Thursday, June 26, 2014

#96: Nine Network

One of my earliest memories was watching kids educational programs on Channel 9. Before the generation of children learning their basic stuff on Nickelodeon shows, I was raised on PBS. Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Captain Kangaroo, 3-2-1 Contact and the Letter People are just a few of the shows that helped me learn and grow as a kid before I attended grade school (as well as while in school). Sesame Street, one of television's longest-running programs, has introduced me to the alphabet, counting, some Spanish language (thanks Luis and Maria!), as well as social situations like diversity and culture. The Muppets as well as the humans like Bob and David (before his sudden death) were always great to watch and they made learning such things fun. The video posted above was posted because that is how I remember watching Channel 9 as a kid. Looking back, that bumper really creeped me out in a way!

St. Louis does have the basic network television stations serving the area, all representing the major networks: ABC (30), CBS (4), NBC (5), FOX (2), CW (11), plus Channel 24, which features mostly religious programming and Channel 46, which is an affiliate for the Ion network. A cake could have easily been placed at any of these stations, especially since most of them are in downtown St. Louis. But it makes perfect sense to put one just outside the Nine Network, especially since it is one of the first public television stations in America. For the record, the call letters in KETC stand for 'Educational Television Commission'. It has been on the air since September 20, 1954. Its transmitter is in Fenton.

In college I did an externship at Channel 9 for one day, shadowing Patrick Murphy. Murphy has been with Channel 9 for more than 30 years, and has done several duties around the station. His recognizable voice is heard on several of its commercials and bumpers, as well as the program, Living St. Louis. I was more than thrilled to witness what he does during his daily activities at Channel 9. Of course, I learned several things from him. 'You have to breathe, sleep and eat television, 24/7, if you want to be in this business'.

The cake:

Right side of the cake

Left side of the cake
On some of these stl250 blog posts I have featured episodes of KETC Channel 9's documentary program Living St. Louis. This episode looks back at the late Charles Guggenheim, who helped start Channel 9 in St. Louis.

Nine Network on FB
Wikipedia link
Official website

3655 Olive Street, ST. LOUIS, MO, 63108
Cake artist: Indy Bowers  (also decorated the cake at Blueberry Hill)

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