CLEVELAND - Starting in the early 70s with the 'Catch 5' campaign, WEWS had some very effective and clever promos for Eyewitness News.
Jerry Smith made these promos for WEWS and the ‘Catch 5’ music was done by Frank Gari.
I’ve selected three from that era for this edition of the Video Vault and the original 'Catch 5' promo as a bonus.
The friendship between Don Webster (weather) and Gib Shanley (sports) is on display in the first two promos.
From 1976, Don and Gib carry a softball dispute into their on-air relationship. The ending of the promo was done inside our building in front of the studio doors, a little outdoor sound is added to give the illusion of being outdoors.
In 1978, the duo team up as wrestlers in a tag-team match taking on their arch-adversaries weather and sports. The match was filmed in our WEWS studios. Although this one is a personal favorite, I pity poor Don and Gib for having to wear those red bodysuits.
Next, the 1977 'Noon News for Lunch Bunch' promo featuring Joel Rose, Jenny Crimm, Liz Richards and Dorothy Fuldheim.
It was filmed at a diner on Euclid Avenue by Cleveland State University and the neon 'Circle 5' in the diner window lived in various managers' offices here at 30th and Euclid for years and is probably in an employee's basement today.
Finally, from 1973, the promo that started it all, the original animated, psychedelic, 'Catch 5' promo written and sung by Frank Gari. It was the station's theme up until the early 80s, replaced by the 'Hello Cleveland' campaign.
WEWS Director of Programming Gary Stark has been at the station since 1969. He was in charge of our promotions department in the glory days of local TV promos and his help in researching promotions and programming is invaluable.
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A 1992 cover story, told by Wilma Smith, takes a look back at the WEWS anchor team's beginnings.