KHJ-TV Channel 9 (now KCAL), Los Angeles, California
Sign-off and SSB recorded circa 1970

Page modified Monday, 15 June 2020

Unlike what one might think, Channel 9 did not descend from the pioneer LA radio starion KHJ AM 930. It was actually the child of another LA radio pioneer, KFI AM 640, owned by Earle C. Anthony. KFI-TV first signed on in late August 1948 as an independent. Though KFI Radio was affiliated with the NBC Radio Network, NBC was building its own Channel 4 in Los Angeles at the time of Channel 9's launch. In 1951, following a threat of a strike by station engineers, Anthony sold KFI-TV to the General Tire and Rubber Company (later RKO General), who had recently took over the Don Lee broadcasting interests, which included Lee's flagship KHJ Radio (guess what happened then). A very long and complicated series of legal and ethical issues involving RKO General, too lengthy to discuss here, led to the sale of Channel 9 to The Walt Disney Company in 1989, which changed the calls to KCAL-TV. Since 2002 KCAL-TV has been owned and operated by CBS, which, of course, O&O's KCBS-TV Channel 2. Except during 1954-1956 when it carried some DuMont Network programming, Channel 9 has been an indie for all of its days.

The clip here is probably the oldest TV station sign-off videos found to date. Except for a plug for KHJ-FM 93, it's a standard sign-off with static station ID slide and voice over. The SSB film is of unknown origin (perhars Channel 9 produced this from stock footage), and featues a popourri of patriotic and nature scenes, including a shot of the American Bald Eagle.

The video comes from the YouTube channel of Rick Thomas, which features vintage videotape recordings of 1970s-era programming taken from Los Angeles TV stations.

RELATED VIDEO: KHJ-TV Channel 9 Sign-off from 25 September 1982
- preceded by Cal Worthington Ford commercial

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