WQEX-TV Channel 16
(now WINP), Pittsburgh PA
"Sign-Off III" from circa 1994

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TV-signoffs.com gives thanks to James Rankin, a Pittsburgh native now residing in San Antonio TX, for directing us to what has to be the wackiest TV station sign-off in the history of U.S. broadcasting. Unfortunately, the beginning of the sign-off is missing, as the person who originally recorded this hit the "Record" button on his VCR after the sign-off commenced.

It's done as a comedy skit featuring WQEX engineer Doug Jones hanging out in a local bar with various characters. Upon leaving the bar, he is punched out by a woman who's angry about WQEX's cancellation of the BBC sitcom Eastenders. The second half of the clip is a credit roll listing the names of the folks who were responsible for the sign-off, WQEX management and personnel, members of the "WQEX Sign-off Society", and even some Major League Baseball scores thrown in for good measure. The credit roll is set to the song "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" from the movie, Monty Python's Life Of Brian.

Channel 16 was Pittsburgh's first UHF-TV station, beginning life as commercial WENS-TV, an ABC-TV affiliate that operated from 1953 to 1957. It was acquired by Pittsburgh's non-commercial/educational WQED in 1959 and operated for over forty years as an auxilliary of WQED under the WQEX call letters. WQEX was one of the last TV stations in the U.S. to convert to color in 1985 or 1986, when its ancient B&W transmitter, the one used by WENS-TV, gave up the ghost and was beyond repair. In 2002, though still owned by WQED, WQEX became a commerical TV station once again, airing mostly home-shopping programming along with some of WQED's shows. In May 2011 WQED sells WQEX to its current licensee, Ion Media Networks, and the station becomes WINP, the INP standing for IoN Pittsburgh.

Page created Sunday, 15 April 2012

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.