Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile

Advanced

WKBF

Posted by nomoneymark 
WKBF
August 16, 2006 12:42PM
For those who don't remember: WKBF Channel 61, which signed on in 1968, was Cleveland's first independent TV station. It was owned by the then-powerful Kaiser Broadcasting, a division of the humongous Kaiser Corporation. Their roster included the legendary horror movie host The Ghoul, as well as still-popular reruns like Star Trek and I Love Lucy. And still they failed! After seven years of losing money, WKBF signed off forever in 1975. For some reason, the WKBF story says a lot to me about the "loser" mentality that has been a part of Cleveland's civic life for so long. Comments, anyone?

P.S. For more WKBF info, check out [en.wikipedia.org].

-----------------------------------------------------------------
"This is No Money Mark. Why are you listening to WCSB Cleveland?"



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/17/2006 02:44PM by nomoneymark.
Re: WKBF
August 19, 2006 09:30PM
the wikipedia article implies that much of the problem lay with the parent company.
you have to remember that kaiser was losing all sorts of ground in their various diversified markets and had even sold the perennial money maker jeep division to A american motors the year before. the company kinda splintered upon the old man's passing in '67.

then again, this was the guy who tried to sell post war americans a car without a trunk.
Re: WKBF
August 21, 2006 04:09PM
madbunny wrote:

"you have to remember that kaiser was losing all sorts of ground in their various diversified markets and had even sold the perennial money maker jeep division to A american motors the year before. the company kinda splintered upon the old man's passing in '67."

Maybe so, but for a while Kaiser Broadcasting was a major force in independent broadcasting. At their peak, besides WKBF they owned stations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Detroit and Boston. Admittedly, the LA station was a non-starter, but most of the others did well and are still on the air today. The exception was the Philadelphia station, which went dark like WKBF, but not until years after Kaiser had left the broadcasting business and sold all their stations.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
"This is No Money Mark. Why are you listening to WCSB Cleveland?"
Re: WKBF
August 21, 2006 07:38PM
nomoneymark Wrote:

> Maybe so, but for a while Kaiser Broadcasting was
> a major force in independent broadcasting. At
> their peak, besides WKBF they owned stations in
> Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco,
> Detroit and Boston. Admittedly, the LA station was
> a non-starter, but most of the others did well and
> are still on the air today. The exception was the
> Philadelphia station, which went dark like WKBF,
> but not until years after Kaiser had left the
> broadcasting business and sold all their stations.

most of the markets (save detroit) you're mentioning weren't undergoing quite the same mono-economic collapse that cleveland was. folks were fleeing to the suburbs in droves and manufacturing was crashing hard. with the two other independents the advertising dollars dried up.
Re: WKBF
August 22, 2006 03:12PM
madbunny Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> most of the markets (save detroit) you're mentioning weren't undergoing quite the same mono-economic collapse that cleveland was. folks were fleeing to the suburbs in droves and manufacturing was crashing hard.

True enough.

> with the two other independents the advertising dollars dried up.

Two other independents? When WKBF went dark, the only other independent in town was WUAB. WOIO and WBNX didn't get started until 1985.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
"This is No Money Mark. Why are you listening to WCSB Cleveland?"
Re: WKBF
August 23, 2006 04:14PM
>Two other independents? When WKBF went dark, the only other independent in town was WUAB. WOIO and WBNX didn't get started until 1985.

true 'nuff. misread the first line of third or fourth paragraph.
i really think it was a case of the narrow assed cleveland markets. we invented pure vetical economics. it's like jenga for financieers. pull the wrong block and OOPS!
Re: WKBF
September 16, 2006 12:08PM
WKBF -- that evokes memories! Remember Clemm the '61 dummy' and Jim Varney's Ernest T. Worrel ("Y'know whaddamean?")? Varney, of course, would only give the channel-number and not the call-letters because that blurb of his for "Channel 61" was a form-letter format for whatever station anywhere to use. Ah well ... It hurts to see where Cleveland is going when you realize where it's been.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/2006 12:10PM by baronightwolf.
Re: WKBF
September 30, 2006 12:30PM
Hey, Mark, wasn't TV-61 taken over by another corp in '75? Because the Ghoul RETURNED to *61 back in 1981. And he remained on until about early 1984. So who was running the station back then, before it went all "Home-shopping"?
Re: WKBF
October 02, 2006 11:22AM
I remember the Ghoul being on 61 in the early 80's (my youth) under WQBH? I think... anyways, it went to QVC and now is Telemundo. It was the same station I'd get my daily dose of HE-MAN. I can accept Telemundo because the broads are hot.
Here we go about Cleveland:
1) These were the days of Perk and Kucinich, guys who failed us. Then again, regardless of whom, the city was failing financially, and so was the city economy. Also (this ties to #2), in hockey, we lost the Barons to Minnestota--the North Stars (now Dallas Stars).
2) By '82, we were down to 1 major paper, down from 3 at it's peak. This displays Clevelanders' mutant powers of lethargy and apathy, to allow only forced opinion and disallow success of independents, whether it be free-thinkers, media sources, etc.
3) The Flats. As a waiter, people ask about the Flats. I tell them about poor business decisions, bad crowds, cut-throat business, lawsuits. At most, it was popular for 10 years. I also say it will probably take 10 years for the supposed development to even start (l&a, see above).
4) as a student of history, one can look into the annals (not to be confused with anal, which is where Clevo politicos since its founding have had their heads)
is wrought with failure. We let NASA's mission control complex go to Houston, and now they even speak of closing Glenn altogether. We forced Rockefeller and others (with their $$$$) out. We built a shitty stadium for the '32 Olympics and didn't get it. There was supposed to be a Euclid Ave. subway, lost to bribery. The currently constructed one is now just glorified buses because RTA is fucking worthless (original plans called for rail). We lost the '08 GOP most recently, because Clevo lacks in everything--entertainment, hotels, parking.........
I've spent most of my life here. It's shaped who I am. But it Sucks Balls. As soon as I graduate (May '07), I hope to be gone. WCSB is about all that's going on here that's positive.
Re: WKBF
October 19, 2006 02:49PM
Hi,everypne. Sorry for my long absence. Baronightwolf, you're confusing WKBF with WCLQ, the Balaban-owned station that controlled the Channel 61 license from 1981 to the begining of the Home Shopping era in 1986. WKBF had Clem the dummy, WCLQ had Jim Varney, and both had The Ghoul.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
"This is No Money Mark. Why are you listening to WCSB Cleveland?"
Re: WKBF
April 20, 2007 01:43PM
This long-dead thread lives again! Blame Wikipedia, which has given the old WKBF its own article at [en.wikipedia.org].

-----------------------------------------------------------------
"This is No Money Mark. Why are you listening to WCSB Cleveland?"
Re: WKBF
May 14, 2007 06:21AM
Wow, 61 was one of my fav's as a kid...I used to live and die by Ultraman, and Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot.

Steve
Re: WKBF
May 17, 2007 09:22AM
Yes, No$$$$$$$Mark, this thread will NEVER die! NONE of the forum-threads will ever die! As they are all undead -- like ME!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry ... just had to get that out of my system. Still, always remember:

HARK TO THE BRILLIANCE IN THE DARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I remember Bob Dylan had a song called "Channel 61"
May 29, 2007 10:49PM
He must have loved the station too.I don't even speak spanish but I still watch Channel 61 because I am a nostalgia type guy.Old corn flake boxes even get me aroused.
Re: WKBF
June 09, 2007 01:06PM
Quote
desmoface
Wow, 61 was one of my fav's as a kid...I used to live and die by Ultraman, and Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot.

Steve

Sorry, Steve, but if memory serves both those shows were on WUAB.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
"This is No Money Mark. Why are you listening to WCSB Cleveland?"
Re: WKBF
June 09, 2007 02:14PM
Regarding Cleveland television institutions, does anyone know how old Big John is?
Re: WKBF
June 10, 2007 09:04AM
Sorry, I meant "Big Chuck" (of "Big Chuck and Little John," who used to be "Big Chuck and Hoolihan," decades ago).
Re: WKBF
June 11, 2007 05:22AM
he's gotta be almost 70, if not 70 yet. i think i read that somewhere?

----------------------------------------------
Drinking Electricity-all your new wave, no wave and post-punk favorites
Friday nights 9pm-11pm
Re: WKBF
June 19, 2007 08:56AM
Actually, Big Chuck is 72, possibly 73 at this time of writing, and is retiring soon. The "Big John" blurb is interesting when you consider that in the 1970s, when Bob "Hoolihan" Wells was still Big Chuck's partner, that among the various bit players on the 'Hoolihan And Big Chuck Show' -- Tom Busch, Art LaFredo [sic], Tony Carmen, Ralph Gertz [sic], etc. -- there were actually TWO regular Johns: "Little John" Rinaldi and a guy called "Whoopee John", who always played accordion both on the show and at various Hoolihan-and-Big-Chuck public appearances.


HARK TO THE BRILLIANCE IN THE DARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/2007 08:58AM by baronightwolf.
Re: WKBF
June 19, 2007 02:00PM
i have a big chuck & little john "best of" tape...it's one of a series of "best of" tapes i guess...there is some pretty cool footage of the really old big chuck appearances like on ghoulardi and all that. i think he was supposed to be a "hunk"at the time.

----------------------------------------------
Drinking Electricity-all your new wave, no wave and post-punk favorites
Friday nights 9pm-11pm
Re: WKBF
June 22, 2007 09:29AM
It's too bad Big Chuck's retirement will signal the end of the teevee-horror movie host traditon in Cleveland. As you know, I myself have tried to become a Cleveland movie-host, but I could never get beyond a couple of local cable-access appearances. Local entertainment programming is but another casualty of this angsty new world we live in.

Granted, Big Chuck and Little John repeated, re-ran, and remade too many skits in the past couple decades, but probably MY favorite (non-Kielbasi Kid) skit will always be that commercial-spoof for -- NAZI HELMETS!!! Yes! Talk about politically incorrect! You'll never find THAT on any "best of" DVD! Made in 1968, back during the 'Hoolihan and Big Chuck' days, it had a helmeted Chuck zooming about in a go-kart making the peace-sign while a narrator said: "Yes, now you too can own your own NAZI HELMET! Wear it to love-ins, wear it to sit-ins! 100% guaranteed protection at all demonstrations!" And all the while, a great surf-rock song was playing in the background, with an occasionally sung jingle of: "Good guys wear 'um/And so can you-oo-oo!"

By the by, the Nazi helmet had a peace symbol on it instead of a swatzika.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 47
Record Number of Users: 6 on October 02, 2013
Record Number of Guests: 177 on June 09, 2012