Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Link:Tampa's "Big 13"

"Big 13" Logo used by WTVT for a number of years. WTVT has been Fox affiliated since 1994 and Fox owned and operated since 1997..For a time, WTVT and WJW-8 Cleveland were co-owned..from the Gillett/New World days of the mid 1980's till WJW was sold to Local TV, LLC in 2008..

1955-56:From John Carroll Archives through Neil Zurcher's TV Memories Blog..A really nice picture of Captain Penny (Ron Penfound), Uncle Leslie (Linn Sheldon) Texas Jim (Jim Breslin) and Mary Ellen Sussex (Fun Farm)..visiting a little girl in the hospital..Mrs. Sussex moved on to The Tampa, Florida area in 1957..Hosting children's shows on WTVT-13..

Good evening all:
Introducing a brand new link to our readers..An extensive Historical Website for WTVT-13 in Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida..Created by Mike Clark, who worked at WTVT from 1972-77. Clark has also been instrumental in keeping retired WTVT employees connected with each other through reunions, and helping to save some vintage WTVT Material. The website concentrates on the CBS years from 1955-94, when just as in Cleveland, several longtime Market Icons were on, such as Weatherman Roy Leep, Newsman Hugh Smith, singer Ernie Lee and Children's hostess Mary Ellen Sussex..Mrs. Sussex, a Toledo native began her TV Career at WSPD Toledo in 1952 with a show called "Fun Farm", which moved to WEWS Channel 5 in 1955-56..Mary Ellen hosted various Kid shows on WTVT from 1957-64, where she was a very beloved personality..

Included in the website are some video, Old newsletters and pictures presented in a fun way by Mr. Clark..Well worth checking out..


Monday, July 19, 2010

WXEL-9 Opening-November/December 1949

Update:Am in the process of putting all the WXEL Pictures on a seperate blog..Have the first 10 up now..Should have the others up before the end of the week..

Vintage WXEL 1949 Photo Page

Good looking copy of the WXEL Test Pattern..

Exterior of WXEL Building at Pleasant Valley and State Roads in Parma

WXEL-TV Dedication Plaque

Cleveland Indians Pitching Coach Mel Harder with WXEL sportscaster Gail Egan..Howard Hoffman and Russell Spires observe. Notice what appears to be a ceramic "Little Ajax" on the piano.

Empire Coil Executive Robert Harris, DuMont Comedian Morey Amsterdam and WXEL's Howard Hoffman..

Here's "Little Ajax" a papier mache elephant that was to have been the station's mascot. The Late Howard Hoffman said in a 1999 interview that the mascot never really caught on with the viewers and was quitely dropped..

Radio/TV Editors from the 3 Cleveland Newspapers..

Early Staff Dinner:Consulting Engineer Ben Adler Tommy Mayer (assuming Herbert Mayer's Son), Chief Engineer Thomas Friedman, Station Manager Franklin Snyder, Program Director Russell Spiers, Sandra and Herbert Mayer..

A good friend (Richard Warner)recently acquired a Number of Black and White Still Photographs of WXEL Channel 9's Opening ceremonies and some other occasions around the same time..While sharing a few of them here, I am going to try to make a new page with all the thumbnails so that anyone can view them all at their leisure..

WXEL was the third Television Station in Cleveland..Built by Herbert Mayer's Empire Coil Company. WXEL went on the air officially December 19, 1949. Among the pictures are several of special guest Morey Amsterdam, who hosted a show on the DuMont Network,of which WXEL was a primary affiliate..WXEL also carried ABC, and as we will see in a bit, a surprising number of CBS Shows, though WEWS-5 was considered primarily a CBS affiliate..
Along with the pictures, Mr. Warner sent along what looks like a WXEL schedule mailing or a newsletter dated February 18-24, 1951..Here are a few sample schedules from that newsletter.
Sunday Feb. 18, 1951
11AM Test Pattern/Tone
Noon Ranger Joe-ABC
12:15 Chester The Pup-ABC
12:30 Old Fashioned Revival Hour-ABC
1PM On Trial-ABC
1:30 TBA
2PM Sunday Matinee-I Married A Witch/Short Subjects
4PM Musical Manor-Alan Freed
4:30 Hobby Lane-Rena/Bob Ledyard
5PM Facts We Face-CBS
5:30 People's Platform-CBS
6PM Billy Rose Show-ABC
6:30 Mr. I Magination-CBS
7PM You Asked For It-Art Baker-DuMont
7:30 Showtime USA-ABC
8PM Once Upon A Time-DuMont
8:30 Armed Forces Hour-DuMont
9PM Youth On The March-ABC
9:30 Famous Jury Trials-DuMont
10PM Hands of Mystery-DuMont
10:30 What's My Line?-CBS
11PM Week In Review-CBS
11:15 Telenews Weekly
11:40 Sign-Off
Monday Feb. 19, 1951
10AM Test Pattern/Tone
12:30 Preview Corner
12:35 News Tape and Music (sounds like AP/UPI News with music overlay)
12:45 Telenews-Bob Rowley
1PM Village Fair
2PM Alice Weston
2:30 Darts For Dollars-Rena/Bob Ledyard
3PM Impromptu-Alan Freed/Grant Wilson
3:30 Fashion Magic-CBS
4PM Homemakers Exchange-CBS
4:30 Vanity Fair-CBS
5PM Lucky Pup-CBS
5:15 ChuckWagon Playhouse-CBS
6PM Small Fry Club-DuMont
6:30 Tom Corbett Space Cadet-ABC
6:45 Evening News
7PM Captain Video-DuMont
7:30 Hollywood Screen Test-ABC
8PM Can You Top This-ABC
8:30 Man Abour Town-Sid Andorn-From The Bronze Room of The Hotel Cleveland
9PM The College Bowl-ABC (Variety series starring Chico Marx)
9:30 Wrestling-New York (Dennis James)-DuMont
11PM News Briefs
11:05 Sports-Clay Dopp
11:15 Nite-Owl Theatre
12:40 Sign-Off
Saturday, Feb. 24, 1951
9AM Test Pattern/Tone
10AM Chuckles 5 Bar Ranch "Stagecoach Outlaws"
11AM Kousin Kay's Red Goose Merry Go Round
Noon The Big Top-CBS
1PM Polka Penthouse
1:30 Test Pattern/Tone
5:30 The Note Box
6PM Beulah-ABC
6:30 Manpower Headlines
6:45 Jimmy Dudley's Sports Digest
7PM Beat The Clock-CBS
7:30 Stu Erwin Show-ABC
8PM Paul Whiteman's TV Teen Club-ABC
8:30 Madison Sqare Garden-DuMont
11:15 Wrestling From Chicago-Jack Brickhouse-DuMont
12:40 Sign-Off
Grateful thanks to Richard Warner for sharing the pictures/etc..And for being such a good friend of the Blog..

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Neil Zurcher-Tales from The Road

Neil Zurcher, longtime WJW-TV reporter..He also has had a Vintage Cleveland TV Pictures website for a couple of years, which is in our links..

Cover of Neil's Latest Book..

Location of the Grocery/Gas Station in Henrietta Townshp, Ohio where Neil spent much of his time as a boy..

One of the many stunts Neil tried..What he doesnt know is that the rope is slowly unraveling..

Many of the News Staff of WJW-TV 8 circa 1969..Mostly Photographers, but including Neil Zurcher, Dick Goddard and Reporter Pete Cary..

Today I want to review the newest book by Neil Zurcher, "Tales From The Road", published by Gray and Company.

Neil spent more than 40 years at WJW-TV 8 as first a freelance photojournalist, then as an Investigative/Breaking News Reporter, making his name as the originator of the "One Tank Trips" segment of NewsCenter 8, then Fox 8 News from 1979-2004.

The Book is at first a memoir, telling of Neil's formative years living in Henrietta, Ohio..A small village in Lorain County west of Elyria..Reminds me of my growing up in East Sparta, South of Canton. Neil writes with great affection of his parents, who owned a small grocery/gas station in Henrietta Township..He relates some of his escapades, such as trying to drive a car before he is old enough..And trying to copy a locally well-known daredevil stunt driver, which didnt turn out too well..He also tells of trying out for the "Gene Carroll Show" in the 1950's (He didnt make it)..Living in small-town Ohio, he developed his desire to travel and see new things at a early age...Once out of high school, his early media days were at the Oblerlin Newspaper and at WEOL-AM 930 Elyria/Lorain as a Newscaster/reporter..The bulk of the book is mostly "Stories From The Road"..Stories he worked on as a reporter, places and people he met in Ohio and surrounding States..Written in a conversational style that takes himself not too seriously and makes you feel as if you are there with him. I truly enjoyed the Book..a great read..

A Local angle (to me anyway) is that the Nash Metropolitan that Neil Zurcher drove on the One Tank Trips for so many years is now on display at the Canton Classic Car Museum in downtown Canton, Ohio..

Link to a sample chapter..

Another Brief Note..As of now, I am going to put a permanent link to Gray and Co. Publishers Website..Should have done so long ago..