KPTM Channel 42, Omaha, Nebraska
Sign-off & SSB recorded 14 December 1986

Page modified Sunday, 31 May 2020

A sign-off of Omaha's Fox Network station recorded during its first year of life. It comes immediately after a showing of the movie Sixteen Candles, in which the final few seconds of the closing credits seen here comes from. This elaborate sign-off is done completely with computer-generated imagery, even down to the U.S. flag seen during the playing of the National Anthem, broadcast in stereo. The term "mechanically reproduced", heard at the beginning, harks back to the earliest days of commercial radio broadcasting in the 1920s. Back then it meant playing records over the air using a wind-up acoustic Victrola-type phonograph placed before a microphone. Since then the term came to mean programming from disc, film or audio and video tape.

KPTM first saw the light of day in April 1986 as an independeny station, the first of its kind in the Omaha/Council Bluffs market. During that year it was offered the opportunity to be a charter affiliate of the new Fox Television Network, but station management declined. Fox's first and initially only program offering was The Late Show with Joan Rivers, which ran opposite NBC's The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. Carson was a native of the Omaha/Council Bluffs area and got his start in television on Omaha's WOWT Channel 6 in the 1950s. Fearing a large negative reaction by viewers, KPTM didn't want to air Rivers' show opposite to that of Omaha's favorite son. KTPM did join the Fox network two years later, and today airs the entire Fox Network line-up. Channel 42's founders was Pappas Telecasting of the Midlands, the "PTM" in the station's call letters. Today it's one of 193 stations that comprises the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the second largest such in the United States as of this writing.

The video appears here via bigOplaybax's YouTube channel.

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