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Winston Broadcasting Network Cleveland/Akron


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For the record, I would like to show the structure known as "Rex's Erection"

Rex's Erection | David Grant | Flickr

 

To the left is Grace Cathedral, and to the right is the WBNX studios/offices as well as the former Cathedral Buffet.  The round building is a senior apartment building that may have originally been developed by Rex Humbard as he was developing the site.

 

On the top is what's left of the State Road Plaza.  The section north of Portage Trail has already been demolished (the dirt pile), so this picture is probably circa 2009-2010.

 

The tower was started in the 1970s and topped out at 494 feet out of a planned 750.  It was to have a revolving restaurant at the top, and be very similar in appearance to the Calgary Tower.  Issues with the IRS and SEC put a halt to it and Rex Humbard moved on to other things.

 

As for WBNX, the original plan was for Rex Humbard to launch WCOT Channel 55 using the structure as a TV tower as well and renovate the current WBNX building for that purpose.  The UHF History page (no longer active) took issue with the fact that Rex Humbard sold the construction permit to Ernest Angley.  Supposedly, that never happened, and Channel 55 was up for grabs for a new applicant.  Years later, a group called Akron-Rhema Television, headed by Rev. Amer Shab was the founding owner of WBNX.  He started the station, and brokered it to Ernest Angley's Winston Broadcast Network (like the forerunner of an LMA) and eventually sold to him outright.

 

The tower stood there for years until it was sold at a sheriff's sale to Mike Krieger, an owner of a farmer's market/health foods store up the street. He made a killing selling tower space to cell phone companies as they began taking over.  So it stands today, even though it's never had anything to do with Ernest Angley, WBNX, or any antics thereof.

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That erection has lasted much, much, much longer than 36 hours. Someone may seriously need to consult their medical professional posthaste, because something may be very wrong.

Well...the Ernest Angley saga has taken a disturbing turn....   I'll leave it at this article posted in today's Akron Beacon Journal (and it's only the first part!) https://www.ohio.com

My God, that's everything I've ever wanted.

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I had no idea that WBNX had a different owner when it was launched.  I thought Winston Broadcasting owned it from day one.

 

I do remember reading an old article that WBNX was going to face some "must-carry" difficulty like what WOIO faced when it was launched more than six months before the double nickel went on-the-air.

 

Speaking of WOIO, a lot of people think that station and WBNX were what helped WCLQ ceased being an independent station (with four indies in Akron, three of those Cleveland-based, it was too much to support all of them in the market in 1985-86) and flipped to the Home Shopping Club/Network.

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Posted (edited)

Here's the timeline of WBNX, based on an article from Akron Beacon Journal...on June 30, 1985.

 

The OCR is here, but it's messy. (Sammi here, adding a proper clip.)

 

to sum it up...

 

- Rex Humbard was the original applicant for Channel 55, and wanted to launch WCOT-TV (Cathedral Of Tomorrow) from the "tower" on the property of his complex.  It was never finished, and WCOT never made it to air.

 

- In 1980, Rev. Amer Shab petitioned the FCC to launch a new channel on Channel 55.  He got a CP in 1984, and ran out of funds early in 1985.  That was when Ernest Angley stepped in.

 

- Ernest Angley purchased the TV studio and office complex on the Humbard site from Rex Humbard in 1984.  He later bought Grace Cathedral (the Cathedral of Tomorrow) a decade later.  He had the TV resources and experience from producing his programming at the-then "Grace Cathedral" in Springfield Twp.

 

- Amer Shab hired a general manager, but Ernest Angley used Lou Spangler, the executive director of Ernest Angley Ministries as the General Sales Manager and had responsibility over programming.  Likely soon after, it seems that Shab's group was bought out and Ernest Angley took over the operation.

 

- The original call letters were to be WPSC, but they were changed to WBNX, later to be known as an acronym for Winston Broadcast Network and Christ (X).  Winston, being Ernest's middle name.

 

 

At the time, WBNX was part of an influx of new television stations in the Cleveland-Akron area, which included WOIO.  WOAC had signed on in 1982 from Canton, shortly after WJAN became WDLI, after being sold from PTL to the David LIvingstone Ministry Foundation, when Jim Bakker was forced to sell it.  Also, WCLQ was the re-incarnation of WKBF in 1981, opting for a mostly general-entertainment format with Preview  subscription tv at night.  It never thrived and by 1985, WOIO and WBNX were a serious threat, causing them to pick up HSN programming, first partially, then 24/7.  WOIO ended up signing with FOX at it's launch in 1987, and WBNX bought most of WCLQ's programming inventory to program the station, and could now fill the day with program-length infomercials to keep it profitable.  The programming boom of the 90's upgraded the station's profile allowing them to accept traditional advertising and lessen the dependence on per-inquiry ads and infomercials.

 

WDLI would become  full-TBN by the mid 80s, WOAC would drop out after a sale to Paxson in 1995 which replaced virtually all programming with informercials (and later at WAKC the following year).  The WB affiliating with WBNX in 1997 cemented their place in the market and to this day, is a repository of current syndicated programming since the other stations do not have the room or desire to air it.

Edited by tyrannical bastard
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Posted (edited)
On 5/10/2021 at 12:14 AM, tyrannical bastard said:

For the record, I would like to show the structure known as "Rex's Erection"

Rex's Erection | David Grant | Flickr

 

To the left is Grace Cathedral, and to the right is the WBNX studios/offices as well as the former Cathedral Buffet.  The round building is a senior apartment building that may have originally been developed by Rex Humbard as he was developing the site.

 

On the top is what's left of the State Road Plaza.  The section north of Portage Trail has already been demolished (the dirt pile), so this picture is probably circa 2009-2010.

 

The tower was started in the 1970s and topped out at 494 feet out of a planned 750.  It was to have a revolving restaurant at the top, and be very similar in appearance to the Calgary Tower.  Issues with the IRS and SEC put a halt to it and Rex Humbard moved on to other things.

 

As for WBNX, the original plan was for Rex Humbard to launch WCOT Channel 55 using the structure as a TV tower as well and renovate the current WBNX building for that purpose.  The UHF History page (no longer active) took issue with the fact that Rex Humbard sold the construction permit to Ernest Angley.  Supposedly, that never happened, and Channel 55 was up for grabs for a new applicant.  Years later, a group called Akron-Rhema Television, headed by Rev. Amer Shab was the founding owner of WBNX.  He started the station, and brokered it to Ernest Angley's Winston Broadcast Network (like the forerunner of an LMA) and eventually sold to him outright.

 

The tower stood there for years until it was sold at a sheriff's sale to Mike Krieger, an owner of a farmer's market/health foods store up the street. He made a killing selling tower space to cell phone companies as they began taking over.  So it stands today, even though it's never had anything to do with Ernest Angley, WBNX, or any antics thereof.

That erection has lasted much, much, much longer than 36 hours. Someone may seriously need to consult their medical professional posthaste, because something may be very wrong.

Edited by Big Rollo Smokes
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4 hours ago, Big Rollo Smokes said:

That erection has lasted much, much, much longer than 36 hours. Someone may seriously need to consult their medical professional posthaste, because something may be very wrong.

A perfect metaphor for all of the Ernest Angley scandal in the past decade or so, yet Ernest Angley never even owned it!

On a clear day, that tower can be seen for miles....even from the Ohio Turnpike crossing over the Cuyahoga Valley.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ernest Angley ministries posted a tribute to Rev. Angley on their YouTube channel.

 

Some highlights of the young Rev. Angley when he was at his prime...

 

A man who not only smoked, but smoked reefer...

https://youtu.be/tKqilT6VHXs?t=1041

 

Ernest going on a healin' spree in India....

https://youtu.be/tKqilT6VHXs?t=7441

 

 

Much of the footage predates his time at WBNX, but pretty much paints the picture of the Rev. Angley most of the world knew (and Robin Williams parodied)  before his ministry became embroiled in scandal and stories of local legend.  While his ministry wasn't as crooked as some of the televangelists that have invaded the dial, it pulls from the same playbook, and has the comedic value that turns their actions into fodder.  It sort of has that Peter Popoff vibe to it, you know it's too good to be true.

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This was already posted in the 2020-21 Syndication News thread, but here is the first WBNX Fall Lineup following Angley's death:

 

https://wbnx.com/fall-schedule-2021

 

It looks like 55 is staying put and operating under "status quo" for the time being.

On 5/27/2021 at 9:51 PM, tyrannical bastard said:

Ernest Angley ministries posted a tribute to Rev. Angley on their YouTube channel.

 

Some highlights of the young Rev. Angley when he was at his prime...

 

A man who not only smoked, but smoked reefer...

https://youtu.be/tKqilT6VHXs?t=1041

 

Ernest going on a healin' spree in India....

https://youtu.be/tKqilT6VHXs?t=7441

 

 

Much of the footage predates his time at WBNX, but pretty much paints the picture of the Rev. Angley most of the world knew (and Robin Williams parodied)  before his ministry became embroiled in scandal and stories of local legend.  While his ministry wasn't as crooked as some of the televangelists that have invaded the dial, it pulls from the same playbook, and has the comedic value that turns their actions into fodder.  It sort of has that Peter Popoff vibe to it, you know it's too good to be true.

 

Didn't Phil Collins also poke fun at Angley in one of the Genesis videos?

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2 hours ago, CLETVFan said:

Didn't Phil Collins also poke fun at Angley in one of the Genesis videos?

Sure did!  

https://youtu.be/2-rfCnW5VlE

 

 

Here's the Robin Williams bit from one of his albums.   

https://youtu.be/EXC6LclzQsE

 

The character even appeared in several episodes of Mork & Mindy.

 

 

 

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