Monday, July 19, 2010

WXEL-9 Opening-November/December 1949

Update:Am in the process of putting all the WXEL Pictures on a seperate blog..Have the first 10 up now..Should have the others up before the end of the week..

Vintage WXEL 1949 Photo Page

Good looking copy of the WXEL Test Pattern..

Exterior of WXEL Building at Pleasant Valley and State Roads in Parma

WXEL-TV Dedication Plaque

Cleveland Indians Pitching Coach Mel Harder with WXEL sportscaster Gail Egan..Howard Hoffman and Russell Spires observe. Notice what appears to be a ceramic "Little Ajax" on the piano.

Empire Coil Executive Robert Harris, DuMont Comedian Morey Amsterdam and WXEL's Howard Hoffman..

Here's "Little Ajax" a papier mache elephant that was to have been the station's mascot. The Late Howard Hoffman said in a 1999 interview that the mascot never really caught on with the viewers and was quitely dropped..

Radio/TV Editors from the 3 Cleveland Newspapers..

Early Staff Dinner:Consulting Engineer Ben Adler Tommy Mayer (assuming Herbert Mayer's Son), Chief Engineer Thomas Friedman, Station Manager Franklin Snyder, Program Director Russell Spiers, Sandra and Herbert Mayer..

A good friend (Richard Warner)recently acquired a Number of Black and White Still Photographs of WXEL Channel 9's Opening ceremonies and some other occasions around the same time..While sharing a few of them here, I am going to try to make a new page with all the thumbnails so that anyone can view them all at their leisure..

WXEL was the third Television Station in Cleveland..Built by Herbert Mayer's Empire Coil Company. WXEL went on the air officially December 19, 1949. Among the pictures are several of special guest Morey Amsterdam, who hosted a show on the DuMont Network,of which WXEL was a primary affiliate..WXEL also carried ABC, and as we will see in a bit, a surprising number of CBS Shows, though WEWS-5 was considered primarily a CBS affiliate..
Along with the pictures, Mr. Warner sent along what looks like a WXEL schedule mailing or a newsletter dated February 18-24, 1951..Here are a few sample schedules from that newsletter.
Sunday Feb. 18, 1951
11AM Test Pattern/Tone
Noon Ranger Joe-ABC
12:15 Chester The Pup-ABC
12:30 Old Fashioned Revival Hour-ABC
1PM On Trial-ABC
1:30 TBA
2PM Sunday Matinee-I Married A Witch/Short Subjects
4PM Musical Manor-Alan Freed
4:30 Hobby Lane-Rena/Bob Ledyard
5PM Facts We Face-CBS
5:30 People's Platform-CBS
6PM Billy Rose Show-ABC
6:30 Mr. I Magination-CBS
7PM You Asked For It-Art Baker-DuMont
7:30 Showtime USA-ABC
8PM Once Upon A Time-DuMont
8:30 Armed Forces Hour-DuMont
9PM Youth On The March-ABC
9:30 Famous Jury Trials-DuMont
10PM Hands of Mystery-DuMont
10:30 What's My Line?-CBS
11PM Week In Review-CBS
11:15 Telenews Weekly
11:40 Sign-Off
Monday Feb. 19, 1951
10AM Test Pattern/Tone
12:30 Preview Corner
12:35 News Tape and Music (sounds like AP/UPI News with music overlay)
12:45 Telenews-Bob Rowley
1PM Village Fair
2PM Alice Weston
2:30 Darts For Dollars-Rena/Bob Ledyard
3PM Impromptu-Alan Freed/Grant Wilson
3:30 Fashion Magic-CBS
4PM Homemakers Exchange-CBS
4:30 Vanity Fair-CBS
5PM Lucky Pup-CBS
5:15 ChuckWagon Playhouse-CBS
6PM Small Fry Club-DuMont
6:30 Tom Corbett Space Cadet-ABC
6:45 Evening News
7PM Captain Video-DuMont
7:30 Hollywood Screen Test-ABC
8PM Can You Top This-ABC
8:30 Man Abour Town-Sid Andorn-From The Bronze Room of The Hotel Cleveland
9PM The College Bowl-ABC (Variety series starring Chico Marx)
9:30 Wrestling-New York (Dennis James)-DuMont
11PM News Briefs
11:05 Sports-Clay Dopp
11:15 Nite-Owl Theatre
12:40 Sign-Off
Saturday, Feb. 24, 1951
9AM Test Pattern/Tone
10AM Chuckles 5 Bar Ranch "Stagecoach Outlaws"
11AM Kousin Kay's Red Goose Merry Go Round
Noon The Big Top-CBS
1PM Polka Penthouse
1:30 Test Pattern/Tone
5:30 The Note Box
6PM Beulah-ABC
6:30 Manpower Headlines
6:45 Jimmy Dudley's Sports Digest
7PM Beat The Clock-CBS
7:30 Stu Erwin Show-ABC
8PM Paul Whiteman's TV Teen Club-ABC
8:30 Madison Sqare Garden-DuMont
11:15 Wrestling From Chicago-Jack Brickhouse-DuMont
12:40 Sign-Off
Grateful thanks to Richard Warner for sharing the pictures/etc..And for being such a good friend of the Blog..

1 comment:

  1. The horizontal and vertical wedges were from a (non-Indian) "lined" pattern which also formed the basis for the post-1949 variation of the WEWS test pattern. In addition, when Portland, Oregon's KPTV (also originally owned by Empire Coil) signed on as Channel 27 in 1952 - as the very first UHF TV station in the country, in fact (it moved to the current Channel 12 in 1957) - this very selfsame test pattern design was also used at that station.

    I'm curious as to whether this pattern was adapted after the 1956 call letter change to WJW-TV, or whether they used the pattern that would later be adopted for color after the 1960's.