WPTV and WSM to become ABC affiliation in the 80s

Chapter 75: KCRA to get new look
April 4, 1983

The Sacramento ABC affiliate KCRA-TV is adapting a new version of the news set designed to replace the old NBC-era set that was in use. This means that KCRA has the "ABC feel" all over it. The old set faded to black at midnight, and the new set turned on.

Lalo Schifrin performed a custom version of "Cool Hand Luke: The Tar Sequence" (the theme used by ABC's five O&Os at that time) with KCRA's signature melody that was used in the 1978 news theme.

It was used to make sure that KCRA-TV would be Sacramento's market leader, and hopefully Kelly Broadcasting would be happy at performing down the ABC affiliation.

KCRA put an emphasis towards the stronger ABC programming, like Happy Days, Three's Company, Hart to Hart and The Love Boat, which was doing great in Sacramento.
Chapter 76: WPTF due to change callsign
April 4, 1983

General Electric Broadcasting, the radio and television broadcasting unit of General Electric, announces plans to change the callsign of Durham's NBC affiliate WPTF-AM-FM-TV to WBGT-AM-FM-TV. The new callsign derives from General Electric's advertising slogan "We bring good things to life".

General Electric had put an emphasis on promoting the callsign change, stating that it would take effect, possibly by the summer.

WPTF-AM-FM-TV scored lower ratings poorly in Durham, behind CBS' WTVD and ABC's WRAL, which were higher rated. General Electric hopes to improve WPTF-AM-FM-TV with more television viewers.

General Electric's other television properties include WNGE-TV in Nashville, WGEB in Minneapolis/St. Paul, WRGB-TV in Schenectady, WKYP in Philadelphia, KOA-TV in Denver, KRGB-TV in San Francisco, WCKT-TV in Miami and WBBH-TV in Fort Myers.
April 4, 1983: 3 Days after NBC Cancelled Just Men! and Hit Man, NBC debuted Two New Game Shows called The All-New Battlestars with host Alex Trebek and Dream House with host Bob Eubanks and many stations aired it for the First Time including KNBC in LA and KRGB in SF.
Chapter 77: ABC to woo Erie station
April 12, 1983

ABC says they wanted a weak signal for WJET, so we wanted to do a station with the strong signal that reaches Pennsylvania, and it also reaches Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Cleveland and Youngstown markets. ABC reached an affiliation agreement with WICU, so it could easily reach the signals.

This left WJET-TV, the current ABC affiliate without a network affiliation, and likely to go independent or sign with NBC.

WICU was number one in all news ratings, and we have to combine it with the most popular ABC programs like All My Children and General Hospital.

NBC was dead last in the television ratings, so we have the stronger ABC to invade all of NBC's top stations. Last year, ABC is invading KCRA-TV in Sacramento.
Chapter 78: WCKT to change callsign
April 17, 1983

General Electric-owned NBC affiliate serving South Florida, WCKT-TV announces plan to change callsign to "WGEF", which stood for "General Electric Florida", while taking care of the NBC programming.

It is also reported that WTVJ and WCKT would swap transmitter and channel number facilities, with the possibility that WTVJ would move to channel 7, and WCKT would move to channel 4.

General Electric is also the owner of NBC affiliates in larger markets, including the nation's fourth largest market, WKYP in Philadelphia, and the nation's fifth largest market, KRGB in San Francisco. Its flagship, WRGB in Schenectady, was also an NBC affiliate, being the longtime affiliate since 1928.

WGEF is raising the profile of General Electric Broadcasting, who also owns successful NBC affiliates including WNGE-TV in Nashville (which had been affiliated with NBC since 1980, when WSM-TV moved to ABC) and KOA-TV in Denver. General Electric is one of the co-founders, along with Westinghouse, of Radio Corporation of America in the late 1920s, who owns the NBC television network by itself.
Chapter 79: NBC signs with WJET
May 9, 1983

NBC signed an affiliation agreement with Erie's outgoing ABC affiliate WJET-TV, in which NBC gave access to WJET's inventory syndicated programming and news schedule, avoiding the hopes of going to an independent station.

This gave WJET the new home for popular shows like Hill Street Blues, Cheers, Knight Rider, The A-Team and St. Elsewhere, and be excited for WJET to show NBC's upcoming fall 1983 programs like Manimal, We Got It Made, Bay City Blues and For Love and Honor.

As NBC is downgrading from VHF to UHF, NBC had to welcome channel 24. WJET-TV is a UHF station operating on the channel 24 band.

Jet Broadcasting says we are pleased to combine WJET's programming inventory with NBC's upcoming fall 1983 television schedule, as well as news programs.
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Chapter 80: KNX officially changes callsign
May 15, 1983

After an airing of the final Saturday night newscast, KNXT fades to black. CBS officially adapted the new callsign "KCBH", which stood for "CBS Hollywood". It was in use for KNX-AM-FM and KNXT. This reflected on the culture of Hollywood.

CBS O&O KCBS-TV in San Francisco officially took care of the CBS programming with no preemptions found on the schedule.

WJZD is rebranding their news department to "News 4 Michigan", since the "Eyewitness News" name was already in use by WJBK, and added People are Talking, which was moved off from San Francisco there. The news name was inspired by WNBC's "News 4 New York".

CBS also has three other O&Os in the top big cities besides California, which are WCBS-TV in New York, WBBM-TV in Chicago and WCAU-TV in Philadelphia.
Chapter 81: TVX finalizes purchase of Boston station
June 1, 1983

The TVX Broadcast Group, owners of WTVZ-TV in Norfolk, WRLH-TV in Richmond and WJTM-TV in Greensboro, had finalized its $3 billion purchase of WLVI-TV in Boston, an independent television station (ITTL it became the launch affiliate of Fox 3 years later due to a group deal with TVX, while CBN sold WXNE to Tribune, butterflying IOTL's WFXT-TV away).

This is a part of a divesture of Field Communications that the first part saw WFLD-TV in Chicago that was sold off to Metromedia. Several Field purchases are yet to be finalized sooner than expected (KBHK was sold to United Television and WKBD-TV was sold off to Cox just like IOTL).

TVX now has four television stations, and Boston becoming the largest television market for TVX Broadcast Group, a broadcasting group consisting of independent stations.

TVX Broadcast Group is owned by Gene Loving and Timothy MacDonald, who started out the company in 1979.
Chapter 82: KRGB announces new program
June 6, 1983

KRGB-TV, the NBC affiliate owned by General Electric, operating on channel 4 announces plan to launch The Northern California Evening News, which was set to debut on Labor Day 1983 (the format will roll out to other GE-owned stations, like KOA-TV in Denver and WNGE-TV in Nashville, also NBC affiliates in 1984).

KRGB-TV also has plans to adapt KOA-TV's First News program onto the San Francisco market, which was planned to be used as a template for General Electric's stations.

KRGB's new program was designated to run after the NBC Nightly News, which was comprising of headlines from the San Francisco Bay Area with KRGB's news anchors and reporters doing their own headlines.

KRGB-TV originally started by the San Francisco Chronicle in 1949 as KRON-TV. After the Chronicle was sold off to Times Mirror, the station lost its grandfathered protection, and sold the station to General Electric, which was renamed to KFOG-TV, until January 1, 1983, which was renamed once again to KRGB-TV to match its East Coast sister WRGB-TV in Schenectady.
Chapter 83: TVX to buy WXXA
June 21, 1983

Two weeks after TVX completing its buyout of WLVI-TV in Boston from Field Communications, TVX Broadcast Group announced its negotiations to purchase Albany TV 23, Inc., owners of Capital Region's TV affiliate WXXA-TV, which was an independent station.

The FCC asked TVX to receive a cross-station waiver if they wanted to keep both WLVI-TV and WXXA-TV since it has overlapping signals with the newly acquired station.

TVX Broadcast Group is owner of five independent stations, and the Capital Region will be the sixth one TVX is planning on to acquire.

TVX's first station is the flagship WTVZ-TV in Norfolk, which was already operating on the station since 1979, and it expanded to show more acquisitions. The purchase price cost $750 million, more than Albany TV's asking price.
Chapter 84: Erie stations switched affiliations
June 26, 1983

After an airing of the final episode of Saturday Night Live off WICU, the NBC affiliate WICU and the ABC affiliate WJET-TV swapped network affiliations. This makes ABC to be easier to reach Pennsylvania.

WICU-TV, the longtime NBC affiliate is now an ABC affiliate, in order to take advantage of the network's stronger programming.

WJET-TV, the longtime ABC affiliate in Erie is now an NBC affiliate, because NBC was the network was in third place around that time, to take advantage of the weaker shows.

WICU-TV finishes first in the ratings, because of the newscast performance, and the addition of ABC programs of WICU-TV took advantage of the network's stronger programming of the newscasts.
June 26, 1983: The ABC Daytime Drama Loving made It's Debut and among the stations we're carried are KABC in LA, KLMN in SF, WICU in Erie, WDAF in Kansas City and KCRA in Sacramento.


Executive Producer: Joseph Stuart
Associate Producer: Barbara Duggan
Head Writer: Douglas Marland
Notable Cast Members: Wesley Addy, Jennifer Ashe, Pamela Blair, Peter Brown, Bryan Cranston, John Cunningham, Augusta Dabney, Peter Davies, Shannon Eubanks, Patricia Kalember, James Kiberd, Tom Ligon, Christopher Marcantel, Marilyn McIntyre, Debbi Morgan, Meg Mundy, Perry Stephens, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Susan Walters, Ann Williams.

Meanwhile: CBS may consider finding a 4PM Replacement for Tattletales beginning in September with a New Game Show called Star Words hosted by Nipsey Russell however Press Your Luck will still debut at 10:30 AM ET (Like IOTL) and it will be hosted by Peter Tomarken.