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..


  1. I know how you feel Tim. Some stations either don't feel like doing the research or caring to dive further for these gems (and it's always up to those of us to pick up the pieces that otherwise are still scattered out there).

  2. The thing is, Chris, its not like they would have had that much research to do. Between their own film and photo archives, John Carroll University's Media archives and Footage saved by "Big Chuck" Schodowski, they would have had more than enough to do a decent hour special, or even do a short News story on it..Most stations just dont care anymore..