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There were two versions of the showcase: the original incarnation of the series began on the station on September 18, 1970, under the title Screaming Yellow Theatre, with local disc jockey Jerry G.Bishop doing scary voices and later wearing a long blond wig while portraying the character.Incidentally, the year prior in 1981, the Field brothers sought a prospective buyer for WFLD in the event that the company would be put up for sale.While WFLD was the leading independent station in Chicago at the time, most of the companies that were interested in buying WFLD were only willing to pay about half the amount that Field wanted for the station (at least 0 million, compared to the approximately million that the most expensive UHF stations went for).To counterprogram against its more established VHF rivals, channel 32 offered older cartoons, older off-network sitcoms, documentaries, drama series, westerns and live sporting events; although, it easily trailed its biggest competitor, WGN-TV (channel 9, formerly a CW affiliate, now again as an independent station), in the ratings among Chicago's independent stations. Beginning in 1978, WFLD signed on daily before a.m.In 1975, WFLD acquired the local syndication rights to The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family; two years later in 1977, the station won the rights to a stronger slate of cartoons such as Woody Woodpecker and Tom and Jerry.In addition, most of the prospective companies were concerned that Tribune Broadcasting-owned WGN-TV could eventually overtake WFLD again in the local ratings.By mere coincidence given Field's previous aborted attempt to sell channel 32 to that group, the one company that showed interested in WFLD was Metromedia, owners of WNEW-TV (now WNYW) in New York City, which led the independent stations in that market and beat Tribune-owned WPIX in the ratings there.
Field Enterprises sold controlling interest in WFLD to Kaiser Broadcasting in May 1972.
When the deal was completed in July 1973, the two companies' new partnership resulted in WFLD joining Kaiser's stable of UHF independent stations in San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Detroit.
In addition to carrying the traditional fare of sitcoms, drama series, children's programs and first-run syndicated programs, the station also aired movies—initially European releases that were dubbed into English—and local public affairs programming during this period. during the 1970s, except from September to December, when the station signed on at a.m.
Still, the old Field-era logos were used on-air by accident on some occasions through the summer of 1983.
Metromedia added several first-run syndicated programs that were not previously carried in the Chicago market—as the market had only two commercial independent stations at the time as WSNS-TV (channel 44, now a Telemundo owned-and-operated station) became a full-time affiliate of the ONTV subscription service the previous year—onto the station's schedule, particularly in prime time, like The Merv Griffin Show (which WFLD previously carried a few years prior, but subsequently moved to WSNS where it ran until that station became a full-time ONTV outlet).