Thursday, September 27, 2007
Serving the City of Canton...WJAN-TV 17
The Only Logo used by WJAN-TV 17 in it's Janson Industries ownership that I know of...Canton Repository, May 7, 1968
January 2, 1967 Ad in the Canton Repository for the "Electronics Center" on Canton's Cherry Avenue NE..Selling UHF converters to receive WJAN-TV 17, due to sign on January 3. The Electronics Center was open into the 1990's and still may be. It was rumored they still had some UHF converters at that time, too..
Also from May 7, 1968..Ad for Stark CATV, which ultimately became Warner Amex..Then Time Warner Cable..the dominant Cable TV franchise in Northeast Ohio...
Today we'll look at the history of WJAN-TV 17 in Canton. TV in Canton/Stark County has sort of a sparse history until the mid 1960s. In the earliest days of commercial television, there were allocations for "Channel 1" as what would be known as "community stations" Low-Power units that would serve small areas..Canton was listed for a Channel 1 allocation in 1946.
Around the mid 1950's plans were laid for Tri Cities Telecasting to operate Channel 29 as WTLC-TV in Canton. The 1958 Canton City directory shows this station at 324 Market Ave. N. In Canton, with Morton Frank and Loren Sourers jr. as officers. I have never seen that this station ever made it on the air. There was also planned WMAC-TV on Channel 23 in Massillon, which also never made it on the air.
Forward to 1967. Channels 25 in Cleveland and 49 in Akron were the only UHF's on the air in the Cleveland/Akron/Canton region. Cleveland Commercial UHF's were a year away. Channel 17 had been licensed to Marion, Ohio at one point, but Janson Industries, a Stage Curtain/Equipment manufacturer, secured the license for Channel 17 and moved it to Canton..Taking the Call Letters WJAN (In recent years Radio stations in Vermont and a Spanish Language TV station in Miami have used WJAN)
Below is a short article (one column) of WJAN-TV's Sign-On..
FIRST CANTON TV BROADCAST SET TUESDAY
Canton's first television station, WJAN Channel 17, will broadcast its first programs beginning at 4:30 PM Tuesday, General Manager John E. Hamm announced Saturday (12-31-66)
Eollowing its opening day of broadcasting, the 105kw station will be on the air from Monday through Friday fron 4:30-10PM with transmitting equipment designed to provide a strong signal anywhere in Stark County.
The daily program schedule includes three news programs, a feature movie at 8PM, and film series in the Western, Mystery and Comedy categories.
John Baker is the station's News Director and he will be seen weekdays at 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30 PM.
(Editor's note:It doesnt say here, but John Baker was also News Director at WHBC-AM 1480 in Canton at this time as well.)
Harold Gorsuch,former superintendent of electronic systems for the Ohio State University, is chief engineer at the station, While Frank Buchtel, former manager of Canton radio stations WCNS/WCNO (900 AM/106.9 FM-Ed.) is director of sales.
Studio transmitter and tower are located on Route 62 at California Ave. NE. Five miles northeast of Canton. The Station is owned by Janson Industries of Canton.
Monday, January 2, 1967.
Next:A more specific look The Earliest days of Channel 17-from 1967-69