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Date Posted: 05:39:19 09/17/17 Sun
Author: Garage Rocker
Subject: Re: Channel 53 history
In reply to: Oldies Dave 's message, "Channel 53 history" on 06:29:58 09/16/17 Sat

The one with the tower that fell over in a storm was Channel 16, WENS. They made a deal with WQED to lease channel 13 for a few hours a day, which helped both stations. But, the FCC put a stop to that, and Metropolitan Pittsburgh Educational Television ended up getting the license to channel 16 for good.

I used to watch channel 53 in 1969. It's biggest problem was that there was not enough first-run syndicated to fill the broadcast day. They ended up running nothing but music videos most of the time, years before there were more than a few of them being made. Instead, their "video juke box" programming simply had swirly psycedelic patters for the video as they played Top 40 songs.

They tried their own versions of standard local shows, like hosted cartoons for kids or horror movies with a corny host. But those couldn't overcome their biggest problem. With no cable TV systems operation, and Pittsburgh's hilly terrain, there were huge areas where you just plain couldn't watch the channel, even if you wanted to. This was a problem for all the local channels. As late as the 1970's there were places I lived where one or more VHF channels were impossible to watch. Frankly, there just wasn't anything on Channel 53 so compelling to watch that it was worth installing a new roof-top antenna.

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