Here’s Johnny! Antenna TV’s ‘Tonight Show’ Reruns Coming To WSTR-TV

Nov 17, 2015

Johnny Carson (Center) with band leader Doc Severinsen and announcer Ed McMahon
Credit Tribune Broadcasting

The Antenna TV channel will return to Cincinnati airwaves on one of WSTR-TV’s (Channel 64) digital multicast channels before Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" reruns begin Jan. 1.

When low-power WOTH-TV (Channel 20) dropped Antenna TV earlier this month, I wrote that Antenna’s owners were seeking a stronger signal before the Carson show comeback. And that’s what happened.

Tribune Broadcasting today announced with Sinclair Broadcast Group and four other station owners to add 26 new outlets for Antenna TV. 

In addition to WSTR-TV here, Antenna TV will be added on Jan. 1 to multicast lineups on Dayton’s WKEF-TV (Channel 22), WSYX-TV in Columbus and WUHF-TV in Toledo. In all markets, Antenna TV will be carried by local cable systems, says Jessica Bellucci, Tribune Broadcasting vice president.

Sean Compton,  Tribune’s president for strategic programming and acquisitions and a former WLW-AM and Jacor Communications employee, told me in August he wanted to improve Antenna TV’s reach  before Carson debuts.

One-hour “Tonight” shows from 1980-92 will air weeknights at 11 p.m. EST, repeating at 2 a.m. On weekends, Antenna TV will air 90-minute “Tonight” shows from 1972-80 at 10 p.m., repeating at 1:30 a.m.  (Carson cut his NBC show to an hour in 1980.)

This is the first time the Carson episodes will air Monday-Friday since he retired in May 1992. He died in 2005 at age 79.

Antenna TV’s lineup includes “Newhart,” “Family Ties,” “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude,” “One Day at a Time,” “Three’s Company,” “The Partridge Family,” “Doogie Howser, MD,” “Evening Shade,” “The Flying Nun,” “Leave it to Beaver,” “Sanford and Son,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Bewitched,” “Green Acres,” “Mr. Ed,” “Jack Benny” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.”

On Nov. 1, WOTH-TV added BUZZR to replace Antenna TV on Channel 20.3. BUZZR airs old game shows such as  “Let’s Make A Deal,” “Family Feud,” “Match Game,” “Super Password,” “To Tell The Truth,” “What’s My Line,” “I’ve Got A Secret, Press Your Luck,” and “Tattletales.”