Channel 52; Not Your Average TV Station

YesVideos wrote:
 > Anyone remember this
 > local UHF station that used to
 > run great TV shows, cartoons & movies
 > in the 70's?
Yes! Felix, Kimba, Speed Racer, Three Stooges, Little Rascals, maybe some foreign language programming, and that was about it.

And it started each weekday afternoon at 2 or 3 p.m. (52 was not normally on-air in the morning). The first thing they'd run was "Meditations", a program with pictures of churches, organ music, and Bible verses. No, it wasn't a "Send in your love gift today" kind of thing, just something inspirational to relax to. . .before powerloading on cartoons.

52 would even run ads for "Sesame Street" and "Electric Company" although those were on another station (PBS--Channel 28 in LA).

This was about the way it was in 1973, when we first discovered the channel (by tuning the VHF dial to see how far it would go, and finding "Felix")

In early 1975, they started to show fewer cartoons, and more movies. I was disappointed when they took "Felix" off in favor of old movies (They put him back on in 1976 though. We got "Abbott and Costello" in late 1977.

1977 was also an important year for Channel 52 fans--the year "ON TV" started up. ON TV was an over-the-air pay TV service (this was before most neighborhoods were wired for cable). Subscribers were given decoder boxes that unscrambled the signal. Programming included Dodger home games, and various movies (including some x-rated stuff, late at night). Generally, regular (unscrambled) programming ran from 2 to 8 p.m, with scrambled programming being transmitted the rest of the broadcast day (including all day on weekends, if I recall correctly).

(BTW, I saw one of the ON TV decoder boxes in a thrift shop around LA some time ago. They wanted $7 for it. Since the ON TV service has long since kicked the bucket, who'd want it--except possibly a nostalgic collector?)

Anyway, the aforementioned mix of scrambled and unscrambled programming went on until late 1980(?), when Channel 52 was sold to a Spanish language broadcaster (to this day, it's now a full time Spanish language station)

Channel 56 started up in September 1982, taking up where Channel 52 left off, sort of, with cartoons such as "Johnny Quest" and reruns of "Abbott and Costello".

Over the years, though, infomercials and other paid programming slowly increased on Channel 56.

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