70 Years Of Keeping Oklahomans Entertained


Monday, November 25th 2019, 10:27 pm
By: Dave Davis


The Don Scott show illustrates just how much television has changed, yet stayed the same. Parents still love seeing their kids on TV and News On 6 is still committed to keeping you entertained.

"I wanted to bring something to their lives that they could sit down and say, 'Well, I could've talked to her like that or him like that on television'," remembers former KOTV Host Betty Boyd.

Boyd started hosting "The Woman's Page" in 1955, on the condition that she would not cook on the show. It was her first foray in television, that blossomed into a 25-year career.

KOTV in many ways reflected the influence of the Baby Boomer generation and a culture shift in the 1960s and early 1970s. Herman's Hermits, The Temptations, and Paul Revere and the Raiders were just some of the hot music acts that stopped by Channel 6 for the Dance Party. Host Lee Bayley, remembers how the show was able to pull in better ratings than Dick Clark.

"They could turn on Channel 6, KOTV, and they could see kids from Bartlesville, Miami, Memorial, Edison, Hale, Booker T. Washington, McClain, all those high schools, and see kids they know," Bayley said.

Around that same time, a young man was making his way through Will Rogers High School and the University of Tulsa. After getting let go from a previous job for pulling one too many pranks, Gailard Sartain got his first television job. He became a studio camera operator at KOTV.

"I said, 'I got an idea for a late-night comedy thing'," remembers Sartain. "He goes, 'Yeah, well tell it to somebody who cares.'"

Sartain and his buddies, including Gary Busey, were allowed to put on comedy sketches during commercials between movies. "Dr. Mazeppa Pompazoidi's Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting" was born, years before similar shows, like Saturday Night Live.

"I was very pleased to be a part of making somebody smile, somewhere along the line. It was good," Sartain says.

He went on to earn about 70 TV and film acting credits in his career.

With the turn of the millennium, News On 6 ventured into the live competition and reality programming. Survivor debuted in 2000. It even featured Oklahoman Scout Lee, who came in third on Vanuatu in 2004. The following year, KOTV debuted its own singing competition show "Gimme the Mike!" Over five seasons, a panel of three judges and voters helped choose the best singer in Green Country. Monieka Jones won in 2005.

"I thought it was neat that Tulsa would do something on that scale," says Jones. "It definitely gave me a push."

Jones taught music for years afterward and now travels the world singing and consulting with churches.

The KOTV contest "Wedding Whim," helped one lucky Tulsa-area couple tied the knot live on our morning show. Channel 6 viewers got to vote for nearly everything about Kerri and Brandon Sanford's big day.

"He wrote the essay and he just broke everybody's heart, because he was the man writing it and he wanted to try and win this wedding," says Kerri.

News On 6 is in our 9th year of "Spirit Stick." That's where we broadcast pep rallies at local high schools, so students can cheer on the football team ahead of Friday night's game.

Through the decades, much of our most memorable local programming has directly involved you, the viewer. We hope you're enjoying the ride as much as we are.

 

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Gailard Sartain told News On 6 Jim Halsey – who represented Roy Clark – saw him on “Mazeppa” in the early 1970s.  Halsey later approached Sartain about joining the cast of CBS’s “Hee Haw.”  Sartain said, at first, he didn’t believe Halsey, but said yes once he figured out who Halsey was.  Sartain appeared on “Hee Haw” for the rest of the show’s run.