WEWS History

NewsChannel 5's first 60 years

"This is television station WEWS, your Scripps Howard station, first in Cleveland. WEWS operates on Channel 5 from 76 to 82 megacycles and maintains studios on East 13th Street in downtown Cleveland. On this, the first telecast in Ohio, we take you to Public Hall, for the annual Cleveland Press Christmas party with Jimmy Stewart."

This is a quote from the first broadcast of WEWS NewsChannel5 in December 17, 1947. That was pretty much the way it happened over 50 years ago on the streets of E. 13th Street and Chester Avenue.  The idea of WEWS became a reality when Jack Howard, the president of Scripps Howard radio, planned on building a television station. But not just any station; the first television station in Ohio. The home of WEWS was the biggest television studio in the country and the old home of the Women's City Club.

Where did the famous WEWS call letters came from? These last three letters were the initials of the founder of the Scripps Howard newspaper chain, Edward Willis Scripps. Television was something new to the company and to Cleveland, so the name had to be a good one. One that signified the best.

In the early days of WEWS, network programming was scarce. That meant that local stations, like WEWS, had to produce a lot of programs of their own on a daily basis. The majority of programs revolved around local celebrities, like news analyst Dorothy Fuldheim the Uncle Jake character played by Gene Carroll, exercise queen Paige Palmer and Alice Weston, who had the first live television cooking show.

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