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WGBH-TV/WGBX-TV Sign-off(s)

     If you say that either David Ives or William
Pierce was the voice(s) of the WGBH/WGBX sign-on/off,
you are equally correct.
     Originally (from 1968 to 1972) WGBH-TV (not
WGBX/44) would sign-on after 30 minutes of
test-pattern and tone and then run a pre-recorded
mission statement/sign-on (in glorious color) with
William Pierce as the voice.  Originally, WGBH had a
loose confederation of colleges and universities
making up "The Lowell Institute Co-Operative
Broadcasting Council".  Mr. Pierce would give a brief
history of the station and would eventually read the
names of the Lowell Institute members with a
harpsichord selection as the musical background with a
colorful calydoscope of lights with the Lowell
Institute logo inside of the lights.  It was fantastic
especially if you brought the color level on your TV
set, full strength. (Both WGBH and WGBX switched to
color in 1967.)  They ran this until 1972.
     WGBX-TV would simply turn on the transmitter with
a test tone with a moving clock.  Eventually they
would use colorful slides for minutes at a time. 
Channel 44 was the poor step-child of WGBH for many
years.  Only now over the past 15 years have they done
something to differentiate 44 from 2.  Today it is
known as "'GBH Select/44".  (Originally, Channel 44
was a commercial allocation (WJDW-TV).  Channel 68
(well before WQTV) was the original non-commercial
     Then they changed the sign-on/off in the summer
of 1972 with David O. Ives (the boss at the time)
reading the updated mission statement including the
mention of WGBH-TV, WGBX-TV, WGBY-TV (Springfield) and
WGBH-FM.  This would be run until the late 1980's. 
The idea was to be able to use this recording on both
WGBH/2 and WGBX/44.  Depending on which station you
watched, the announcer of the day would read the
proper sign-on/off insert which went like.....
     "This is WGBH-TV Channel 2 Boston, signing-on
from our control room and studios at 125 Western
Avenue Boston......... (you know the rest)".
     Since both WGBH and WGBX are now 24 hours a day,
the mission statement is rarely heard anymore.       

Peter Q. George (K1XRB)
Whitman, Massachusetts
                           "Scanning the bands since 1967"

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