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Tuesday, February 19th, 2019
40 Years Ago Today

Here's the first ten minutes of the First Edition news on WBBM Channel 2. The newsreader is announcer Jerry Harper. Includes:

Promo for Dinah! with guest Jacqueline Bisset for 3:30 PM (voice over by Jerry Harper)

Opening, with these news items:

- Chinese forces capture at least 13 towns and 2 provincial capitals in Vietnam, with Soviets pledging to help Vietnamese - filmed report from Paul Byers in Hong Kong, with footage from Chinese TV; President Carter confers with aides on Chinese and Iranian situations; China's strategy is to force Vietnamese talks on Cambodia

- Cause of fire that killed 2 persons (identified as Samuel Taylor and George Hermim (sp?) ) in uptown (at 4651 North Magnolia Avenue) on Monday not determined as yet; Steve Shepard reports on this and 11 other fires in 23rd Police District that are suspected to be arson (as opposed to over 70 in 1978), with comments from Sgt. James Sandoz of Bomb and Arson and interview with uptown resident Mrs. Anne Stevens

- Renee Ferguson interview with a once-budding local businessman (owning a rib house and two auto repair shops), Wallace Davis, who had been shot accidentally on the South Side on March 8th 1976 (by Officer Joseph Freels who thought Davis was a suspect in a shooting), with part of his liver, both bile ducts, spleen and gall bladder removed; she reports on support from Chicago's black community, including an upcoming exhibition fight between Muhammad Ali and Luke Capuano for February 28th at DePaul Alumni Hall, and a marathon on the 19th at the Roberts Motel at 301 East 63rd Street to raise $14,000 for legal expenses; his attorney Terrence Hegarty worries about the outcome of his planned $15 million lawsuit against the city, trial for which to start April 16th, owing to makeup of jury

Commercial: Folger's Coffee (with Virginia Christine as Mrs. Olsen)

Commercial: Osco Drug - Take Good Care Of Yourself - Save The Osco Way

More news:

- 3 persons (Policeman Joe Trotta; Beatrice Lyons, 83; and Susan Mensville, 47) injured in a fire in an apartment building at 8 East Chestnut, probably caused by heater that set fire to rags in basement; all reported in fair condition at Henrotin Hospital

- Firemen from eight suburbs fighting fire at 15 West 232 Plainfield Road in Burr Ridge; four firemen slightly injured

- President Carter took spill headfirst while cross-country skiing on mountain slope near Camp David over weekend, according to Press Secretary Jody Powell; photo shown of him with gash on right forehead and scratches on his face

- 100 National Guard troops on standby in Baltimore in wake of over 700 incidents of looting and robberies after major snowstorm that dumped 20 inches on city; over 200 have been arrested, and mayor orders 10-hour curfew that is to end at 5:00 AM; other cities hit hard by blizzards were New York City, Washington, DC, Atlanta, and Charlotte, NC; reports from Jerry Landay and Jed Duvall (only one of whom is heard over film footage up and down the Eastern Seaboard before tape cuts out)

This aired on February 20, 1979.

WBBM Channel 2 - First Edition (Mostly Complete, 1979)

Here's the first ten minutes of the First Edition news on WBBM Channel 2. The newsreader is announcer Jerry Harper. Includes:

Promo for Dinah! with guest Jacqueline Bisset for 3:30pm (voiceover by Jerry Harper)

Opening, with these news items:

- Chinese forces capture at least 13 towns and 2 provincial capitals in Vietnam, with Soviets pledging to help Vietnamese - filmed report from Paul Byers in Hong Kong, with footage from Chinese TV; President Carter confers with aides on Chinese and Iranian situations; China's strategy is to force Vietnamese talks on Cambodia

- Cause of fire that killed 2 persons (identified as Samuel Taylor and George Hermim (sp?) ) in uptown (at 4651 North Magnolia Avenue) on Monday not determined as yet; Steve Shepard reports on this and 11 other fires in 23rd Police District that are suspected to be arson (as opposed to over 70 in 1978), with comments from Sgt. James Sandoz of Bomb and Arson and interview with uptown resident Mrs. Anne Stevens

- Renee Ferguson interview with a once-budding local businessman (owning a rib house and two auto repair shops), Wallace Davis, who had been shot accidentally on the South Side on March 8th 1976 (by Officer Joseph Freels who thought Davis was a suspect in a shooting), with part of his liver, both bile ducts, spleen and gall bladder removed; she reports on support from Chicago's black community, including an upcoming exhibition fight between Muhammad Ali and Luke Capuano for February 28th at DePaul Alumni Hall, and a marathon on the 19th at the Roberts Motel at 301 East 63rd Street to raise $14,000 for legal expenses; his attorney Terrence Hegarty worries about the outcome of his planned $15 million lawsuit against the city, trial for which to start April 16th, owing to makeup of jury

Commercial: Folger's Coffee (with Virginia Christine as Mrs. Olsen)

Commercial: Osco Drug - Take Good Care Of Yourself - Save The Osco Way

More news:

- 3 persons (Policeman Joe Trotta; Beatrice Lyons, 83; and Susan Mensville, 47) injured in a fire in an apartment building at 8 East Chestnut, probably caused by heater that set fire to rags in basement; all reported in fair condition at Henrotin Hospital

- Firemen from eight suburbs fighting fire at 15 West 232 Plainfield Road in Burr Ridge; four firemen slightly injured

- President Carter took spill headfirst while cross-country skiing on mountain slope near Camp David over weekend, according to Press Secretary Jody Powell; photo shown of him with gash on right forehead and scratches on his face

- 100 National Guard troops on standby in Baltimore in wake of over 700 incidents of looting and robberies after major snowstorm that dumped 20 inches on city; over 200 have been arrested, and mayor orders 10-hour curfew that is to end at 5:00am; other cities hit hard by blizzards were New York City, Washington, DC, Atlanta, and Charlotte, NC; reports from Jerry Landay and Jed Duvall (only one of whom is heard over film footage up and down the Eastern Seaboard before tape cuts out)

This aired on local Chicago TV early Tuesday, February 20th 1979 between approximately 1:20am and 1:30am. (A movie is listed as starting at 1:35am, so we are only missing the last 5 minutes or so.)
(Approximately 1:20am - 1:30am. A movie is listed as starting at 1:35am so we are only missing the final 5 minutes or so)

Click here to search for related videos.

This clip aired on Tuesday, February 20th 1979, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

There's the same piano riff heard in 2 other clips prior to this one.
Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Thursday, October 9th 2008 at 10:07pm.

Yep, that little riff sure brings back memories. :-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Thursday, October 9th 2008 at 10:10pm.

Did the Late Show came on at 1:35a after First Edition?

I think the Match Game questions/jokes about Mrs. Olsen became popular than the ad in this clip. ;-)

Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Thursday, October 9th 2008 at 10:29pm.

Probably The Late Show I would imagine. The show preceeding First Edition was The CBS Late Movie.
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Thursday, October 9th 2008 at 10:36pm.

Interesting. On WCBS-TV in New York, the slides-only newscasts (as seen in-between "Late Shows" in overnight hours) were called "Channel 2 News," with the type set in Serif Gothic Bold. So I see at least two CBS O&O's had this procedure.
Comment posted by W.B. on Friday, October 10th 2008 at 5:53am.

Also, how close would we be to getting a bona-fide sign-off of WBBM-TV?
Comment posted by W.B. on Friday, October 10th 2008 at 6:03am.

W.B., stole my thunder! This is kind of like KNBC-TV's sign-off edition news with pre-recorded news stories to go along with the live announce. But as Fuzzy mentioned, a movie was starting at 1:30. This video from 1979 was at the time when WBBM-TV was number 1.
Comment posted by BobAnthony on Friday, October 10th 2008 at 10:08am.

To 'BobAnthony': I frankly doubt, however, from my memory, that WCBS had any video or film clips of pertinent stories, it was just the live announcer on duty (whether Gaylord Avery, Don "Voice of CBS Sports" Robertson, Pat Connell et al.) reading the items over a slide, followed by sports, commercial break (in the late 1978 era, the Crazy Eddie ad which parodied the "Saturday Night Fever" dance scene), and finally weather. The only New York station I know of that had "sign-off" editions akin to KNBC, or to WBBM's in-between-movies news updates: WPIX in New York (sister station to WGN-TV).
Comment posted by W.B. on Friday, October 10th 2008 at 11:00am.

Were the "Bill Cosby Show" reruns still shown on channel 2 around this time?

If memory serves me correctly, that was the only time slot that it would be shown (latenight) no matter what station was showing them.

Comment posted by armitagenlowell on Friday, October 10th 2008 at 2:02pm.

This was a cool clip. I love the picture of the Chicago skyline at night. From what year to what year did "First Edition" air. Thanks again Fuzzy.
Comment posted by 1980sfan on Friday, October 10th 2008 at 5:55pm.

Didn't anyone notice that Jerry Harper stumble on the word Vietnamese?
Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Friday, March 27th 2009 at 2:42pm.

A more complete slides-only, staff announcer-read newscast - from WBBM's New York sister, WCBS Channel 2, by Dave Campbell from early Monday, July 17th, 1978 - can be seen here for comparison. However, the way such newscast was structured at WCBS differed a tad from WBBM - no films or videos, all a solitary slide. (Incidentally, this was about less than a year before Mr. Campbell replaced Bob Hite as announcer for the "CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.") The only NYC station to have their sign-off newscasts structured like WBBM's (and LA station KNBC's) was WPIX Channel 11.
Comment posted by W.B. on Friday, December 17th 2010 at 10:42pm.

Great lo-fi look into the past!

The corner of Magnolia & Leland looks like it has gentrified a bit since 1979.

Comment posted by APM on Saturday, December 18th 2010 at 12:35pm.

Love the film reports and the glance into the past. Mom taught at Winthrop and Foster, about a quarter of a mile from Magnolia and Leland where the burned out buildings are, and there were a lot of similar buildings back in those days.

I always get a kick out of Folger's making a big deal about their coffee being "mountain grown" because, as I understand it, most coffee is...

Comment posted by HUdson 3-2700 on Saturday, December 18th 2010 at 9:22pm.

Sister-station KNXT (now KCBS-TV) in Los Angeles structured its Late News the exact same way as WBBM's First Edition (though in some editions, the announcer called it "the late edition of Channel 2 News"), which also aired right before The Late Show. Each was about 15 minutes long. Audio of several editions (without commercials) from late November and mid-December 1975 and early New Year's 1976 can be heard on rainbowgulchprod's channel on YouTube. All are with substitute staff announcer Charlie Dugdale as the usual announcer, Ted Kenworthy, was off. As he read the news items, Charlie would sometimes joke around, reminisce, and comment on stories. On New Year's 1976, he changed shifts, with his late night one taken over by Johnny Condon.

From one of the videos:
"A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, Charlie began his career on the radio where he played a character named 'Cactus Pete.' He worked in radio and TV in San Francisco before joining KNXT (now KCBS) as a staff announcer in 1965. He died of leukemia on May 18, 1985 at the age of 61."

First Edition was later used as the name for WBBM's 4:30 PM newscast in the late '80s/early '90s.

To see more slides-only newscasts, see my "Slides-Only Newscasts" playlist on YouTube.

Comment posted by IAmNomad on Friday, October 19th 2012 at 7:40pm.

Then-ABC affiliate KMSP-TV (channel 9) in the Twin Cities (and licensed to Minneapolis) also structured its Newsnine Final (during its ABC affiliation) exactly the same as WBBM's First Edition. It aired after the late movie, prior to sign-off. Here's a complete edition with Al Tighe from 1977 (from TC Media Now). This edition was preceded by a rerun of It Takes a Thief.

At the time, KMSP had a dismal news department, which was the reason ABC defected to NBC affiliate KSTP-TV (channel 5, licensed to St. Paul) in March of 1979 as part of the network's plan to upgrade its list of affiliates. KMSP soon became a strong independent, had an unsuccessful affiliation with FOX from 1986-1988, affiliated with UPN in 1995 (due to longtime owner United Television's stake in the network), and is now a FOX O&O (after FOX bought Chris-Craft, which owned United, in 2002; ironically, United was the original broadcasting division of 20th Century Fox until 1981, when Chris-Craft purchased a stake in the company, eventually becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of BHC Communications, Chris-Craft's broadcasting division, in 1983).

Comment posted by IAmNomad on Sunday, November 25th 2012 at 7:05pm.

"More news updates until tape cuts out. (story details to be described here later)"

It's been over four and a half years. I think it's time that they should be described.

Comment posted by IAmNomad on Monday, April 29th 2013 at 5:42pm.

The middle of the report (4:21 to 6:42 in the clip) features an update on a lawsuit by future Alderman Wallace Davis, who was convicted in a corruption scandal in the late 1980s. Davis was recently in the news after being ordered to pay over $143K in past due child support by a Cook County judge in March.

This makes for some interesting reading, as the report indicated Davis owned a rib store in the South Side at the time he was shot by a Chicago Police officer during what was reported as a robbery in March 1976. Davis owns Wallace's Catfish Corner in the West Side (Madison & California).

Comment posted by CtRabs74 on Tuesday, May 14th 2013 at 2:27pm.

The details have been duly filled in by the pertinent elves in charge of fleshing out same.
Comment posted by W.B. on Sunday, November 19th 2017 at 4:15pm.

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This clip has been viewed 4157 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Thursday, October 9th 2008.
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Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The Transformers (Break #3, Ending, & Opening Of The Facts of Life, 1987) by VintageCanada on Monday, January 21st, 2019 at 6:33pm CT

Additional note: CHCH in Hamilton began rerunning the series as of January 21, 2019, with special guest appearances by the Diff'rent Strokes main cast in that first episode (originally aired August 24, 1979 on NBC), and a larger cast than what we'd be accustomed to in later seasons as the girls grew up over the years.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - G.I. Joe (Commercial Break #2, 1987) by VintageCanada on Monday, January 21st, 2019 at 6:24pm CT

George Clooney appeared in a number of Season 7 episodes of The Facts of Life starting with S7E2, which was the episode WGN ran on this particular day.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The Transformers (Break #3, Ending, & Opening Of The Facts of Life, 1987) by VintageCanada on Monday, January 21st, 2019 at 6:21pm CT

The Facts of Life information: Season 7 Episode 2: "Into the Frying Pan", originally aired on NBC on September 21, 1985, and the first to have George Clooney in the opening credits, and the second of only three episodes in this particular season to have Edna's Edibles as the opening backdrop. The next opening backdrop to be used (Over Our Heads) debuted two episodes later (S7E4) and would last right to the two-part series finale in 1988.


Comment posted in National Education Association - "Strong Schools" (PSA, 1979) by Burr-Rabbitt on Friday, January 11th, 2019 at 1:33am CT

I see Emmanuel Lewis (Webster) in the last take.


Comment posted in The Alcoholism Center Featuring Ron Palillo (PSA, 1983) by Burr-Rabbitt on Saturday, January 5th, 2019 at 1:35pm CT

That video was from yesterday. They got the title and video mixed up. In 1959 Ron was a child then, probably not an actor yet.


Comment posted in The Alcoholism Center Featuring Ron Palillo (PSA, 1983) by Pushbutton on Friday, January 4th, 2019 at 5:56pm CT

The voiceover sounds like George Fenneman.


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"I'm not worried...". LMBO!!


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Comment posted in WBBM Channel 2 - New Year's Eve: Chicago Style (Part 1, 1979/1980) by Burr-Rabbitt on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018 at 3:59pm CT

He will be missed.


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