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November 26, 2018 8:26 pm  #1


WKBW-TV's 60th Anniversary Hour Long Special Available Online

WKBW-TV marks a 60th anniversary milestone on November 30th, but they've already aired a special celebrating the day. If you missed it, the hour long show is online and free to watch. 

It's not terrible, but it's obvious not far into it that the real good stuff from the distant past is all but gone. While there's lots of reminiscences of famous personalities, news and most certainly for Buffalo the weather, I was disappointed but not surprised to see almost nothing of what I wanted to see most - a segment on their old kids' shows, like Rocketship 7 and Commander Tom. 

I can only conclude most of the stuff is long gone and so they just make cursory mentions of it. And that's a shame. Because it's probably what a lot of us of a certain vintage remember most from KB. 

And there's at least one glaring error in the hour that I spotted instantly. During a brief segment about ABC-TV network shows that aired over Channel 7, a mention is made about how they showed The Munsters. That was actually a CBS show, so it would have aired on WBEN-TV's Channel 4. It was the Addams Family that aired on ABC. 

WKBW-TV's 60th Anniversary Special 

https://mediaassets.wkbw.com/photo/2018/11/21/poster_1369679139524103910fd9b1fdff457a_103871248_ver1.0_640_480.jpg

 

November 26, 2018 8:50 pm  #2


Re: WKBW-TV's 60th Anniversary Hour Long Special Available Online

That was my disappointment too;  having grown up watching the morning and afternoon kids' shows.

 

November 26, 2018 10:50 pm  #3


Re: WKBW-TV's 60th Anniversary Hour Long Special Available Online

Rocketship 7 and Commander Tom were live programs, a couple of cameras in the studio, and a couple of tele-cine chains....  one for the cartoons, and the other for commercials.... 

Rocketship 7 was live from 7am to 8:55am,  and then Dialing for Dollars was live from 9 to 10 am.
 

 

November 27, 2018 9:27 am  #4


Re: WKBW-TV's 60th Anniversary Hour Long Special Available Online

I'm pretty sure that Don Postles co-anchored with Irv for a long time.  On the special you see two quick shots of him; but no mention and no caption.  Perhaps it's because he is the current anchor at WIVB formally WBEN TV.  Thought they could have mentioned him.

 

November 27, 2018 2:15 pm  #5


Re: WKBW-TV's 60th Anniversary Hour Long Special Available Online

To be fair, how much of a 60 year legacy can you present 44 minutes?  You could do a ten-part documentary and still probably leave things out.  Assuming, of course, much of it still existed.

On another topic, it's not entirely unheard of for one channel to air another's programming.  Back in the 70s, I vaguely remember when on late Friday nights, WBEN (now WIVB) used to air a few late-night ABC network shows while WKBW showed a movie -- or maybe it was the other way around.

 

 

November 27, 2018 6:35 pm  #6


Re: WKBW-TV's 60th Anniversary Hour Long Special Available Online

I grew up on WKBW, and other stations out of Buffalo.  Watched Rocketship 7, Commander Tom, and other weird oddities such as Clutch Cargo.  Even though we lived in the tiny town of Woodbridge, my parents never liked Canadian TV, so I rarely saw Mr. Dress-up, or The Friendly Giant, or any of the other CBC offerings.  Amazing how we survived on 3 or 4 channels...

 

November 27, 2018 7:30 pm  #7


Re: WKBW-TV's 60th Anniversary Hour Long Special Available Online







 

     Thread Starter
 

November 27, 2018 9:52 pm  #8


Re: WKBW-TV's 60th Anniversary Hour Long Special Available Online

W

Peter the K wrote:

To be fair, how much of a 60 year legacy can you present 44 minutes?  You could do a ten-part documentary and still probably leave things out.  Assuming, of course, much of it still existed.

On another topic, it's not entirely unheard of for one channel to air another's programming.  Back in the 70s, I vaguely remember when on late Friday nights, WBEN (now WIVB) used to air a few late-night ABC network shows while WKBW showed a movie -- or maybe it was the other way around.

 

 
I think I remember that WBEN carried  the Joey Bishop show from ABC because WKBW could make more money on movies, including Friday night’s “Fright Night Late Show.”

 

November 27, 2018 10:51 pm  #9


Re: WKBW-TV's 60th Anniversary Hour Long Special Available Online

Thank you RA.  A lot of memories.

Count me as an original Promo fan.

 

November 28, 2018 5:28 pm  #10


Re: WKBW-TV's 60th Anniversary Hour Long Special Available Online

Many stations did record live programming back in the sixties, but the shows were only kept for a week or two.  The video tapes were re-used to save money.

 

November 28, 2018 5:51 pm  #11


Re: WKBW-TV's 60th Anniversary Hour Long Special Available Online

Not only is video tape expensive, it's big.  You might have deep pockets but you still have to find a place to warehouse it all.  Not easy. 

And tape deteriorates over time.  A lot of stuff that has been kept has become unreadable.  To add insult to injury, the equipment, along with the people who know how to maintain and use it, are fading away.



 

 

November 29, 2018 4:39 am  #12


Re: WKBW-TV's 60th Anniversary Hour Long Special Available Online

The CBC has been the exception to the rule.  Much of its recorded material from the 1970s has held up well and is usable.  But video tape that is not stored in optimal conditions deteriorates quickly.

 

December 2, 2018 9:06 am  #13


Re: WKBW-TV's 60th Anniversary Hour Long Special Available Online

Chuck99 wrote:

Many stations did record live programming back in the sixties, but the shows were only kept for a week or two.  The video tapes were re-used to save money.

And indeed, it appears they didn't even keep them that long. I stumbled across this old article from Brampton-based TV scribe Bill Brioux posted back in 2013. He met Dave Thomas and confirmed that almost nothing of the live-to-air Rocketship 7 exists and virtually no video was ever kept. In an update post in 2016, he writes this:

"All that is left is a four-minute clip of Promo as the credits roll–somebody wanted to save the show that followed and caught a bit of Rocketship 7 on tape."

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Yes, it was expensive to store stuff back then. But far too many stations, especially those that have been sold several times,  ignore their own history. And in the age of the Internet, we're all poorer for it. 

     Thread Starter