Wednesday, November 30, 2011

1951 "CBS Color" TV Experiment In Cleveland

September 29, 1951:Advertisement for Sears featuring early color TV..

September 29, 1951:WEWS Statement explaining the CBS Color TV system..

September 30, 1951:Front Page Plain Dealer article describing the Color College Football Gane aired on CBS (WEWS-TV 5)

Part 2 of the Article above-September 30, 1951..

As so often happens, when I look for one thing in an archive, I find something different to feature that is much more interesting..The FCC, in it's "Wisdom" awarded CBS the first crack at color tv with a "spinning disc" system in 1950,,,By the fall of 1951 they felt ready to test it out..The only problem (a big one) was that CBS color system was not "backwards compatible" with current black and white sets, meaning that if you bought or had an already functioning Black and White set, the CBS Color Picture would be scrambled..The first tests were done with College Football in September-October 1951..The California-Penn game was televised in Color on CBS (WEWS) September 29..

Among the exhibits above: A Sears ad for the first color tv's in Cleveland..A WEWS-TV 5 ad (some might call it a "disclaimer") Basically stating while they were participating in the test, their main focus was still their original monochrome programming..Explaining the picture would be scrambled on all Black and White sets and basically inviting folks to tune to channels 4 and 9, and that to call a TV repairman would be futile..

There is also a Plain Dealer from a day later with a review of the proceedings..The reporter(unnamed)..Stated while there was potential, there was a long way to go..

The CBS experiments lasted only a few weeks..All the CBS Color TV sets were ordered destroyed and CBS ultimately adopted the RCA system..

Early FM Failure in Cleveland..

November 1947 WEWS Print ad-Coming Soon!

George Condon writes on the demise of some of the early FM stations in Cleveland, such as WEWS-FM and WLAL-FM, licensed to Lakewood..Condon also speculates on the reasons behind FM's failure, which mirrors just about every new entertainment technology to start up..High prices for sets, not much advertising,..In the case of FM, most stations were duplicating AM programming, though in the case of WEWS and WLAL (104.9) they were stand alone operations, without an AM partner..

George Condon Plain Dealer Article-Dated April 4, 1950.. Notice the WEOL-AM/FM Listings

FM would take off again in the 60's and 70's..Music formats were the big ticket..Though in recent years, more talk and sports would find its way to FM, leaving AM an endangered species in some areas of the country..

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hoolihan The Weatherman Premiere at WJW-TV 8 (1965)

Monday, March 29, 1965:Plain Dealer ad for the premiere of Bob Wells as "Hoolihan The Weatherman" on WJW-TV 8 Cleveland, City Camera News. With the hiring of Dick Goddard a year later, Wells was moved to Noon and Weekends..He would gain lasting fame as half of "Hoolihan and Big Chuck" from 1966-79..

Hoolihan & Big Chuck - Oldies Night, July 1977 -... by tvnut

July 26, 1977:The first ever Hoolihan and Big Chuck "Oldies Night"..

After Bob Wells left Cleveland, he continued to do voiceover commercial work, Had a TV Ministry with his wife Barbara Wells for a time, then retired to Florida, where he still makes occasional appearances in Dinner Theater and comes up to Cleveland and participates in "Ghoulardifest" easch year..A good man, and an awesome talent..

Sunday, November 27, 2011

George Condon, First Plain Dealer TV Columnist..dies at 94..

George Condon, who was the first Cleveland Plain Dealer TV columnist, died October 7, 2011..He was 94.

He began his career at the Plain Dealer in 1943..Becoming TV Critic/Columnist in 1948 and continuing on that beat till 1962...After which he did a daily editorial column until his retirement in 1985..
Condon was also an accomplished author writing several books about Cleveland..

Here is an example of his writing-At the time of the first Cleveland TV Network Swap around March 1, 1955 between then-WXEL-8 and WEWS-5

Link to Plain Dealer Obituary:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

KYW-Westinghouse 3-day Strike-February 9-11, 1959

Below is a series of Plain Dealer stories about an AFTRA strike by Announcers and Newsmen at KYW-Radio 1100 and TV 3 which began February 9, 1959 and ended l February 11..Issues were The new technology of video tape and how it would affect the way announcers worked.. as well as wages. Personnel were flown in from other Westinghouse stations to keep the station going, and Cleveland management filled on-air slots.

First:The Plain Dealer Strike Story Monday, February 9..

Continuation of PD Strike Story from Page 1:

Note the early Kenny Kings ad-Before KFC

George Condon Column-Also from February 9, Including full details of on-air radio/tv replacements for strikers and a photo of Tom Haley and Big Wilson outside KYW picketing..

Cleveland Plain Dealer Wednesday February 11, 1959-Details of Strike Settlement..

Some of the issues dealt with at that time are still issues 50-some years later, only more so..Technology has just about wiped out the need of "live announcers" on Television and Radio veterans know the effects of "Voice-Tracking" on radio..

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving 1968-November 28

Ad for one of the first, and I think, best animated Thanksgiving Specials..Mouse On The Mayflower, which had it's premiere showing Saturday, November 23, 1968 on NBC/WKYC-TV 3

Plain Dealer ad for WNOB 107.9. The station is now WENZ "The End"

"The Singing Rage" Patti Page, in a musical special sponored by a pair of Cleveland Area Car Dealerships Sunday, November 24, 1968

November 28:WUAB early "Star Movie" presentation..Channel 43 would use the "Star Movie" title into the 1980's..

Today, we'll look at Thanksgiving 1968 in Cleveland TV..

Some Highlights:

NFL Football:
Philadelphia/Detroit at Noon, Washington/Dallas at 6, WJW-TV 8

AFL Football:
Houston/Kansas City at 1:30 Buffalo/Oakland at 4 WKYC-TV 3

Mr. Jingeling (Earl Keyes) begins his 13th year on WEWS-TV 5 sponsored by Halles at a special time of 2:15 due to College Football

WVIZ-25, despite the Holiday, offered a full slate of classroom TV from 8AM-3PM..Also, nearly all their programming was still Black and White..

WKYC-TV offered a Thanksgiving Special at 1PM, with Tom Haley, Gary Essex and Norma Quarles..

Macy's Parade on NBC was hosted by Lorne Greene and Betty White

Parades on CBS

New York-Burr Tillstrom/Fran Allison
Detroit-Bob Keeshan/Beth Brickell (Gentle Ben)
Toronto-Arthur Godfrey/Barbara McNair
Philadelphia-Mile Douglas/Bess Myerson
North Carolina-Jack Linkletter

Listings for Thursday, November 28, 1968:


7AM Today
9AM Mike Douglas
10AM Macy's Parade Lorne Greene/Betty White
Noon Jeopardy-Art Fleming
12:30 Eye Guess-Bill Cullen
12:55 NBC News
1PM Tribute To Thanksgiving
1:30 AFL Football Chiefs/Oilers
4PM AFL Football-Bills/Raiders
7PM Huntley/Brinkley
7:30 Daniel Boone
8:30 Ironside
9:30 Dragnet
10PM Dean Martin
11PM News-Virgil Dominic
11:15 Weather-Wally Kinnan
11:20 Sports-Jim Graner
11:30 Tonight
1AM Playhouse

7AM Funny You Should Ask
7:30 Dream House
8AM Treasure Isle
8:30 Bullwinkle
9AM Uncle Al
9:30 Romper Room
10AM Paige Palmer
10:30 Dick Cavett
Noon Bewitched
12:30 News
12:45 Dorothy Fuldheim
1PM What's My Line?-Wally Brunner
1:30 Password-reruns of 1966-67 season.
2PM Captain Penny
2:15 Mr, Jingeling
2:30 College Football-Texas/Texas A&M
6PM Merv Griffin
7:30 Thanksgiving Visitor
8:30 Bewitched
9PM That Girl
9:30 Journey To The Unknown
10:30 Felony Squad
11PM News
11:30 Joey Bishop


7AM Sunrise Semester
7:30 CBS News/Local News
8AM Captain Kangaroo
9AM Thanksgiving Parades
Noon NFL Football-Eagles/Lions
3:30 Mr. Magoo in Sherwood Forest Compilation of 1964-65 Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo series..The entire series is now out on DVD, with the Complete Magoo TV Collection.

5PM City Camera News
5:30 Voice Of The Fans-Andy Hale, Blanton Collier
5:45 Best Of The Browns-John Fitzgerald
6PM NFL Football-Redskins/Cowboys
9PM CBS Movie-Marco Polo The Magnificient
11PM City Camera-Doug Adair, Martin Ross, Dick Goddard, Harry Jones
11:25 Movie-The Tender Trap-1955
1AM Moivie-Fury at Furnace Creek-1948 (per IMDB)

WAKR-23 ABC Akron

9:30 Ed Allen
10AM Women's Page
11AM Dick Cavett (Joined In Progress)
Noon Bewitched
12:30 Treasure Isle
1PM Funny You Should Ask (listed as an hour)
2PM Newlywed Game
2:30 College Football-Texas/Texas A&M
6PM ABC News
6:30 Cheyenne
7:30 Thanksgiving Visitor
8:30 Bewitched
9PM Football High School Champs (Akron City Series)
11PM News/Weather
11:30 Joey Bishop


8AM Classroom Programs
11:30 Misterogers
Noon Classroom Programs
3PM Being Mature
4:15 Reading
4:45 Friendly Giant
5PM Yoga
5:30 Kindergarten
6PM Misterogers
6:30 Folk Guitar
7PM Insight
7:30 In Society
8PM Joyce Chen Cooks
8:30 French Chef
9PM Don Robertson-Robertson At Large
Special 2 hour show with The Browns' Bill Glass, Classical Music Composer/Conductor Jose Serebrier,Liquor Control agent Ralph Kreiger (who may have just been elected Cuyahoga County Sherriff), Plain Dealer Writer Russell W, Kane and WEWS-TV 5 News Commentator Dorothy Fuldheim.

(Personal Note:In the few times I have seen Robertson At Large listings..The guests that he had make me want to see some of these..Too bad they are'nt likely to have been saved..)

11PM Sign-Off

WUAB-43 Ind

Noon News
12:30 Underdog/Uncle Waldo (Hoppity Hooper)
1PM Lucy Show
1:30 Movie-Magic Sword-1962
3PM Cartoon Special
3:30 Bugs and Friends
4PM Ultraman
4:30 Batman
5PM Batman
5:30 Patty Duke
6PM Real McCoys
6:30 Farmer's Daughter
7PM Gilligan's Island
7:30 I Spy
8:30 Movie-Brass Legend-1956
10:25 Paul Harvey
10:30 Untouchables
11:30 Football Forecast

WKBF-61 Ind.

9AM Jack LaLanne
9:30 Mr. Ed
10AM Woody Woodbury Show
11:30 Make Room For Daddy
Noon Cartoons
1PM Movie-Two-Way Stretch-1961
3PM Linn Sheldon
3:30 Captain Cleveland
4:30 Dennis the Menace
5PM My Favorite Martian
5:30 Superman
6PM Flintstones
6:30 McHale's Navy
7PM Twilight Zone
7:30 Special-This Is Show Business
9PM Ray Anthony Special
10PM News
10:30 Alfred Hitchcock Presents
11PM Perry Nason
Midnight The New Breed

The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by AH3RD
Part of the opening episode of "The New Adventures of Huck Finn" Sunday Nights at 7 on NBC/WKYC in the 1968-69 season..

Saturday, November 23, 1968:Mouse On The Mayflower on NBC/WKYC-Opening of the first telecast..

All Images and Listings from the Cleveland Plain Dealar Historical Archives..

I would like to take this time to wish all our friends a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving..

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Two popular personalities leave Channel 5-October 4, 1956

Note:Since there hasnt been a lot of response to the messageboard since I put it up in early October, I've made the decision to discontinue it. I will, however over the next few weeks merge some of the History posts into the blog itself..Thanks to everybody who signed up..

Thursday, October 4, 1956. Cleveland Plain Dealer mentions WEWS' Bob Dale and Mary Ellen Sussex leaving the station..Dale had been with WEWS since 1948 and was probably the most popular personality at the time....

Mary Ellen had hosted Fun Farm since March 1955 after bringing the show from WSPD-TV 13 Toledo..

Dale spent more than 40 years in San Diego TV and passed away in 2008.

Mrs. Sussex continued Fun Farm and other shows in her new home at Tampa, Florida (WTVT-13) from 1957 through 1964.

Sadly, Mary Ellen passed away last April..She and her husband Clyde moved to Hawaii in 1980.

Blog written by's Eric Deggans at the time of Mary Ellen's passing..

Monday, November 21, 2011

Joe Tait:It's been a Real Ball

Cover of Joe Tait's Biography, "It's Been a Real Ball" co-authored with Terry Pluto..Gray and Company Publishers

Terry Pluto at one time has covered both the Indians and the Cavaliers in a long newspaper career..Currently a Sports and Faith Columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and frequent guest on "More Sports and Les Levine"..aired Monday-Friday at 6PM with an 11PM repeat on Time Warner Cable Northeast Ohio Network (NEON). He has also authored over 20 sports books, many of them classics..

Here on the blog we have written twice about Joe Tait..The time of his 3,000th NBA game and at his retirement in April 2011..It's no secret I am a Tait fan as from 1971-72 I have listened to Tait call Cleveland Cavaliers Basketball action (as well as the Indians)

It has always been hoped that Tait would someday write a book. According to all indications, he never thought he was that interesting..And never wanted to go through the process..It was a surprise that Tait was the one to ask Terry Pluto, "Well, what about that book?"..So The process was begun this spring..The result is a smorgasbord of Joe Tait Stories, many never made public before..His Illinois upbringing, with a stern Father Figure..Joe's lifelong love for trains, his early Radio work..A friendship with Bill Fitch that would lead to the big leagues as he became the Cavaliers Radio announcer in 1970. The Early Cavaliers years, where there was some doubt the franchise would survive..The Miracle Of Richfield..The Stepien years..His Indians work from 1973-87..Back to the Cavs after a couple of years away..The Lebron years..Some of the people mentioned include Indians announcer Bob Neal, who had a fairly large ego..Frank Robinson, who blamed Tait for getting him fired as Indians Manager in 1977, Ted Stepien, worst owner ever in pro sports..Pete Franklin..and many others..

Much of the book is also taken up with memories of Joe from fans, players and broadcasters, some who worked with Joe and others who looked up to Joe as a Mentor in other broadcasting jobs..Joe Tait, from his earliest jobs in broadcasting, always worked hard and went the extra mile..He also went the extra mile for fans whether it be writing a letter, impromptu invitation to sit with Joe at dinner, an autograph or just taking time to say hello..Joe "Got it" from a fan's standpoint..

As a whole, the book is just a delight. While it covers much of Joe's life biographically it is just as much a book of Cleveland Sports History from 1970-2011 as anything else..I guarantee you will not be able to put it down..

Link to Gray and Company:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Coming up in the next few weeks..

February 1957:Ad for the upcoming "Twin Hearts Ball" Sponsored by KYW-TV, at the Cleveland Arena

Saturday February 2, 1957:WJW Movie "The Farmers Daughter"

Just wanted to update everybody on plans for the blog in the coming weeks:

Two books to review by Joe Tait/Terry Pluto and Dan Coughlin..and a possible third book to review..

Special Thanksgiving post..

Our traditional Christmas postings, which should all be new this season..

The end of March 2012 will be the 5th anniversary of the blog..

I might change up some things with the new year..Not sure how as yet..Stay tuned..Have a good weekend..