70 Years Ago Channel 6 And TV Arrived In Eastern Oklahoma

Wednesday, October 16th 2019, 7:20 am
By: News On 6

70 years ago Tuesday, one image changed northeast Oklahoma. On October 15, 1949, a simple test pattern broadcast on Channel 6 brought television to Tulsa.

Few people saw the test pattern, as only a handful of homes had TV sets back then, but that one still image would pave the way for KOTV to bring a world of moving pictures to Green Country.

"We used to sit and watch test pattern cause that's all that was on" said Betty Boyd. 

"And then when the test pattern would moving, you know when there was a little sailboat across the screen -- that was a really big deal" said Clayton Vaughn. 

Audiences watching that test pattern in 1949 couldn't have imagined the way television would change how they see the world over the next 70 years.

Soon, they'd be seeing shows like Lookin' at Cookin', local game shows and children's programming as well as the long-running Lewis Meyer's Bookshelf. And by 1957, a morning variety show, Sun Up, came to Channel 6; a precursor for what you see today on 6 In The Morning.

The 1960s brought the teen favorite "Dance Party," Tulsa's answer to "American Bandstand."

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

Memorable local moments continued into the 70s.

Soon, CBS would fill KOTV's schedule with some of TV's most iconic shows.

Throughout the decades, Channel 6's commitment to covering local events and providing life-saving weather information has remained strong.

From a simple test pattern to high definition video and radar, 70 years later Tulsa's first television station is still Tulsa's favorite -- bringing the stories of Oklahoma's Own to viewers each day.