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post #12181 of 12876 Old 07-15-2019, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post
Today big day WBTV celebrate 70 years broadcasting as first TV station in the Carolinas. Special show at noon from BB&T Ballpark and one hour special tonight at 7pm. Special video flashbacks all day. Impressive legacy.
I meant to record that and forgot all about it

As North Carolina's 2nd oldest station, WFMY is also celebrating 70 years of broadcasting this year. I believe they went on the air just a few months after WBTV. But I am not sure if they will be airing a special or not.
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post #12182 of 12876 Old 07-15-2019, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by rdgcss View Post
Built in preamp, injector at tv end of cable. Non directional, bolted to upstairs balcony. Guess I’m in an all encompassing sweet spot
You are probably in one of the best areas (geographically) to receive both CLT and GSO networks, although my location in Davie County is not bad either, just not quite as good as yours.

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post #12183 of 12876 Old 07-15-2019, 06:02 PM
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I saw the WBTV special tonight, but how could viewers from Colorado and Minnesota even pick up a TV station that far away? Is it because of less interference back then?
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post #12184 of 12876 Old 07-15-2019, 06:03 PM
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If you buy a Stellar Labs antenna, you can pick it up in Gaffney. Newark warehouse is right off 85. Less worry about UPS destroying the antenna before it gets to you... You have to call your order in to pick up at the warehouse, can't do it online.

Speaking of the Gaffney warehouse, which model antenna do I need?
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post #12185 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 03:50 AM
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WBTV special showed old Spencer Mtn. tower site. Is it still used as a backup for any radio or TV signals? Looks like it would stbill be a good transmitter site if any radio or TV stations wanted to use it. But I guess the move to Dallas gave them a taller tower for better signal.
During that scene, there was one upward shot that showed only the base of the tower still standing. It was such a quick shot that I don’t know how much of it is still there, but I am guessing about 50 feet up.

I was glad to see that they went back to where it all began, but wish they could have gone inside, to where “Uncle Jim” made the opening announcement. Chances are they no longer have access. Whoever owns the site now could have given them permission by phone to do the kind of outside shot that they did, but I suppose would have to have met them there and unlocked the door to do an inside shot.
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post #12186 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by 4:3 Toshiba View Post
I saw the WBTV special tonight, but how could viewers from Colorado and Minnesota even pick up a TV station that far away? Is it because of less interference back then?
Ted or Bob could probably provide the correct answer to that. But I am guessing it was not only less interference, but also less signal regulation. With so few stations on the air at the time, it might have been the only channel 3 nationwide. Today, the Charlotte stations are assigned to cover 22 counties (which is a lop-sided looking area, in my opinion). Not to mention that analog signals could travel much further. I can remember snowy channels that came in from a loooong way off, when I was a kid in the 70’s. I seem to remember getting a TV station from Bristol, TN for a while early in the morning. I can remember being in Statesville at my Grandfather’s house, and him playing a radio station from Cuba for me. And just a few years ago during the late fall when the days are the shortest, as soon as it got dark about 5:30PM, I could get a radio station from Washington DC (because we still have analog radio). But Minnesota does indeed seem like a stretch.

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post #12187 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by evan237 View Post
I meant to record that and forgot all about it

As North Carolina's 2nd oldest station, WFMY is also celebrating 70 years of broadcasting this year. I believe they went on the air just a few months after WBTV. But I am not sure if they will be airing a special or not.
My OTA DVRs only carry onscreen guides from 12 to 48 hours, but manual recordings can be set weeks ahead of time. So, this past weekend I programmed manual recordings for that special last night, and also for the one tonight on CBS at 10PM, about the moonwalk. That’s because I tend to forget them as well, but did remember to watch last night.

WFMY was second on the air, but their distinction is that they were first to do a live broadcast.
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post #12188 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post
Nice guess..but not even close. DABL,as a direct pass through service.. has more revenue and lower operational costs day one than decades would have long term. Plus we're not exactly a 501C operation.

Not that I will watch it anyway either.

Now.. for OTA-DVR Guy...you can just program that channel out of your Tv and you won't even know its there!...
That means instead of seeing commercials from the loan company in the green and yellow building on Hwy 49 in Lake Wylie (which I’ve seen on MeTV), we’ll be seeing national commercials about hearing aids, and about St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital with Danny and Marlo Thomas...
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post #12189 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 04:53 AM
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I wonder what display channels WCCB will use if they add a seventh channel as the translator uses 18-7. WCCB and WSOC use sensible channel numbers for the translators that don't overlap with the main channel. WLOS and UNC-TV have a poor practice of using the same display channels for their translators. I picked up WLOS' Maggie Valley translator this morning and had two channel 13 on my TV. It can mess up devices especially those that autoscan periodically.
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post #12190 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by OTA-DVR-guy View Post
Ted or Bob could probably provide the correct answer to that. But I am guessing it was not only less interference, but also less signal regulation. With so few stations on the air at the time, it might have been the only channel 3 nationwide. Today, the Charlotte stations are assigned to cover 22 counties (which is a lop-sided looking area, in my opinion). Not to mention that analog signals could travel much further. I can remember snowy channels that came in from a loooong way off, when I was a kid in the 70’s. I seem to remember getting a TV station from Bristol, TN for a while early in the morning. I can remember being in Statesville at my Grandfather’s house, and him playing a radio station from Cuba for me. And just a few years ago during the late fall when the days are the shortest, as soon as it got dark about 5:30PM, I could get a radio station from Washington DC (because we still have analog radio). But Minnesota does indeed seem like a stretch.
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Originally Posted by OTA-DVR-guy View Post
My OTA DVRs only carry onscreen guides from 12 to 48 hours, but manual recordings can be set weeks ahead of time. So, this past weekend I programmed manual recordings for that special last night, and also for the one tonight on CBS at 10PM, about the moonwalk. That’s because I tend to forget them as well, but did remember to watch last night.

WFMY was second on the air, but their distinction is that they were first to do a live broadcast.
I can answer that. There is a phenomenon known as "skip" where atmospheric conditions sometimes allow signals to travel longer than normal distances. With fewer stations on the air it mush have been much easier to pick up WBTV when one of these events happened.

Spencer Mountain is a great site. I love the building, especially the look of it from the outside. Inside though it shows it's age and doesn't have much that the modern viewer would care to see. These days there is The National Weather Service transmitter, some two way and Ham Radio repeaters in one room. In another there is I believe if they are still there a back up for 107.9 WLNK and possibly WBTV but I'm not sure if they are still there. As far as I know, those in control of the TV station (Gray), still own the site.
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post #12191 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 4:3 Toshiba View Post
I saw the WBTV special tonight, but how could viewers from Colorado and Minnesota even pick up a TV station that far away? Is it because of less interference back then?
I can remember in the 1960s in Greenville County (SC) picking up some distant stations on a skip for just a few moments. I know one was from Green Bay, Wis. I can't remember the others for sure, but perhaps one was from Oklahoma.
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post #12192 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 10:05 AM
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I can answer that. There is a phenomenon known as "skip" where atmospheric conditions sometimes allow signals to travel longer than normal distances. With fewer stations on the air it mush have been much easier to pick up WBTV when one of these events happened.

Spencer Mountain is a great site. I love the building, especially the look of it from the outside. Inside though it shows it's age and doesn't have much that the modern viewer would care to see. These days there is The National Weather Service transmitter, some two way and Ham Radio repeaters in one room. In another there is I believe if they are still there a back up for 107.9 WLNK and possibly WBTV but I'm not sure if they are still there. As far as I know, those in control of the TV station (Gray), still own the site.
The good thing about the old TVs with the big knob on the front, is that when you changed from one channel to another, you would see another channel coming in. On our old 21-inch VHF-only B&W TV that stood on four legs, we always turned the dial forward. When going from 3 to 9, you saw whether anything was coming in on 4-8. When going from 9 to 3, you saw whether anything was coming in on 10-13 and 2. Going from 3 to 9 is how I discovered we were getting 7 out of Spartanburg. So people across the fruited plain would easily see if they were getting a channel that wouldn’t normally come in. Today, my old CM7000PAL DVR is the only piece of equipment I have that will actually auto-find newly added channels. The option is on, on the other equipment, but it doesn’t find them.

As to the old Spencer Mountain tower, there isn’t much of it left. Wikipedia has pictures. Being on top of that mountain, I suppose the base might still serve as a transmitter, but you would think they’d have left it all in place, for its current uses.
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post #12193 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 10:11 AM
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That means instead of seeing commercials from the loan company in the green and yellow building on Hwy 49 in Lake Wylie (which I’ve seen on MeTV), we’ll be seeing national commercials about hearing aids, and about St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital with Danny and Marlo Thomas...
Right, no local insertions here..but...don’t forget the aerobatic pilot and his catheters!

Bob

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent those of ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, MeTv, or AntennaTv; my employer; or its parent company.
Nor my wife for that matter!
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post #12194 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by johnny antenna View Post
I wonder what display channels WCCB will use if they add a seventh channel as the translator uses 18-7. WCCB and WSOC use sensible channel numbers for the translators that don't overlap with the main channel. WLOS and UNC-TV have a poor practice of using the same display channels for their translators. I picked up WLOS' Maggie Valley translator this morning and had two channel 13 on my TV. It can mess up devices especially those that autoscan periodically.
Trip and I have discussed that a bit. In hindsight...the Wccb-Tr should have started with 18-11. Tho in my testing,
some receivers don’t like the - numbers being 2 digits. That was before there were 8-channel encoders available.

I learned how to do this when we moved Waka from 55 to 42. If there is any overlap of the signals, the psip needs
to be different. Creates a lot of problems as you say.

Bob

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent those of ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, MeTv, or AntennaTv; my employer; or its parent company.
Nor my wife for that matter!
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post #12195 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 10:46 AM
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The good thing about the old TVs with the big knob on the front, is that when you changed from one channel to another, you would see another channel coming in. On our old 21-inch VHF-only B&W TV that stood on four legs, we always turned the dial forward. When going from 3 to 9, you saw whether anything was coming in on 4-8. When going from 9 to 3, you saw whether anything was coming in on 10-13 and 2. Going from 3 to 9 is how I discovered we were getting 7 out of Spartanburg. So people across the fruited plain would easily see if they were getting a channel that wouldn’t normally come in. Today, my old CM7000PAL DVR is the only piece of equipment I have that will actually auto-find newly added channels. The option is on, on the other equipment, but it doesn’t find them.

As to the old Spencer Mountain tower, there isn’t much of it left. Wikipedia has pictures. Being on top of that mountain, I suppose the base might still serve as a transmitter, but you would think they’d have left it all in place, for its current uses.
True and some of the old tuners were really good in pulling in the weak signals.

Half of the Spencer Mountain tower was taken down as part of a deal to get the new 2,000 foot tower in Dallas. Spencer Mountain might be in a flight path, not sure.

By the way WBTV had an awful signal on the East side of Charlotte around Eastland Mall. It looked like an out of market signal, very snowy in the analog days. This persisted even after they moved to the new tall tower in Dallas in the '80's. What really made the difference is when they got off of RF channel 3 and moved to digital 23. Now WBTV comes in much better and the main reason why cable TV is no longer needed!

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post #12196 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 10:53 AM
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It appears a lot of folks are unable to watch OTA channel 9 at all these days due to the temporarily reduced signal. That’s largely true at my house too, except for my large directional antenna with the preamp. That one gets every major Charlotte station at 100% strength and quality, and the low wattage WVEB channel 22 at about 75% strength (although signal quality on that one is about 25-30%).

My point is that I may be one of the few OTA viewers who can tell a weak signal (which is all the time right now) from being off the air altogether (which is intermittent while work is being done). My large directional goes from 100% (even on the weak transmitter) to zero when they are off. They were intermittently off yesterday afternoon, but today have been consistently off since this morning.
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post #12197 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 11:21 AM
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True and some of the old tuners were really good in pulling in the weak signals.

Half of the Spencer Mountain tower was taken down as part of a deal to get the new 2,000 foot tower in Dallas. Spencer Mountain might be in a flight path, not sure.

By the way WBTV had an awful signal on the East side of Charlotte around Eastland Mall. It looked like an out of market signal, very snowy in the analog days. This persisted even after they moved to the new tall tower in Dallas in the '80's. What really made the difference is when they got off of RF channel 3 and moved to digital 23. Now WBTV comes in much better and the main reason why cable TV is no longer needed!
At my inlaws house in GVL, SC the analog channel 3 would come in strong back in the 80's from the Dallas tower. Some days it was very clear, but sometimes it would be a bit snowy due to noise and interference. But still very watchable. The choice was a bit of snow on channel 3, or some ghosting on channel 7, WSPA. With analog, the snow on VHF meant dropouts when converted to digital, unless they moved to UHF. The channel 23 signal has been strong and clear and a big improvement. Just like when WLOS was on UHF for digital, the signal was strong and easy to receive. Now since they move back to 13 the digital signal is problematic.
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post #12198 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by evan237 View Post
I meant to record that and forgot all about it

As North Carolina's 2nd oldest station, WFMY is also celebrating 70 years of broadcasting this year. I believe they went on the air just a few months after WBTV. But I am not sure if they will be airing a special or not.
The WBTV special is supposed to rerun on their streaming channel if you have a Roku device. It featured a tour through the decades, showing where Jim Patterson signed on at Spencer Mtn. And featured video clips and tributes from various personalities, including Bob Inman, Thelma Lou, and Norah O'Donnell, and the late Doug Mayes and Clyde McLean. Also video of major news events including Walter Cronkite and Tammy Faye singing on the courthouse steps. I thought it was a very good retrospective. Although I did find it a bit odd that longtime anchor Paul Cameron apparently declined to participate. I don't know if there was some sort of contractual issue, as he retired right before the Gray took over, along with Delano Little.
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post #12199 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by OTA-DVR-guy View Post
It appears a lot of folks are unable to watch OTA channel 9 at all these days due to the temporarily reduced signal. That’s largely true at my house too, except for my large directional antenna with the preamp. That one gets every major Charlotte station at 100% strength and quality, and the low wattage WVEB channel 22 at about 75% strength (although signal quality on that one is about 25-30%).

My point is that I may be one of the few OTA viewers who can tell a weak signal (which is all the time right now) from being off the air altogether (which is intermittent while work is being done). My large directional goes from 100% (even on the weak transmitter) to zero when they are off. They were intermittently off yesterday afternoon, but today have been consistently off since this morning.
For the most part, I have been able to view WSOC on the translator channel from Crowder's Mtn. while work is being done on the main tower. However, when the main tower goes down, the translator seems to go down also. When they are on the aux antenna, I can usually receive the translator, although it may seem a bit weaker.
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post #12200 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 11:47 AM
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Speaking of the Gaffney warehouse, which model antenna do I need?
They have all the good antenna styles. If you are in the metro area, then maybe just the 4bay would be fine. But for more fringe stations, they have an 8bay and 91XG style yagi antenna. And they also have the smaller 43XG version, as well as several triple boom yagi antennas. They also have dedicated High VHF antennas and FM antennas. So just depends upon what best suits your needs.
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post #12201 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 12:30 PM
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Since we are talking a lot about channel 9 lately, here is a question about one of the great Charlotte over the air TV icons. Who remembers Jack Callaghan? What was unique about him, especially in the area of mobility? What multiple positions did he hold in the big shiny black building on North Tryon Street?
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post #12202 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 02:04 PM
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Since we are talking a lot about channel 9 lately, here is a question about one of the great Charlotte over the air TV icons. Who remembers Jack Callaghan? What was unique about him, especially in the area of mobility? What multiple positions did he hold in the big shiny black building on North Tryon Street?
I think he was the longtime station manager and I remember he did the editorial commentary. He may have been an anchor in the early years of the Eyewitness News. If I recall he may have been confined to a wheelchair.
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post #12203 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 02:42 PM
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I think he was the longtime station manager and I remember he did the editorial commentary. He may have been an anchor in the early years of the Eyewitness News. If I recall he may have been confined to a wheelchair.
Yes, stricken from polio in his early years, Jack spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. But that didn’t stop him from becoming lead anchor on channel 9’s news through the 60’s and into the 70’s (it wasn’t until 70’s that the Eyewitness News monicker was adopted). Bill Walker joined him at the anchor desk in 1968. In the 70’s, both were promoted. Jack became station manager, and Bill became lead anchor. Jack continued on-air appearances at the end of the news in doing editorials. I can remember one that criticized their own network’s White House reporter Sam Donaldson for being disrespectful to the president (can’t remember whether that was Carter or Reagan).
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post #12204 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 03:57 PM
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Yes, stricken from polio in his early years, Jack spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. But that didn’t stop him from becoming lead anchor on channel 9’s news through the 60’s and into the 70’s (it wasn’t until 70’s that the Eyewitness News monicker was adopted). Bill Walker joined him at the anchor desk in 1968. In the 70’s, both were promoted. Jack became station manager, and Bill became lead anchor. Jack continued on-air appearances at the end of the news in doing editorials. I can remember one that criticized their own network’s White House reporter Sam Donaldson for being disrespectful to the president (can’t remember whether that was Carter or Reagan).
I had an uncle who also had polio as a child. He belonged to group of polio victims. Jack invited my uncle’s group to tour the Channel 9 station. Since uncle couldn’t drive my father drove him there & I was invited to go along. To my 9-10 year old mind that was already interested in electronics it was truly something to behold. They let each of stand in front of a tv camera & see ourself on a TV👌
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post #12205 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 04:15 PM
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The WBTV special is supposed to rerun on their streaming channel if you have a Roku device. It featured a tour through the decades, showing where Jim Patterson signed on at Spencer Mtn. And featured video clips and tributes from various personalities, including Bob Inman, Thelma Lou, and Norah O'Donnell, and the late Doug Mayes and Clyde McLean. Also video of major news events including Walter Cronkite and Tammy Faye singing on the courthouse steps. I thought it was a very good retrospective. Although I did find it a bit odd that longtime anchor Paul Cameron apparently declined to participate. I don't know if there was some sort of contractual issue, as he retired right before the Gray took over, along with Delano Little.
Thanks for the info on that. I will look for the rerun on my Roku
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post #12206 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 04:20 PM
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The good thing about the old TVs with the big knob on the front, is that when you changed from one channel to another, you would see another channel coming in. On our old 21-inch VHF-only B&W TV that stood on four legs, we always turned the dial forward. When going from 3 to 9, you saw whether anything was coming in on 4-8. When going from 9 to 3, you saw whether anything was coming in on 10-13 and 2. Going from 3 to 9 is how I discovered we were getting 7 out of Spartanburg. So people across the fruited plain would easily see if they were getting a channel that wouldn’t normally come in.
That's all true. The only bad thing is my memory of being ordered (as a kid) in the 1970's to get up and change the channel to whatever my dad ordered
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post #12207 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 05:27 PM
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That's all true. The only bad thing is my memory of being ordered (as a kid) in the 1970's to get up and change the channel to whatever my dad ordered
Along with the antenna rotor
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post #12208 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 07:14 PM
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That's all true. The only bad thing is my memory of being ordered (as a kid) in the 1970's to get up and change the channel to whatever my dad ordered
If I ever tried to change the channel from Channel 3 then I got in trouble. Couldn't interrupt Doug Mayes or Walter Cronkite.
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post #12209 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 07:57 PM
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I had an uncle who also had polio as a child. He belonged to group of polio victims. Jack invited my uncle’s group to tour the Channel 9 station. Since uncle couldn’t drive my father drove him there & I was invited to go along. To my 9-10 year old mind that was already interested in electronics it was truly something to behold. They let each of stand in front of a tv camera & see ourself on a TV👌
Hearing of your visit to channel 9 has triggered memories of mine. It was the mid 70’s, and I was about 12. Channel 9 had advertised that they would give free blood pressure checks to anyone who came by. I begged my Mom and Dad to go, so we went after work. We pulled into the back parking lot. My Dad asked the security guard if all of these cars are here for people getting blood pressure checks. The security guard (who had a voice like Wally Cox), said “No sir, employee parking”. We walked right into the back door of the building (couldn’t do that in today’s post 9/11 world). There were numerous medical personnel there who took everyone’s blood pressure. The local news then ended, and Bill Walker came in because it was someone’s birthday (I think it was the doctor who was in charge of the blood pressure checks) and Bill wanted to wish him a Happy Birthday. We all stood around during the birthday honors, then headed out. When we had arrived, the news hadn’t ended yet, but now it was over, and they left the studio door open. I was able to look in on the way out. This was during the period when channel 9 had the news set that resembled the inside of a space ship. Bill and his coanchor (Ellen Bryan, Brad Lacey, etc.) each sat at a curved desk with three TV screens behind it, and the “environmental” and “recreational” (what would be called weather and sports today) anchors stood behind them on an elevated platform. I was amazed at how much smaller it looked in person.

Another time I went to Eastland Mall on Labor Day and met Mr. and Mrs. Brad Lacey, who were the local hosts of the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon. That was during the “Lacey Is...” era, where Brad was videoed doing a different job each week, which aired on the Wednesday evening 6:00PM news. I remember that my Grandmother loved the week it was “Lacey Is A Soda Jerk”... Years later, Brad went to work for Jim Bakker, and became ill and died while conducting a tour of the boyhood home of Billy Graham... It stood on the Heritage USA PTL grounds at the time. But it was the same house that today stands at the Billy Graham Library.

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post #12210 of 12876 Old 07-16-2019, 08:39 PM
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I think he was the longtime station manager and I remember he did the editorial commentary. He may have been an anchor in the early years of the Eyewitness News. If I recall he may have been confined to a wheelchair.
I didn't know him but I certainly know of him. There was a story that he had left WSOC-TV for a station in a bigger market when his Polio became debilitating and he was confined to a wheelchair. Evidently this wasn't going to work with whatever the new position was. He came back to Charlotte and Channel 9 took him back. So he must have been well liked.

I would see Mr Callihan on occasion but I don't recall ever speaking to him. He didn't appear to be in the best of moods whenever I saw him so I gave him lots of room.
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