TFTP Signs-Off for the Week: Station Sign-Off from KXJB/Fargo, ND (Mar. 29, 1989)

Each Friday afternoon, TFTP signs-off for the week by featuring a classic station sign-off segment for your enjoyment and to bid a farewell until Monday..

Posted to YouTube by user 'Richard58103'

This week's sign-off sequence is from close to home for TFTP, coming from our hometown. Station KXJB has been the CBS affiliate in the Fargo region since its inception in the mid-1950s. This late-1980s KXJB sign-off is short and sweet--just a brief standard sign-off voiceover (over an image of the station's former studio that it occupied from the mid-1980s til the mid-2000s), followed by "The Star-Spangled Banner" and color bars.


TFTP Signs-Off for the Week: Station Sign-Off from KCET/Los Angeles (Mar. 28, 1978)

Each Friday afternoon, TFTP signs-off for the week by featuring a classic station sign-off segment for your enjoyment and to bid a farewell until Monday...

Posted to YouTube by user 'MicroJow'

This week we feature a public TV sign-off, from PBS station KCET in Los Angeles. This is a very short sequence (and may not be the complete sign-off sequence) that lacks any song or national anthem segment. Included are a late-1970s PBS network ID, a promo for Michael Jackson's public TV show (no, not that Michael Jackson, but the radio host and commentator) with guest Billy Barty, and the ownership/technical voiceover on a moving graphic of the KCET logo.


TFTP Signs-Off for the Week: Station Sign-Off from KHQ/Spokane (1986)

Each Friday afternoon, TFTP signs-off for the week by featuring a classic station sign-off segment for your enjoyment and to bid a farewell until Monday...

Posted to YouTube by user 'robatsea2009'

This mid-1980s sign-off sequence is from Spokane, Washington, station KHQ, which has been the NBC affiliate going all the way back to its inception in 1952. (The station still uses the "Q6" branding we see in several spots in this sequence.) The sign-off begins with the very end of a late-movie airing of a 1977 TV movie called "Relentless" (starring Will Sampson of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" fame), which is followed by a brief promo for the upcoming late-movie airing of another TV movie called "The Four Feathers". A film of the song "The Navy Hymn" precedes the customary "Star-Spangled Banner".

The standard ownership and technical voiceover here is laid over fascinating images of some of the workings of a 1980s station, including the loading and shelving of the large reels of videotape and smaller video/audio cartridges used at the time. The sequence ends with a brief "Trouble Coming. Please Stand By" blue screen before going to color bars.

TFTP Flow: Commercial/Promo Break from NBC (Dec. 1980)

Posted to YouTube by user 'WREYtube'

TFTP is fond of what television scholars (yes, there is such a thing) call "flow". "Flow" is the idea of looking at and analyzing a random segment of TV as aired and seeing what kinds of elements make it up--which usually includes the programs themselves, news breaks or updates, commercials, PSAs, station IDs, bumpers of various kinds, and so forth. Examining an unbroken string of such elements, such as in today's clip, helps to understand what viewers experienced when watching TV and how they experienced it.

Various blocks of commercials have been featured (and will continue to be) here on TFTP. But these are sometimes not continuous in terms of what a viewer at that time may have actually seen. For this and future "flow" posts, the clip featured will be an unbroken "flow" of material that is from a distinct program on a particular day; the term "flow" in part refers to the way in which the different elements sort of flow past the viewers in an often disruptive but yet still appealing sequence.

The "flow" sequence in this clip is from an NBC airing of the holiday special "Jack Frost" from December 1980. The sequence includes commercials for Minute Maid orange juice, Timex watches, and Kellogg's Graham Crackos cereal, and program promos for "Here's Boomer", "CHiPs", and "The Asphalt Cowboy". The voiceover in both the bumpers leading out and back into "Jack Frost", as well as in the program promos, is none other than Casey Kasem.


TFTP Game Shows: "Letters to Laugh-In" from NBC (Sep. 30, 1969)

Posted to YouTube by user 'Million Colors of Light 2'

Perhaps one of the most curious spin-offs ever, "Letters to Laugh-In" was spun off of the #1 hit "Laugh-In" that had taken the country by storm in 1968 (and which TFTP featured in a post a couple weeks ago). "Laugh-In" of course was a revolutionary program for its time, both in terms of content (the mainstreaming of the "counterculture") and in terms of form (quickly edited blackout spots assembled in post-production). "Letters to Laugh-In" was somewhat more traditional in format as a game show, although the game play of using applause meters to measure the audience response to jokes sent in by "Laugh-In" viewers was nonetheless unorthodox.

Not that "Letters to Laugh-In" ever got anywhere near the popularity of its progenitor--it lasted only a few months between September and December of 1969 on NBC's daytime schedule. It's interesting to watch now simply for its gaudy production design (borrowed from its parent show), for the lame humor evident both in the jokes that are competing and in the cringe-worthy banter between the celebs, and for the fact that it was ever on the air at all. The fact that it was is a sign of just how big "Laugh-In" was in the late-1960s.


TFTP Will Return After These Messages: Commercial Blocks from WUAB/Cleveland (Summer 1983)

Posted to YouTube by user 'Broadcaster1988'

Here are three commercial breaks from the same program, a 1983 late-movie airing of the 1942 film "Wings and the Woman" on Cleveland independent station WUAB. It's no coincidence that most of these are either ads for local establishments or mail-order ads, as these were the types of advertisers independent stations attracted, especially for something like a late-movie.

In the first clip above: (1) a great mail-order commercial for a camping knife called the "Travel Carver"; (2) a long-ish promo for WUAB's airings of "The Rockford Files" (weeknights at 8:00!); (3) a really cool animated PSA that basically is advertising the fact that WUAB runs PSAs; and (4) a bumper for "The Late Show II" leading back into "Wings and the Woman" (with "Late Show II" being the station's branding for this late-movie timeslot; there must've been another late-movie preceding it).

In the second clip: (1) a mail-order commercial for the album "The Best of Creedence Clearwater Revival"; (2) an ad for a local Cleveland store called the "Sunbeam Shop", which seems to be a thrift store benefiting vocational training (or some such thing); and (3) the "Late Show II" bumper again, this time followed by a few seconds of the film itself.

And, finally, in the third clip: (1) a mail-order commercial (late-movie commercial breaks were lousy with them) for a series of romance novels called Sapphire Books; (2) a recruiting ad for Control Data Institute, a trade school; (3) a promo for an airing of the film "The Organization" with Sidney Poitier (under the banner of "Channel 43 Star Movie", a prime-time movie timeslot on WUAB); and (4) the bumper leading back into "Wings and the Woman".

TFTP Signs-On for June: Station Sign-On (w/ "Carolina Calling") from WBTV/Charlotte, NC (c. 1959)

Every first of the month, TFTP signs-on with a classic station sign-on sequence, to launch another month of Television from the Past...

Posted to YouTube by user 'iblefty1951'

This is maybe the oldest station sign-on sequence available out there on the interwebs: a late-1958 or 1959 sign-on from Charlotte, North Carolina, CBS affiliate WBTV that includes the first few minutes of legendary local program "Carolina Calling".

This clip begins with a customary voiceover of ownership and address information, over images of the station's studio and transmitter and a few varieties of station logo. This is followed by the image of an alarm clock (reading 7 o'clock) going off, the opening to "Carolina Calling".

"Carolina Calling" was a morning variety show, with music from Arthur Smith and his band the Cracker Jacks, with the kind of information we've come to expect from morning shows--weather conditions, etc.--sprinkled into the banter between songs. The show was a TV extension of the show by the same name that Smith had been involved with on radio in Charlotte.

Professional video taping systems (invented in 1956) only became available to local stations in the middle to latter part of 1958, and WBTV was reportedly one of the first to get one--thus dating this video-taped clip to circa 1959.