Albany TV Station Celebrates 40 Years On The Air
If you grew up in the Capital Region, you absolutely know Fox 23 - or as it was originally branded - WXXA TV 23. WXXA was the area's first independent TV station when it signed on July 30th, 1982.
At the time, the only other over-the-air options were the networks: 6 (CBS), 10 (ABC), 13 (NBC), and 17 (PBS). WXXA bought the rights to air classic shows like 'I Love Lucy', 'Perry Mason', 'The Flintstones', and a library that consisted of over 3,000 movies.
WXXA was known for its guerilla marketing tactics that not only promoted the new station, but began taking advertising dollars away from some of the network affiliates in town.
Some of the advertisers you would have seen in the early days:
Magnavox touting their color TV's, some with remote control!
Martin's Aluminum, ready to 'beat' high prices on aluminum siding
Smith Pontiac - GO SEE MARK, GO SEE MARK, GO SEE MARK
In 1986, WXXA became an affiliate for the fledgling Fox Network. The affiliation only meant that it carried the network's only show at the time, the Late Show with Joan Rivers. So the channel still remained largely independent.
One of the staples on WXXA was its lineup of after school cartoons, known as the Fox 23 Kids Club. Afternoon cartoons were hosted by (in my opinion) the greatest TV character in Capital Region TV history, Ranger Danger. A spoof on a goofy forest ranger with that unforgettable catch phrase:
Eventually, the Fox Network added more programming and WXXA picked up more of its shows. WXXA became a powerhouse in the mid 90's when Fox landed the contract to broadcast the NFL - making WXXA the Capital Region's flagship for the New York Giants.
Fox 23 continues to be a television powerhouse in the Capital Region to this day. Congrats on 40 years WXXA!