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WLS Channel 7 - "Anthem, Sign-On, Reflections & Editorial" (1984)

Here's the National Anthem, Station Sign-On, Reflections and Editorial on WLS Channel 7. Includes:

Color Bars

WLS "Circular Polarization" Test Pattern

National Anthem

Station Sign-On (voiceover by Janice Kos)

Reflections with Fr. Bert Akers, S.J. - "Pray for Generosity"

WLS Public Service notice (voiceover by Janice Kos)

Commercial: Volkswagen GTI (featuring parody of the Ronny & the Daytonas song "GTO")

WLS Eyewitness News at 4:30 and 6 promo (voiceover by ??)

WLS-TV Editorial by Bill Campbell - "Business Assistance on the South Side" (voiceover by Al Parker)

Commercial: WBMX 102.7 FM - "More in '84"

This aired on local Chicago TV on Wednesday, February 22nd 1984 at around 5:50am.

Click here to search for related videos.

This clip aired on Wednesday, February 22nd 1984, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

What's the name of the musical piece used in the new Reflections opening? Also if you know the other musical piece from the old Reflections opening, please tell me. Thanks. :-)
Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Sunday, April 4th 2010 at 2:44am.

I thought Ronny and the Daytonas sang G.T.O. Did the Beach Boys record it first?
Comment posted by smctopia on Sunday, April 4th 2010 at 8:43am.

smctopia - Yep, you're right. I updated the info. :-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Sunday, April 4th 2010 at 10:57am.

By this point, the optical color test pattern seen from 0:07 to 1:57 (which I have gathered to be from a company called Tele-Measurements, Inc. in Clifton, NJ) had undergone considerable fading from age, use and wear (possibly the tubes in the film chain pointed at the TP likewise were aging). The TP design itself as on this layout dated to the late 1960's, and was used by T-M for stations such as WLS well into 1974 in this form (after all, that's when the Sears Tower transmitter went online); after that, the outer grey was lightened up a bit. (The design was changed altogether by the early '80's.)

The audio tone heard up to 1:07 was set at an average of 393.8 Hz.

As for the sign-on and PSA voiceover, it was Janice Kos.

Meanwhile, as to the "SSB" video that was used by WLS for both sign-on and sign-off . . . sister-station WABC in New York used it for sign-ons (while using a circa 1960 Marines Band "SSB" with 49 stars on the flag, for sign-offs) as of 1984, per this sign-on from later in the year (with voiceover by either Allan Jefferys or Bob Lloyd, though I'm betting on the former; the TP design was from the same company, but changed as noted above):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxSRpiUHQb0

Comment posted by W.B. on Sunday, April 4th 2010 at 11:55am.

Thanks for this, Fuzz. Nice to hear a tone to go with the TP - the YouTube WLS sign-on had no tone in them.

@W.B.(or anyone) : As we see the EIA (right?) color bars in the first few seconds of the clip before switching to the circular TP, would you happen to know if WLS ever retired the circular TP and used the EIA or even SMPTE designed bars until they stopped signing off/on for good in the early to mid-90s? Or did they just keep using the faded circular one until 24/7 programming? Did other O&O's use these bars or circular designs as well? When did they go 24 hours a day?

Also doesn't the circle 7 design in the WLS editorial look like the one used way back when 7 became WLS in 1968? It looks similar...

Comment posted by Tim on Sunday, April 4th 2010 at 6:22pm.

Again you're scaring me. Bars and tone fans?!
Comment posted by telefrank on Sunday, April 4th 2010 at 8:12pm.

First up, that circle 7 was exactly as used since the last 5-6 years as WBKB(-TV) and carried over to after the 1968 call sign change. As for the EIA bars (and yes, they're EIA all right - just curious as to which generator WLS used), the shape looks almost the same as on a YouTube clip of a 1986 sign-off of WNBC Channel 4 in New York.

As for other network O&O's:
- New York's WABC used a circular TP design as on the YouTube clip link above.
- In Chicago, WBBM had the "CBS test pattern" well into the mid-1970's per this link. (So did WCAU in Philadelphia, KMOX in St. Louis, KNXT in Los Angeles - and of course, WCBS in New York.)
- In the late 1960's and early '70's, WMAQ Channel 5 had a test pattern design unique to NBC O&O's, almost exactly as on this vidcap, except the top center left had "WMAQ-TV 5" and the bottom center right had "CHICAGO" printed.
- In Cleveland, then NBC-owned WKYC Channel 3, from the late 1960's until about the early mid-'70's, had the exact test pattern design as on WLS's "Circular Polarization" pattern; as laid out on this screengrab, you get an example of what the colors of the WLS pattern would've looked like at the outset before fading set in.
- In the 1970's, WNBC Channel 4 had a custom color test pattern using the circular design. While the logo itself is not on this recreation (three variants of which were used, right up to its last use around the late 1980's), here is how the colors were basically laid out. If one weren't careful how the slide was positioned, viewers could actually see the "COPYRIGHT 1947 - NATIONAL BROADCASTING CO. INC." notice directly below the pattern.
- Someone noted that KABC in Los Angeles had a B&W circular pattern.

As for the timing on here: I reckon that it was as follows:
- Cut from color bars to circular pattern 2 minutes before sign-on.
- Cut out tone 1 minute before sign-on.
- Cut to black 10 seconds before sign-on.
Notice on here, "sign-on" was the moment the "SSB" came up.

Contrast this with WMAQ's SOP on this clip:
- Cut from color bars and tone to WMAQ-TV slide 2 minutes before sign-on.
- Cut to black 45 seconds before sign-on.

Oh, and as I've said, the voiceover on this sign-on and PSA was Janice Kos.

Comment posted by W.B. on Sunday, April 4th 2010 at 8:24pm.

Was this on a tape that had some footage on the short-lived Tele1st channel?
Comment posted by betamax75 on Sunday, April 4th 2010 at 8:24pm.

Meanwhile, here's another sign-on clip with Ms. Kos signing-on the station, from the morning of Dec. 8, 1983:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qu1yhcgytiQ

Comment posted by W.B. on Monday, April 5th 2010 at 7:40pm.

Was this following an overnight block of the ill fated Tele1st. pay service?
Comment posted by dth1971 on Monday, April 5th 2010 at 9:29pm.

This would've probably been from within the time frame that this "Tele1st" was tried out on overnights.
Comment posted by W.B. on Monday, April 5th 2010 at 11:38pm.

At this time, Fr. Bert Akers was probably director of the Office of Radio and Communications in the diocese of Houston, Texas. From what I can tell, he's now the associate pastor at Immaculate Conception Church in Towson, MD. Just thought I'd follow up on him...
Comment posted by HUdson 3-2700 on Tuesday, April 6th 2010 at 10:33am.

@telefrank: Oh yeah, bars and tone! @WB: What's your background? Your technical knowledge is great!
Comment posted by HUdson 3-2700 on Tuesday, April 6th 2010 at 10:38am.

First, I have equipment to measure tone frequencies. Secondly, I am one of many who from time to time used to stay up all night and into the morning, seeing TV stations sign off and then sign on . . . and paying as close attention as I could.
Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, April 6th 2010 at 11:53am.

Commenting on Bill Campbell's editorial concerning the dying steel industry on the Southeast side,my Dad worked at Wisconsin Steel Works #6 mill at 106th
Comment posted by 69TH&STONY on Saturday, October 30th 2010 at 4:30pm.

For everyone who was wondering, the piece that leads "Reflections" in and out is the beautiful suite from Peer Gynt called "Morgenstimmung" or "Morning Mood," by Edvard Grieg. Knowing that, I think this piece was an excellent and appropriate choice!
Comment posted by AnnArborMI90 on Saturday, May 26th 2012 at 1:41pm.

@ER3017 - I believe AnnArborMI90 answered that in a previous comment.
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Friday, February 22nd 2013 at 7:30am.

This was preceded by a block of cooking shows on Tele1st; here's some excerpts (including the end of Tele1st and transition to "regular" WLS-TV). That and this sign-on were accidentally recorded by Szake when he mixed up the AM/PM indicator on his VCR.
Comment posted by IAmNomad on Monday, February 25th 2013 at 1:30am.

The company that offered (for sale, of course) this color test pattern (and laid out the type including the "Broadcasting From Sears Tower" and "Circular Polarization" notices) was a Clifton, NJ firm called Tele-Measurements, Inc., which is still around. In 1977 adverts the company put out in magazines such as Broadcast Engineering and BM/E (Broadcast Management/Engineering), their designation for this type pattern was TM-501, as part of their "Tele-Pat" line. A much earlier version of this pattern was used in Chicago by WFLD Channel 32 in its early years on the air (from its 1966 debut into the early '70's, apparently giving way to electronic color bars around the onset of Kaiser's 1973-77 sojourn).
Comment posted by W.B. on Thursday, November 26th 2015 at 5:36am.

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This clip has been viewed 11231 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Saturday, April 3rd 2010.

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I actually lived at 4715 Boonsboro Road Boonsboro Village Apartments. Just about everyone in Lynchburg knew that. Glad it wasn't Chicago!

I'm the voiceover in the news preview (voiceover by ??) with teases and opening titles (without theme music - imagine that!), with wide shot of news set (voiceover by ??).

In 1977, there were only 6 members of the news staff... News Director/Anchor - Stan Jayson, Weather - Charles Middleton, Sports - John Buren, Reporters - Jeff Taylor & Jennifer Smith and a Photographer.


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service (Opening, 7/16/82) by davismv on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 at 6:19pm CT

Wow, lots of new night owl stuff starting to surface!! Fuzzy, I knew there was more, and I'm sure there's some more yet to be found!!


Comment posted in Digger by Romper Room (Commercial, 1975) by LaPrincess on Sunday, March 12th, 2017 at 11:43pm CT

I had Digger. Why I had a fake dog when I had two dogs (one of which I could walk as a child)is something that makes no sense.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Emergency Broadcast System - "This is NOT a Test" (1985) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, March 6th, 2017 at 11:05pm CT

@Detroit4Chicago - You got it - only difference is there's no repeat at the end. :-)


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Emergency Broadcast System - "This is NOT a Test" (1985) by Detroit4Chicago on Monday, March 6th, 2017 at 10:51am CT

My sneak preview guess of EBS Cart #3: "This concludes operations under the Emergency Broadcast System. All broadcast stations may now resume normal broadcast operations. I repeat....."


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Emergency Broadcast System - "This is NOT a Test" (1985) by Tommy33 on Monday, March 6th, 2017 at 10:28am CT

This is scary. 1985, the last throes of the Cold War. MX and Pershing II missiles. Our launch sites in WEST GERMANY. Before perestroika and glasnost. If you want to get really scared watch "Threads." Better yet, don't watch "Threads."


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Emergency Broadcast System - "This is NOT a Test" (1985) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, March 6th, 2017 at 12:18am CT

Detroit4Chicago - Thanks for the input. I defer to your expertise. It would be awesome (awesomely frightening?) to hear one from a local Chicago station that actually mentioned an "Attack Warning". But I guess this might be the closest we can get to that right now. :-)

I also obtained the EBS Cart #3 from the same batch - I will post it eventually. It's not as exciting as this one and if I recall correctly is an "All Clear" or cancellation of the alert or something. Same graphics and same announcer though. (Rick Garofalo has no idea what became of the EBS Cart #1, by the way) :-)

Subcarrier - Thanks for the story. Scary stuff! :-)


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Emergency Broadcast System - "This is NOT a Test" (1985) by Detroit4Chicago on Sunday, March 5th, 2017 at 8:12pm CT

I believe this is not a RED CARD EAN (although judging by the label on the cart via Facebook, it does seen that way.)

I believe that this here was a standby script that was adopted by the FCC around 1972 when the Commission had changed some of the EBS/EAN procedures a year after the disastrous "wrong tape" incident at NORAD.
This also included the elimination of the EAN Message #1 ("White Card") and EAN Message #2 ("Red Card/Attack Warning") alert scripts. After the changes were made, you did not know what the heck was going on.

I think in this case, EBS #1 was the initial interruption announcement, use of the 22.5 second two-tone attention signal then the body announcement of the EAN. This clip from the cart, being marked EBS #2, may have been used for standby purposes when no Presidental "or his representative" address to the nation was available and everyone in the country was biting their nails and fidgeting.

My guess is that after 1981, the FCC (during the Reagan administration) and/or FEMA had given the "green light" for radio and TV stations to stay on the air and rebroadcast WGN Radio's EBS programming during an EAN request. I believe in turn, WGN would rebroadcast WLS (the EBS PEP; dunno..)

Before this, only key EBS radio stations (WGN and/or WLS) whom were allowed to stay on the air during an EAN would have been the only one(s) airing this script; everyone else would have been off the air after being ordered to cease broadcasting and to wait for the Emergency Action Termination to be given.

BTW (and on the same topic,) I'd like to know if anyone who worked at channel 5 have any knowledge if WMAQ-TV was a "Non-EBS" station during an EAN. (???)

Case in point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAsGpYMpn3s&list=PL4dCu1NpF8Sb-xR8_fV_XTD0ypUIwKsNT


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Emergency Broadcast System - "This is NOT a Test" (1985) by Subcarrier on Saturday, March 4th, 2017 at 8:11pm CT

I have a cart that was also used for the EBS. It was taken out of service when the EAS replaced it. It's labeled "National Emergency" and has a black plastic cover with diagonal stripes over the business end so it didn't get put on the air accidentally. The announce is similar to the clip- and it is chilling to hear. I played it on the prelisten bus on the MC switcher we were using at the time (CDL 990) which was probably a bit dangerous! After I heard it I threw it back in the rack as quick as I could.


Comment posted in Sears Bank & Trust - "Fastest Bank in Town" with Bobby Hull (Commercial, 1979) by FuzzyMemories on Friday, March 3rd, 2017 at 10:10am CT

Thanks for the update. I also added information to the description.


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