#1LinerWeds From Vintage TV

In case you can’t read it, “The programs broadcast by this station may not be used for any purpose except exhibition at the time of their broadcast on receivers of the type normally used for home reception in places where no admission, cover or mechanical operating charges are made.”

I was watching a 1979 signoff from WNBC in New York and this flashed up on the screen. I felt to capture it and use it as this week’s one-liner, because I remember there was a certain amount of controversy when VCR’s started gaining popularity that the whole “exhibition at the time of their broadcast” thing would preclude people recording shows off the air to watch later. Either the courts or the almighty FCC determined that, as long as people weren’t selling the videotapes, everything was cool. And time-shifting was born.


First, congratulations to Laura from Riddle From The Middle, who emerged victorious in our recently-completed Badge Contest.

One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word about Butter-Nut Coffee. Gets the most out of every coffee bean, so you get the most out of every cup!

11 thoughts on “#1LinerWeds From Vintage TV

  1. Gone are the days when it was just the main channels followed by the USF(is that right?) channels. I couldn’t wait until I saw The Sound of Music on tv aired for the first time and Gone With The Wind. We had to use aerials to try and get a clear image and the stations went to snow after the late movie or the news. When the VHS and Beta machines came in it was a huge deal. I couldn’t wait to watch a movie on the VCR. What a shame that I can’t remember the first movie I watched.

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    1. Right: VHF was channels 2-13 and UHF was channels 14-83. And stations would sign off (go to snow) late at night or in the wee hours of the morning and sign back on in the morning, which might be 6, 7 or even 8 AM. In the really early days stations would sign off in the middle of the day, too: they’d be on 7-10 AM and sign back on at 3. The rest of the time you’d watch the “Indian movie”…

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  2. Thanks for the shoutout, John! Ah, the days of VCRs. And tapes getting recorded over, lost, or eaten by the machine. Can’t say I miss it (though it would be pretty funny to watch my kids deal with it!).

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  3. Excellent , we’d be out of breath repeating that one liner! I remember that there was a similar warning on film videos . It was impressing on us not to publicly show the videos…home use only.
    So much is streamed now …it’s grown like Topsy!

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    1. I was going to edit the statement when I typed it out and add commas where the announcer would take a breath. The NBC station in Chicago would use the same statement at the end of their day, and their card likewise had no commas, but the announcers inserted pauses. Here’s Jim Hill reading the statement in 1991.

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