Early television stations needed programming. Since syndicated shows were not available in the same quantities they are now, local stations produced their own, which covered the gamut from kiddie fare to serious drama.

In the early 1950s, most television shows were live, as there was no convenient way to produce them in advance. Film was expensive. (Copies of shows from the late 1940s and early-to-mid 1950s were made on kinescopes — a process which involved pointing a 16mm movie camera at a television monitor.) It wasn’t until April of 1956 that Ampex demonstrated the first practical video tape recorder. Reels of the 2″ wide tape were expensive, but could be reused. Until the 1960s, those stations which did own VTR’s, often used them only for commercials. Even after the taping of shows for later broadcast became the norm, the tape was often erased and reused.

Needing someone to introduce the shows, read commercials, station I.D.’s, etc., most stations utilized booth announcers. Likewise a number of shows — in particular those using cartoons or movies — utilized a host or hostess, to perform those functions.

In the 1950s horror films were released to television, and it was natural for local stations to show them on a regular, weekly program — often with a host.

This informative site written by the late local historian Dick Golembiewski not only traces the history of television horror but also gives a detailed history of Milwaukee television market.

Source: Milwaukee TV Horror Hosts

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About aritter2014

I am a Librarian. To be honest, I wouldn't want to do anything else. I have a strong background in architecture, computer technology, English literature, Internet applications, web site design, film studies and modern art. I would like to use this page to express my personal musings and experiences on news, pop culture, nature, art, science, technology and what ever becomes a curiosity.

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