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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.

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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.

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This clip has been viewed 7152 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Saturday, April 3rd 2010.

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I remember vividly this bulletin; it was also a period when I was preoccupied with the notion of death of human beings. I think we changed the channel from watching M*A*S*H and happened to see this. And this came on.

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Comment posted in WBBM Channel 2 - Universe with Walter Cronkite - "The Science Behind Star Wars" (1980) by OddityArchive on Sunday, September 21st, 2014 at 6:45pm CT

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Comment posted in Boxcar Willie - King Of The Road - 20 Great Tracks (Record Offer, 1981) by LaPrincess on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 9:20pm CT

My great grandma had this record. Strangely Boxcar Willie looks like he could be related to my guy friend.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by pvx on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 12:49am CT

In reply to Szake's, T.K.'s, and Fuzzy's comments regarding the letters flashing in the corners of the screen at the beginning--I have seen this as well in other national TV commercials on film from this era.

I have a really good hunch as to what this is--going from my experience working master control in local commercial television and handling the physical airing of commercial spots (albeit much later in the early 2000s on videotape and satellite-delivered video files for on-air playout, as opposed to the film print this commercial is most likely from), this is more than likely an ISCI (Industry Standard Commercial Identifier) code, an unique 4 letter & 4 number identification code assigned to national commercial spots that receive national network and/or local affiliate airing. Each ISCI code is unique to the spot for identification for advertisers, ad agencies, post-production staff, and the station's/network's traffic/logging, ad sales, and and master control personnel. A typical ISCI code is usually in the format of ABCD1234.

I'd hazard to guess that it must of been the industry standard in the 70s to have the ISCI code digits show up on the corners of the first few film frames of the spot, to ease identification for the master control/projectionist/editor at a station to know what spot it was while splicing it together with other commercial films to make a spot reel (or when threading the spot by itself up in a film-chain projector) for airing in a local commercial break.

When the transition to delivering commercials to stations/networks on videotape became more common practice, usually the ISCI code was displayed during the slate & countdown before the spot on the beginning of the tape (obviously not aired, unless the MCO screwed up and switched it up too early ;) )).

I wonder of the ISCI code of this spot is something like xMxHx0x3 (the "x"s being whatever letters/numbers displayed at the left side of the screen, which is mostly cut off in this video), say, something like IMGH1023?


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Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by T.K. on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 4:04pm CT

I was able to stop on two frames... the first with M in the upper-right corner and H in the lower-right and the second frame with O in the upper-right and 3 in the lower-right. So... MO, H3? If it was flashing M-O-M, I'd think maybe it was a subliminal message to ask your mother to buy a ticket.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 1:39pm CT

Seriously though, it seems like the letters change in each corner very quickly, like it is cycling through something. I also see an 'O' in the upper-right hand corner. Can't we get the conspiracy nuts to break this down for us? This is probably bigger than the "subliminal" station sign-off message. ;-)


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 1:36pm CT

I still see the X. ;-)


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