WNBC-TV Channel 4, New York NY
Late News, Sermonette, Sign-off & SSB
recorded Friday, 31 August 1979

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Graphics, design and description copyright 2018 by J. Alan Wall. All rights reserved.

Here we present the final fifteen minutes of the NBC New York flagship station's programming on the final day of August 1979, with numerous commercials and PSAs included therein. After a couple of commercials and station ID comes a five-minute news wrap-up, delivered by Bill Rippy (spelling?). The lead story is Hurricane David, a category 5 storm that was slamming the Dominican Republic that weekend. A little later comes a reply to a WNBC-TV editorial on the late-night operation of NYC stoplights by one Lionel M. Rodgers. Several more PSAs precede the Sermonette, which is delivered by a Chinese minister. After a few more PSAs comes the WNBC-TV sign-off, as rendered by Arthur Gary, which includes the 1965 NAB TV Code Seal. The SSB film, used by Channel 4 for many years, features the U.S. Army Band playing in front of the Capitol Building in Washington D.C..

WNBC, which nowadays brands itself as NBC 4 New York, is the United States' oldest continuously operating commercial TV station. It commenced telecasting at 1:30 PM local time on the 1st of July 1941 as WNBT Channel 1, an hour before CBS's Channel 2 had its inaugural sign-on (both were ordered by the FCC to sign on simultaneously at 1:30, but CBS was delayed by transmitter problems). But WNBC's roots goes back to 1928 when RCA, NBC's parent company, launched WX2BS, an experimental TV station utilizing mechanical scanning for the visuals. In 1933 it converted to the all-electronic system developed by RCA's Vladimir K. Zworkin. From 1936 to 1941 WX2BS achieved many television "firsts" which are too many to mention here; see the Wikipedia article on WNBC for those. When the FCC discontinued Channel 1 for TV use in Spring 1946, WNBT was moved to Channel 4. The station's calls were changed to WRCA-TV in October 1954 to reflect NBC's ownership at the time to its founder RCA. In May 1960 the calls became WNBC-TV. The "-TV" suffix was dropped in June 1992.

WNBC-TV Channel 4 News, Editorial, Sermonette & Sign-off from 22 March 1980 (news announced by the late great Don Pardo)
WNBC-TV Channel 4 News & Sign-off from 23 June 1986
WNBC-TV Channel 4 Final Analog Sign-off 26 June 2009

WRCA-TV Channel 4 Sign-Off by Jerry Damon (circa 1958)
WNBC-TV Channel 4 Sign-Off by Bob Waldrop (1960) Play/Download
WNBC-TV Channel 4 Sign-Off by Matt Thomas (Summer 1964) Play/Download

Page created Sunday, 26 August 2018

NOTE: The video files featured on this website are taken from my VHS home recordings of over-the-air and cable video captures, clips contributed by others and clips downloaded from YouTube and similar sites. The quality varies from clip to clip, due to TV reception and recording issues. None of the clips that are featured here have been authorized by the various television stations, networks or any other entity.