Friday, January 22, 2010

Blog Update:

TV Guide ad for the show "Funsville" with Josie Carey, Sterling Yates and Johnny Costa..Ms. Carey first became famous for her "Children's Corner" on WQED-13, Pittsburgh's educational station, which had a brief Saturday Morning Run from New York on NBC-TV. Children's Corner was also famous for being the first TV exposure for Fred Rogers..He (and his sweater) would become a Childrens TV Icon through Misterrogers Neighborhood on NET/PBS for many years..Funsville, which originated at Westinghouse's KDKA-TV 2 in Pittsburgh, lasted on KYW about 2 years, from 1960-62, being replaced by Woodrow The Woodsman..

Just a brief update:

Our Facebook page has become very successful..We have been up on Facebook about 9 days now, with 146 fans from all over, including many current and former Cleveland Media people..What is surprising that others that are in TV and Newspapers, etc.. in other parts of the country have become fans as well, many of them former Clevelanders..Which is very humbling.

What I like about Facebook is that I can find something to share , and put it up almost immediately, with immediate feedback..I like the flexibility of it as well..

I am on a two week vacation from work..I may try to get up to Cleveland one day next week to do research for some of our next few posts here..Thanks for the great support of the blog..Have a good weekend..

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Upbeat Memories-Don Webster

TV Guide ad from the Big 5 days-Probably 1965..

Good evening:Tonight, I thought we would feature a two part video from WEWS Morning Exchange featuring Don Webster and "Upbeat"..This is from the December 17, 1997 edition of the "Exchange" with Fred Griffith and Connie Dieken on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Channel 5..

Don Webster was a Chatham, Ontario native that was discovered in September 1964 by WEWS station manager Don Perris while on a vacation trip to Lake Erie with his daughter. Webster was doing a Teen Dance show in Hamilton, Ontario..Perris' daughter suggested Webster would make a good host of The "Big 5 Show" which premiered in late September of '64..At first, Webster had Cleveland radio DJ's as co-hosts.."The Big 5 Show" became a huge success and was syndicated under the name "Upbeat" beginning in 1966..A lot of Popular music stars got their TV beginnings on Upbeat, Including Bobby Goldsboro, John Denver, Bobby Sherman (who appeared several times), The Animals, Otis Redding (who died in a plane crash shortly after appearing on Upbeat in 1967) , The 5th Dimension, Tommy Roe, The Outsiders, Paul Revere and The Raiders , and many others..They were augmented by "The Upbeat Dancers"

With the advent of large rock concerts, the days of the regional Rock Music Shows were numbered..Upbeat was canceled in 1971..Webster then became station weatherman, hosted The Ohio Lottery Bingo shows,Bowling For Dollars and was the First co-host of the Morning Exchange with Alan Douglas in 1972..For a time in the 1980's Don Webster was Channel 5 station manager..
As of 2007 Don was living in Retirement in South Carolina..

Couple of cool stories: Don was actually offered a job by Dick Clark out in Hollywood at one point..Don's response was, I appreciate the offer, but what would I do? Youre the man out there..We're basically the same type of host..It wouldnt make sense...

Also: Dick Clark applied to Channel 5 around 1956 to basically take the "Bandstand" Concept locally to Cleveland..and was turned down flat.but within a year, WEWS was carrying "American Bandstand" Over ABC anyway...

From The WEWS 50th Prime Time Special:Don Webster on Upbeat's success..also with Ted Henry

In-depth Cleveland Seniors article on Don Webster:
TV Guide Listing

Saturday June 19, 1965

8:40 News
8:45 Living Word
9AM Fisher Family
9:30 Discovery 65
10AM Casper
10:30 LeMans Grand Prix
11:30 Porky Pig
Noon Bugs Bunny
12:30 Hoppity Hooper
1PM Meet Your Schools
1:15 Its Worth Knowing
1:30 Cartoons
2PM Baseball Cubs at Reds
5PM Big 5-Don Webster
6PM 12:00 High (Tape Delay)
7PM Valentine's Day (Tape Delay)
7:30 King Family
8:30 Lawrence Welk
9:30 Hollywood Palace-David Janssen- Guests include: Chagrin Falls Native Tim Conway, along with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks and The Harlem Globetrotters..
10:30 Call Mr.D..
11PM News
11:10 Weather-Court Stanton-Long Time voiceover announcer..He was most famed for his authoritative station id's for Channel 5..
11:20 Sports-Randy Culver
11:25 Sports Commentary-Gordon Cobbledick (Plain Dealer Sports Editor)
11:30 Johnny Carson-Repeat
1AM News

Monday, January 11, 2010

We're Now on Facebook

As of early this afternoon, Cleveland Classic Media has its own Facebook Page..This will be for sharing photos from the early days of Cleveland Classic Media and possible exclusive-to-Facebook Content..Some Audio and Video as well..One thing I hadnt thought about..There is also a discussion page..So you can ask questions or share memories..

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Special Announcements:

Wally Kinnan Ad from October 1965-TV Guide..

The Late Wally Kinnan was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Hall Of Fame in November 2009..He was at WRCV-3 Philadelphia from 1958-65, before he came to WKYC Cleveland as Chief Meterologist in June 1965..Congratulations to the family on the well-deserved honor..

Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Biography on Wally Kinnan..

Facebook Logo..Cleveland Classic Media, as announced below, will have its own Facebook page shortly..


Just wanted to bring up three items that just surfaced in the last couple of days:

1. Art Clokey (1921-2010)

While the name Art Clokey may not be immediately familiar to most tv watchers, he was the creator and inspiration behind "Gumby" a Clay-animation series that enjoyed several incarnations between 1956 and 1988 on network and syndicated tv..Clokey passed away at the age of 88. He also created "Davey and Goliath" in 1963 for the Lutheran Church..

Obituary from (San Diego Union-Tribune)

2. Great day yesterday on the Blog:

According to the application Sitemeter, we had 219 visitors yesterday with 407 page views..Which is kind of unusual to me because there didnt seem to be a special reason for it..Normally there is a reason I can pinpoint for a spike in visitors, but not this time.. We usually average between 100-140 visitors a day..

Thanks to everyone for your continued support..

3. "Cleveland Classic Media" on Facebook

Ive decided within the next few days, to create a Cleveland Classic Media "Fan/Friend Page" on Facebook. What I may do here is repurpose some ads and pictures used earlier in Cleveland Classic Media and Create some "new" content especially for Facebook, as well as announce Blog Updates and anything else that may come up..(YouTube, DailyMotion Content, etc.)I may also have other Facebook Folks contribute material as well..
Everyone take care and have a great weekend..

Friday, January 8, 2010

Vintage WEWS Photos-Introduction to a new link

February 28, 1959-"LANDMARK MILESTONE -- with Lenny Sanders and the County Rhythm Boys in the background, starts of the weekly LANDMARK JAMBOREE program, Kathy Dearth (left), Tommy Edwards and Dottie West post on the occasion of the 2nd anniversary of Farm Bureau, program sponsor, this Saturday at 7 P.M. on WEWS. Show is now seen on WEWS, WSBD in Toledo and in March will add stations in Dayton and Columbus"

Notes:"WSBD Toledo" is actually WSPD-13-Dottie West went on to become a huge Grand Ole Opry Star before her untimely passing in 1991..Landmark Farm Bureau Cooperative is mentioned by Gene Carroll in a clip from his show in the early 1960's during a comic bit with Bob Hope on hhe TV 5 50th anniversary show (7:00 mark in the video)

April 1967-"Happy anniversary Miss Barbara --- Little Flint Keller, Kim Humphrey and Marge Smith present Barbara Plummer with flowers, celebrating the 7th year "Romper Room" has been on TV 5 . "Romper Room" is seen weekday mornings at 8:30 A.M."

Note:Not sure how they come up with the "seventh anniversary" when Romper Room started on WEWS in 1957 and ran till January 1, 1972

From 1965-Don Webster and Connie Francis on the set of Big "5" Show

Note:In 1966 the Big 5 Show was renamed "Upbeat" and became nationally syndicated until the show's 1971 cancellation..

July 18, 1962-BEHIND THE SCENES -- WEWS Engineers Harry Sykora (left) and Harry Reeves work on one of the two new Television Tape Recorders which have just been installed at Channel 5. Operation of the new machines is complex enough that both Reeves and Sykora are spending this week in New Jersey at a technical School (RCA) to acquaint themselves with the various intricacies of the machine's workings. The two new machines are the biggest and costliest in town, but will give WEWS important additional facilities in TV Tape Recording and consequent upgrading of WEWS program material"

Note:Notice the TV Screen-showing an original WEWS-TV Station ID slide

I've mentioned a site in passing a couple of times, "The Cleveland Memory Project" an online project of the Cleveland State University Libraries using mainly the photo archives of the former Cleveland Press Newspaper (1878-1982)..Among the Press photos are a number of TV station pictures, mostly to illustrate a TV aricle or simply remind viewers of an upcoming show..Today I simply want to share a few pictures from the Press Archive of WEWS-TV 5 from the 50's and 60's..The Pictures are above, with original captions and dates where available..The Cleveland Memory Project will be permanently added to our list of links on the side..

Monday, January 4, 2010

WJW 60th Anniversary Part 2...The Storer and Fox Years

2-page TV Guide ad announcing the call letter change from WXEL to WJW-TV

Logo from 1964-65

Logo from 1962-63

In our last post, we wrote about the earliest days of WXEL..The station was sold late in 1954 to Storer Broadcasting, whose Owner, George Storer, used his influence on CBS' Board to take the CBS affiliation away from WEWS-TV 5..The switch took place March 2, 1955..This immediately gave Channel 8 a big advantage in having a "Major Network" on board and contributed to station growth throughout the 1950's and 60's..Another factor was a growing news department, with shows like Sohio Reporter and City Camera,Then Newscenter 8, under the direction of Veteran Virgil Dominic and with Weather icon Dick Goddard, who had Channel 8 first in News for much of the late seventies and early eighties, while KYW didnt really "grow" its news brand till around 1960-61 and WEWS, while there were some good news personnel, they didnt take news as seriously as the other 2 stations until John Hambrick came along in 1967..

Under Storer Ownership, WJW-TV started to develop personalities that would last awhile..Jim Doney's Adventure Road, Ernie Anderson, first with "Ernie's Place", then "Ghoulardi"..Then of course, Hoolihan/Big Chuck/Lil John with the Movie Shows from 1963-2007..Kids hosts Bozo (Ed Fisher) Mr. Banjo (Davey Herbert) and Franz (Ray Stawiarski), Bandstand with Phil McLean, Neil Zurcher's "One Tank Trips" on the News and many others too numerous to list..

Storer was thought of as a "family type" company..Folks stayed at TV 8 for years usually..

Of course, as with anything, things change..After Storer sold its TV stations, WJW was kind of in a limbo until a 1993 sale to New World Communications..The Spring of 1994 brought News that would have been unthinkable just a few years before..WJW would switch from CBS to the FOX Network..NewsCenter 8 gave way for a time to "Eight Is News" and finally "Fox 8 News" by the time Fox bought the station in 1997. Though The News is definitely done in the Fox style, TV 8, now owned by Local TV LLC has kept a lot of the veteran on-air talent, like Goddard, Wilma Smith, Lou Maglio and Andre Bernier..

Here is the 30th annuversary of WJW-TV (Then WJKW) from Dailymotion-In 6 parts-Hosted By Dick Goddard.

Here are again, 3 Schedules from the Storer years..Courtesy TV Guide

Sunday, April 14, 1956 (First Day as WJW-TV)

8:45 American Town Hall
9:15 The Christophers
9:30 This Is The Life
10AM Lamp Unto My Feet
10:30 Look Up And Live
11AM Film Short
11:30 Camera Three
Noon Fun With Charades
12:30 Wild Bill HickoK-CBS
1PM My Friend Flicka
1:30 Rex Humbard
2PM WJW-TV Dedication-Call letters change from WXEL-Dedication of Playhouse Square Studios (1630 Euclid)

2:50 The Ohio Story-Nelson Olmstead
3PM To Be Announced
3:30 Joe Potaro Show
4PM Lassie-CBS
4:30 Red Russia Today-SPECIAL
6PM Telephone Time
6:30 You Are There
7PM Liberace
7:30 Private Secretary
8PM Ed Sullivan
9PM GE Theater
9:30 Alfred Hitchock
10PM $64,000 Challenge
10:30 What's My Line?
11PM News
11:10 Sports
11:15 Movie-Sky Dragon (Charlie Chan)

Monday, October 25, 1965
6:40 News
6:45 Sunrise Semester
7:15 Rex Humbard
7:30 CBS News-Mike Wallace
8AM Captain Kangaroo
9AM Franz The Toymaker-COLOR
9:55 News-Howard Hoffman
10AM As The World Turns
10:30 McCoys
11AM Andy Griffith
11:30 Dick Van Dyke
Noon News-Martin Ross, Harry Jones, Hoolihan
12:30 Search For Tomorrow
12:45 Guiding Light
1PM Love Of Life
1:25 CBS News-Mike Wallace
1:30 PDQ-Dennis James-COLOR
2PM Password
2:30 House Party
3PM To Tell The Truth
3:25 City Camera News-COLOR
3:30 Edge Of Night
4PM Secret Storm
4:30 Leave It To Beaver
5PM Adventure Road-Jim Doney-COLOR
6PM City Camera News-Doug Adair, Joel Daly, Ken Coleman, Hoolihan
6:30 CBS News-Walter Cronkite
7PM Zorro
7:30 Munsters
8PM Gilligan's Island-COLOR
8:30 My Three Sons-COLOR
9PM CBS Thursday Night Movie-Mary, Mary-1963-COLOR
11:15 News-Adair, Daly
11:25 Sports-John Fitzgerald
11:30 Weather-Hoolihan-COLOR
11:35 Movie-Sealed Verdict-1948
1:05 Movie-Valiant is the Word for Carrie-1936 Trivia-The Three Stooges played on this movie title in "Violent Is the Word for Curly" a 1938 Columbia Short..

Thursday, July 24, 1975

6:20 News
6:25 First Edition
6:30 Summer Semester
7AM CBS News-Hughes Rudd
8AM Captain Kangaroo
9AM Mayberry RFD
9:30 Please Don't Eat The Daisies
10AM Spin-Off
10:30 Gambit
11AM Tattletales
11:30 Love Of Life
Noon News
12:30 Search For Tomorrow
1PM Young And The Restless
1:30 As The World Turns
2PM Guiding Light
2:30 Edge Of Night-I read somewhere that this soap originally aired at 4:30 PM ET because, being late in the afternoon, it was considered the "edge" of night..

3PM Price Is Right
3:30 Match Game '75
4PM Musical Chairs
4:30 Merv Griffin
6PM News
6:30 CBS News-Cronkite
7PM Truth Or Consequences
7:30 Treasure Hunt
8PM Waltons
9PM CBS Thursday Night Movie-Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?-1966
11:45 News
12:15 Movie-The Jerusalem File-1972

One final clip-WJW Daytime 1971, as shown on Big Chuck and Lil John in 1994

As Ive said a few times in the last year, its sad that "Heritage" TV stations no longer value enough of its history to give even 5 minutes of a newscast to an anniversary notice..While it appears FOX 8 did a brief promo mentioning "60 years"..There was nothing on FOX 8 News commemorating its anniversary that I saw up to December 19..Very disappointing..