Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What might have been in Northern Ohio Television

What we will discuss today is what Northeast Ohio Television might have been like by say 1960-65 if certain "construction permits" had ever been built. UHF-TV in the 1950's was very unstable with stations appearing lasting maybe a year or two then disappearing. One had to have UHF converters attatched to their TV set..These converters werent very reliable..It was particulary hard when there were established VHF's in a city. The UHF couldnt get enough audience or advertising to survive in many cases..

Most Major libraries have copies of "Televison Almanac" in their reference collection..Sort of a year in review for TV Network executives, station owners and program producers. Included in this Almanac was an FCC list of US tv channel allocations and a list of licensed stations, both operating and non operating..For all the TV stations that were on the air even for a short time, there were many others with operating permits that never got on the air at all. For example, Channel 79 in Toledo while a permit was granted in the 1950's, was still being listed in the almanac as late as 1975..And it never did get on the air...What I want to do here is list some of the past channel allocations in NE Ohio..and give a mention to planned stations that never got on the air..which would have made things qute different today.

Channel Allocations as of 1956 e=educational channel
Akron 49, e55, 61(Now WQHS Cleveland)
Ashtabula 15
Athens 62
Cambridge 26
Canton 29 (Now WAOH-LP Akron)
Cleveland 3, 5, 8, 19, e25, 65
Coshocton 20 (Now WOUB Athens)
Defiance 43 (Now WUAB Lorain-Cleveland)
Findlay 53
Fremont 59
Lima 35, 73
Lorain 31
Mansfield 36
Massillon 23 (Now WVPX Akron)
Sandusky 42
Steubenville/Wheeling 7, 9, 51, e57
Tiffin 47
Toledo 11, 13, e30, 79
Warren 67 (Now WOAC Canton)
Youngstown/New Castle, Pa. 21, 27, 45, 73

Specific info on some local permits: (1950's)

Cleveland Broadcasting Inc.
Bulkely Building
Cleveland, Oh.
Pres. Ray Miller
VP-Richard M. Klaus

19 WHK-TV (WOIO-1985)
United Broadcasting Inc.
5000 Euclid Ave. Cleveland
Sterling E. Graham, President

Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting
Elyria Savings and Trust Bldg.
Elyria, Ohio
Pres. Roy Ammel
VP-D.O. Thomas

Fergum Theaters, Inc.
Madison Theater
Mansfield, Oh.
Pres. William Skirball
VP-Jack M. Skirball

23 WMAC (WAKR Akron 1967) (now WVPX)
Midwest TV Co.
500 Security Bldg.
Toledo, Oh.

29 WTLC (WAOH Akron-1980's) not sure of the date
Tri-Cities Telecasting
324 Market Ave. N.
Canton, Ohio
President Morton Frank
VP-WR Persons
Treasurer David B. Hanna
Secretary Loren E. Souers I have a 1958 Canton City Directory that lists Tri-Cities Telecasting, but no indication it was ever on the air..Souers has a middle school in Canton named after him.

New Castle, Pa. (1965)
Community Telecasters
Farrell, Pa.
(This was on channel 45 as a Youngstown Indie in 1960-62 at least probably not much beyond that..WFMJ 21 was on 73 in 1953-54)

I had seen in the past a listing in TV Almanac for
67 WHHH Warren, Oh. Some of the copies of TV almanac had been purged from the Stark Co. Library that had this listing

Finally some 1970 channel allocations

Akron 23, 49, e55 (though 55 was listed as educational, 49 would become WEAO-PBS..55 became commercial WBNX in 1986)
Ashtabula 15 (WICA-TV actually had a couple different stints on-air)
Athens e20
Canton 17, 67
Cleveland 3, 5, 8, 19, e25, 61
Defiance 65
Lima 35, 44, e57
Lorain 43
Mansfield e31 (eventually would get channel 68-Now WMFD)
Sandusky 51 (WGGN 52 is now on in Sandusky)
Steubenville 9, e62
Toledo 11, 13, 24, e30, 54, 60 (36 would be added in)
Woodsfield e44 (Likely became WOUC-Cambridge)
Youngstown 21, 27, 33, 45, e58 (45 would end up licensed to Alliance as PBS and 58 would become a translator for 45/49)

Thanks to the Stark County District Library for their assistance..Station information courtesy Television Almanac

In another post down the line I'll lay out my idea for an Akron-Canton TV market based on these unbuilt construction permits, etc..


  1. Considering that Channel 61 could not make it as a viable station in both of its incarnations as WKBF & WCLQ, could these other stations have had a chance? Possibly the Akron/Canton stations as secondary network affiliates.

  2. Great blog !

    I'd like to learn more details about WICA-TV in Ashtabula. There must be at least a few old newspaper articles about this station.

  3. anonymous2:
    I did find some news articles a while back. I'd have to dig them out again but I plan on an article on WICA-15 in the near future but I'm not sure when.

  4. Funny thinking we had 54 and 60 over here (54 ended up with Canada's Societe Radio-Canada station in Windsor, Ontario in the 80's).