Home  News & Views  Forums  Donate  About  Contact  
Search our online archive of 4,577 clips.
Category Search:
Keyword Search:  
Latest Additions - Recently Viewed - - My Favorites - Most Favorited - Most Commented - Sponsored - Random
Loading the player ...
Share You must Log In to store favorites.
This clip is favorited by 3 people.
 Link/Embed

WGN Channel 9 - Len Johnson and the News (Part 2, 1965)

Here's Part 2 (the final part) of an incredibly rare find - an edition of Len Johnson and the News on WGN Channel 9 from 1965! This was a forerunner to their overnight Night Beat newscast that ran from the late-sixties well into the 1980s.

You'll notice that this was during that awkward transition phase from black-and-white to color with most of the broadcast appearing in black-and-white, but then interspersed by random color commercials and a few color slides.

This came from an original 2" quad tape recording that likely hadn't been played since the day it was recorded. It came from the estate of Len Johnson, whose wife gave it to a family friend after Len passed away. That family friend, Kevin McCarthy, held on to it for a number of years but always wondered what was on the unmarked, unlabeled videotape. Kevin got in touch with us and we arranged to get the tape transferred digitally using funds donated by our loyal visitors here. :-) Robert Feder reported the news this week in his popular Chicago media blog.

You can read more about Len's WGN career here, and see a rare clip from his pre-Chicago days in Pittsburgh here.

Tech Note: Next to Len at the anchor desk is an Electro-Voice EV-667 microphone.

This part includes:

Len reading the following items:

- Albert Cardinal Meyer remains in stable condition at Mercy Hospital, breathing through a tube and fed intravenously (though not mentioned, this was after he suffered a heart attack following an operation to remove a brain tumor; Meyer died on April 9th)

- A new underground parking garage in Grant Park South opens, with Mayor Daley's limousine crashing into a paper "wall" to signify its opening; it stretches from Adams to Van Buren Street, and is well-lit with ramps that are not as steep as its northern equivalent; Daley cuts a cake celebrating Chicago's 128th anniversary during the opening ceremonies

- Earlier, the Associated Retail Bakers of Greater Chicago whipped up a 70-pound cake to commemorate the city's incorporation in 1837, with the message "Providing Dynamic Leadership in Water Conservation and Inland International Shipping" written on it (Len misspoke "providing" as "proving"); film footage of the cake and accompanying celebration (with Daley cutting the cake) is shown; St. Joseph's Home for the Friendless received the rest of the cake

- Women's Bar Association of Illinois holds a meeting on the topic of reapportionment, and both political parties debate the issue; features film footage of a press conference given by Rep. Albert Hackmeister (R-Chicago), Minority Leader of the State House, who charges that Democrats want an "at large" election for both Senate and House in 1966; Democrat Daniel Doherty, asked by WGN's Steve Schickel if that's what his party wants, denies this to be the case

Commercial: 4-Way Cold Tablets - comparing its relief (nasal, aches and pains, sluggishness, and fever) to a regular cold capsule (just nasal relief) (voiceover by Phil Tonken, longtime Channel 9 staff announcer - WOR Channel 9 in New York, that is ;-) )

Len reads the following sports items:

- In the NHL, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs tie 2-2 as Canadiens try to creep up on league-leading Chicago Black Hawks; New York Rangers defeat Boston Bruins 4-3; WGN will carry contest between Black Hawks and Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday (the 6th) at 7pm (the Hawks lost that game 4-1)

- In college basketball, St. Louis University defeats North Texas 90-73 in Missouri Valley Conference game; St. Louis and Bradley are given bids to National Invitation Tournament

- Four college basketball teams advancing to semi-finals of Public League; film footage of Marshall-Harlan matchup (with Marshall winning 87-60), and other scores: DuSable beating Harper 98-58, Carver defeating Crane Tech 104-98, and Dunbar winning over Tilden Tech 72-52; semi-finals to be played the following Tuesday (the 9th) at International Amphitheater; Channel 9 will carry Illinois High School Tournament Finals on March 19th and 20th from Champaign

- In baseball, Chicago White Sox announce that pitcher Joe Horlen has arrived in Sarasota to sign his 1965 contract after a holdout; he signed for $21,000 but wanted $3,000 more, and general manager Ed Short didn't budge

- Film footage of the Cubs at their spring training camp in Mesa, AZ, with brief shots of coaches Bob Kennedy and Alvin Dark (this would be the final year of the Cubs' "College of Coaches," which ended upon Leo "The Lip" Durocher's being named manager in 1966), followed by shots of the pitching staff warming up including Dick Ellsworth (whose 1966 Topps card #447 infamously featured a photo of his late teammate, infielder Ken Hubbs, who was killed in a plane crash prior to the start of the 1964 season), former Milwaukee Braves aces Lew Burdette and Bob Buhl, and Larry Jackson (Buhl and Jackson would be traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1966 in exchange for Ferguson Jenkins who would become one of the Cubs' top fireballers into the early 1970's) (notice, among the pitching staff as then constituted, the absence of Ernie Broglio, who came to the Cubs in the infamously lopsided 1964 trade that sent future base-stealing legend Lou Brock to the St. Louis Cardinals); also featured are infielder Ron Santo, utility player Leo Burke, and "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks

- In golf at the Pensacola Open, four men tied for lead after the first round: Jack Nicklaus, Doug Sanders, Kel Nagle and Dave Marr (all hit 68); tied for second are Billy Casper, Don Cherry (one and the same as had a hit with "Band of Gold" in 1956), Chuck Courtney and Billy Martindale; Arnold Palmer tied with fourteen others at 71; Gary Player and Ken Venturi tied with 26 others at 72; WGN (who else?) will air the final round on Sunday (the 7th)

Commercial: Calgon Water Conditioner - "Mommy's Choice" - gets rid of bathtub ring film on clothes - animation done in the style of children's drawings (in color)

Len reads the weather forecast for Chicago and vicinity, including snow; and closes the newscast with mention that it was a presentation of Channel 9 News, written and edited by Charles Schreiber.

Title card slides (in color):

Len Johnson and the News

A Presentation of WGN News - Portions of the preceding program were mechanically reproduced

Commercial: Wrigley's Doublemint Gum - "Doublemint Time" with Tommy & Joy - backed by orchestra (anyone know who Tommy and Joy are?) - "Double Your Pleasure" (in color) (tape cuts out in middle of this ad)

This aired on local Chicago TV early Friday, March 5th 1965 at 12:30am.

Click here to search for related videos.

This clip aired on Friday, March 5th 1965, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

EXCELLENT!! :) (I also noticed at the end of the newscast, it says, "Len Johnson and the news."

Another Grand slam!!!

Comment posted by Matt on Saturday, September 1st 2012 at 12:29pm.

The Cubs also got Adolfo Phillips in that trade with the Phils.

Great find, Fuzzy!

Comment posted by HUdson 3-2700 on Saturday, September 1st 2012 at 8:56pm.

St. Joseph's Home For The Friendless? What an odd and sad name for an institution.
Comment posted by Erniebaud on Saturday, September 1st 2012 at 10:00pm.

Erniebaud, I suppose calling it the St. Joseph's Homeless Shelter would've been sadder than St. Joseph's Home for the Friendless to the folks trying to run the place.
Comment posted by OldTVNut on Sunday, September 2nd 2012 at 9:29am.

The "new" Nightbeat theme from the 70s did fit the program better, the theme on this show gives me visions of Donna Reed running down the stairs to answer the phone:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnIC7j-xrUY

Comment posted by yarsdad on Sunday, September 2nd 2012 at 9:13pm.

You must be logged into the forums to add comments.

This clip has been viewed 3263 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Saturday, September 1st 2012.
Latest News & Views:
Christmas Treat! (12/31)
Latest Forum Posting:
The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle

Latest Additions
10 total pages
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7 8 9 1 page forward10 pages forward

WGN Channel 9 - Bozo's Circus - "Frazier's Pledge" (1978)

WFLD Channel 32 - Son of Svengoolie - "Vampire Lovers" (Promo, 1984)

Remington Micro Screen (Commercial, 1983)

WFLD Channel 32 - Son of Svengoolie - "Madhouse" (Promo, 1984)

Snipets - "Body Pride" (1976?)


Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in WIND Talk Radio 56 - "Wake Up With Me" (Commercial, 1983) by MisterUptempo on Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 at 2:08am CT

I believe this is the last TV spot that Group W aired to promote WIND. I'm trying to remember if they had any TV spots produced when they attempted a branding refresh as "The Wind", around late 1984-early 1985.

Not long after they ran this campaign, they started cost-cutting, and by December, 1985, the station ownership went from Group W to Tichenor Media, which changed the format from Talk to Spanish language, with its "La Tremenda" format. And, yes, Dth1971, Clark (known as "Mister Three-Share") went to WJJD, where he would broadcast from 1986-1996.

Westinghouse had wanted to get rid of WIND for years, in hopes of finding a 50,000 watt station to buy, but without luck. For a 5000 watt station, it sounded really good and you couldn't beat the dial placement-"First on Your Dial" had been used as a slogan for a while. The problem was that the signal, with its transmitter based in Gary, IN, carried well North-South, not so well East-West, and a lot of the growth in population was in the Western suburbs/DuPage County, where the signal wasn't particularly strong. It does appear as if Salem, current owners of the station, has improved upon the signal coverage.

Group W finally did find their 50,000 watt station in Chicago, when they bought WMAQ 670AM from NBC in 1988. 670AM is now owned by CBS Radio.


Comment posted in WMAQ All News 67 - "We'll Give You The World" (Commercial, 1988) by MisterUptempo on Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 at 12:55am CT

Just a bit of trivia - the guy in the background with the glasses was Jim Gudas, who worked as a newsman/anchor on WGN 720AM until fairly recently. The guy bouncing back and forth between Jim Frank and Jim Gudas was Chris Lobo, whose father was General Manager of WMAQ-TV at the time this commercial was made. I'm having a hard time placing the woman, though.


Comment posted in Various Stations - "TV DX Potpourri" (1979/1980) by TGRogers on Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 at 9:55pm CT

Side note: Rod Grams, the WIFR reporter in the ID promo, later became lead anchor at KMSP in Minneapolis-St. Paul, then eventually became a Republican US Senator from his home state of Minnesota for one term (1995-2001). He died in 2013.


Comment posted in Montgomery Ward - "Gifts They'll Cherish" (Commercial, 1981) by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 at 7:45pm CT

@MisterUptempo - Thanks for the ID! :-)


Comment posted in Montgomery Ward - "Gifts They'll Cherish" (Commercial, 1981) by MisterUptempo on Monday, August 3rd, 2015 at 10:47pm CT

The voiceover on this spot was done by none other than Herb Graham, a very familiar voice in Chicago for decades.

I remember him best from his program on the old FM100, called The Hour in the Middle of the Evening. He was also the voice of Bubbie Beaver, on Channel 2's Sunday morning program, The Magic Door.


Comment posted in Beatlemania At The Shubert Theatre (Commercial #1, 1980) by Detroit4Chicago on Monday, August 3rd, 2015 at 7:56pm CT

This somewhat reminded me of Stars on 45.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Bozo's Circus - "Frazier's Pledge" (1978) by Smctopia on Thursday, July 30th, 2015 at 8:15pm CT

I tried playing it again (on Firefox). I had to let it buffer several times but I got it to play but the sound still wasn't in sync with the picture.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Bozo's Circus - "Frazier's Pledge" (1978) by Smctopia on Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 at 9:05pm CT

I'm currently on the go and using my IPad so right now I can't play anything. I will have to try it tomorrow when I have a chance.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The Nine O'Clock News - "Farewell, Frazier..." (1985) by Brian1978 on Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 at 8:41pm CT

@Loyal32Fan: All that is on display at the new Museum of Broadcast Communications. The chair, painting of Garfield Goose, and the bookcase are on display right when you walk in the doors and Frazier's costume is on display by the Garfield Goose puppets, which is in an area that also has all the different costumes from Bozo's Circus and Ray Rayner show. While I do like the building since they have more room for exhibits, I do NOT like having to pay $12 for admission! It's like what happened to the Museum of Science and Industry. For the longest time, it was free admission then when they started charging admission, it got expensive. I dread the day they start charging admission to Lincoln Park Zoo. Sadly, I think that day will happen within a few years. Will there be ANYTHING left to do for free in Chicago anymore?


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Bozo's Circus - "Frazier's Pledge" (1978) by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 at 12:02am CT

Smctopia - Are you still having problems playing the entire clip? (I'm waiting on posting new clips until we have these issues worked out - I really wanted to move forward with the new file format)


<<< Older
  News & Views  Forums  Donate  About  Contact  Disclaimer  Links  Press   
This page was created in 0.58392 seconds 2007-2015 Museum of Classic Chicago Television