Saturday, June 30, 2007

WTOF Returns-To Alabama

A note of interest I saw while looking at the June "Popular Communications" Radio Hobby Magazine..WTOF, the longtime call letters of Canton religious station WTOF 98.1 FM and for a short time used on AM 900 in Canton by Mortenson Broadcasting, Have been reassigned by the FCC to the former WBCA-AM 1110 in Bay Minette, Alabama, owned by Evangelist Buddy Tucker, as a companion to his WMOB 1360-AM..According to the history link below,WTOF-1110 runs all Syndicated religious programming..not unlike WTOF-FM Canton in its heyday, Though much of the programming was local as well. Of course, WTOF-FM is now WKDD-98.1..Owned by Clear Channel since 2001..And AM 900 has been WCER for nearly 15 years under the direction of Jack Ambrozic..and runs a News/Talk/Religious format.. One wonders if Rev. Tucker uses the slogan "Tower of Faith" as Mortenson did for so many years with WTOF-FM

History of WBCA/WTOF-AM in Alabama

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Fade to Black...

Hello Folks:
Tonight was the last scheduled program for "Big Chuck" Schodowski and "Lil John" Rinaldi on Fox 8 in Cleveland. The "End of An Era" Special airing at 8PM tonight was extrememly well done..It was basically an overview of the "Horror Movie" Franchise in Cleveland from 1963-2007..With many clips, some I had never seen. Guests were comedian Tim Conway and Bob "Hoolihan" Wells, who added perspective and told some good stories..One thing I did not know..Chuck actually ran Camera for "Barnaby" during his Summer at channel 3 in 1960. The show gave a lot of credit to supporting cast members..Some I had forgotten their names till tonight...What really struck me after watching this tonight..Most of the actors in the Big Chuck/Lil John/Hoolihan/Ghoulardi skits...were really just ordinary folks. Folks we'd say hi to at the market or at the Little League Field or at the park..Many of the skits would remind one of glorified high school or college skits..Except that with Chuck producing and Channel 8 management putting support behind the show, It somehow worked for over 40 years. The end was especially touching..I'll definitely be putting this on VHS..Its a keeper for sure..We will never see anything quite like this again..

If you missed it, Fox 8 will air "End of An Era" twice 10 AM tomorrow and 12:30 Late Saturday with a movie..

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Notes from a week in Television: May 1954

Ad for a Friday Night showing of the Syndicated "Boston Blackie" Detective Series on WXEL-TV Channel 8
TV Guide Ad from the week of May 14-20, 1954 showing WNBK-TV 3's new coverage area after their recent tranmitter upgrade and move from channel 4 to channel 3 (Courtesy TV Guide)

Today I thought we would look at a specific week in Cleveland area TV courtesy of TV Guide Lake Erie Edition. TV Guide at this time had a Friday-Thursday format rather than Saturday-Friday as readers would become used to. Also, The Cleveland Edition was known as the "Lake Erie" Edition early on..Also, While TV Guide had its weekly New York and Hollywood "Dateline" with national TV News, The Lake Erie Edition also had its local "Dateline" weekly column. Here's some notes from that column:

Akron's WAKR-TV will carry the complete Army-McCarthy TV hearings as long as they will be televised. The Investigating Committee goes before the cameras at 10:30 AM and again at 2:30 PM. About the only thing Channel 49 is pre-empting for this public service telecast is it's test pattern. The station usually signs on at 4:30 PM daily.

Switch: In Youngstown channel 73 was notified by the Federal Communications Commission that it had okayed the change which will permit WFMJ-TV to switch to channel 21. The Station Management has set June 1st as the date for the channel change. (Note: The change to channel 21 ended up taking place August 7, 1954)

New Show:Grizzly Pete launches a new weekly afternoon show on channel 27 at 4:45 ech Wednesday. The show is written in that it will teach the kiddies as well as entertain them. Grizzly Pete will show and discuss the use of different types of clothing as worn out west.

Fading Away:Channel 5 has dropped its late late movie. With the exception of Sundays and Thursdays, the midnight movie ran from 12:05 AM to the wee hours of the morning

The top three film (Syndicated) shows around the nation for the month of April;
1 Badge 714 (Dragnet Reruns)

2 I Led Three Lives

3 Liberace

All Three of the shows can be seen in more than 100 cities. Each of the shows reaches an estimated 6,000,000 viewers.

TV Guide Listings: Friday, May 14, 1954..

WNBK 3 NBC Cleveland

7AM Today
9AM Movie-Streets Of New York
10AM Ding Dong School
10:30 One Man's Family
10:45 Three Steps to Heaven
11AM Home-Arlene Francis
Noon Bride And Groom
12:15 Hawkins Falls
12:30 Betty White Show-Variety
1PM Movie-O'Halloran
2:15 Maggi Byrne-Local Womens Fashion show
2:45 Nancy Dixon-Shopping
3PM Kate Smith
4PM Welcome Travelers
4:30 On Your Account-Quiz
5PM Pinky Lee
5:30 Howdy Doody
6PM Suppertime Comics
6:30 Sports-Tom Manning
6:40 Weather Vein (sp)
6:45 Today's News
7PM Badge 714
7:30 Eddie Fisher
7:45 John Cameron Swayze-NBC News
8PM Dave Garrowway
8:30 Life Of Riley
9PM The Big Story
9:30 TV Soundstage
10PM Boxing-Gillette
10:45 Greatest Fights
11PM News, Weather, Sports-Tom Field, Joe Finan, Joe Mulvihill
11:15 Custom Inn-Chatter
11:30 Movie-Who Killed Doc Robbin?
12:30 Hoot Gibson-Western
12:45 News

WEWS 5 CBS Cleveland

7AM CBS Morning Show
9AM Wings of Song-Music
9:30 Western Reserve Telecourse
10AM Jack Paar Show
11AM Dione Lucas-Cooking
11:30 Strike It Rich-Guest Orson Bean
Noon Valiant Lady
12:15 Love Of Life
12:30 Search For Tomorrow
12:45 Guiding Light
1PM Women's Window
1:30 Garry Moore
2PM Double Or Nothing
2:30 Art Linkletter
3PM Big Payoff
3:30 Bob Crosby
4PM Mixing Bowl-Van Cleve
4:30 Robert Q. Lewis
5PM Uncle Jake's House-Gene Carroll
5:45 News
5:50 Dinner Platter-Records
6:25 Professor Pet
6:30 Dorothy Fuldheim-News
6:45 Sports Page-Jack Graney
6:55 Weather-Johnny Price
7PM Primary (election) Preview
7:10 TV I. Q.
7:15 Greatest Drama
7:30 Perry Como
7:45 CBS News-Douglas Edwards
8PM Mama
8:30 Topper
9PM Schlitz Playhouse Of Stars
9:30 Our Miss Brooks
10PM My Friend Irma
10:30 I Led Three Lives
11PM Movie-The Creeper
12:30 News

WXEL 8 DuMont ABC Cleveland

8:55 Preview Corner
9AM Breakfast Club-ABC
10AM Maggie Wulff-Chatter
10:30 Charming Children
11AM Alice Weston
11:30 Rena And Bob
Noon Treasure Party-Bob Neal
1PM The Brighter Day-CBS
1:15 Portia Faces Life-CBS
1:30 Movie-Railroaded
2:55 You are What you Eat
3PM All For You-Alice Weston
3:15 Joe Portaro-Beauty
3:30 Paul Dixon-DuMont
4PM Woman With A Past-CBS
4:15 Secret Storm-CBS
4:30 King Jack's Toy Box-Kids
5PM Movie-Border Badmen
6:15 Sports-Bob Neal
6:30 TV Weatherman-Dr. Annear
6:40 Cleveland Today-News
6:45 At Home With The Grahams-Cleveland Browns QB Otto Graham and Family hosted this show
7PM Captain Video-DuMont
7:30 Stu Erwin-ABC
8PM Ozzie And Harriet-ABC
8:30 Pepsi Cola Playhouse-ABC
9PM Paul Hartman Show-ABC (better known as Emmett Clark on Andy Griffith Show/Mayberry RFD)
9:30 Boston Blackie
10PM Chance Of A Lifetime-DuMont
10:30 Colonel Flack-DuMont
11PM News-Warren Guthrie (Sohio Reporter)
11:10 Ted Malone-Today's Top Story
11:15 Carling Sports Final
11:20 Movie-To Be Announced

WKBN 27 CBS, ABC, DuMont Youngstown

7AM CBS Morning Show
9AM Breakfast Club-ABC
10AM Jack Paar
11AM I'll Buy That
11:30 Strike it Rich
Noon News
12:15 Love Of Life
12:30 Search For Tomorrow
12:45 Guiding Light
1PM The Brighter Day
1:15 Home Cooking-Resch
1:45 Garry Moore
2PM Movie-Hollywood Mystery
3PM Big Payoff
3:30 School Days
4PM Woman With A Past
4:15 Secret Storm
4:30 Robert Q. Lewis
5PM Barker Bill-CBS
5:15 Grizzly Pete
6:30 News Today
6:45 Sports-Don Gardner
6:55 Weather-Stu Wilson
7PM Captain Video-DuMont
7:30 CBS News
7:45 Perry Como
8PM Talent Patrol-ABC (Thurs. 8PM)
8:30 Topper
9PM Playhouse Of Stars
9:30 Our Miss Brooks
10PM My Friend Irma
10:30 Person To Person-Edward R. Murrow
11PM News-Warren Guthrie
11:10 News-Sid Davis
11:15 Movie-Mr. Lord Says No
12:30 News

WFMJ 73 NBC Youngstown

7AM Today
9AM Movie-Woman Doctor
10AM Ding Dong School
10:30 One Man's Family
10:45 Three Steps to Heaven
11AM Home
Noon Bride And Groom
12:15 Hawkins Falls
12;30 Betty White
1PM News
1:15 Hal's A Poppin-Hal Fryar
2PM Movie-Three Little Steps
3PM Kate Smith
4PM Welcome Travelers
4:30 On Your Account
5PM Susie Sidesaddle
5:30 Howdy Doody
6PM News
6:15 Sports-Eddie Lane
6:25 Weather
6:30 In Our Schools
7PM Turn Of A Card
7:15 Telerama
7:30 Eddie Fisher
7:45 John Cameron Swayze-NBC News
8PM Dave Garroway
8:30 Life Of Riley
9PM Big Story
9:30 TV Soundstage
10PM Boxing-Gillette
10:45 Greatest Fights
11PM Barn Dance-DEBUT With John Fritz and the Saddlemates-Live from WFMJ
11:45 News

WAKR 49 ABC Akron

10:30 AM Army-McCarthy Hearings (ABC Coverage)
2:30 PM Army McCarthy Hearings (ABC Coverage)
5PM Hinky Dinks-Kids
5:30 Summer Matinee
6:10 Social Whirl
6:15 (Rex) Humbard Family-Religion
6:30 Sports-Bob Wylie
6:45 Custom Ranch-Woodell
6:55 Weather
7PM News-Jack Fitzgibbons
7:10 Scores-Sports
7:15 ABC News-John Daly
7:30 Chef Lorenzo-Cooking
8PM Teen "WHO" Club-Records
8:30 Pepsi Cola Playhouse
9PM Paul Hartman Show
9:30 Who's The Boss?-Panel Show-ABC
10PM Movie-Follow Your Heart
11PM News-Bill Murphy
11:10 Sports-Bob Wylie

To end up on a lighter note, we have a "Letter to the Editor" from T. H. of Canton who writes:

"I am a midnight movie fan who is going to bed early these days. The Reason? I can't stand silly English Movies. Why Can't we get some good American movies?"

The Editor responds: [Now if you would contact Hollywood and persuade some executives to release some movies to TV...Ed.]

I thought I'd try something different..focus on a specific week or day of TV...Let me know if you like this format and content..Thanks..

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Cleveland Television-Just for Kids (and Grownup Kids Too)

Left to Right:Franz The Toymaker (Ray Stawiarski) Woodrow The Woodsman (Clay Conroy) Barnaby (Linn Sheldon) and Ron Penfound (Captain Penny)..From
This Picture is taken from a Early Mc Donald's Ad-Probably mid 1960's. The Caption on top reads:"Look For The Golden Arches...where Quality starts fresh... every day" I find it intersting that all 4 hosts..from competing stations..would take a picture together..though they were probably friends outside the studio..

The following edited text was taken from a posting of mine at the Golden Age Cartoons Forum over a year ago

"Some of my fondest memories as a youngster in Canton, Ohio from 1963-71 or so was watching many of the wonderful Children's show hosts out of Cleveland...I am probably biased, but I dont think there were many better hosts outside of New York or Chicago..

Baranby on KYW/WKYC 3 afternoons arond 4:30 and Saturdays from 7-9 AM with Popeye, Dick Tracy, Mr. Magoo, Wizard of Oz Cartoons, etc..It was said he did his shows ad lib..with only a prop chest to help him along..Linn Sheldon had been a stage and movie actor before doing a lot of early Cleveland TV from the beginning (1947-48)..He played Barnaby from 1957-88..ending at channel 43..His memoir, Barnaby and Me, is quite entertaining though sad at times..A good read if you can find it..

Captain Penny (Ron Penfound) from WEWS-TV 5, did shows at Noon and late afternoon, usually 4:30 or 5..He showed Deputy Dawg and other Terrytoons as well as Magilla Gorilla, Quick Draw McGraw, Rocky And Bullwinkle, Peter Potamus, Batfink, the Three Stooges and Cliff Norton "Funny Mann's" Live action show..He along with Barnaby had a gentle way about them that translated well to the kids..He had Jungle Larry from Cedar Point and Pooch try and give dogs a new home.He was on from 1957-71.

Woodrow Woodsman (Clay Conroy) was at first Barnaby's sidekick at KYW-3 but later got his own 9AM show..He had an "Enchanted Forest" with puppets Talkington the Owl and Voracious the Peanut Butter&Jelly sandwich eating elephant..He was in Cleveland from the early 60's to 1965, 1970-72 (WKYC) and 1997-2000 (WJW-8) from 1966-70 he took the Character to Detroit's WJBK-2..

Link to a nice bio..

Franz The Toymaker (WJW-8) roughly 1964-70...As we didnt get channel 8 very well in my location, I never saw him, but he wore a Bavarian type outfit (see above) in pictures I've seen and he did crafts from what i heard.

Mr Jingeling-Created for Halles Department Store, Mr. Jingeling began appearing on WEWS-TV 5 during the Christmas season I believe in 1956 or so..He would appear on Captain Penny's Cartoon shows beginning either Thanksgiving or the day after and would continue Monday-Friday visits until Christmas Day.. He was Santa's "Head Elf" who would have a multipart story for the kids each day.. Portrayed first by Max Ellis, who passed away, then Channel 5 staff member Earl Keyes from 1964 on..Keyes continued as Jingeling..even after the TV shows stopped until his passing on December 26, 2000..Jingeling made the rounds of Channel 5, 8, 3 and 43 till the mid 1980's..Was always a highlight at Christmas to a kid from a degree it made Halles and Cleveland seem so much closer if that makes sense."

.There is yet another carrying on the Jingeling tradition..


With the retirement of Big Chuck and Little John from Fox8, it has been said by some friends of mine that Local TV will have lost it's "soul". I couldnt agree more..There was a "connection" to the if the host was talking directly to one person in the audience..While I am talking about the Cleveland hosts here, you could name any city in the USA..Viewers had their "connections".. and with the cookie cutter, generic Television of today there is a loss of value to the viewer if that makes sense..The viewer is just a commodity to sell rather than a human being..Sorry to be overdramatic..but there is something lost..maybe innocence, that we will never get back..Great to have the memories though..

Cleveland area TV Schedule
Thursday February 14, 1957
TV Guide

KYW 3 NBC Cleveland
WEWS 5 ABC Cleveland
WJW 8 CBS Cleveland
WFMJ 21 NBC Youngstown
WKBN 27 CBS/ABC Youngstown
WAKR 49 ABC Akron

3-21 Today
8-27 Good Morning-Will Rogers Jr.

8-27 Captain Kangaroo

3 News-Jay Miltner-Longtime Station ID Announcer
5 News-Bill Prentice
8 News-Jim Doney-Would host "Adventure Road" Years Later

3 Morning Surprise-Tom Haley
5 Fun Farm-Kids
8 All-Star Theater-Drama Anthology reruns
21 Adelaide Snyder

8 Maggie Wulff-Women

5 Paige Palmer

3-21 Home-Arlene Francis
5 Western Reserve Telecourse
8 Garry Moore
27 Movie-To Be Announced

3 Window
5 Movie-Bombay Waterfront
8 Arthur Godfrey

3 Home (retruned in progress)

3-21 Price Is Right-Bill Cullen

27 Esther Sonntag-Fashions

3-21 Truth Or Consequences-Bob Barker
8-27 Strike It Rich-Warren Hull

5 News-Ron Penfound

3-21 Tic Tac Dough
5 Captain Penny-Penfound
8 Valiant Lady-Serial
27 Cartoon Carnival

8-27 Love Of Life

3-21 It Could Be You
8 Search For Tomorrow
27 Playhouse-Drama

5 Beulah
8 Guiding Light

3 Movie-Annabel Takes A Tour
8 Our Miss Brooks
21-27 News
49 Movie-TBA

27 Stand Up-Women

5 Stu Erwin-Comedy
21 Kitchen Corner-Mariner

8 As The World Turns
27 Movie-Man From Thunder River

5 Susie-Ann Sothern
21 Hal's A Poppin-Hal Fryar

8 Alice Weston

5 Liberace

3-21 Tennessee Ernie Ford
8 House Party-Linkletter
49 Life With Elizabeth-Betty White

5 Music Masters-Songs
27 Casteel's Carousel

3-21 Matinee Theater-COLOR
5-49 Afternoon Film Festival-All Over The Town (English 1949)
8-27 Big Payoff-Randy Merriman

8 Bob Crosby
27 Movie-Western (TBA)

3-21 Queen For A Day-Jack Bailey
8 Brighter Day-Serial

8 Secret Storm

5 Little Rascals
8 Edge Of Night
49 Joe Palooka

3-21 Modern Romances

3 It's A Great Life-Comedy
5-27 Mickey Mouse Club
8 Movie-American Empire
27 Fun House Gang
49 Movie-Dawn Riders

3 Headline ("Big Town" Reruns)

3 Six O Clock Adventure-Sheena, Federal Men
5 Three Musketeers
21 Popeye
27-49 Looney Tunes

8 News-Roger Kennedy

5 News Commentary-Dorothy Fuldheim
8 Ohio Story-Big Timber In Ohio
21-27-49 Sports, News

8 News-Roger Kennedy

5 Weather-Bill Prentice
8-27 CBS News-Douglas Edwards
49 Social Whirl-Stillman

5 News-Paul Wilcox, Ron Penfound

3 News-Tom Field

3 Soldiers Of Fortune
5 Charles Boyer
8-21 Dr. Christian
27 Crunch And Des
49 News, Weather

3-21 Dinah Shore
5 Lone Ranger
8-27 Sergeant Preston
49 Movie-The Homestretch

3-21 NBC News-Huntley/Brinkley

3-21 You Bet Your Life-Groucho Marx
5 Circus Time-Paul Winchell/Jerry Mahoney
8-27 Bob Cummings

3-21 Dragnet
8-27 Climax!

3-21 People's Choice
5 Danny Thomas
49 Movie-TBA

3-21 Tennessee Ernie Ford
5 Bold Journey
8-27 Playhouse 90-Mickey Rooney in "The Comedian"

3-21 Lux Video Theater-COLOR-Shirley Jones, Jack Cassidy in "Dark Victory"
5 Public Defender-Syndicated

5 Movie-The Large Rope
49 Movie-TBA

3 News-Tom Field
8-27 News-Warren Guthrie-The Sohio Reporter
21 News

3 Weather-Joe Finan
8 Sports-John Fitzgerald

3 Sports-Bob Neal
8 Weather-Ken Armstrong
27 Movie-TBA

3 Jungle
8 Movie-Lucky Legs
21 Living Word-Religion

3 Twin Hearts Ball-SPECIAL
21 Tonight-Jack Lescoulie

3 Tonight-Lescoulie

5 News-Court Stanton

3 News-Tom Field