Monday, January 7, 2008

John Hambrick's Debut at WEWS-December 25, 1967

WEWS-5 Ad for what appears to be John Hambrick's Debut Christmas Day, 1967. Hambrick would be instrumental in vaulting TV 5 "Eyewitness News" from Thrid to First place in the early 1970's. This was a big push for channel 5 as fron what I have seen, they normally didnt spend nearly as much on TV Guide ads as did 3 or 8 or any other local station..

Another, smaller Ad for John Hambrick's Debut week on WEWS-TV 5

Christmas Weekend programming at WJW-TV-"Television ei8ht"..This famous logo was used till April 1977 when Channel 8 changed call letters ro WJKW-TV from 1977-85, when they changed back to WJW..

"Special Announcement" in TV Guide stating they would no longer list channel 49 as WAKR-TV since will now "program" Channel 23

Full Page TV Guide Ad about WAKR's move from Channel 49 to 23 in December 1967.

December 1967 was full of TV changes in Northeast Ohio, aside from it being the Holiday Season..Channel 5 may have made the biggest splash when it hired veteran News anchor John Hambrick... **A fascinating story is told about Fred Griffith, Channel 5 News Director at the time, driving down to Cincinnati to recruit Hambrick for WEWS-TV..John Hambrick was about to sign a contract to go to Detroit when Griffith intercepted him..Over "Just a few" Jack Daniels, John agreed to come to Cleveland..Hambrick helped revitalize TV 5 News upon his arrival December 25, 1967 "Eyewitness News" went from third to first in the early 1970's..With Hambrick were Dorothy Fuldheim, Don Webster with Weather and Gib Shanley on Sports..Hambrick left in 1975 to be replaced by Ted Henry. John's Brother Judd worked for some years at WJW and WKYC-TV..

Another major Change was in Akron where WAKR-TV, on channel 49 since it's sign-on in 1953, moved down the dial to channel 23 in December 1967, with 1.25 million watts of power to be seen all over North east Ohio..Channel 23 at one time in the 1950's was licensed to Massillon, Ohio with the Call Letters WMAC-TV, but never made it on the air..Channel 49 is now WEAO-TV PBS in Akron..

TV Guide Listings
Monday, December 25, 1967

BW=Black and White program

8-WJW-CBS Cleveland
17 WJAN-IND. Canton
23 WAKR-ABC Akron
25 WVIZ-NET Cleveland

3 Farm Front

3 Education Exchange

3 The Beginning-BW

3 Today
8 Rex Humbard-BW

8 News-Murray Stewart

5 News-BW

5 Donna Reed-BW
8 Cartoons-BW

5 Casper-BW
8 Captain Kangaroo

5 Romper Room-Miss Barbara Plummer

3 Mike Douglas
5 Light The Dark Street-SPECIAL
8 Franz

5 Dating Game

3 Christmas Service-National Cathedral
5 Paige Palmer-"Santa Claus talks about losing Weight"
8 Love Of Life
23 Ed Allen

3 NBC News
8 News-Howard Hoffman

3 Service Continued
5 Donna Reed-BW
8 Beverly Hillbillies-BW
23 Women's Page-BW

3 Personality-Larry Blyden
Guests:Sam Levenson, Shelia MacRae, Betsy Palmer. On Film:George Hamilton

5-23 Temptation-Game
8 Andy Griffith-BW

5-23 Children's Doctor-Lendon Smith

3 Hollywood Squares-Peter Marshall
Abby Dalton, Jack Carter, Eartha Kitt, Wally Cox, Morey Amsterdam, Sebastian Cabot, Charley Weaver, Barbara Rush and Mike Connors

5-23 How's Your Mother-In-Law?-Wink Martindale
Marty Ingels, Joe E. Ross and Corbett Monica

8 Dick Van Dyke-BW

3 Jeopardy!-Art Fleming
5 News-Tom Field, Dorothy Fuldheim
8 News-Murray Stewart, Harry Jones, Hoolihan (Bob Wells)
23 Everybody's Talking-Pat Carroll, Milt Kamen, Leonard Nimoy (Final Week)

3 Eye Guess-Bill Cullen
5 Singing Angels-SPECIAL
8 Search For Tomorrow
23 Kathryn Kuhlman -Probably a special broadcast for Christmas

8 Guiding Light

3 NBC News

3 Three On The Town-Clay Cole and Mark Russell with guest Ventriliquist Angela Martin
5-23 Fugitive-BW
8 Franz Christmas Special

3 Let's Make a Deal
8 As The World Turns

3 Days Of Our Lives
5-23 US Open Highlights-SPECIAL
8 Love Is a Many Splendored Thing

5-23 North South Shrine Football Game-Keith Jackson/Bud Wilkinson

3 Doctors
8 House Party

3 Another World
8 Movie-Mr. Magoo's Storybook-1964-Compilation of episodes of "Famous Adventures Of Mr. Magoo"...Originally aired in the 1964-65 season Saturday nights on NBC-TV

3 You Don't Say!-Tom Kennedy-With Chad Everett and Patricia Crowley

3 Match Game-Gene Rayburn-With Phyllis diller and Mitch Miller
17 Rainbow Theatre-BW-Likely a 50's or 60's Dramatic Anthology rerun

25 London Line-Report-BW

3 NBC News-Floyd Kalber

3 PDQ-Dennis James-Barbara Feldon, Dick Gautier and Michael Landon
17 Cartoons-BW
25 Busy Knitter-BW

3 Movie-The Big Beat 1958-BW
5-23 NBA Basketball-Los Angeles Lakers at San Diego Rockets-With Chris Schenkel and Jack Twyman
8 Young People's Concert-SPECIAL
17 Shotgun Slade-BW
25 Film Feature-BW

17 Restless Gun-BW
25 Kindergarten-Joyce Marron-BW

8 News-Doug Adair, Martin Ross, Dick Goddard, Frank Gleiber
17 News-BW
25 What's New?-BW

17 Sidelight-BW

3 Huntley-Brinkley
8 CBS News-Walter Cronkite
17 Sports Playback-BW
25 Folk Guitar-Laura Weber-BW

3 News-Virgil Dominic, Wally Kinnan, Jim Graner
5 News-John Hambrick, Don Webster, Gib Dhanley
8 Truth Or Consequences-Bob Barker
17 Sherry Lee-BW
23 News-BW
25 Efficient Reading-BW

23 Women's Page

3 Monkees
5-23 Cowboy In Africa
8 Gunsmoke
17 Local News-BW
25 Spectrum-BW

17 Holiday-Travel-BW
25 NET Journal-BW

3 Man From UNCLE
17 Movie-Miracle On 34th Street 1947-BW

5-23 Rat Patrol
8 Lucille Ball (Lucy Show)

3 Danny Thomas Hour
5-23 Felony Squad
8 Andy Griffith
25 Power of the Dollar-DEBUT-BW

5-23 Peyton Place
8 Family Affair
17 Messiah-BW
25 NET Playhouse-BW (Channel 25 sign-off-10:45)

3 I Spy
5-23 Big Valley
8 Movie-A Man Called Peter-1955 (11PM News pre-empted)

3 News-Dominic
5 News-Hambrick
23 News-BW

3 Weather-Kinnan
5 Weather-Ron Penfound
23 Country-Western Music-BW

3 Sports-Jim Graner
5 Sports-Gib Shanley

3 Tonight-Guest Host Victor Borge
5-23 Joey Bishop

8 Movie-Mr. Scoutmaster-1953-BW

3 Sea Hunt-BW
5 Outdoor World

3 Tonight School

**Fred Griffith/John Hambrick Story as told on the WEWS-TV 5 "Morning Exchange" December 17, 1997


  1. I noticed the channel 5 logo. I guess this was before the "circle 5" was adoped by the ABC stations.

  2. WIXY:
    The Circle "7" was used by ABC owned stations for a few years orior to this..The earliest use of the Circle 5 logo I have is in October 1968, so we can pinpoint its first use by WEWS in 1968..

  3. I live near Cincinnati, and was intrigued by the reference to John Hambrick having worked in Cincinnati prior to moving to WEWS. I'm completely unfamiliar with him -- what station did he work for down here? His Wikipedia entry doesn't include anything about Cincinnati, and also appears to be in error on another detail, since it claims he starting working for WEWS in 1965.

  4. As always, another wonderful post. One question, though: when did Dave Patterson come on-board as John's co-anchor?

  5. The reference to Cincinnati was that John was there when he was recruited by WEWS-He didnt say he specifically worked at a station there.This is from an extended interview with Fred Griffith and Connie Dieken on Channel 5's Morning Exchange 12-17-1997 on the occasion of channel 5's 50th aniversary..

  6. One more thing..Hambrick said in the interview that he started at Channel 5 in 1967.

  7. So, where had Mr. Hambrick anchored immediately prior to WEWS, if it wasn't in Cincinnati? Neither Wikipedia nor his own profile from the Ciao actor agency makes this clear. Interesting to note that he has a rather extensive acting background in addition to being a newscaster!

  8. John Hambrick had worked at WMC-TV in Memphis -- another Scripps station. I'm not sure if he went straight to Cleveland from Memphis, however.

    ...And Dave Patterson worked at WMC-TV in Memphis, too.

  9. Could be he worked at WCPO in Cincinnati, since it's also a Scripps station. Just guessing, though.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Actually I feel lucky to have hung around the Eyewitness News set and newsroom with John Hambrick, Dave Patterson, Gib Shanley, Don Webster and Dorothy Fuldheim as a teenager. Don used to allow me to ride along in one of the Buick newscars when he would do a quick location shot around the corner from the station, then speed back to the station before his weather forecast. The guys had a poker table set up behind the news set between newscasts where they would play cards before a newscast on a slow news day. One time I asked John Hambrick how he relaxed after a rather unsettling on location shoot. He opened a lower drawer at his desk revealing a bottle of Jack Daniels, Dixie cups and a couple bottles of mouthwash and throat spray. Hey, it was the late 1960's, early 1970's - things were a little different then. Got to thank cameramen Harry Dorsey and Dave (aka Dave Baron) Branchick for the doorway in. Eventually I found myself working at WERE NewsRadio 1300 - so the time the guys and Dorothy Fuldheim spent with me were worthwhile on both sides of the fence!-)

    - Andrew, MALL727net -

  12. I liked his style of anchoring/reporting

    1. A Note also.Since his recent passing, I have looked through the Plain Dealer Archives, and it is certain-John Hambrick did come from WCPO-TV 9 Cincinnati to Cleveland..There was some question about that when this blog was first published..

  13. Didn't WEWS use the "Newswatch" branding sometime in the early seventies during Hambrick's tenure at the station?