50-50 Club

WLWT-TV

Commercial television in Cincinnati turns 70 on Friday, Feb. 9, when WLWT-TV started commercial operation in 1948 – Cincinnati's first television.

Crosley Broadcasting had been experimenting with television for nearly a year with W8XCT. WLWT-TV was the city's only TV station for 14 months, until Taft Broadcasting's WKRC-TV signed on in April 1949. WCPO-TV followed in July 1949.

Connie Wernet

Bonnie Lou, the last remaining star from Ruth Lyons’ TV show and Cincinnati’s Golden Age of Live TV, died Tuesday at age 91.

The country, rockabilly and pop music singer performed for 30 years on WLW’s iconic “Midwestern Hayride,” “Boone County Jamboree,” Lyons’ “50-50 Club” and the “Paul Dixon Show,” the crazy weekday morning host who inspired young David Letterman. 

After leaving TV when Dixon died in 1974, she continued to entertain for another 30 years at fairs, festivals, pageants and concerts. Her last major public performance here was at the 2006 Tall Stacks riverboat festival.

On this date in TV Kiese History …

JULY 1, 1957 -- During her live “50-50 Club” telecast on WLWT-TV, Ruth Lyons goes outside to show  viewers new color TV cameras arriving at Crosley/Avco Broadcasting’s Channel 5, the Cincinnati TV technology leader.