WDIV Channel 4, Detroit, Michigan
Editorial Reply, Sign-off, Sermonette and SSB
recorded circa 1979

Page modified Monday, 15 June 2020

Detroit's NBC-TV Channel 4 is Michigan's first TV station and the tenth oldest station in the U.S. overall. It first signed on 23 October 1946 as WWDT for a single day of demonstration programming. Regular operations commenced in June 1947 using the calls WWJ-TV. Channel 4 was originally owned by the parent company of the Detroit News, which also founded and owned the pioneer AM radio station WWJ. In 1978 the Evening News Association swapped its Channel 4 for the Washington Post Company's flagship station WTOP-TV Channel 9. The Detroit station's calls were changed to the current WDIV as a result of this, the "D" standing for Detroit and the "IV" for the Roman numeral four. The WWJ-TV calls were resurrected in 1995 when CBS took ownership of the former WGPR-TV 62 (CBS had acquired WWJ Radio several years before).

This video is among the most unusual TV station sign-offs the Webmaster has encountered. First up is the closing seconds of Classroom, presumably a WDIV public-affairs featurette. Next is the display of the NAB TV Code Seal, the 1979-83 design which would be the final one used by the NAB. After two quickie local PSAs comes an opposing reply to a recent WDIV editorial on the subject of mandatory deposits on beer bottles, delivered by Pat Laughlin, president of the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association. The station sign-off announcement follows, with mention of ownership, studio location and copyright info. Then it's two more quick local PSA, and afterwards comes a one-and-a-half minute inspirational message from Rabbi Daniel Schwartz of the Temple Beth El. Following this comes the Moog Synthesizer version of the SSB film that was also used by KABC-TV 7 in Los Angeles and other TV stations. The video concludes with a black-and-white test pattern with tone.

This video comes to us via Retrontario.com

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