jetson's & Judy Jetson's hair colors mixed up LOL.

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - The Jack Benny Show - "Pre-Emption Notice" (1975) by Burr-Rabbitt on Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 11:29am CT

This aired the day I was born!

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by HUdson 3-2700 on Saturday, October 18th, 2014 at 8:52pm CT

GalagaFleetCommander - Johnny Unitas used to wear his hair in a crewcut until about 1970, when he decided to let it grow out to where he could part it. A real square...

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by GalagaFleetCommander on Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 9:23pm CT

Johnny Unitas did WHAT? I can't believe that! He's got that perfect haircut you can set a watch to like Abe Simpsons said! I wonder if he made anyone any significant amount of money.

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by ER3017 on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 7:37am CT

About 2 years ago, my brother and I was on our way to the park and I saw boxes and boxes of videos, and my brother and I agreed to get almost all of them. Unfortunately, due to my strength, I didn't carry a lot, so I grabbed like 2 boxes and some videos are quite interesting I tell you. I'am still waiting to deliver these to you because if I wait, not only they'll rot but worried that these will be in the dumpster like my mom did but retrieved by me thank god.

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 12:48pm CT

davismv - Thanks Mark! Well, we do have some late-breaking developments - once again provided by our researcher extraordinaire, Mr. Chris Tufts (Phantom). He found this interesting article on the development of Teletext in the U.S. as well as it's use on Nite-Owl. It's from New Scientist magazine and dates to July 22nd 1982. After reading this one has to wonder - what happened? Everything seemed so rosy. They had lots of viewers, and were making some advertising money apparently. So why did Nite-Owl quit just about a month later at the end of August 1982? Were they just tired of "giving it away for free"?

In any case, Chris found another interesting article, this time from Broadcasting Magazine dated September 7th 1981. In it, we finally learn that the true start date of Nite-Owl was early Friday, September 4th at 12 Midnight! Therefore, we can say with certainty that the clip you see here is the opening of Nite-Owl's Second Episode! We'll have to adjust the airdates of a few other clips to reflect this new information.

(T.K. - the answer to your question regarding Nite-Owl's music is also in this article - although who knows, perhaps they changed music providers at some point during the run of the show)

One other thing - the article mentions that WFLD was actually including teletext pages over its regular broadcasts since April of 1981. I had never heard this before. This information just leaves me wanting more. Did they transmit the teletext pages over every program that aired on WFLD since April 1981? Secondly, if you have a recording of a WFLD broadcast from that time period and you are able to fashion some kind of decoder, can you see the original teletext pages that aired during the broadcast? According to this article, there were at least 100 decoders floating around the Chicagoland area. Did anyone save one?

davismv - Regarding your questions: this was recorded by someone who was a "serial taper" but who also apparently had a short attention span. His tapes are filled up with 4-6 hours of material per tape, and rarely are there complete programs, but instead have little "snippets" (no pun intended) of news, sports, commercials, and whatever else struck his fancy I guess. There are a lot of good "bits" but unfortunately almost each one makes you wish he stuck with the recording at least a little longer. (but then again, if he recorded longer segments we wouldn't have the variety that he captured, so it's a six-of-one situation)

Regarding finding tapes: more and more I believe that the best way to find tapes is by asking neighbors, friends, or acquaintances. Why? Because unfortunately these home recorded tapes are seen by most people as virtually worthless most of the time, and if something is viewed as worthless it has way less of a chance of even making it to a thrift store or garage sale. People would just throw them out (which is sad, I know).

Also, some thrift stores now have policies of not letting "home-recorded" tapes make it to the shelf at all - they will just toss or recycle them if donated. The reason I've heard for this is that either someone complained before about something they found on one of the tapes ("adult" content perhaps), or the thrift store people are just being proactive and trying to avoid any issues like this from happening in the first place. In any case, it does stink. One idea I had that you might want to do is call all of your local thrift stores in your area and ask them if they ever get any home-recorded tapes and what they do with them. (first hurdle is making sure they understand what you're talking about - I usually use the term home-recorded tapes and then make sure it's clear by saying I'm not talking about "store-bought" movie type tapes - but tapes that people recorded themselves at home off of TV) If they say that their policy is to just throw them away or recycle them, tell them to save them for you. Give them your name and number and tell them you will pay for them too if they are what you're looking for. Make sure you're talking to a manager or someone at the store that actually has the power to make this change. Also remind the manager to inform his workers so that they are aware of what to do with the tapes too. And lastly, it couldn't hurt to call the stores again every couple months or so, and talk to the same manager if possible, to double check they are still saving tapes for you and that they haven't lost your contact info. :-)

One last tip - when buying tapes I don't buy them based on what is on the labels. The stuff written on the labels can be a red herring. I go by the age of the tapes. If you've been doing this long enough you can identify a pre-1985 videotape just by the box style as well as certain markings on the videotape itself. The stuff written on the labels can be a nice clue, but again I don't hold much stock in it. There could be a Sony K-60 Betamax tape that could potentially date to 1975 and the person could have recorded over most of it and wrote "Jurassic Park 2" on the label - doesn't matter - because you may still find an untouched 10-20 minutes at the end of the tape of a 1978 airing of Baretta with original commercial breaks for all you know. Anyway, happy hunting and of course please let me know if you find anything good. :-)

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by Phantom on Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 6:41pm CT

An article in Broadcasting Magazine in February 1982 says Nite-Owl had as many as 110,000 viewers on some nights.

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by T.K. on Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 10:04pm CT

It struck me how much Keyfax resembles the graphics of the Prodigy online service several years later. I guess I shouldn't be surprised because they both used the NAPLPS graphics language, which was originally developed for videotex and teletext use.

Now I'm curious how Nite-Owl's music feed originated. Usually the all-night news tickers run by stations in other cities simply carried audio from a sister radio station or the local National Weather Service broadcast. It sounds like Nite-Owl had a dedicated playlist. Did WFLD have a full-blown radio automation system with multiple carts and reels run off a clock, like something by Harris or IGM? Or did someone just dub everything together onto a new reel for each night's playback? Or did the overnight master-control operator sit there and play each song back from its own cart?

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by Detroit4Chicago on Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 12:09pm CT

Kinda neat to see an early computer-based newsfax system up and running for a UHF Station in a big market about this time. I'm thinking WFLD was trying this out to see if it became successful, it would have been used within years at the other Field stations across the country. Another possibility was to compete locally against WGN, WBBM and possibly WSNS (with of course, ON-TV) in the wee hours of the morning.

But what's neater-than-neat? Watching the Empire State Building take off like a Saturn V rocket in Commodore 65 form!

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Son of Svengoolie - "Monster on the Campus" (Partial Mail Segment with Chicago Lions Showgirls, 1981) by HUdson 3-2700 on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at 2:57pm CT


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