Color TV Comes To Cincinnati!

Jul 1, 2015

On this date in TV Kiese History …

JULY 1, 1957 -- During her live “50-50 Club” telecast on WLWT-TV, Ruth Lyons goes outside to show  viewers new color TV cameras arriving at Crosley/Avco Broadcasting’s Channel 5, the Cincinnati TV technology leader.

Outside Crosley Square at 9th and Elm Streets, she shows the 32-foot mobile bus housing three RCA TK-41 color cameras, the first mobile color unit purchased by an independent (not a network-owned) TV station.

Six weeks later, on Aug. 9, 1957, the “50-50 Club” becomes Cincinnati's first original color telecast. “Midwestern Hayride,” WLWT-TV's oldest show, goes color the next day. By the end of August, WLWT-TV  is broadcasting nine hours a week in color.

Channel 5's popular programs broadcast in color, and its aggressive promotion for NBC’s “living color” shows, resulted in Cincinnati being honored as “Colortown U.S.A.” by 1962 for having sold more color TV sets per capita than any other city in the country.