Wednesday, July 21, 2010

WGBS TV "Philly 57"

In the wake of the sign-off of WKBS-TV in Philly, the city was reduced to two commercial UHF stations for two years before the sign-on of WGBS-TV, "Philly 57."  Formerly the signal was used as an outlet for local cable premium channel PRISM until the license was purchased by the Grant Broadcasting System and relaunched with much fanfare as the city's newest entertainment station.  Although it didn't market itself as the successor to Channel 48, it unofficially took up the old station's mantle.  The station has gone through several ownership changes since its launch; today it is owned and operated by CBS/Viacom as a CW affiliate.

Here are several clips, commercials, and promos from the station's first few years of operation.  For more detailed information on the station, click here.  Enjoy!






3 comments:

Todd Mason said...

Boasting of running WHAT'S HAPPENING!?! by itself disqualifies a station from nostalgia.

It was amusing how, when 57 became the UPN station in Phil, that 48 regained some of its status as the key commercial indy (much as 35 was one of the relatively rare public-broadcasting indies at the time), running the tail end of the 1990s efflorescence of syndicated dramatic hours in primetime against everyone else's (except 35's) network programming...before the big sale to the fundie Xians.

Phillyradiogeek said...

I believe it was Channel 29 that ran WHAT's HAPPENING, but 57 carried much of what 48 used to.

Is there ANY indie UHF anymore that isn't all paid programs or religious programming?

Todd Mason said...

Ah. In the first clip embed image, I was seeing a distorted image of Nell Carter as a distorted image of the fellow who played "Re-Run"...

Well, they're almost all UHF these days, when you think about it, and most affiliated with the new little networks (including the religious ones)...even WYBE's third frequency clears the fine public network MHz WorldView...but its first two frequencies are indy public, and the second one is even rather good (the first one is mostly devoted to their gimmicky five-minute programming idea...they intermittenly offer a fourth feed, which is sometimes simulcasting with one of the other three and sometimes running its own programming). WPHL's second feed is a ThisTV affiliate, so no independence there...Low-power analog Channel 7 in Philly was running a rare bit of actual programming (usually a public domain movie) when not running informercials, but I'm not sure whether they still are operating at all...the last vestige of Channel America, locally, I believe...

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