Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Notes from a week in Television: May 1954

Ad for a Friday Night showing of the Syndicated "Boston Blackie" Detective Series on WXEL-TV Channel 8
TV Guide Ad from the week of May 14-20, 1954 showing WNBK-TV 3's new coverage area after their recent tranmitter upgrade and move from channel 4 to channel 3 (Courtesy TV Guide)

Today I thought we would look at a specific week in Cleveland area TV courtesy of TV Guide Lake Erie Edition. TV Guide at this time had a Friday-Thursday format rather than Saturday-Friday as readers would become used to. Also, The Cleveland Edition was known as the "Lake Erie" Edition early on..Also, While TV Guide had its weekly New York and Hollywood "Dateline" with national TV News, The Lake Erie Edition also had its local "Dateline" weekly column. Here's some notes from that column:

Akron's WAKR-TV will carry the complete Army-McCarthy TV hearings as long as they will be televised. The Investigating Committee goes before the cameras at 10:30 AM and again at 2:30 PM. About the only thing Channel 49 is pre-empting for this public service telecast is it's test pattern. The station usually signs on at 4:30 PM daily.

Switch: In Youngstown channel 73 was notified by the Federal Communications Commission that it had okayed the change which will permit WFMJ-TV to switch to channel 21. The Station Management has set June 1st as the date for the channel change. (Note: The change to channel 21 ended up taking place August 7, 1954)

New Show:Grizzly Pete launches a new weekly afternoon show on channel 27 at 4:45 ech Wednesday. The show is written in that it will teach the kiddies as well as entertain them. Grizzly Pete will show and discuss the use of different types of clothing as worn out west.

Fading Away:Channel 5 has dropped its late late movie. With the exception of Sundays and Thursdays, the midnight movie ran from 12:05 AM to the wee hours of the morning

The top three film (Syndicated) shows around the nation for the month of April;
1 Badge 714 (Dragnet Reruns)

2 I Led Three Lives

3 Liberace

All Three of the shows can be seen in more than 100 cities. Each of the shows reaches an estimated 6,000,000 viewers.

TV Guide Listings: Friday, May 14, 1954..

WNBK 3 NBC Cleveland

7AM Today
9AM Movie-Streets Of New York
10AM Ding Dong School
10:30 One Man's Family
10:45 Three Steps to Heaven
11AM Home-Arlene Francis
Noon Bride And Groom
12:15 Hawkins Falls
12:30 Betty White Show-Variety
1PM Movie-O'Halloran
2:15 Maggi Byrne-Local Womens Fashion show
2:45 Nancy Dixon-Shopping
3PM Kate Smith
4PM Welcome Travelers
4:30 On Your Account-Quiz
5PM Pinky Lee
5:30 Howdy Doody
6PM Suppertime Comics
6:30 Sports-Tom Manning
6:40 Weather Vein (sp)
6:45 Today's News
7PM Badge 714
7:30 Eddie Fisher
7:45 John Cameron Swayze-NBC News
8PM Dave Garrowway
8:30 Life Of Riley
9PM The Big Story
9:30 TV Soundstage
10PM Boxing-Gillette
10:45 Greatest Fights
11PM News, Weather, Sports-Tom Field, Joe Finan, Joe Mulvihill
11:15 Custom Inn-Chatter
11:30 Movie-Who Killed Doc Robbin?
12:30 Hoot Gibson-Western
12:45 News

WEWS 5 CBS Cleveland

7AM CBS Morning Show
9AM Wings of Song-Music
9:30 Western Reserve Telecourse
10AM Jack Paar Show
11AM Dione Lucas-Cooking
11:30 Strike It Rich-Guest Orson Bean
Noon Valiant Lady
12:15 Love Of Life
12:30 Search For Tomorrow
12:45 Guiding Light
1PM Women's Window
1:30 Garry Moore
2PM Double Or Nothing
2:30 Art Linkletter
3PM Big Payoff
3:30 Bob Crosby
4PM Mixing Bowl-Van Cleve
4:30 Robert Q. Lewis
5PM Uncle Jake's House-Gene Carroll
5:45 News
5:50 Dinner Platter-Records
6:25 Professor Pet
6:30 Dorothy Fuldheim-News
6:45 Sports Page-Jack Graney
6:55 Weather-Johnny Price
7PM Primary (election) Preview
7:10 TV I. Q.
7:15 Greatest Drama
7:30 Perry Como
7:45 CBS News-Douglas Edwards
8PM Mama
8:30 Topper
9PM Schlitz Playhouse Of Stars
9:30 Our Miss Brooks
10PM My Friend Irma
10:30 I Led Three Lives
11PM Movie-The Creeper
12:30 News

WXEL 8 DuMont ABC Cleveland

8:55 Preview Corner
9AM Breakfast Club-ABC
10AM Maggie Wulff-Chatter
10:30 Charming Children
11AM Alice Weston
11:30 Rena And Bob
Noon Treasure Party-Bob Neal
1PM The Brighter Day-CBS
1:15 Portia Faces Life-CBS
1:30 Movie-Railroaded
2:55 You are What you Eat
3PM All For You-Alice Weston
3:15 Joe Portaro-Beauty
3:30 Paul Dixon-DuMont
4PM Woman With A Past-CBS
4:15 Secret Storm-CBS
4:30 King Jack's Toy Box-Kids
5PM Movie-Border Badmen
6:15 Sports-Bob Neal
6:30 TV Weatherman-Dr. Annear
6:40 Cleveland Today-News
6:45 At Home With The Grahams-Cleveland Browns QB Otto Graham and Family hosted this show
7PM Captain Video-DuMont
7:30 Stu Erwin-ABC
8PM Ozzie And Harriet-ABC
8:30 Pepsi Cola Playhouse-ABC
9PM Paul Hartman Show-ABC (better known as Emmett Clark on Andy Griffith Show/Mayberry RFD)
9:30 Boston Blackie
10PM Chance Of A Lifetime-DuMont
10:30 Colonel Flack-DuMont
11PM News-Warren Guthrie (Sohio Reporter)
11:10 Ted Malone-Today's Top Story
11:15 Carling Sports Final
11:20 Movie-To Be Announced

WKBN 27 CBS, ABC, DuMont Youngstown

7AM CBS Morning Show
9AM Breakfast Club-ABC
10AM Jack Paar
11AM I'll Buy That
11:30 Strike it Rich
Noon News
12:15 Love Of Life
12:30 Search For Tomorrow
12:45 Guiding Light
1PM The Brighter Day
1:15 Home Cooking-Resch
1:45 Garry Moore
2PM Movie-Hollywood Mystery
3PM Big Payoff
3:30 School Days
4PM Woman With A Past
4:15 Secret Storm
4:30 Robert Q. Lewis
5PM Barker Bill-CBS
5:15 Grizzly Pete
6:30 News Today
6:45 Sports-Don Gardner
6:55 Weather-Stu Wilson
7PM Captain Video-DuMont
7:30 CBS News
7:45 Perry Como
8PM Talent Patrol-ABC (Thurs. 8PM)
8:30 Topper
9PM Playhouse Of Stars
9:30 Our Miss Brooks
10PM My Friend Irma
10:30 Person To Person-Edward R. Murrow
11PM News-Warren Guthrie
11:10 News-Sid Davis
11:15 Movie-Mr. Lord Says No
12:30 News

WFMJ 73 NBC Youngstown

7AM Today
9AM Movie-Woman Doctor
10AM Ding Dong School
10:30 One Man's Family
10:45 Three Steps to Heaven
11AM Home
Noon Bride And Groom
12:15 Hawkins Falls
12;30 Betty White
1PM News
1:15 Hal's A Poppin-Hal Fryar
2PM Movie-Three Little Steps
3PM Kate Smith
4PM Welcome Travelers
4:30 On Your Account
5PM Susie Sidesaddle
5:30 Howdy Doody
6PM News
6:15 Sports-Eddie Lane
6:25 Weather
6:30 In Our Schools
7PM Turn Of A Card
7:15 Telerama
7:30 Eddie Fisher
7:45 John Cameron Swayze-NBC News
8PM Dave Garroway
8:30 Life Of Riley
9PM Big Story
9:30 TV Soundstage
10PM Boxing-Gillette
10:45 Greatest Fights
11PM Barn Dance-DEBUT With John Fritz and the Saddlemates-Live from WFMJ
11:45 News

WAKR 49 ABC Akron

10:30 AM Army-McCarthy Hearings (ABC Coverage)
2:30 PM Army McCarthy Hearings (ABC Coverage)
5PM Hinky Dinks-Kids
5:30 Summer Matinee
6:10 Social Whirl
6:15 (Rex) Humbard Family-Religion
6:30 Sports-Bob Wylie
6:45 Custom Ranch-Woodell
6:55 Weather
7PM News-Jack Fitzgibbons
7:10 Scores-Sports
7:15 ABC News-John Daly
7:30 Chef Lorenzo-Cooking
8PM Teen "WHO" Club-Records
8:30 Pepsi Cola Playhouse
9PM Paul Hartman Show
9:30 Who's The Boss?-Panel Show-ABC
10PM Movie-Follow Your Heart
11PM News-Bill Murphy
11:10 Sports-Bob Wylie

To end up on a lighter note, we have a "Letter to the Editor" from T. H. of Canton who writes:

"I am a midnight movie fan who is going to bed early these days. The Reason? I can't stand silly English Movies. Why Can't we get some good American movies?"

The Editor responds: [Now if you would contact Hollywood and persuade some executives to release some movies to TV...Ed.]

I thought I'd try something different..focus on a specific week or day of TV...Let me know if you like this format and content..Thanks..


  1. I like it. Classic TimL. As entertaining as it is informing. I also like the old ads from TV Guide.

  2. Very interesting...also love the print ads.

  3. I never knew that WXEL/WJW was ever an ABC affiliate. I always though the station was with DuMont before switching to CBS (by influence of then-owner George P. Storer, who was a member of the CBS board).

    When did WXEL take ABC, if this was correct? And if that was the case, was it a straight-up network swap between WXEL and WEWS in 1955?

    - Nathan Obral

  4. Nate:
    I have listings from January/February 1949 from TeleVue, a early listing magazine in Cleveland. WEWS-5 was CBS/DuMont/ABC and WNBK-3 was NBC. When WXEL-9 came on in December 1949, It was considered a major DuMont affiliate but also took ABC shows from the beginning. ABC was very weak in 1949-50 as a network..DuMont was considered ahead of the game and ABC was 4th place.

    By 1955, DuMont was on its way out after selling WDTV (KDKA) Pittsburgh,,The channel 5-8 swap was more of a straignt swap. WEWS did carry occassional DuMont Shows, shuch as Captain Video nightly, but most of the DuMont entertainment shows had either been canceled or moved to other networks by the spring of 1955.

  5. This brought back great memories from my teenage years in Akron during the 50's. In 1954 I remember hooking up a UHF converter to received WAKR 49, and later building antennas to try to receive good pictures from Youngstown 21, 27 and later 45. Very happy I found your blog through Ohio Media Watch.

  6. I lived in New Castle, Pennsylvania, as a young boy back in the early and mid-fifties and most of our televison programs were broadcast out of Youngstown, Ohio. I have fond memories of Grizzly Pete on WKBN each weekday afternoon where the station seemed to have a Roy Rogers movie one day and Gene Autry the next. At the time, I believe I preferred Roy because I think he did less singing than Gene, although both cowboys were involved in a bit more romance in the movie than a six to eight year old boy would wish. Maybe my preferences were based on Roy also having Gabby Hayes appearing in many of his films, and he always had a bizarre appeal. These were great times in my life and this show was very much a part of it.