Amid production of "A Christmas Story" in 1983, stars Ian Petrella and Peter Billingsley are interviewed in a story by WEWS's Fred Griffith for our "Live On Five" show.
CLEVELAND - Yes, I found Jimmy Hoffa. He’s in our video vault sitting on a couch talking to Fred Griffith and Joel Rose on the Morning Exchange.
[ WARNING: Video contains adult subject matter ]
The time frame for this segment is not known but the window of possibility is a few years in length. Fred Griffith took over the Morning Exchange as host in the late summer of 1972. Jimmy Hoffa left prison in Dec. 1971, and he disappeared July, 1975 never to be seen again.
The Morning Exchange had no shortage of great guests over its nearly 30 years on Cleveland television. A compilation tape I found recently has quite a cast of notables who sat on the couch in Studio A here at WEWS: Andy Griffith, Dr. Benjamin Spock, Art Linkletter and the subject of today’s vault entry Jimmy Hoffa.
Jimmy Hoffa was a labor leader and served as the president of the Teamsters.
I should warn you about the subject matter contained here. It was the mid 70s and Hoffa had recently been pardoned after serving a few years in prison. The interview deals with prison routine, overcrowding and prison sex.
I find it somewhat stunning that the subject matter was on live, local TV between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., but that’s what the Morning Exchange did and why it was such a groundbreaking television program.
The Morning Exchange dealt with many subjects like Jimmy Hoffa’s interview about his prison time. There were no flashy graphics, no ticker scrawling along the bottom of the screen, no videotape of him leaving prison just three men sitting on a set talking.
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