sowny.net | The Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum


You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

February 13, 2020 5:55 pm  #1


TV In 1971: A Week To Remember (And Forget)

I mentioned a TV Guide from Jan. 1971 in a previous thread about what eventually became TVO. Turns out, this particular issue has a lot of other interesting artifacts some might find fun to see again.
 
In no particular order, here they are.
 
A Saturday Morning In '71
 
This was well past the time when I would get up early to watch cartoons, but if you were a kid then, here’s what you might have seen on your TV on a Jan. Saturday morning. (And note that strike at WGR that might have interrupted regular programming.) Also check out that show on Channel 19 airing at 10:30 AM, fronted by CFRB "pilot-host" Bill McVean.
 
https://i.ibb.co/z23hQF9/Saturday-morning-TV-Jan-1971.jpg

 
Super Bowl V
 
Long time fans will recognize some big names in the football final. But it obviously wasn’t that big then. Notice that it was on a Sunday afternoon – at 2 PM, no less. The hysteria that would become "Super Bowl Sunday" was still a ways off.
 
https://i.ibb.co/CPqt3QG/Super-Bowl-V-1971.jpg

 
 NHL All-Star Game

It was on a Tuesday back then, not the weekend. And four years after they won the Stanley Cup, it appears there were no Leafs in the starting line-up.
 
https://i.ibb.co/yqvrDVH/CBC-24th-Annual-NHL-All-Star-Game-1971.jpg

 
CBC: A Legendary Line-Up?
 
That title may be a bit ironic. If you look at some of the shows on CBC at that time, you’ll understand why so many of us were tuned into American stations. (And there’s some irony in the fact that the CBC ads are brought to you in “color” – with no “u.”)
 
https://i.ibb.co/7S6x2pg/CBC-Singalong-Jubilee-Ad-1971.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/c3n37MC/CBC-The-National-Ad-1971.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/c1GFxMx/CBC-Highbrow-Programming-1971.jpg

 
Where No Syndication Has Gone Before
 
It had only been a year and a bit since the original Star Trek went off the air due to poor ratings. The syndication that helped it become the legend it remains was just beginning, with Channel 2 in Buffalo stripping it daily at 4 PM.
 
https://i.ibb.co/mzzvYp7/WGR-Star-Trek-1971.jpg

 
Where’s Irv?
 
Yes, it’s Dragnet reruns at 6 PM on Channel 7. (Remember when stations had to boast it was “in color?”) What happened to Irv Weinstein and the legendary WKBW news team? Turns out, back then, they were on at 7 PM, after ABC News.
 
https://i.ibb.co/F3WWLzp/WKBW-Dragnet-Ad-1971.jpg

 
CHCH Was Filled With “Love”
 
The Hamilton independent found a way to fill an hour with a fondly recalled TV show.
 
https://i.ibb.co/2dW6sGM/CHCH-Love-American-Style-Ad-1971.jpg

 
CHCH Was Filled With Controversy
 
Nathan Cohen’s "Fighting Words" was a lightning rod of controversy, especially in those days when TV played everything very straight.
 
https://i.ibb.co/yfQJTLS/CHCH-Nathan-Cohen-s-Fighting-Words-Ad-1971.jpg

 
Disc Jockeying for Position
 
Here’s an ad from 1971, featuring a record club that boasts you didn’t have to buy anything if you didn’t want to. Unlike all those other guys.
 
https://i.ibb.co/z4Hh9V2/Record-Club-of-Canada-Ad-1971.jpg

 
Sinc Or Swim
 
Finally, a profile of a famous (and sometimes infamous) Toronto broadcaster. It wasn’t often that TV Guide did a Canadian story in those days, but the national edition decided to highlight Gordon Sinclair of CFRB and Front Page Challenge fame. This was long before “The Americans” recording made him a temporary sensation across the border and for obvious reasons, it likely didn’t appear in the U.S. edition.
 
https://i.ibb.co/4Y7jZZW/CBC-Front-Page-Challenge-Ad-1971.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/yPP81rS/Gordon-Sinclair-Profile-1971.jpg

 

February 14, 2020 12:45 am  #2


Re: TV In 1971: A Week To Remember (And Forget)

i was a member of the record club of canada. it was a great deal & you didn't have to commit to buying additional records nor did you have to return a card every month. it was a slightly different set up when i joined. you paid a flat fee (around $5.00) and you could pick (i believe, 4 lps) and you'd receive a catalogue every month featuring lps at discount prizes. if you sign up additional members that meant more free lps (i signed up several people). there was another similar club (canada record club ?) with the same set up. i joined that as well. it was a good way for a 14 year old to increase my record collection.

 

February 14, 2020 11:15 am  #3


Re: TV In 1971: A Week To Remember (And Forget)

I noticed there is no listing for WUTV  ch 29. The station signed on in December 1970. It is quite possible TV Guide didn't know the station existed. I remember how I discovered ch 29. My parents had bought a new "portable" as in not a floor console, Panasonic 20" B/W tv for Christmas 1970. Dad couldn't afford colour then. It was our first tv with UHF! It even came with one of those circular hoop antennas. The UHF dial wasn't a click dial like VHF. You tuned it as one would a radio. The channels listed were just a guide 20, 30, 40 etc. I knew about ch 17 and 19 but I was curious whether  there was anything else on the dial. I discovered a snowy but watchable station around 30. I think the program was One Step Beyond.                                                                                                                                   Several years later, when I was at McMaster, CITY was up and running their Friday night "Baby Blue" movies. I was home for Thaksgiving weekend and was really looking forward to watching. By this time Dad had added one of those outdoor fly trap UHF antennas which brought in crystal clear signals for 17, 19 and 29. Ch 79 should be no problem 25 miles away in Oakville. Wrongo! Nothing but snow. Not even a sniff of a signal. At the time, I didn't realize just how weak their signal was. CITY was truly a "local" station. As for the Baby Blues? I was very disappointed that Thanksgiving weekend.

 

February 14, 2020 11:47 am  #4


Re: TV In 1971: A Week To Remember (And Forget)

mace wrote:

I noticed there is no listing for WUTV  ch 29. The station signed on in December 1970. It is quite possible TV Guide didn't know the station existed. I remember how I discovered ch 29. My parents had bought a new "portable" as in not a floor console, Panasonic 20" B/W tv for Christmas 1970. Dad couldn't afford colour then. It was our first tv with UHF! It even came with one of those circular hoop antennas. The UHF dial wasn't a click dial like VHF. You tuned it as one would a radio. The channels listed were just a guide 20, 30, 40 etc. I knew about ch 17 and 19 but I was curious whether  there was anything else on the dial. I discovered a snowy but watchable station around 30. I think the program was One Step Beyond.                                                                                                                                   Several years later, when I was at McMaster, CITY was up and running their Friday night "Baby Blue" movies. I was home for Thaksgiving weekend and was really looking forward to watching. By this time Dad had added one of those outdoor fly trap UHF antennas which brought in crystal clear signals for 17, 19 and 29. Ch 79 should be no problem 25 miles away in Oakville. Wrongo! Nothing but snow. Not even a sniff of a signal. At the time, I didn't realize just how weak their signal was. CITY was truly a "local" station. As for the Baby Blues? I was very disappointed that Thanksgiving weekend.

Hey Mace...check out my post regarding CH19 airing of the midnight show at the Victory.

http://sowny.net/viewtopic.php?id=4449

I too was disappointed, but not for the lack of nudity. The problem was, as I remember, the (single =?) camera was so far back from the stage and the operator never zoomed-in. Or perhaps he was instructed NOT to!

 

February 14, 2020 11:52 am  #5


Re: TV In 1971: A Week To Remember (And Forget)

TV Guide seemed to be slow in adding new channels back then. That particular guide was from early January 1971, so perhaps they hadn't received any programing info for WUTV yet. The thing I remember about Channel 29 was the reruns they would show. It had been a long time since anyone ran Lost In Space or The Patty Duke Show. It was cheap but I remember being very excited about seeing those shows again. 

As for UHF, it wasn't on a lot of sets in the early days of TV until the FCC made it mandatory on all sets made after 1964. But none of the sets my family owned had it until we got a small portable colour set around 1970. Still, we managed to see what few UHF signals there were (i.e. Channel 17.) 

Back in the 50s, it was WBUF, an NBC O&O. There was no WGR at the time, and that was the only way to see some of the big Peacock Network shows. But because of a weak signal and few sets that could receive it, the place went broke and that's how it ended up as an educational station. 

Still, Canadians wanted to see the station during its NBC years, which is why my father bought a gizmo that allowed you to tune in UHF without it actually being on your set. You hooked it up to the back of the TV, turned it on, tuned to a certain blank channel and then rotated a dial to find the station. 

I didn't even know about this thing until I found it one day in my father's basement. (Like most Depression era parents, mine never threw anything out - it just got stored in the basement because you never know when you might want it again. Even though you never did! It may be where I got my never-throw-anything-away habit. But my TV Guides and charts are not in my basement!) 

I found an ad for one of them in an old 1950s TV Guide. I don't think they were too expensive and in markets like Buffalo and Toronto, as TV expanded, they became popular for a while. 

https://i.ibb.co/F6t6SyM/UHF-Reception-Ad-TV-Guide-Nov-18-1956.jpg


Click on the article below to see it in enlarged form.

https://i.ibb.co/cxCHzpR/UHF.jpg
 

     Thread Starter
 

February 14, 2020 1:17 pm  #6


Re: TV In 1971: A Week To Remember (And Forget)

I think WBES CH 59 was the first UHF station in Buffalo. They only lasted from Sept-Dec 1953. WBUF ch 17 also signed on in 1953 and carried some NBC, ABC and Dumont programs. When WGR arrived in Aug 1954, they became a primary NBC affilliate. This left WBUF with only DUMONT and ABC. After 1955 only a very weak ABC schedule. When NBC purchased the station in 1956 to start their "UHF Experiment" WGR became a full fledged ABC affilliate. After two years, NBC gave up and took the station off the air. For the four months or so before WKBW arrived in Nov 1958, WGR was a split NBC/ABC affilliate.

 

February 14, 2020 1:56 pm  #7


Re: TV In 1971: A Week To Remember (And Forget)

WBES-TV was barely even a one hit wonder. They were toast less than 3 months (!) after first signing on. That has to be one of the fastest collapses in broadcasting history. 

The Buffalo Broadcasters Assn. has the story about early UHF in that city. It wasn't always pretty. And for many, it's long forgotten. But it's a fascinating glimpse into the dawning days of TV in Buffalo.

Early UHF In Buffalo 

A similar story is told on this site, about the history of UHF TV in various cities. This one is about Buffalo and parrots a lot from the one above but adds more details. 

The History Of Early UHF In Buffalo

The items below are from my collection:

https://i.ibb.co/7N3m58v/WBUF-NBC-O-O-Ratings-Disaster-Shutdown-June-1958.jpg


https://i.ibb.co/kMC3NNb/WBUF-TV-Goes-Broke-Feb-1955.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/mXw0pFp/How-WKBW-WBUF-Expedited-Ch-7-Decision-July-1958.jpg

     Thread Starter