Television Forecast TV Program Guide: Before TV Guide went into business.

Hello everyone. I am writing today about a television guide that published before TV Guide. It was called Television Forecast, then later called TV Forecast. According to the website epguides.com, it was started by Mr. Les Viahon and three of his WW II veteran friends. Each chipped in $250 and started publishing the magazine in the basement classroom of Abbot Hall on the Northwestern University Campus. They were so broke that they bound their first issue with staplers borrowed from the professors upstairs!

They obtained (from a TV dealer’s association or such) a mailing address list of everyone in the area who had purchased a TV set. For several months mailed the publication free, as a “programming service”. This lasted until August 8th, when they began charging $3.00 per year (Charter members $2.00 per year). Prices for copies sold at newsstands was 15c. The first issue of distribution was 16,000 issues. As more people bought TVs the circulation went upwards into the tens to hundreds of thousands, but nearly all the copies were tossed out, once the next week’s issue became available. A couple of competing mags were also launched at some point.

By late 1952 the circulation of TV Forecast was almost 200,000. There were 4 TV stations in Chicago: WBKB 4 CBS, WNBQ 5  NBC, WENR 7 ABC & WGN 9 DuMont. Walter Annenberg bought out TV Forecast (that by that time already had editions in Minneapolis and the Quad Cities) along with TV Guide ( a local New York City magazine, that also had editions for Washington DC / Baltimore and New England) and TV Digest a local Philadelphia magazine. In March  1953, the last issue of all these publications came out. In April 1953, the first issue of the national magazine TV Guide came out. It had a cover and articles in color and local listings in B&W. This would continue into the early part of the 21st century.

I have created a video showcasing all the covers of Television Forecast provided background music of classic TV themes shows and commercials. Here it is:

 

Vanished Chicagoland: Television/TV Forecast TV Program Guide Video

 

 

 

I hope you enjoy my new video. Thank you, everyone! Pete Kastanes, Admin for Vanished Chicagoland Facebook Page.

Here is a list of all the issues of Television Forecast / TV Forecast, with the cover feature listed:

 

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The first issue of Television Forecast TV Program Guide, dated May 9, 1948, with the Chicago Cubs on the cover,
Chicago TV Forecast 1948-1953
DATE COVER FEATURE TYPE
1948
May 9, 1948 Chicago Cubs photo red pc Television Forecast
May 16, 1948 Kukla & Ollie photo red pc
May 23, 1948 Dick Two Ton Baker photo blue pc
May 30, 1948 Sulky Racing photo green pc
Jun 6, 1948 Minor Opinion photo red pc
Jun 13, 1948 Woman’s World photo brown pc
Jun 20, 1948 Connie Mack photo dark orange pc
Jun 27, 1948 Girl’s Baseball photo blue pc
Jul 4, 1948 Freedom Train photo grey pc
Jul 11, 1948 Gus Van photo olive green pc
Jul 18, 1948 Midget Races photo light blue pc
Jul 25, 1948 Lifeguards photo red pc
Aug 2, 1948 Bob McKee photo blue-green pc
Aug 9, 1948 Football photo brown pc
Aug 16, 1948 Young & Victor photo blue pc
Aug 23, 1948 Conrad Veidt photo dark orange pc
Aug 30, 1948 Chicago Rockets (football) photo grey pc
Sep 6, 1948 Sportsman Corner bowling photo light purple pc
Sep 13, 1948 Don McNeill photo brown pc
Sep 20, 1948 test pattern comic art red pc
Sep 27, 1948 WBKB dog Mac photo light blue pc
Oct 4, 1948 Dick Tracy art green pc
Oct 11, 1948 Johnny Hill photo blue pc
Oct 18, 1948 Ed Roden photo brown pc
Oct 25, 1948 Alan Dale photo blue-grey pc
Nov 1, 1948 WNBQ Antenna photo blue pc
Nov 8, 1948 Joe Wilson photo dark orange pc
Nov 15, 1948 Chicago Bears photo purple pc
Nov 22, 1948 WGN Mystery Show Photo yellow pc
Nov 29, 1948 WNBQ photo red pc
Dec 6, 1948 people do write- a man surrounded by letters photo blue pc
Dec 13, 1948 Uncle Mistletoe & Aunt Judy photo blue-green pc
Dec 20, 1948 Merry Christmas Santa art red pc
Dec 27, 1948 Man About Town- Connie Russell photo green scan
1949
Jan 3, 1949 John Dunham of WBKB photo brown pc
Jan 10, 1949 Coaxial Cable photo blue pc
Jan 17, 1949 Skip Farrell photo olive green pc
Jan 24, 1949 Arthur  Godfrey of WGN photo red pc
Jan 31, 1949 Georgia Kay & Gloria Yates photo blue-green pc
Feb 7, 1949 Lanny Ross photo red pc
Feb 12, 1949 Bob Elson photo blue-grey pc
Feb 19, 1949 Rush Hughes & Ruth Crowley photo dark orange pc
Feb 26, 1949 Kukla- Fran & Ollie photo blue-green pc
Mar 5, 1949 Fontanne Sisters photo pink pc
Mar 12, 1949 Lulu Belle & Scotty photo red pc
Mar 19, 1949 WBKB’s Telefashions photo red pc
Mar 26, 1949 Coca & Caesar & McCarty photo brown pc
Apr 2, 1949 WGN 1st Aniversary art grey pc
Apr 9, 1949 Rajah Hornsby of WENR photo blue-green pc
Apr 16, 1949 Ernie Simon of WBKB photo brown pc
Apr 23, 1949 Milton Berle photo blue pc
Apr 30, 1949 Harold Isbell photo grey pc
May 7, 1949 TV Show is Born photo red pc
May 14, 1949 Cliffy of Super Circus photo olive green pc
May 21, 1949 Ulmer Turner photo dark orange pc
May 28, 1949 John Cameron Swayze photo blue pc
Jun 4, 1949 Wendy Barrie photo green pc
Jun 11, 1949 Bill Brundige WENR sportscaster photo grey pc
Jun 18, 1949 first test pattern photo brown pc
Jun 25, 1949 Howdy Doody photo red pc
Jul 2, 1949 Nancy Wright & Gordon Page photo blue-green pc
Jul 9, 1949 Johnny Olsen photo blue pc
Jul 16, 1949 Vera Ward of Comic Capers photo pink pc
Jul 23, 1949 Betty Chapel photo blue pc
Jul 30, 1949 Hines & Revolta photo olive green pc
Aug 6, 1949 Super Circus House Party photo red pc
Aug 13, 1949 Tommy Sands photo brown pc
Aug 20, 1949 Roberta Quinlan photo blue pc
Aug 27, 1949 Al Morgan on WGN photo red pc
Sep 3, 1949 Uncle Mistletoe photo green pc Title changes to TV Forecast
Sep 10, 1949 Frontier Theater photo brown pc
Sep 17, 1949 Kukla- Fran & Ollie photo red pc
Sep 24, 1949 Dave Garroway photo red pc
Oct 1, 1949 Eddie Cantor photo green pc
Oct 8, 1949 Ed Wynn- King of Jesters photo blue-green pc
Oct 15, 1949 Jack Brickhouse photo brown scan
Oct 22, 1949 Red Grange photo red pc
Oct 29, 1949 Doris Brown of Lucky Pup photo orange pc
Nov 5, 1949 The O’Neills photo blue pc
Nov 12, 1949 Paul Whiteman photo magenta pc
Nov 19, 1949 Kay Kyser of College of Musical Knowledge photo green pc
Nov 26, 1949 Fred Waring photo yellow pc
Dec 3, 1949 Nancy Wright photo orange pc
Dec 10, 1949 Toni Gilman photo red pc
Dec 17 1949 Connie Russell photo green pc
Dec 24, 1949 Santa Claus art red pc
Dec 31, 1949 Mercedes McCambridge photo yellow pc
1950
Jan 7,1950 Art Jarrett photo orange pc
Jan 14, 1950 Rebel Randall photo green pc
Jan 21, 1950 Herbie Mintz of Bit Not Forgotten photo red pc
Jan 28, 1950 West Twins of Lucky Letters photo red pc
Feb 4, 1950 Tarzan White- wrestler photo magenta pc
Feb 11, 1950 Mary Hartline photo green pc
Feb 18, 1950 young boy photo red pc
Feb 25, 1950 Arthur Godfrey & Janette David photo yellow pc
Mar 4, 1950 Birthday Greetings Woman’s magazine of the Air photo orange Chic
Mar 11, 1950 Eleanor Binder & Jim Moran of Courtesy Hour photo green Chic cover ripped
Mar 18, 1950 Sussan Shaw photo red Chic
Mar 25, 1950 Mr. Puffle & Ilka Chase photo yellow Chic
Apr 1, 1950 Happiness Hour- ventriloquist photo magenta pc
Apr 8, 1950 Bob Murphy photo green pc
Apr 15, 1950 Lou Thesz – wrestler photo red pc
Apr 22, 1950 Jack Carter photo orange pc
Apr 29, 1950 Lucky Letters photo purple pc
May 6, 1950 Paddy the Pelican art orange pc
May 13, 1950 Danny O’Neil of Jay’s Jamboree photo blue pc
May 20, 1950 Gloria Van & Johnny Desmond of Tin Pan Alley photo green pc
May 27, 1950 Cliff Norton photo yellow pc
Jun 3, 1950 Andy Pafko- Cubs photo red Chic
Jun 10, 1950 Paula Rae photo orange Chic
Jun 17, 1950 Kay Kyser- father of the year photo blue Chic
Jun 24, 1950 Peggy Lee Torme photo green Chic
Jul 1, 1950 Joan Alt of Time for Beanie photo yellow Chic rusty stapes
Jul 8, 1950 Joan Belton- singing star photo red Chic
Jul 15, 1950 Gloom Dodgers photo dark orange great lakes
Jul 22, 1950 Ransom Sherman photo purple Chic
Jul 29, 1950 Ginny Scott photo blue Chic
Aug 5, 1950 Come to the Chicago Fair photo green Chic
Aug 12, 1950 Neil Hamilton photo orange pc
Aug 19, 1950 Acrobat Ranch photo yellow Chic
Aug 26, 1950 Wayne King photo orange Chic
Sep 2, 1950 Frances Langford of Star Time photo green pc
Sep 9, 1950 Don McNeill photo yellow pc
Sep 16, 1950 Dean Martin & Jerry lewis photo blue pc
Sep 23, 1950 Marlene Reilly of Foto Test photo red pc
Sep 30, 1950 Jack Carson photo orange pc
Oct 7, 1950 Mae West & Irv Kipcinet photo yellow Chic
Oct 14, 1950 Cheif Ernie Simon & kids photo blue Chic
Oct 21, 1950 Marlin Perkins photo montage red Chic
Oct 28, 1950 Jack Benny photo-art orange Chic
Nov 4, 1950 Chicago Calendar Jack Brickhouse et al photo-art yellow Chic
Nov 11, 1950 Chico Marx of College Bowl photo blue pc
Nov 18, 1950 Panhandle Pete & Jennifer Holt photo-art red Chic
Nov 25, 1950 Faye Emerson photo-art purple Chic
Dec 2, 1950 Shirley Sexby Miss Tavern Pole 1950 photo-art green pc
Dec 9, 1950 Uncle Mistletoe art orange pc
Dec 16, 1950 Peter Lind & Mary Healy photo-art yellow pc
Dec 23, 1950 Santas art red pc
Dec 30, 1950 Kyle MacDonnell photo-art yellow-green pc
1951
Jan 6, 1951 Jackie Gleason art green Chic loose cover
Jan 13, 1951 Super Circus Clowns photo-art orange Chic
Jan 20, 1951 ? photo-art green Chic
Jan 27, 1951 Burns & Allen photo yellow Chic
Feb 3, 1951 1950 TV Awards photo gold & white pc
Feb 10, 1951 Sue Topping & Frank Sweeny Valentine’s Day photo-art red Chic
Feb 17, 1951 Antonio Rocca (wrestler) photo orange pc
Feb 24, 1951 Wife of Michael Veach of Magic Slate photo-art blue Chic
Mar 3, 1951 Elanie Neblett of Let’s Have Fun photo yellow Chic
Mar 10, 1951 Toni Rodgers photo-art red Chic
Mar 17, 1951 Billy Rose photo-art green Chic
Mar 24, 1951 Dorsey Connors photo-art magenta Chic
Mar 31, 1951 Frank Sinatra photo-art orange Chic
Apr 7, 1951 Ted Mack’s Family Hour photo-art red Chic
Apr 14, 1951 Tony Fontaine photo-art green Chic
Apr 21, 1951 Milton Berle photo-art pink pc
Apr 28, 1951 Arthur Godfrey photo-art blue pc
May 5, 1951 Marty Hogan Miss US TV photo green pc
May 12, 1951 Mary Hartline Win a Puppy photo orange pc
May 19, 1951 Meet the Range Rider photo red on white pc
May 26, 1951 Jean Mowry photo red on white pc
Jun 2, 1951 Hank Sauer Chicago Cubs player photo green on white pc
Jun 9, 1951 Teresa Georgian photo blue on white pc
Jun 16, 1951 Laraine Day photo pink pc
Jun 23, 1951 Bob Hope & Joel Kupperman photo blue pc
Jun 30, 1951 Peggy Lee photo orange on white pc
Jul 7, 1951 Betty Betz photo green pc
Jul 14, 1951 Tom Corbett Space Cadet photo magenta pc
Jul 21, 1951 Eileen Weston of Hit Parade photo yellow-orange pc
Jul 28, 1951 Ernie Simon of WBKB photo blue pc
Aug 4, 1951 White Sox player photo dark-orange pc
Aug 11, 1951 Marion Morgan of stopping the Music photo green pc
Aug 18, 1951 Marion Marlowe of Arthur Godfrey show photo pink pc
Aug 25, 1951 Jackie Kelk & Pat Horsley photo blue pc
Sep 1, 1951 Eloise McElhone photo Could be red. It’s a photocopy pc
Sep 8 1951 Sid Caesar & Imogene Coca photo green pc
Sep 15, 1951 Milton Berle photo pink pc
Sep 22, 1951 Arthur Godfrey photo blue pc
Sep 29, 1951 Frances Langford & Don Ameche photo montage orange pc
Oct 6, 1951 Bob Hope & Jimmy Durante photo green pc
Oct 13, 1951 Kukla- Fran & Ollie photo red pc
Oct 20, 1951 Toni Gilman photo green pc
Oct 27, 1951 Studs Terkel photo orange pc
Nov 3, 1951 Perry Como photo green pc
Nov 10, 1951 Bert Parks photo red pc
Nov 17, 1951 Frank Sinatra photo blue pc
Nov 24, 1951 Rafael Kubelik- Can Culture Survive? photo orange pc
Dec 1, 1951 Jackie Gleason photo-art green pc
Dec 8 ,1951 Lucille Ball photo magenta pc
Dec 15, 1951 Dean Martin & Jerry lewis photo blue pc
Dec 22, 1951 Walt Disney characters art red on white pc
Dec 29, 1951 Football Special photo montage green pc
1952
Jan 5, 1952 Dinah Shore photo orange pc
Jan 12, 1952 Dorothy Collins Hit Parade Honey photo green pc
Jan 19, 1952 Ed Sullivan photo red pc
Jan 26, 1952 TV Awards photo-art gold pc
Feb 2, 1952 Wanda Lewis photo orange pc
Feb 9, 1952 Captain Video photo blue pc
Feb 16, 1952 Kay Westfall Night on the Town photo purple pc
Feb 23, 1952 Marie Wilson photo green pc
Mar 1, 1952 Claudia & David photo red pc
Mar 8, 1952 Peggy Taylor photo Blue pc
Mar 15, 1952 Hal Block photo tan Chic slight water damage
Mar 22, 1952 Jack Benny & Mary Livingstone photo green pc
Mar 29, 1952 Mimi Benzell photo dark Orange Chic
Apr 5, 1952 Gay Compton – How to Treat Pets photo brown-orange Chic
Apr 12, 1952 TV’s Easter Family photo pink pc
Apr 19, 1952 Dave Garroway photo green Chic
Apr 26, 1952 Athletic Angel photo pink Chic
May 3, 1952 boxing Chico Vejar vs Chuck Davey photo blue pc
May 10 1952 Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz photo montage orange pc
May 17, 1952 Donald O’Connor photo blue-green Chic
May 24, 1952 Howdy Doody photo magenta Chic
May 31, 1952 Gene Autry photo pink Chic
Jun 7, 1952 Lena Horne photo white on orange pc
Jun 14, 1952 Bishop Fulton Sheen photo magenta pc
Jun 21, 1952 Lois Collier photo blue-green pc
Jun 28, 1952 Chet Roble photo orange pc
Jul 5, 1952 Bob & Ike Republican Convention photo red Chic
Jul 12, 1952 Jimmy Durante photo blue pc
Jul 19, 1952 Democratic Convention photo-art brown pc
Jul 26, 1952 Sam Levenson photo-art red on white pc
Aug 2, 1952 Space Patrol photo light green pc
Aug 9, 1952 Groucho Marx photo red pc
Aug 16, 1952 Roxanne of Beat the Clock photo pink pc
Aug 23, 1952 Garry Moore photo orange on white pc
Aug 30, 1952 John Daly of What’s My Line? photo green pc
Sep 6, 1952 Don McNeill photo red Chic
Sep 13, 1952 Larry Storch photo orange Chic
Sep 20, 1952 Oliver J. Dragon photo light blue pc
Sep 27, 1952 Margaret Truman photo pink on black pc
Oct 4, 1952 Marilyn Monroe photo orange on white pc
Oct 11, 1952 Bob Murphy photo green pc
Oct 18, 1952 Luigi photo orange pc
Oct 25, 1952 Eve Arden of Our Miss Brooks photo pink pc
Nov 1, 1952 Arthur Godfrey photo-art red-orange Chic
Nov 8, 1952 Ozzie & Harriet & Ricky & David photo blue pc
Nov 15, 1952 Fred Waring photo light green pc
Nov 22, 1952 Marion Marlowe & Frank Parker photo purple Chic
Nov 29, 1952 Eddie Cantor photo brown Chic
Dec 6, 1952 Perry Como photo red pc
Dec 13, 1952 Carmelita Pope photo blue pc
Dec 20, 1952 many shows photo montage red on white pc
Dec 27, 1952 1953 calendar / TV couples photo montage light green pc
1953
Jan 3, 1953 Jackie Gleason photo montage dark orange pc
Jan 10, 1953 TV Awards photo-art m gold pc
Jan 17, 1953 Ed Sullivan photo montage red pc
Jan 24, 1953 Great TV Cowboys photo-art m blue pc
Jan 31, 1953 Mary Hartline of Super Circus photo red pc
Feb 7, 1953 Davey or Galivan? Boxers photo montage brown pc
Feb 14, 1953 Kukla- Fran & Ollie photo montage red Great Lakes
Feb 21, 1953 Johnny Coons photo blue Great Lakes
Feb 28, 1953 Eddie Fisher & Julius La Rosa photo purple Great Lakes
Mar 7, 1953 Jimmy Durante art orange pc
Mar 14, 1953 Wally Cox as Mr. Peepers photo brown Great Lakes Forecast and Guide
Mar 20, 1953 Wayne Griffin- Operation Foxhole photo blue-green Chic Guide and Forecast
Mar 27, 1953 Patti Page photo dark orange Great Lakes Guide and Forecast
Becomes TV Guide- a national publication 

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