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


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

November 9, 2022 6:48 pm  #1


What Happened On TV & Radio The Night Of The 1965 Northeast Blackout?

Hearing John Oakley talk Wednesday about the great Northeast Blackout of 1965 reminded me of this TV Guide article that answered a question I was curious about: what, exactly, did American network TV do the night the lights went out across a lot of the continent on Nov. 9th, including right here in Ontario?

The brief debrief below outlines how the newsrooms scrambled to cover a story that only half the country could see, because millions didn't have the power to watch their TVs. It happened exactly 57 years ago tonight.

https://i.postimg.cc/QtNmSCDP/1965-Blackout-On-TV-TV-Guide-Nov-20-1965.jpg


I was very young when it occurred, but it's one of my strongest childhood memories. I remember the lights dimmed briefly once or twice before going out entirely. It was just after 5 PM and we were watching a Laurel & Hardy movie on CFTO. We never got to see how it ended. 

In the gathering gloom, my parents dragged out every flashlight and candle they could find and we turned on a battery-operated transistor radio tuned to CFRB, which was on emergency power, to hear if they could tell us what was going on. It soon became apparent we were all in the same boat - and there were no lights on the vessel!

The blackout caused chaos across the northeast and one of the greatest airchecks came from that fateful night. Dan Ingram was doing the drive home shift on WABC, when all his records and jingles mysteriously started slowing down on air. How he handled it that evening is a testament to what a terrific a jock he was. He would later head to the station's transmitter in New Jersey, which had power, and kept the station on the air, broadcasting late into the eerie November darkness.

 

November 9, 2022 7:14 pm  #2


Re: What Happened On TV & Radio The Night Of The 1965 Northeast Blackout?

I remember it. I was driving home from work (my first job) I can't recall the radio station I had on. It would have been either CKLW or one of the big US top 40 stations. It went off.


You don't have to be a good sport to be a mad one.
 

November 10, 2022 1:41 am  #3


Re: What Happened On TV & Radio The Night Of The 1965 Northeast Blackout?

I was in Grade 8 then. I couldn't watch television that night, but I couldn't do my homework either.

 

November 10, 2022 5:07 pm  #4


Re: What Happened On TV & Radio The Night Of The 1965 Northeast Blackout?

I was operating the Dave Johnson show on CHUM that night.  CHUM went off the air.  There was no backup generator and no power in the control room or anywhere in the building.

It was very eerie....and quiet. 

I had to pick up the 'batphone' every few minutes to see if Program Director Allan Slaight or one of the engineers was calling.

 

November 11, 2022 9:39 am  #5


Re: What Happened On TV & Radio The Night Of The 1965 Northeast Blackout?

Doug Thompson wrote:

I was operating the Dave Johnson show on CHUM that night.  CHUM went off the air.  There was no backup generator and no power in the control room or anywhere in the building.

It was very eerie....and quiet. 

I had to pick up the 'batphone' every few minutes to see if Program Director Allan Slaight or one of the engineers was calling.

I was listening to CHUM on my transistor radio and if I recall correctly there was little disruption to what I was listening to ,except maybe a brief moment of static, followed shortly by a different voice that I wasn't accustomed to hearing saying (this is) WBZ 1030 Boston and our lights just went out (or words to that effect).

1030 cam in like it was just next door once 1050 disappeared.

I was 13 at the time but it freaked me out a little when over the course of the next half hour or so that they were reporting all of the eastern coast was in the dark.

Last edited by DeepTracks (November 11, 2022 10:49 am)