Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cleveland Television-Interesting comment, Introduction of New Historic site

The original Test Patterns for all 3 Cleveland TV Stations..WNBK-4, WEWS-5, and WXEL-9

To begin with, I want to share a comment on my recent "End of Analog TV" post that an anonymous poster left yesterday..interesting to say the least..

"WXEL-TV in Cleveland? I think someone is confused. The only station I can remember in this area with a call sign anything like that was WXEN-FM (now WVMX or whatever--I never listen to the darn station) in Cleveland. All my life, Cleveland's channel 8 (not 9--where do people get this idea?) had a three-letter call sign. This channel was also a CBS affiliate for over four decades, until Fox bought it out and the CBS affiliation went to channel 19, which no one without cable west of Cleveland could get very well. Why couldn't they have left CBS on station eight and put Fox or whatever on number 19? Other major cities in this country, like New York, Chicago, et al. have had their TV stations on the same dial numbers for over five decades. Why should Cleveland be any different?

Cleveland never had a channel 4 station that I can remember, either. All of my life, NBC has been on channel 3 in northeastern Ohio"

The answer is that all over the country, TV stations didnt have a great deal of transmitter power at first, plus with a limited number of stations, you could have say, Channel 4 Detroit and Channel 4 Cleveland close by without a problem... As the early 50's came around, stations wanted to up their power, well in situations all over the country, It was found that upping power at one transmitter would cause interference at close by stations. plus other stations were ready to go on the air on adjacent channels..This was why WXEL (WJW) Channel 9 moved to 8, to allow for WSTV-9 in Steubenville, Ohio in late December, 1953..

The comment above also pointed to something I've wanted to do for a long time..create a basic primer/historical timeline for each local station, which would answer some of the questions the anonymous poster brought up, as well as answer other questions..I will begin this on my next post..The stations featured will be:
47 (67)

Some stations may have much more info than others, and this may end up being in two parts..My goal is to make this a permanent page, with logos, etc..depending on how things go..Information will be from Wikipedia and what weve already done on the blog in the past, and other sources, such as official station histories..As Ive said before..anything I might be wrong on I dont mind being corrected..I want this ultimately to be a collaborative effort..Thank you all and have a good day..


  1. Tim, I will do my best to rescan the WXEL ID slide. I have one of the strips of the original slides, and after closer inspection, the image I originally posted (and you have on display here) is reversed!

  2. Tim --

    Are you truly talking about a new website, as implied by this item's title, or are you going to run your new series within the existing Cleveland Classic Media site?

    Either way, it sounds fascinating, and I'll bet you'll get lots of help from readers who know unique bits of information never recorded anywhere else previously. I'll also predict that plenty of the "official history" at more than one station is quite incomplete, possibly even wrong!

  3. To the above anonymous:
    My first plan is to incorporate the site into the postings here, possibly broken up into 2-3 parts..Then once the original site is complete, look into creating a separate web page, using Blogger, Wordpress or some other publishing tool to make the site separate from Cleveland Classic Media..Would like to do the same for radio, but that may be a long time off..

    As far as "Official Histories" being wrong, I figure thats a chance you take when doing something like this.

    The reason I am doing this now is comments like the one in the post..I truly wonder how many people dont know, for example that Channel 8 in Cleveland was once Channel 9..My idea is to create a listing of stations, with current info, then have a historical timeline for each..Thanks for the encouragment..

  4. Here's an interesting fact. With all of this talk about channel assignments, WEWS is one of the few stations in the country that during the entire 60 plus year analog run, had the same owner, call letters and channel assignment. Not many stations can say that.

  5. Hey Tim --

    Doesn't matter a lot, but I didn't actually publish that third comment anonymously, not intentionally anyway! I'd already signed in properly, and saw my blogger ID displayed in the draft comment window along with my text -- but for some reason, it posted as "anonymous". Strange...wonder if it will work right this time? My ID appears to be showing again!

  6. To the individual who does not believe there was ever a Channel 4 or Channel 9 in Cleveland - GROW UP AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK! The world does not evolve around only you! Just because WNBK TV 4 and WXEL TV 8 was not around in YOUR time, does not mean it didn't exist, it DID!

    - Andrew, -

  7. Hey Andrew -- you wrote: "The world does not evolve around only you!"

    Actually it DOES, in a way -- just not ONLY around that anonymous poster. But I know you meant "revolve", not "evolve" -- so your INTENTION was correct.

    Heh, heh...