WDCA Channel 20 - Snipets - "Pigpen Cipher" (1980)

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Here's another rare Snipets segment! These originally were created by and [primarily] aired on the Kaiser Broadcasting / Field Communications stations such as WFLD Channel 32, in the 1970's and early '80's. However, in a discovery that is sure to change SnipetsHistory forever - this one was discovered on a Betamax recording of a broadcast of the Star Trek episode "The Savage Curtain" on WDCA Channel 20 (Washington, D.C.) from April of 1980!

At this time the Field Stations were far from being sold, or even thought of as for sale - and Snipets were part of their exclusive programming. So why and how would one of them air on a non-Field Communications station? It's a mystery, for sure.

In any case, this one deals with the "Pig Pen Cipher" or "Freemason's Cipher", that kids can use to write secret messages to each other, with a brief history lesson on how coded messages were used in times of war.

It comes in at the end of a Post Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles cereal commercial (voiceover by Henry Corden as Fred Flintstone), and then after this Snipets segment ends, we see the first moments of Act II of the Star Trek episode in question (which first aired on the NBC Network on March 7th 1969 - and thus seen in D.C. on WRC Channel 4 and in Chicago on WMAQ Channel 5).

Note - there's no "Produced by Field Communications" notice that was kept for the Field stations' airings) (or even earlier, the "Produced by Kaiser Broadcasting" notice). However, this does bear a "(C) 1976 Field Communications Corporation" copyright notice at the opening (though it was first produced in the Kaiser era).

Perhaps Field was going into the syndication market for Snipets at this early date? (A market which, after Field imploded, would be sold to King Features Syndicate.)

This aired on local Washington, D.C. TV in early April of 1980. (Not from Chicago, but still an important part of SnipetsHistory.)


Date Uploaded: 01/07/2017

Tags: 1970s   1980s   Kids' Stuff   Snipets Segments     




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At this time the Field Stations were far from being sold, or even thought of as for sale - and Snipets were part of their exclusive programming. So why and how would one of them air on a non-Field Communications station? It's a mystery, for sure.

In any case, this one deals with the "Pig Pen Cipher" or "Freemason's Cipher", that kids can use to write secret messages to each other, with a brief history lesson on how coded messages were used in times of war.

It comes in at the end of a Post Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles cereal commercial (voiceover by Henry Corden as Fred Flintstone), and then after this Snipets segment ends, we see the first moments of Act II of the Star Trek episode in question (which first aired on the NBC Network on March 7th 1969 - and thus seen in D.C. on WRC Channel 4 and in Chicago on WMAQ Channel 5).

Note - there's no "Produced by Field Communications" notice that was kept for the Field stations' airings) (or even earlier, the "Produced by Kaiser Broadcasting" notice). However, this does bear a "(C) 1976 Field Communications Corporation" copyright notice at the opening (though it was first produced in the Kaiser era).

Perhaps Field was going into the syndication market for Snipets at this early date? (A market which, after Field imploded, would be sold to King Features Syndicate.)

This aired on local Washington, D.C. TV in early April of 1980. (Not from Chicago, but still an important part of SnipetsHistory.)" /> Share

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Smctopia 01/07/2017 Reply

The kid narrating it sounds like a voice that would be in a Peanuts special.

LaPrincess 01/07/2017 Reply

This reminds me of the code me and a friend developed in high school. Only we had the code and would send each other messages. That way no one could read it.

FieldGal44 01/08/2017 Reply

I keep thinking of "Sniglets" every time these come up.

W.B. 01/09/2017 Reply

Does any Fuzzyite in the New York metro area know which of the NYC stations would have had dibs on the "Snipets" segments? There were ostensibly two possibilities: WNEW Channel 5 and WPIX Channel 11 (the latter of which had run "The Most Important Person" segments in the late 1970's / early '80's). But I wonder if they wouldn't have been aired within "Romper Room" on WOR Channel 9.