|KTLA Channel 5, Los Angeles, California|
25th Anniversary Sign-Off recorded in 1972
Page updated and modified Saturday, 8 August 2020
Featured here is among the oldest video recordings of a U.S. television station sign-off currently available online. It's one from KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles, the first commercially-licensed TV station west of the Mississippi River. This beautifully-made piece features views of KTLA's transmitter tower, a lone camerasitting in the studio, and KTLA's helicopter flying over the city. Also featured is a display of a gold medallion in commemoration of KTLA's twenty-fifth anniversary. The patriotic film that follows is a KTLA production featuring helicopter views of Greater Los Angeles and the surrounding region, set to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's rendition of "This Is My Country". Unfortunately, the first ten seconds or so of the sign-off is missing.
KTLA's roots goes back to 1942 when Paramount Pictures launched experimental TV station W6XYZ Channel 4. On 22 January 1947 W6XYZ commenced commercial operations as KTLA Channel 5 with a star-studded inaugural telecast hosted by Bob Hope. KTLA was the West Coast flagship station of Paramount's film-based TV network (1948-1955). In the mid-1950s, Paramount acquired the historic Warner Brothers studio at 5800 Sunset Boulevard as a new home for KTLA (Channel 5 still resides in this national landmark today). Singer/actor Gene Autry bought Channel 5 from Paramount in 1964 and merged it with his other broadcast outlets under the name Golden West Broadcasters (this sign-off clip is from the GWB period). In the 1970s KTLA became one of America's first cable superstations, though seen mostly in the wester U.S.. KTLA was purchased by Chicago-based Tribune Broadcasting in 1985 for $510 million, a record amount paid for a TV station at the time. After an aborted attempt by Sinclair Broadcast Group to buy out Tribune in 2018, Nexstar Media Group, KTLA's current licensee, did just that, sealing the deal in September 2019.
The video comes from the YouTube channel of Rick Thomas, which features vintage videotape recordings of 1970s-era programming taken from Los Angeles TV stations.
RELATED VIDEO: KTLA Channel 5 "Sign-on" from 2 April 2006
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The video files featured on TV-Signoffs.com are taken from the Webmaster's own VHS home recordings of over-the-air and cable video captures, clips contributed by others and YouTube video embeds. The quality varies from clip to clip, due to TV reception, recording and digitizing issues. Unless otherwise noted, none of the clips featured on this site have been authorized by the various television stations, networks or any other entity.