Aircheck: ABC/Reagan Library, 5/23/1984

In posting this, I’m unsure of two things.

First, I’m assuming ABC aired this interview at some point, though I can’t remember off-hand whether or not ABC News or ABC Sports aired this. Conceivably, either department could have aired the interview – or both could have.

Secondly, could this have been the last time Howard Cosell had the chance to interview Reagan? I don’t know. Cosell was yanked off of ABC television (but stayed on to do his radio work) the following year when his book, I Never Played The Game, was released. Off hand, I’d have to think Howard probably got the chance to interview him in the intervening year – perhaps during that year’s Olympics in Los Angeles.

Their respective styles seem to play well off of each other here. In today’s political climate where anything “Blue” seems to hate everything “Red” that Cosell, who was a staunch Democrat (and bandied the idea of running for Senate in the 70’s) and Reagan were respectful and complimentary of each other.

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Flashback: “More, More, More” by the Andrea True Connection

Until Stormy Daniels or someone else in adult films records a bigger hit record (and stranger things in pop music have happened), this is the biggest US pop hit performed by a porn star, going to #4 in 1976 for Andrea True.

Aircheck: CBS, 7/20/1969

As this clip begins, it is roughly 4:12pm Eastern time on Sunday afternoon, July 20, 1969, The lunar module of the Apollo 11 spacecraft is a few minutes shy of touchdown on the lunar surface – the first such attempt in manned space flight history.

It was a moment of high tension – a lot of things had to go right on the way to the moon and back, and as we nearly learned with Apollo 13 a few months later, potential disaster and tests of fate always seemed to be lurking. But on those eight days that wound up being the greatest adventure Man has yet to take – things went remarkably smoothly, all things considering.

The landing created the most tension, which is why I’m showing this – and not the moon walk itself. There are a few computer alarms that made the scheduling of the landing itself a bit tighter, and when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin finally touched down – they used up all but a few seconds of the fuel budgeted for the landing. Had they run out – they would have had to cancel the landing at the last moment and go back home unsuccessfully, and let Apollo 12 take the next crack at it.

A remarkable feat made even more so by the commentary of Walter Cronkite and astronaut Wally Schirra – who let the audio coming from Apollo 11 paint the pictures for the most part. In the end, even the hardened Cronkite was at a loss for words at the accomplishment, simply saying – “Man on the moon!”

When Somebody Knows Something, Nobody Knows Anything

Photo by Knelstrom ltd on Pexels.com

Today, I saw one of the stranger things I think I have ever seen watching the news for most of my nearly 48 years on this planet. I don’t rightly know the cause for the weirdness, or whether or not this will be something that becomes apparent in the hours and days ahead. As of the moments I type this, just past 8 pm ET on July 2, 2019 – this was a doozy.

At just before 11:30 am, Fox News runs an alert as is their frequent wont – saying that Vice President Mike Pence is heading back to the White House, and that there was some sort of emergency situation. For a good 15 minutes, Fox News goes on with the other stories of the day. I’m thinking, “If there is an emergency – how can there be any other news?” To me, it would be like if a news report on 9/11 talking about the gaping hole in the World Trade Center, then went on with other news.

I search the other news outlets – who are just as clueless as to what’s going on, which only angered me a bit more. Very few details came out – that there was some sort of an emergency meeting at the White House, the details will be coming out in a few weeks, and that there was no cause for alarm.

Again, I have the disadvantage of writing this the day this happened – but it’s very strange that all parties involved have these cryptic responses. Normally, I’d say we’d have the right to know more – but that also sort of depends on what went on, which we don’t know.

But strange for sure – I think.

Aircheck: WLCY-TV, 1977

A few notes about this clip from 1977, if you please.

First, this was before Channel 10 became WTSP – a name change that would take place the following year in September of 1978. Back then, Channel 10 was not a CBS station as it is now – but an ABC station, which it was up until the “Big Switch” of 1994

Secondly, and this is mind-boggling to think about these days – one of Channel 10’s popular shows in the mid-1970’s was their wrestling show that aired Sundays at 1pm, often airing in place of whatever news or sports programs ABC had. The big professional circuit of note of that era and area, Championship Wrestling from Florida (CWF), had two locally televised shows in the Tampa Bay market: one would air Saturdays at 7pm on WTOG, Channel 44, and would stay there until the circuit’s demise in 1987.

That show would host matches from the Sportatorium in Tampa where the top talent would be featured against lesser-known grapplers usually there to lose, although that didn’t always happen – and the show was basically an “infomercial” for upcoming cards in the various arenas in Florida, with scripted “angles” taking place on TV so that fans had added incentive to go to the shows. Tampa had a card every week at the Ft. Homer Hesterly Armory, one of many stops during the course of a given week. On most Saturdays, additional cards would be held at either the Lakeland Civic Center, the Bayfront Center in St. Pete, or Sarasota’s Robarts Arena.

The “second show” that Channel 10 had often used different formats and would often air on different channels in that era. For a brief while around 1980, WFLA aired it on Friday nights after Johnny Carson – then WTOG would air the “B-show” on Sundays at 7pm. Sometimes it would just be a replay of the Saturday edition, sometimes it would be repackaged, and other times Gordon Solie would interview someone in the wrestling world for a half-hour or so, then show highlights the rest of the way.

Here, Gordon’s interviewing one Andre Roussimoff, better known to the world as merely Andre The Giant – one of most in-demand performers of the era.

Aircheck: Various News Outlets, 6/17/1994

Twenty-five years ago tonight, the most news event of our time was taking place. Back in 2012, I mentioned what I was doing that night – working for the Sun Radio Network, and watching almost every news outlet watching this Ford Bronco.

Most of the footage is from CNN, with Larry King narrating the events as things began to develop when Larry King Live was on the air that Friday night. They took their footage from various Los Angeles stations including KTLA, KTTV, and KCAL

The person uploading the video must have been from the Seattle area as local anchors from KING-TV (the Seattle NBC station) cut in – a portion of the clip shows the NBA Finals game from that night (the Knicks beat the Rockets 91-84 to go up 3-2 in a series they’d eventually lose). Even NBC seemed flummoxed about what to do about the Simpson chase, showing it at times, split-screening it with the basketball game at other times.

All in all, a crazy night – as I said in 2012, easily the craziest night of my radio career.

Aircheck: NBC, 1976

A couple of weeks ago, I was looking at an episode of the Family Feud game show – back at a time when it aired on network TV, had a different host, and had a different look.

For all of you younger than me (and I’ll be 48 September 6th) – there once was a time Wheel Of Fortune had a different host, aired on daytime TV (NBC), had a different letter-turner, and had a bit of a different look and feel.

Oh, and if you won a round – you got to “go shopping” and buy a bunch of prizes.