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WGN Channel 9 - Newsbreak (1978)

Here's a mostly intact Newsbreak from WGN Channel 9 (the "early morning" sign-off edition), read by Ron Rolland. Includes:

Animated WGN "Last Farewell" Station ID (voiceover by Ron Rolland)

Opening of Newsbreak with simple slide and '50's-style orchestral music, with the following items:

- Egypt's President Anwar el-Sadat to travel to Washington next weekend to meet with President Carter to get the stalled Egyptian-Israeli peace talks back on track, and to try to get more U.S. military aid

- Canadian officials searching Northwest territory for remains of fallen Soviet satellite

- Jewish leaders angered over Illinois Supreme Court decision (rendered on January 27th) allowing neo-Nazis to march in Skokie (Illinois Nazis...I hate Illinois Nazis...)

- Investigators with National Transportation Safety Board find possible reasons for crash of two Illinois Central commuter trains in downtown Chicago on Thursday (the 26th); more than 300 were injured, with 11 hospitalized

- Chicago police looking for suspects who killed 57-year-old Leonard James of 7738 South Champlain Avenue, owner of Hyde Park jewelry store, Fair(?) Jewelers at 1525 East 53rd Street, on the 27th; he had been bound, gagged and stabbed more than 60 times

- In college basketball, two games to be played in Chicago (later on the 28th): 2nd-ranked Marquette to take on Loyola (Loyola won 68-64), and 9th-ranked Providence to meet DePaul (DePaul won 78-68); in other Big 10 action, Northwestern at Wisconsin (Northwestern won 93-85) and Minnesota at Purdue (Purdue won 72-64)

- In pro basketball, Chicago Bulls unable to return home for game against Washington Bullets scheduled for the 27th; it is rescheduled for March 16th (which the Bulls won, 111-107); meanwhile, later tonight they are to play New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden (the Knicks won that one, 108-96)

- In hockey, Detroit Red Wings to play Chicago Black Hawks at Chicago Stadium (Chicago won 6-1)

- Reading of weather forecast for Saturday, with snow predicted (tape cuts off as announcer reads temperatures)

This aired on local Chicago TV early Saturday, January 28th 1978 between (approximately) 4:05am and 4:09am.

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This clip aired on Saturday, January 28th 1978, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

According to the schedule in the Tribune, this clip aired around 4:05 AM after "The Saint."
Comment posted by Phantom on Saturday, January 7th 2012 at 10:32am.

Time range of airing and correct spelling of voiceover added to clip description.
Comment posted by W.B. on Saturday, January 7th 2012 at 11:03am.

Ah! That checks out. This guy loved The Saint and other spy shows. Must have been a timer recording - unfortunately, this was the only remenant from that apart from a partial Al Green record offer commercial preceeding it. (didn't want to post that because I feel I might have the full version somehwere)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, January 7th 2012 at 11:39am.

Was there any listing after Newsbreak, Phantom? Do you think they were heading into sign-off?
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, January 7th 2012 at 11:40am.

I can't speak for 'Phantom', but from what I've seen on the retro schedules of WGN for this year, these "Newsbreaks" were followed by the "Five Minutes to Live By" before whichever announcer was on duty at the time (whether George Bauer or, in this case, Ron Rolland) signed-off the station for the night. Sometimes there was also an "Update on Health" in-between these sign-off newscasts and the sermonette.
Comment posted by W.B. on Saturday, January 7th 2012 at 11:56am.

P.S. - Fuzzy: The coast is clear to put up the Al Green record offer if you so chose. I've not seen hyde or hair of such ad anywhere.
Comment posted by W.B. on Saturday, January 7th 2012 at 12:01pm.

Well, I just mean that I feel like I might have the complete record offer on another tape or disc somewhere. I do hate posting incomplete things if I think I might have (or will eventually find) a complete version somewhere.
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, January 7th 2012 at 12:10pm.

This particular gang of neo-Nazis were the ones led by Frank Collin and were based in Marquette Park. (Their headquarters was just across the street from Maria High School, where Mary had gone. When we were looking at halls for our wedding reception, one place was right next door to their headquarters. We saw that and just kept walking.) As I recall, they wanted to march in Skokie because they weren't allowed to congregate in Marquette Park; when that ban was lifted, the abandoned the Skokie idea.

On the bright side, this newscast was on the air about twelve hours before Mary and I were married. It'll be 34 years in three weeks.

Comment posted by HUdson 3-2700 on Saturday, January 7th 2012 at 1:24pm.

None of the listings I have (Tribune, Herald, TV Guide) for that date have anything beyond news at 4:05 AM. WGN wasn't providing that kind of information to the listings at the time. The lineup that morning: 1:05 Late Movie: Destroyer (1943). 3:05 The Saint: Art Collectors. 4:05 Local News (Newsbreak). 6:40 Five Minutes to Live By. 6:45 News. 6:57 WGN Editorial. I am guessing that WGN signed off after Newsbreak. The all night show of movies without commercials, old documentaries (National Geographic, Jacques Cousteau, Ghost Towns,) and reruns (Nanny and the Professor, Liars' Club) started later that year.
Comment posted by Phantom on Saturday, January 7th 2012 at 2:31pm.

@HUdson 3-2700 ---Maria HS was at 67th and California, and Nazi Hall was on 71st between Campbell and Maplewood. The only hall nearby was Gold Coast Inn on 71st and Maplewood. It was a popular place for funeral luncheons since Petkus Funeral Home was across the street.
Comment posted by Bababoozer on Sunday, January 8th 2012 at 4:23am.

I'm sure that's the one. Thanks, Bababoozer!
Comment posted by HUdson 3-2700 on Sunday, January 8th 2012 at 10:32am.

To Hudson,

Happy 34th anniversary to you and your wife! :)

Comment posted by Matt on Monday, January 9th 2012 at 7:24pm.

Hudson happy anniversary. Your story about the nazis just gave me a chill. These hate groups really scare me. I'll never forget one time when taking a cab to a modeling job the cab driver was one of them. He started bragging about the group he was involved in (I think it was the KKK but can't remember)and asking me if I wanted information to join and gave me a card of the organization. I didn't tell him my great grandfather was Jewish and that his family was killed at Auschwitz, or that I am Catholic (they hate Catholics as much as Jews)and likely have Native American and Hispanic ancestry and possibly even African ancestry. In hindsight I probably should have complained about him but it scared me so much that some random guy would mention a hate group.
Comment posted by LaPrincess on Thursday, January 12th 2012 at 2:02pm.

1. Happy Anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. HUdson 3-2700!!! Here's to another 34 years together!!

2. I went to high school around that time with several of the younger guys in that group. I (and they) graduated that June, but I never went anywheres near Rockwell Hall (I think I remember that's what their place was called). Later that summer, they were back at their usual stomping grounds at Marquette Park, pulling their usual crap. Yuck! And, yes LaPrincess, I was scared of them too!

Comment posted by madsixtian on Monday, January 16th 2012 at 10:07pm.

What Song they used on the intro? The 50's style orchestra?
Comment posted by ER3017 on Monday, January 28th 2013 at 7:55pm.

That theme was 99% likely from a vintage production music library. If you look elsewhere on this site, you'll notice this music as the theme for their late-night newscast (ur-Night Beat) as of 1965, on that momentous early-morning when Len Johnson made a rare on-camera appearance as anchor, filling in for Carl Greyson, that was preserved for posterity on videotape and can be found right here (and also here).

On YouTube, some people have put up files of old 9" 16-2/3 RPM Seeburg discs of elevator music, much of which came from production music libraries; perchance one of them might be this? (One such disc had another piece of orchestral music that was used in the 1950's as the theme for one of the late kids' show legend Sandy Becker's myriad of shows that aired on WABD [later WNEW, now WNYW] Channel 5 in New York City.)

Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, January 29th 2013 at 3:55am.

In comparison, at this time, sister-station WPIX in New York had sign-off newscasts called Action News Night Final. They consisted of a station announcer (Ralph Lowenstein or Bill Biery, and sometimes Roy Whitfield) reading stories off-camera, accompanied by appropriate slides and video, mixed with video and film reports from the night's Action News. Later editions would also include CG text.

Here's one edition (in three parts) from June 5, 1980, with Ralph Lowenstein:
Part 1 (news)
Part 2 (AccuWeather)
Part 3 (close)

However, earlier that year, WPIX went 24/7, so this was followed by The Channel 11 Film Festival.

Comment posted by IAmNomad on Wednesday, January 30th 2013 at 6:25pm.

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This clip has been viewed 2613 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Saturday, January 7th 2012.
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They made the plastic Burger King look like this one, I think.


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Here's some info I found on Tony the Pony. It doesn't appear to be locally produced.
http://www.tvobscurities.com/2008/12/q-and-a-the-gunslinger-tony-the-pony/


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It was Missy Gold in the Burger King ad. Funny because I knew that the second I saw her. She wouldn't be known to a national audience until Benson's debut in 1979.


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You are correct. I can't believe I typed the wrong thing and no one caught it earlier!


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Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Creature Features - "The Raven" (Opening & Bumper Excerpts, 1978) by AdoreSixtyFour on Monday, November 17th, 2014 at 1:59pm CT

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These puppets were later used on a show called I.N.K. -- Interesting News for Kids. I thought it was on WMAQ, but maybe I'm wrong on that. The mic was named Mike Rafone, (get it?), and the show also featured a character who was a spider that looked like a black glove with a huge black pin cushion sewn onto the top of it. This is the ONLY reference I've seen to the show in years.


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - Monster Rally Movie - "Opening Outtakes" (1976) by Larkin Royal on Monday, November 17th, 2014 at 1:47am CT

Did this ever go anywhere, or was it just an opening, which was also used, (as I remember), as a commercial? I don't remember ever seeing the host doing any bumpers or skits, ala Svengoolie.


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