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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):

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:

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 10352 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Saturday, April 3rd 2010.

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Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - Ending of Saturday Night Movie, Reflections and Station Sign-Off (1977) by W.B. on Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 at 8:55pm CT

And New York's Channel 7, WABC, also tended to show badly worn color prints of old movies. One screening of "The Best of Everything" [1959] in the mid-'80's on their "Late Movie" (with Alan Parker's "Unlimited Love" as the theme) was especially yellowish.

As for the bad color on this film, one person on YouTube speculated it may've been due to this being an Eastman print, fading over time.

Can anyone say with certainty what kind of color slide WLS used for their 1974 test pattern (inaugurated the year they began transmitting from their circular polarized antenna atop the Sears [now Willis] Tower), based on the 1984 sign-on and the extreme fading and discoloration seen thereon?

And finally, can anyone envision in their head how the "swirling stars" would have fared with Walter Raim's "Big Show" theme as used for years on WABC's "4:30 Movie" and their other movie shows?

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - Ending of Saturday Night Movie, Reflections and Station Sign-Off (1977) by AnnArborMI90 on Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 at 8:11pm CT

Our channel 7 in Detroit was also known for bad colour quality when they were showing old movies. I have a few movie recordings off of WXYZ from the early 80s, and "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying" has particularly bad colour quality.

Comment posted in WTTW Channel 11 - Doctor Who - "The Max Headroom Pirating Incident" (1987) by Smctopia on Thursday, October 13th, 2016 at 8:17pm CT

I don't think this was asked elsewhere but since he first tried to hack in to WGN and the Channel 11 audio makes several WGN references, is it possible "Max" prerecorded this and wasn't broadcasting it live?

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - Ending of Saturday Night Movie, Reflections and Station Sign-Off (1977) by Smctopia on Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 at 7:40pm CT

The woman in the AARP ad kind of sounds like Shirley Jones.

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - Ending of Saturday Night Movie, Reflections and Station Sign-Off (1977) by W.B. on Tuesday, October 11th, 2016 at 8:59pm CT

Would anyone out there know what kind of color system was used on that print of "The Guns of Navarone" for the color to go so bad? I know that the print would've been 16mm . . . and what was it about one of the RCA(?) film chains for the blacks on the circle 7 logo to be dark maroonish and the whites almost beigeish? And people thought that no two color cameras of the same model produced the same pictures?

Comment posted in JFK's First Trip to Chicago - "Lost" 16mm Footage (1961) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, October 10th, 2016 at 10:11pm CT

Thanks for the compliments and info, everyone. Hopefully we can incorporate the info into the description at some point.

Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - WGN Presents - "The Two Mrs. Carrolls" (Bumper Promo, 1984) by Burr-Rabbitt on Monday, October 10th, 2016 at 8:38pm CT

@69TH&STONY, that's what I'm talking about!!! I grew up in the IDA B.WELLS of of 37th st. With what you said to that added breeze that comes from the lake, especially on a warm summer night!!

Comment posted in JFK's First Trip to Chicago - "Lost" 16mm Footage (1961) by Tommy33 on Monday, October 10th, 2016 at 3:57pm CT

A little more info on this fascinating piece:
The motorcade is proceeding north on Dearborn in Downtown Chicago and it stops on Michigan Avenue in front of the Conrad Hilton Hotel where the CPD scuffle with a Secret Service Agent. You can see the Prudential Building (then the tallest building in the city) in the background. The protesters are demonstrating across the street from the hotel. That evening the President, Mayor Daley and the entourage leave the Conrad Hilton for the banquet at the Original McCormick Place which was totally destroyed by a fire in 1967. This footage is really something. Great find Fuzzy!

Comment posted in JFK's First Trip to Chicago - "Lost" 16mm Footage (1961) by W.B. on Monday, October 10th, 2016 at 10:28am CT

Natural gas storage towers were once major sights in many major cities. When growing up in NYC, I used to hear traffic reports on the radio where they would every so often mention traffic tie-ups "along the Elmhurst Gas Tanks" (reference to gas storage towers in Elmhurst, Queens, NY).

Comment posted in JFK's First Trip to Chicago - "Lost" 16mm Footage (1961) by Tommy33 on Monday, October 10th, 2016 at 9:26am CT

At 59 seconds as they are coming in on the (NW) Kennedy Expy, see the big tower in the forefront with the checkerboard pattern on top? Those are natural gas storage towers. They used to be all over the city. Scary looking when you were a little kid. They were huge up close.

This is really an awesome piece of JFK footage!

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