WSM-TV Channel 4 (now WSMV), Nashville, Tennessee
Late News, Sign-off & SSB recorded 20 May 1979

Page created Monday, 13 September 2021

The NBC affiliate station of Music City U.S.A. calls it a Saturday night. We join the WSM-TV Midnight Movie presentatiion of Sherlock Holmes and the Scarlet Claw (1944) at its conclusion. Following that is a PSA on the subject of careless driving in Nashville. If the voice-over guy isn't Dragnet's Jack Webb himself, it's some other man doing a damned great impersonation! After a movie promo and station ID comes Late News Headlines,with Joe Cook reporting two items of national news and the weather forecast with radar. Immediately afterwards comes a beautifully done sign-off featuring views of Nashville after dark. As the announcer starts talking about high standards and responsability to the family, the Webmaster was on the edge of his seat looking for the TV Code Seal of Good Practice to emerge, but no such luck (bummer!). There's also plugs for Channel 4's radio siblings WSM-AM 650 and "SM 95". After a 1960s-vintage U.S. Navy SSB film comes color bars, then the shutting off of the transmitter.

Nashville's Channel 4 has been with NBC since the launch of the station in September 1950, the first TV facility in the city. Its founder was the National Life and Accident Insurance Company ("We Shield Millions"), which founded WSM-AM radio twenty-five years earlier as well as its legendary Grand Ole Opry, the longest-running program in the history of radio. In 1980 National Life was hostily taken over by American General, an insurer based in Houston TX. American General had no need for National Life's broadcasting stations, resulting in the sale of WSM-TV to Gillet Broadcasting in November 1981 (the WSM radio stations and Grand Ole Opry was sold to Gaylord Broadcasting two years later). Upon acquiring WSM-TV, Gillet had the "V" added to the call letters, allowing Channel 4 to continue trading on the well-known WSM calls while at the same time separating it from its former radio sisters. The Meredith Corporation, WSMV's current licensee. took over Channel 4 in January 1995. As of this writing (September 2021), Gray Tekevision is seeking to purchase the Meredith Local Media division in late 2021, pending approval by the FCC.

This video was extracted from a YouTube video. which includes the Midnight Movie in its entirety with commercials as well as the sign-off, posted by The Museum of Classic Chicago Television. The MCCTV, a.k.a. FuzzyMemories is a site devoted to the study, acquisition, preservation, exhibition and nostalgic enjoyment of Chicagoland television.

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