We're all so used to television stations remaining on the air 24 hours a day that for many, it is hard to remember when TV stations signed late at night. Philadelphia didn't have its first all night television until 1981 with KYW-TV leading the way with all night movies. WFIL-TV did experiment with 24 hour programming in the late fifties but threw in the towel after a few months. KYW-TV was the first to start 24 hour programming and stay with it.
In 1971, Philadelphia TV stations were signing off the air between 1 and 2 am and signing on shortly before 6 am.
The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia are lucky to have audio of a KYW-TV sign on in their archives. It dates from Saturday, February 6, 1971 with booth announcer Harry "Bud" Smith reading the copy live.
Listen to the Sign-On!
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Audio originally donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Gerry Wilkinson
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