Friday, August 05, 2005

Spinning The Dials On Your Philco Or Transistor Radio

With the news this week about the Sept. 5th network swap for Channel 20 and Channel 17, ending their decades-old relationships with their networks, I thought it was a good time to get your thoughts about Springfield media from the past. I'd like to hear about:
  • your favorite local TV newscasters and weathermen
  • favorite local DJs
  • worst of same
  • any memorable on-air bloopers

For my money, there will never be another Mr. Roberts on Channel 3, who by the end was laboring simply to raise his baton to point to the warm front symbols on his magnetic weather map, and who actually inspired a death pool on Central Illinois college campuses, with people placing money down to see if he would croak on-air.

I have fond memories of Skip Joeckel and the late Pat Gordon on WDBR, and before that "Crazy" Bob Murray on WCVS.

And I, of course, was responsible for the best on-air blooper in Springfield TV history, a live shot with a somewhat-indisposed First Lady of Illinois on Channel 20, circa 1988.

Have fun in comments.


Blogger Dave said...

My favorite local TV blooper came on the first day WRSP-TV (Ch. 55) was on the air. This would have been in the late 70s, I believe. They had a local newscast in the beginning (which didn't last long). Well, they go to the weather and the female weathercaster barely gets started when she starts choking and coughing uncontrollably. This went on for some time until they finally, mercifully, cut away. When they came back -no weather. They simply moved on. I think the weather person was fine she just got too nervous on opening night and lapsed into a hacking panic attack.

1:41 PM  
Blogger BlogFreeSpringfield said...

I remember thinking that WDBR's Rick Styles was a happening dude. Isn't it weird how people with cool-guy names like Rick Styles and Rik Blade all end up becoming DJs? Why is that?

2:58 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Oh, yeah, Rich Styles. He did this bit with the "sexy-voiced secretary." It seems corny as hell now, but for a 13-year-old kid in 1977, it seemed absolutely cutting edge.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Amy Allen said...

An interview with Mrs Thompson, sir?

4:16 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Haven't I ever told that story? Remind me to do that sometime...

11:52 PM  
Blogger MacFlanncaid (Clancy) said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:24 PM  
Blogger MacFlanncaid (Clancy) said...

I remember when I started noticing that Channel 20 stopped reporting anything in Springfield...and mainly cover Decatur. i had to Watch Channel 49-Champaign to get my local news. They actually did a great job.

I then recall when Channel 20 changed their slogan to Local News First and started putting Springfield stories in the top 5-10 minutes of the news hour. I think they felt the population switch to channel 49 at 6pm & 10pm

I also remember better times pre-Mark Himan. Even before they started doing that Commentary segment too. You know...back when they reported things like news and stuff...LOL. I hope their new affilation understands to leave drama, flare, controversey to the other shows...and just give us the news during the time slot called "News"..LOL.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous JoeJ said...

Rich Styles on WDBR- wasn't he the one who always signed off saying "until tomorrow- blue skies, green lights, and.. much love, Sunshine." Or was that someone else? My favorite DBR blooper was the first time I heard the song "Hooked On a Feeling" by Blue Swede. Remember, the one that starts off with the chorus chanting "oogachaka, oogachaka, ooga ooga oogachaka"? DBR was an automated station, meaning everything was taped ahead of time on cartridges and played back hopefully in the right order- but often not. Like the DJ tapes would be out of sequence with the music tapes, so the DJ was introducing a song that had already played; that happened a lot there in the early 70's. Anyway, one day they were playing commercials and everything was screwing up- one would start up and stop suddenly, then 2 were playing at the same time, you name it. Finally they just stopped altogether, and there was total silence for nearly a minute. Thinking maybe there was something wrong with my radio, I reached over and started playing with the volume control- and at that very moment, "OOGACHAKA! OOGACHAKA!" comes blaring out of the speaker! Remember, I'd never heard the song before so I had no idea what was going on. I had this mental image of a band of pygmy warriors attacking the station or something!

3:13 PM  
Anonymous LOLLY said...


3:40 AM  

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