KLAS Shines Bright for 70 Years of Entertaining Las Vegas

Las Vegas (KLAS) – 70 years ago, when KLAS first aired, it wasn’t just CBS; it featured programs from three networks.

8 News Now had plenty of airtime to fill for their new station, so local programming was born.

Technology was in its early stages, and there were very few sets, but imagination and inspiration were always abundant. In the 1950s, CBS Television unquestionably thrived as a part of the Tiffany Network, like The Twilight Zone and Gunsmoke. Viewers of Las Vegas television, mesmerized by the test patterns on their screens, were full of enthusiasm.

One of the oldest local programs included on-air personalities like the charming movie host, Gas Gifrey, who quickly became a beloved figure.

In the following years, Commander Jake Lehman, as he is also known, became a district judge, serving for a long time.

Bab Bailey, a city employee of Las Vegas, also hosted his show – the first locally-owned TV show by an African-American in the country.

In the early shows, the most challenging thing was a live dance party that was created after the American Bandstand, known as Teen Beat Las Vegas.

“In both my head and reality, I was a star. I believed I was Dick Clark despite the little city. Steve Miller, co-host of Teen Beat, remarked, “To this day, I still feel like Dick Clark.

The show was broadcast after Steve Miller and Keith Austin suggested the idea to the station manager. The plan was to have a studio filled with 100 or more teenagers for an hour, where they would play music and broadcast it live. What possibly could go wrong?

Even though it was hilarious, everything went wrong. In other words, there would be a struggle. Miller recalled, “We had to kick people out. “It was like a dance, so whatever was going to happen was going to happen when the camera went live at 5:00 PM. Whatever was going to happen on Saturday actually did.

But News has long been the station’s lifeblood. The first news director of KLAS and a pioneering journalist, Hank Thornley, considerably elevated the bar.

“We had barely been on for 15 minutes at first. We continued for another half hour after the chronicle had finished. When it started doing well, we added an additional 30 minutes,” Thornley recalled. The station’s flag bearer was News.

Vegas Lifestyle still offers a variety of programming today, including news programs like Politics Now and sporting events like Raiders Game Live and Game On.

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