Updated 10/19: SYRACUSE -- Late last month, hundreds of people -- including many past and present employees of NewsChannel 9 (WSYR-TV) gathered at the SRC Arena to celebrate ABC affiliate's 50th anniversary. DVR Alert: A two-hour special taped on location at the event will air Friday night from 7 to 9pm.
The special, titled "NewsChannel 9: 50 Colorful Years," makes reference to the station's original branding as "Colorful Channel 9" when it launched -- in black-and-white -- from studios inside DeWitt's Shoppingtown Mall in 1962. The 50th anniversary special was produced "live to tape" in front of attendees on September 27. CNYTVNews.com shared dozens of photos from the event the following day in our "Picture of the Week" feature.
Based on what your editor saw in person at the taping, viewers are in for some treats, including a special song written and performed by Phil Markert. The song, which resembles the tune of Billy Joel's classic Piano Man, names many of the people who got the former WNYS-TV off the ground during its earlier years.
There were also appearances from SU football star Floyd Little, former Open Line host Karin Franklin, longtime channel 9 personality Mike Price, and former chief meteorologist Dave Eichorn. Part of the special is also devoted to the current generation at NewsChannel 9, including an interview with Rod Wood and Carrie Lazarus about their 25-plus years as an anchor team, a longevity unmatched in New York State and possibly anywhere else in the nation.
In addition to the live on-stage appearances, there are plenty of glimpses back into the station's videotape archives. You'll see clips of many programs and personalities from decades past.
Update 10/19: For those of you reading from afar, or won't be near a TV, we have learned that WSYR-TV will be streaming the special live at 9wsyr.com/live and on the NewsChannel 9 app for mobile devices. The special will also be made available for on-demand playback on the station website later tonight.