WQEX-TV Channel 16 (now WINP),
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
"Comedy Sign-Off III" recorded mid-1990s

Page updated Saturday, 6 February 2021. The video presented here replaces a
previous incomplete recording of this WQEX-TV signoff.

TV-signoffs.com gives thanks to James Rankin, a Pittsburgh native now residing in Texas, who first directed us to what just has to be the wackiest TV station sign-off in the history of U.S. broadcasting. The original video posted here had the first several seconds and the final minute of the sign-off missing. Now, a complete recording of this sign-off has surfaced, and we are estatic to bring it to you.

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 portion of the clip is a credit roll listing the names of the folks who were responsible for the sign-off, WQEX management and personnel, and members of the "WQEX Sign-off Society". But yet, there's more! Some Major League Baseball scores and a mock stock market report are thrown in for good measure. The credit roll is effectively 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 deemed 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.

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