Friday, April 13, 2007

NBC In Cleveland-Part 1-Formative years..

The following is an overview of NBC Radio and Television's History in Cleveland..WTAM Radio began Life in 1923, owned by Willard Storage Battery Company..Originally a share time station on 770 AM with WEAR (1924), the station began modestly, with 3 hours of programming a night. By 1928, the station had moved to 1070 khz and was 50,000 watts. eventually drawing the attention of NBC, which had been formed out of the RCA corporation in 1926. NBC purchased the Station in October, 1930. Programs originating from Cleveland included a Comedy program from Gene Carroll and Glenn Rowell..both of whom would later perform (sometimes opposite each other) In Cleveland TV. In a final move, WTAM moved to 1100 khz in 1941.

In October, 1948 WNBK-TV 4 began broadcasting with an evening schedule, later moving sign-on to 1PM and by early 1952, 7AM or before..WTAM-FM began in December, 1948 on 105.7 Mhz simulcasting the AM.

As part of a shakehout of a number of TV channels partly to reduce interference and partly to allow new stations..WNBK moved to Channel 3 in 1954..There were a number of well-known personalities on Channel 3 by this time, Including Glenn Rowell, Tom Haley, Tom Field and Ken Coleman..Below is a typical Schedule from WNBK-4 from Friday December 18, 1953

7AM Today
9AM Captain Glenn (Rowell)
9:25 Ohio Today-Tom Haley
9:30 Idea Shop-Mildred and Gloria
9:55 Ohio Today-Tom Haley
10AM Ding Dong School
10:30 Glamor School-Jack McCoy-NBC
11AM Hawkins Falls-Soap
11:15 Three Steps To Heaven-Soap
11:30 The Bennetts-Soap
11:45 Follow Your Heart-Soap
Noon-Bride And Groom
12:15 Haley's Daily
12:30 Maggi Byrne-Fashion
1PM Movie-To Be Announced
2:15 Joe Portaro-Beauty
2:30 Nancy Dixon-Shopping
2:45 Chef Lorenzo-Cooking
3PM Kate Smith
4PM Welcome Travelers-Tommy Bartlett-NBC
4:30 On Your Account
5PM Atom Squad-Kids
5:15 Gabby Hayes
5:30 Howdy Doody
6PM Suppertime Comics
6:30 Tom Manning Sports
6:40 Weather Factory-Glenn Rowell
6:45 Tom Field News-Would become much more identified with WEWS-5 by the 1960's.
7PM You Can Be Better-Talk
7:30 Eddie Fisher
7:45 Camel News Caravan-J. C. Swayze
8PM Dave Garroway
8:30 Life Of Riley
9PM Big Story
9:30 TV Soundstage
10PM Boxing(Gillette)
10:45 Greatest Fights-Boxing Film
11PM Tom Field News
11:05 Ken Coleman Sports
11:10 Joe Finan Weather
11:15 Movie-Sleep My Love.

This is part 1 of 4. Next I will focus on the Westinghouse years..which I consider the "Golden Years" of Local programming and community involvement on Channel 3.

The schedule above comes from TV Guide, Lake Erie Edition..WTAM-WNBK Info comes from Wikipedia

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