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Date Posted: 11:26:59 10/06/15 Tue
Author: Man of Many Memories
Subject: Those Were the Days


Like you, I'm a Pittsburgh broadcast nostalgia buff, and I always look forward to new posts on this forum. This site has become a fun place for Pittsburgh TV and radio fans to share long-forgotten and little-known memories. Everyone here - on-air vets, control room captains, armchair audiences, young, old, in-market or out - knows something about the industry that'll entertain and enrich us all. Today, I ask the moderator's blessing to share some food for thought with the group, and perhaps inspire a few nostalgic stories and smiles surrounding Pittsburgh broadcasting's rich and colorful heritage.

Everybody ready? Let's begin.

Who here remembers when Pittsburgh's news community had so many people it had its own private club?

Remember the era of all three network TV morning shows' news readers landing there directly from Pittsburgh TV newsrooms?

What was the golden era for a Pittsburgh TV or radio newsroom you know well?

Remember when local radio stars' salaries were so big they made the newspaper?

Anybody here ever go for a ride in Channel 11's balloon? News Star 4? The Rainbow Machine? Rollin' Oldies? The KQ-Vehicle? The KDKA-logoed speed boat?

Who recalls all the stations' massive promotional budgets and bigger-than-life ideas?

Was anybody here on the crews that produced Mister Rogers Neighborhood? Pennsylvania Lottery drawings? Bowling for Dollars? Chiller Theater? Kidsburgh? Friday Night Videos? Pittsburgh 2Day (from the "2 o'clock era")? Evening Magazine? Competing BINGO shows? Channel 4 promos with Don and Paul spilling coffee all over the newsroom?

Who here remembers the days when TV news wasn't interested in routine city stop-and-robs and suburban single-family house fires?

Remember when a TV crew doing a live shot was a sideshow event and attracted spectators?

Remember when a city-county building news conference attracted reporters from four, five, or more RADIO stations?

Remember the TV reporter who worked a story so deep she got a subpoena and went to jail to keep her pledge to protect a source?

Anybody here recall the adventures of climbing TV Hill? And the neighborhood characters who awaited?

Maybe you spent a sweaty summer day at Kennywood waiting in a long line to get a Sharpie-scribbled autograph card from a new-in-town reporter you'd never seen.

Do you remember the iconic, gravelly-voiced guy on Kaufmann's ads and Channel 2 promos - and the day you discovered he phones it all in from Cleveland?

Anybody here still have your Captain Pitt membership card? Did it matter that he had more in common with Maryland than the Monongahela?

Any stories from the picket lines?

Were local TV and radio news products better back then or now? Where are they headed?

Why did you get out? Why are you still in?

Maybe that'll get you thinking about a memory or two. You might have some idea-starters of your own. Of course it goes without saying some stories are best shared without names or call letters. Let's all play fair and make this a fun dialogue!

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