PHILADELPHIA — CBS 3(KYW-TV), the Philadelphia market’s first television station, will celebrate its 80th anniversary on the actual date of its sign-on, tomorrow, June 28th on Talk Philly, the station’s Emmy Award-winning lifestyle program, at 12 noon. Ukee Washington, who is on medical leave, will join his Co-Host Pat Ciarrocchi from physical therapy (where he is rehabbing his new hip) via live shot for the anniversary salute.
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The station signed on under its original call letters, W3XE, on June 28, 1932. In the 80 years since, CBS 3 has been an innovator in the industry and a launching pad for a number of television icons including Ernie Kovacs, Mike Douglas, Maury Povich, Maria Shriver, the late Jessica Savitch and comedian David Brenner who was a documentary producer for then news anchor, the late Tom Snyder.
Founded by the Philco Corporation, the station first broadcast into the homes of 100 of the company’s employees — mostly engineers. Since then, it has racked up an impressive list of accomplishments both locally and nationally including being the birthplace of the Eyewitness News format (1965), producing the first soap opera in the country (1942), breaking the color barrier locally with the first African-American reporter, Trudy Haynes (1965) and airing the first high definition broadcast in the Philadelphia market (1998), long before most homes had HDTV.
“Although television stations are routinely focused on the here and now, it’s important to take a look back on milestones such as these and remember who we are,” says CBS 3/CW Philly President and General Manager Jon Hitchcock. “From the very first day, CBS 3 has been an innovator and community leader, something that is important to remember in the 21st Century. The vehicles for the message change – from TV to web to mobile, but our mission is the same 80 years later – to serve the Delaware Valley and make a difference.”
For a look back at the early days of CBS 3, go to www.CBSPhilly.com/anniversary. Viewers can also watch for CBS 3’s original test pattern (attached photo) to make a reappearance on station promos tomorrow through the anniversary weekend.