Wednesday, May 2, 2007

WKBN-TV 27-First on the air

As we saw in our previous post, the beginning of 1953 would bring momentous changes to the broadcast landscape in Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. Both WKBN and WFMJ were within days or weeks of getting on the air. On January 6, 1953 WKBN-TV 27 aired its first test shown above..
WKBN Radio was founded by Warren P. Williamson in 1926 and was far and away the leading radio station in Youngstown. A longtime CBS affiliate, it was fairly certain that the new TV station would be primarily CBS. There were also secondary affiliations with ABC and DuMont early on. The first official day of Broadcasting was Sunday, January 11, 1953 and included Omnibus from CBS at 4:30 PM, A CBS special about the New Hollywood studios at 6PM, and Jane Froman's USA Canteen. The following are the next 2 days of broadcast schedules for WKBN-27:

Monday, January 12, 1953
5:30 Western Theater
6PM Don Gardner Sports
6:10 Weather
6:15 News
6:30 Film Fare
7PM Takes All Kinds
7:15 Mike (Wallace) and Buff (Cobb)-CBS
7:30 Elaine Carroll-Local
7:45 Garry Moore-CBS
8PM Stu Wilson-Local
8:15 Happy Bill Dunn-Local
8:30 Unlisted program
9PM Everywhere I Go
9:30 Sign-Off

Tuesday, January 13, 1953
5:30 Western Theater
6PM News, Weather, Sports (Gardner)
6:30 Strike It Rich-CBS
7PM Takes All Kinds
7:15 Mike And Buff
7:30 Elaine Carroll
7:45 Garry Moore
8PM Life Is Worth Living-Fulton Sheen-DuMont
8:30 Stu Wilson
8:45 Happy Bill Dunn
9PM Film Fare
9:30 Sign-Off
Schedules and photo above courtesy of the Youngstown Vindicator..


  1. Great blog. Love reading about the history of TV in Cleveland. Cleveland still has many firsts in TV today-the first city with three major network affiliates with HD newscasts.

  2. Tim,

    Did you go to Woodland elementary school in Canton in the early 70's? Your name seems familiar to me. Great blog, by the way.

  3. To the anonymous poster directly above (May 4, 6:23 PM). I never went to Woodland School. My elementary school days were in the Sandy Valley System-East Sparta and Sandyville Schools from 1964-70. I have a distant cousin also named Tim. he may be who you are thinking of..