Set to a soft jazz instrumental of The Star Spangled Banner, the sign-off montage opens with the familiar faces of present-day KDKA Pittsburgh news anchors and reporters, but quickly moves to a rich assortment of evocative images from the station’s and city’s rich history.
CBS’s KDKA marked the end of analog television in Pittsburgh with a very special sign-off: a montage of video highlights moving from present to past.
“KDKA is a special place with a special history and this sign-off will, in a small way, acknowledge that reality,” said General Manager Christopher Pike in a message to employees.
And what a history! The station signed on the air in 1949 as WDTV, the flagship station of the DuMont Network. In 1955, the call letters changed to KDKA when the station was purchased by Westinghouse Broadcasting, and became the distribution hub for Group W Television’s syndication business.
Set to a soft jazz instrumental of The Star Spangled Banner, the sign-off montage opens with the familiar faces of present-day KDKA news anchors and reporters, but quickly moves to a rich assortment of evocative images from Pittsburgh’s rich broadcasting history.
Among the events depicted are the Penguins’ Stanley Cup victories, the Steelers Super Bowl wins, the inaugural broadcast of Evening Magazine, the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, opening day of the old Three Rivers Stadium and KDKA’s annual fundraiser for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh — one of the oldest traditions in all of broadcasting.
Also on view are beloved sports legends Roberto Clemente, Danny Murtaugh and Steelers founder Art Rooney alongside such legendary Pittsburgh broadcasters as father-and-daughter anchors Bill and Patti Burns, Marie Torre, Vic Miles, Al Julius and Bill Currie.
Edited by Andy Kelemen, the montage ends with Bill Burns’ familiar sign-off, wishing Pittsburgh and its digital future a “Good Night, Good Luck and Good News Tomorrow.”
You can see the montage by clicking here.
Arthur Greenwald writes the weekly Market Share column each Monday. If your station marked the passing of analog TV is some special way, please contact Arthur at [email protected].