Wednesday, May 9, 2007

WFMJ-TV-Channel 73??

Today we will look at the early history of WFMJ-TV. Youngstown Vindicator Publisher William F. Maag Jr. founded WFMJ Radio in 1939 at 1420 Khz, moving to 1450 Khz in 1941. By the mid 40's, the station was at 1390 Khz, where it is today, Originally Blue Network/ABC, the station moved to NBC in the early 1950's. Now owned by Clear Channel under the call letters WNIO, the station airs a standards format under the title, "America's Best Music"

Not generally known is the fact that country music powerhouse WQXK 105.1 FM Salem, Ohio actually began as WFMJ-FM in 1948.

WFMJ-TV 73 began broadcasting on March 8, 1953 signing on at 3 PM and signing off around midnight. Channel 21 was licensed to WUTV, but WFMJ bought the WUTV license to move down to Channel 21 July 7, 1954.

Though WFMJ carried the full NBC Schedule in pattern, local programming was plentiful..Hal Fryar hosted entertainment program "Hal's A Poppin" in the mid 1950's and was "Captain Hal" showing Popeye Cartoons. There was also Kids' Host Susie Sidesaddle and "Kitchen Corner" with Martha (Marjorie?) Mariner. This program would be shown anywhere from 1:15-3PM from 1953-Through the mid 1960's.

WFMJ-TV 73 Schedule Tuesday, December 22, 1953

7AM Today

9AM Pictorial Parade-Film

10AM Ding Dong School

10:30 Glamor Girl-Jack McCoy

11AM Hawkins Falls

11:15 Three Steps to Heaven

11:30 The Bennetts

11:45 Follow Your Heart

Noon Bride And Groom

12:15 Noontime Comics

12:45 News Headlines

1PM Movie-Grandpa Goes to Town (1940)

2:15 Fashion Sketchbook-Tornello

2:30 Kitchen Corner-Mariner

3PM Kate Smith

4PM Welcome Travelers

4:30 On Your Account

5PM Santa Claus

5:15 Gabby Hayes

5:30 Howdy Doody

6PM Bill Crooks News Summary

6:15 Viz Quiz

6:20 Eddie Lane Sports

6:30 Boston Blackie

7PM Ohio Bell Christmas Show

7:30 Dinah Shore

7:45 Camel News

8PM Seasons Greetings NBC special with Host Eddie Albert, Robert Montgomery, Robert Shaw Ensemble (Chorale) Kean Sisters, Ezio Pinza, Harpo Marx

9PM Fireside Theater

9:30 Circle Theater

10PM Judge For Yourself-Fred Allen Guest Sammy Kaye

10:30 Bob Considine

10:45 Sports

11PM Wrestling

Advertising Image courtesy Youngstown Vindicator:Most historical information courtesy Wikipedia-Movie Information from Imdb..Schedule from TV Guide, Lake Erie Edition

Note:When I get a chance to do more research, I will write about WKST/WYTV 33..and earlier incarnations of channel 45. One of the more interesting stories in Local TV..


  1. Tim,

    As usual very interesting reading. And the spacing out when you post the listings makes it easier to read.


  2. I didnt mean at first to space things out even that much. I had a particularly hard time merging the newspaper ad within the rest of the posting. The entire post was spaced out way too much. It took some real work just to get it looking presentable. I'll keep your suggestion about the listings in mind when doing future postings. Thanks for reading and your continued support. By the way WIXY, I finally have your Bananas Blog in my links..

  3. That's a real honor, considering that my blog has the least to do with media of any of your links. If you get a chance go to, check out the program for this past Sunday. About 47:20 into the program, I am the caller.

  4. WIXY:
    Actually Yours was one of the first links I had up when I started doing the links. Between learning how to do it and trying to figure out who I wanted in the links at first, Your blog link sort of disappeared. You and OMW made me want to try a blog in the first place..I appreciate your testimony for the Lord and standing up for whats right..It is an honor for you to be in my links..