Thoughts On TV

Memories of Chicago TV

Shirtless Hunks of The 70s

Scrambled Naked People

Keyfax

Wrestling

Tom Synder

I Want To Own A TV Station

I Want My Channel 4!!!





Memories of Chicago TV

Ah TV I loved it. How we all loved it. The most astonishing thing I think is how poorly TV holds up over time. Shows like Laugh In and Welcome Back Kotter. I remember how we RAN home to see those and how bad they look if you watch them in reruns

In the early 80s we had two over the pay televesion stations that broadcast over the air (known as OTA) WSNS-TV Channel 44 gave up broadcasting shows like I Love Lucy and Leave It To Beaver not to mention White Sox baseball games to broadcast scramble pay tv over the air after 7pm. WSNS-TV was the home of "ON-TV" (Get it what's ON TV, how original) Not to be outdone, some investers bought Channel 66 and WFBN(Now WGBO-TV)was born. This was "Spectrum" And it eventually it went on to broadcast scrambled pay tv OTA 23 1/2 hours per day. And ON-TV and Spectrum, we're later combined. Now ok you're probably wondering what this has two do with anything. I'll tell you. For those who remember TV with dial, you probably remember around the dial was a thing called a "fine tuner." Both Spectrum and ON-TV broadcast "European" or "R-rate" sex movies. Now to a 14 year old kid this was pretty nice. Because although the naked people were scrambled you could use the fine tuner and get a pretty clear picture. And the sound was scrambled so VIOLA. Sure it wasn't porn, just naked people and mostly the breasts of woman and the butts of men, but "hey it worked." I remember how confused I was by the fact, in these "soft core" movies how whenever there was group sex, why two men could have sex with one woman and never touch each other, while two women could be 300 feet apart and they would climb all over each other while having sex with the guy. There was only one film called "Score" that ever showed two guys. But hey "scrambled naked people" was salvation to a 14 year old gay boy. Speaking of which, I LOVE WWME-CA, Channel 23. That has a great collection of TV shows. It enabled me to toss away cable, for which I really only watch TVLand and CNN anyway.

Remember Garfield Goose? How we all loved it when Garfield would snap his beak at Fraiser Thomas. And then there was Macintosh Mouse. I remember how people would make clothes for him. Yes people actually sent knitted sweaters and scarves and such for Garfield and his "friends". Anyhow Macintosh Mouse always got the most gifts. Looking back I guess it was because he was so small. It was less effort Wasn't it Romberg Rabbit, that talked so quiet that he had to whisper into Fraiser's ear and have Fraiser repeat it for us at home. Yep there was a show at 3pm or 3:30pm we ran home to see

How about starting the day with Ray Rayner. I still laugh thinking about the "crafts" he'd make, and how crummy his versions turned out to be. I had a "Cuddley Duddley" stuff dog.

I recall being famous in my neighborhood, when Bob "Bozo" Bell was out with a brain anuerism. Day after day, everyone would await his return. And Ringmaster Ned would say "Today is not the day." Then I was home for lunch and they announced "Today is not the day." But alas out sprang Bozo good as new.

Those three shows of WGN-TV Channel 9 are the kind of things I feel sad that young kids of today will never know. It also makes me long for the return of the "classic WGN-TV" before it went WB.

I also miss how Channel 9 would show "Scrooge" or "A Christmas Carol" on Chrismas Eve at 10pm.

Speaking of which who could for get living in Chicago at Christmas and watching "Susie Snowflake" and "Hardrock, Cocoa and Joe."

It amazes me how such lousy animiation as "Suzie" and "Hardrock..Joe" still is fun to watch.

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Shirtless Hunks of the 70s

I remember these hot guys from the 70s and waiting to see them take their shirts off. That was the closest thing a gay teen could get to porn in the 70s. Seemed to be a trend especially on shows like "Dukes of Hazard to have any excuse for a guy not to have his shirt on. Thank God for that.

Let's see among the hottest (well at the time I thought so [insert smiley])

Grant Goodeve Eight Is Enought "David"

Willie Ames Eight Is Enought "Tommy"

Scott Baio Happy Days" Chachi"

Lorenzo Lamas Happy Days"Roger"

John Schnieder Dukes of Hazard "Bo" (he was HOT!!!)

Tom Wopat Dukes of Hazard "Luke"

Patrick Duffy Dallas "Bobby"

Gil Gerard Buck Rogers in the 25th Century "Buck Rogers"

Robert Urich Vegas "Dan Tanna" (I thought EVERYTING Dan Tana did was just so cool)

Greg Evigan BJ & The Bear (He was so hot)

Erik Estrada C*H*i*P*s

Yep in the days before the VCR these guys were reason to stay home and HOPE there was a scene for them to not wear a shirt

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Scrambled Naked People

In the early 80s we had two over the pay televesion stations that broadcast over the air (known as OTA)

WSNS-TV Channel 44 gave up broadcasting shows like I Love Lucy and Leave It To Beaver not to mention White Sox baseball games to broadcast scramble pay tv over the air after 7pm. WSNS-TV was the home of "ON-TV" (Get it what's ON TV, how original)

Not to be outdone, some investers bought Channel 66 and WFBN(Now WGBO-TV)was born. This was "Spectrum"

And it eventually it went on to broadcast scrambled pay tv OTA 23 1/2 hours per day. And ON-TV and Spectrum, we're later combined.

Now ok you're probably wondering what this has two do with anything.

I'll tell you.

For those who remember TV with dial, you probably remember around the dial was a thing called a "fine tuner."

Both Spectrum and ON-TV broadcast "European" or "R-rate" sex movies. Now to a 14 year old kid this was pretty nice. Because although the naked people were scrambled you could use the fine tuner and get a pretty clear picture. And the sound was scrambled so VIOLA.

Sure it wasn't porn, just naked people and mostly the breasts of woman and the butts of men, but "hey it worked."

I remember how confused I was by the fact, in these "soft core" movies how whenever there was group sex, why two men could have sex with one woman and never touch each other, while two women could be 300 feet apart and they would climb all over each other while having sex with the guy.

There was only one film called "Score" that ever showed two guys.

But hey "scrambled naked people" was salvation to a 14 year old gay boy.



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KeyFax on WFLD-TV

Am I the only one who remembers this? I think it was called KeyFax. Maybe not, but I seem to be the only one that remebers this. Channel 32 WFLD would broadcast this text only message board over the air from Midnight till 5am or 6am on the weekends.

I used to watch it all the time waiting for Billboard's Top 40 to be listed. God was I a boring kid.

If you remember that drop me a line so I know I'm not nuts

LOL(insert laughing smiley)

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Wrestling

Ah another form of low budget porn for the gay male of 10 years old. I used to recall Channel 26 WCIU used to air wrestling from Mexico. That was a main staple of my Monday nights at 8pm in the 70s.

My favourite wresting show had to be the one out of Texas though. It had the Von Erich's on it. Now there were some hot guys. There were 7 Von Erich boys. All but two were wrestlers. One died as a child, two died "unusual deaths" and two killed themseves. Only Kevin Von Eric lives.

At it's peak I loved it. The war between "Precious" and "Sunshine." That was great. I loved it. Anyone else remember this

I think my all time favourite was the campy "G.L.O.W" It stood for

Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling

"Big Bad Mama," "Mountain Fiji" "Daisy" and a host of others. It was great. It was like a low budge version of Hee Haw for the wrestling set.

The best thing is the good guys didn't always win. Sometimes the bad guys (or should I say girls) won and didn't cheat. I used to love it when they would have a handicapped match. Two of the bad girls against "Mount Fiji". How they'd both wail on her till she finally got sick of them and crushed.

The rapping the girls did was comical but great.



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Tom Synder

I put a section in for Tom Synder because he always use to do segments on gay people. It seemed such an exciting time to be gay. When his show Tomorrow came on I used to wait for him to do shows on the gay scene.

This was before AIDS and it often centered around the "Greenwich Village" area and he'd showcase places like "Studio 54." For younger people who can't rememeber what it felt like to be alone, and having no exposure to other homosexuals, Tom was one of the few sources a gay teen could go to.

I think my life long love affair with New York City came from this. Gay seemed such an appropriate term for these people who Tom always showcased young, free and living it up.

Though in some ways, Tom certainly was portraying a one sided scene. You have to remember the mid to late 70s, was an era where drugs had not been yet discovered to be a black hole of uselessness. Cocaine was a "safe drug" back then. (Little did we know) AIDS didn't exist and homosexuals seemed to be coming to be respected.

Of course being a 15 year old left wing radical (insert smiley) didn't hurt my love for Tom Synder's show.

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I Want To Own A TV Station

Just a stupid fact about me. Ever since I was a little kid about 5 years old I always wanted to own a TV station. I remember I used to write TV stations and ask the managers how I, as a 10 year old kid, could go about doing this.

It was funny how nice everyone was to me. They all offered me advice and some sent key chains and hats and other items with their station logos on it.

I recall WTCN-TV Channel 11 Minneapolis/St Paul, sent me a great package and said I should have my parents buy into Metromedia stock. Too bad mum didn't listen to her kid. Metromedia eventually sold out to FOX and became the genesis of their network.

WAGM Channel 8 Presque Isle Maine, was another great station. The sent me a bunch of free goodies and told me after I graduate from college I should look them up for a job. Hmmmmm....

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I Want My Channel 4

Just a bit of trivia. Did you know we used to have a channel 4 in Chicago? Yes we did. Till Milwaukee stole it (insert frowy smiley here). Chicago was also allocated the VHF channel 13. But do to the fact Grand Rapids and Indianapolis also had channel 13, it was moved a little bit farther north to prevent interference.

Just imagine how much more competitive Chicago TV would have been with two more VHF stations. After all both New York City and Los Angeles have 7 VHF allocations. The maximum number allocated.

Of course once Digital TV takes effect VHF won't mean much. Since most of Chicago stations will keep their digital channels in the UHF section. Excepting WLS-TV Channel 7 which will remain on channel 7.

Of course do to PSIP you won't notice, because regardless of what channel the TV station broadcast on it will be mapped to it's analog Chanel. For example Channel 9 WGN-TV broadcasts it's digital signal on Channel 19. It will remain on Channel 19 after analog TV signs off but due to PSIP, it will map the actual digital channel 19 to channel 9 so you won't know the difference.

Kind of like when cable TV puts Channel 2 -WBBM-TV on cable channel 22.

Anyway a little bit about how we lost Channel 4.

In the VHF spectrum there are 12 channels. Numbering 2-12. Due to interference you cannot have to adjacent VHF channels in the same city. Except you can have channel 4 and 5 or Channels 6 and 7 in the same city. Because they are not "actually adjacent. For example between Channels 6 and 7 lie the entire FM Radio band.

So Chicago had VHF channels 2,4,5,7,9,11, and 13. Channel 13 was lost to Rockford. But channel 4 was up and running. UHF stations didn't start in Chicago till the mid 60s.

At the time Chicago had in operation

Channel 4 WBKB (CBS) -- Owned by United Paramount Theatres
Channel 5 WNBQ (NBC) -- Owned by NBC
Channel 7 WENR (ABC) -- Owned by ABC
Channel 9 WGN (Ind) -- Owned by Chicago Tribune

There was also an experimental station on Channel 2. Sort of a pay system that was testing.

In Milwaukee WTMJ owned by the Milwaukee Journal was having issues as WTMJ was on Channel 3 and getting interference from Channel 3 in Kalamazoo.

Meanwhile ABC-TV and United Paramount Theatres, merged. At the time The FCC didn't allow a company to own more than two stations in one market. (This has changed since). So ABC would have owned two channels 4 and 7. They had to sell one.

The FCC seeking to solve the Channel 3 interference made the sale of channel 4 contingent on moving to Channel 2. CBS which wasn't to have it's own TV station in the nations second largest TV market (Chicago was 2nd back then). Jumped at the chance.

Since CBS was MUCH stronger than ABC, ABC kept the call letters WBKB and moved the call letters to Channel 7. CBS opend a new TV staton on Channel 2 called WBBM and WTMJ in Milwaukee moved to channel 4.

Zenith which was operating the experimental TV station on Channel 2 got froze out of the deal and channel 4 was lost forever.

That was not the last time a channel would swap in Chicago. In the late 80s a similar thing happened when WPWR-TV moved from Channel 60 to Channel 50.

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