“Hello Cleveland” was the 1981 WEWS image campaign. It followed the extremely successful “Catch 5” campaign which began in 1975.
The pictures and sounds captured by Jerry Smith and his film crew are breathtaking. It’s a visual love letter to the city and its people.
Florence Warner belts out the “Hello Cleveland” song. Warner also sang later versions of the "Catch 5" promos.
Former WEWS promotion manager Tom Polk said Jerry Smith was hired for a week. It so happened, the week Smith and crew came to town to shoot "Hello Cleveland", it was a rainy, dreary week. That's why you don't see the typical beauty shots seen in many feel-good promos.
"Hello Cleveland" came to mind recently when former WEWS reporter Marty Gould sent me a link to a "This American Life" broadcast regarding "Hello Calgary".
In the story, a Calgary man pours his heart out about how this song meant so much to he and other people in Calgary. He then is stunned to find out “Hello” wasn’t a Calgary exclusive.
Frank Gari created “Hello” and truth be told, it started in Milwaukee on WISN-TV and was used in 160 or so markets.
There was "Hello Utah", "Hello Pittsburgh", "Hello Baltimore" and so on.
Gari’s career in the TV image biz skyrocketed with the success of Catch 5, a WEWS and Cleveland original.
The "Catch 5" song was originally a demo for a financial institution that rejected it. According to WEWS program and research director Gary Stark, Gari put that song away and brought it out for the "Catch 5" campaign.
"Hello Cleveland" was rolled out in 1981 and lasted for a year or so and was resurrected in the early 2000s.
The 21st century version lacked the natural sound behind the music and had a few lyric changes. “”We’re all good neighbors passing by” became, “We’re all good neighbors On Your Side” using our “On Your Side” branding. “TV 5 loves you” became, “NewsChannel 5 loves you”.
How rare is the 1981 version? Do a YouTube search and only the 2002 Cleveland edition shows up, not the 1981 spots - until now.
Our video player contains a top-of-the-hour ID, a 60 second version, a 30 and a couple of 10s and then the 2000s version.
See how many of our on air talent you recognize in the 2000s promo.