Friday, August 24, 2007

Most Obscure Cleveland TV Talk Show-Part One

Glenn Rinker and Linn Sheldon, one of many hosting teams on "Three on the Town" fronting a "WKYC Sales Sheet."

Image Courtesy of Joe and Amy Payne (Rinker)-Glenn Rinker's Daughter..On our links is a whole page on this era of "Three On the Town" also courtesy Joe and Amy Payne.

Most of us that have been regular watchers of Northeast Ohio Television over the last 40 years or so are well aware of all the locally produced weekday news/talk/variety shows that have aired over the years..from Mike Douglas at KYW-3 to Bill Gordon and Dorothy Fuldheim in "One O Cloek Club" on channel 5 from 1959-64, to Dale Young Time mornings on Channel 8 in the 1960's to Morning Exchange on Channel 5 from 1972-99.Along with AM Cleveland (Scott Newell) and "The Dave Patterson Show" on Channel 3 in the 1980's..

I would venture to guess that no one under 50 will have heard of the show we are going to feature. Even as much as I watched Channel 3 (as a kid, admittedly) in the mid-late 1960's, I had never heard of this show, much less watched it. I had not heard of this show until doing "retro-schedules" on Radio-info and in the last couple years. This show was the main reason I went to the Cleveland Library last week to do research and found all the articles we've been featuring in recent days.

The show was Called THREE ON THE TOWN..Debuting on WKYC-TV 3 at 1PM Monday September 27, 1965..Its first (of many) hosts were Newsman Bud Dancy, announcer Jay Miltner and Linda Hunt, a newcomer from WPTA-TV Fort Wayne..The Cleveland Press blurb states in a short article,


"Three on The Town, a new local Color program, premiered on WKYC-TV today at 1PM. The Half Hour program includes nation, state and local news, weather, book and theater reviews, interviews with visitng personalities,fashion shows, women's features, live musical entertainment and film features on historical and unusual areas in he Greater Cleveland area."

" Bud Dancy, Jay Miltner, and a new face to Clevelanders, Linda Hunt, are the three hosts for the program. Miss Hunt comes to town from WPTA-TV, Fort Wayne, Ind. Where she had her own afternoon show."

I believe to some extent, this show is an indirect result of The Mike Douglas Show's recent move to Philadelphia..Some sources say that Mike Douglas taped his first Philadelphia show August 30, 1965. On the premiere date of 3 on The Town WKYC moved Mike Douglas to 9AM. Three On the Town very well may have been taped in the former Douglas studio, though I have no proof of that.

According to Variety's review, the BB King Musical Sextet was also part of the show occasionally. The Guest on the show previewed was Larry Robinson (The Diamond Man)..Dancy did a newscast and Miltner a weathercast and announcing duties. Basically Variety said that if the hosts could work together as a unit, the show had great potential..

By early 1966, Dancy was gone to NBC News, and Ms Hunt may have been gone as well..By this time, Veteran TV 3 personality Linn Sheldon was joined by Glenn Rinker from Binghamton, New York..Rinker stayed most of 1966, leaving in December for NBC's WRC Radio/TV in Washington..Rinker Subsequently worked in Miami and Orlando before passing away in 1993..According to James Flanagan of the Plain Dealer in a story at the time of Rinker's departure from Cleveland, Linn Sheldon would become solo host, and the hard news angle would be dropped. Nothing seemed to work consistently ratings wise for 3 on the Town was canceled February 16, 1968 with the final hosts appearing to be Clay Cole and Mark Russell..TV 3 wasnt ready to give up yet, however...


  1. Tim,
    I just got around to looking at the entire blog regarding 3 On the Town. You have given me more information than I had. I wanted you to take a good look at the pictures I have and see if you can recognize any of the other people. I know that Mike Douglas and Jerry Lewis are among the guests. Do you think that Barbara Strisand could be the singer?
    Joe Payne

  2. Joe:
    Nice to hear from you. Barbara Streisand was an early guest on Mike Douglas. I dont recall her ever wearing a "Beehive" Hairstyle like the singer in the pictures. The third picture on the right side (The Cooking segment)The person standing beside Glenn Rinker I am just about certain is Tom Haley, who hosted dozens of shows on WKYC Channel 3 and its predecessors from 1948-1997..He was also a newsman and a staff announcer.

    Tim (Then known as Tom) worked at KYW-TV 3 in 1960, Then moved over to WJW Channel 8 from 1961-63..Mostly with Movie Host Ernie Anderson (Ghoulardi)..After being discovered by Rose Marie, Tim went to Hollywood to appear on the Steve Allen Show, then his big break was on McHale's Navy..

    Hope this helps you a little..

  3. You mentioned Clay Cole as being a host of WKYC's daytime talk show at the time of its end in 1968. I presume this is the same Clay Cole who, from 1963 to 1967, hosted a music show on WPIX (Ch. 11) in New York?

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. WbHist:
    That would be quite possible, if not probable..The timeline would seem about right depending on when Cole left WPIX-TV..

    May 15, 2008 12:48 PM

  6. Hello,
    My name is Virginia Freeman Simmer. I have been doing a search on a girl in high school, Miami Palmetto Senior High. Her name is Amy Rinker. I understand she is now married to Joe Payne. She and I were best friends back in high school and I lost touch of her some many years ago. Her and I graduated in 1980. She use to tell me she was seeing this guy, a truck driver that she liked. I don't know if Joe is the one she was talking about, but she was very fond of this guy. I remember her father Glenn Rinker. I met him one time at her house. At that time, her father had remarried. I hope you can help me find her. From what I understand, she is now living in Tennessee and now she is battling Cancer. Please let me know. Sincerely Virginia Freeman Simmer class 1980

  7. Hello I was wanting to let Amy Rinker know that I had stumbled across an old photo of Glenn Rinker and Sam Benedict together when the opening of WKST station in New Castle took place. This is a very old photo of them together but I have got to say I wish I was raised in their days because they were very good looking men.

  8. A seeming hidden fact about the Mike Douglas show, is that it started at "The Copa" theater nightclub on Euclid Ave. It was right next to the T.V. station and they broke holes in the wall for the cables! One of the cable pullers was Roger Ailles, now President of Fox News! After he left , the Copa started the Dale Young Show! Both shows started for noon shoppers downtown to take a break. Barbara Streisand did hav a beehive hairdo, but did not play the Copa. However Bobby Darren, lola Filanna, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Joey Dee and the Starlighters brought in the Twist (note-Jimi Jameson played guitar would later become Jimi Hendrix) I know I was there and served him lunch for a week! Nick and Eleanor LoConti began both shows and have never been credited! There's a lot more to the story. Mike Douglas got fed and housing for his family when a job fell out and he was left stranded in Cleveland. Wonder if any of the old tapes survived. They had a habit of reusing old tapes!