KGW-TV & 62/KGW Radio did another simulcast in the Fall of ’70 or ’71 when we teamed up with….I think it was Nordstrom….to promote back to school fashions.
The TV station pre-empted regular programming on a Friday night to run a movie. KGW Radio personalities emceed the broadcast and did live cut-ins on the Radio station while on live TV. Fashions were modeled by area high school kids during the breaks in the movie.
To make it more interesting, 24 phone lines were installed in the studio so that kids viewing the program could call in and register to win the fashions they were seeing. A large plastic barrel was built to hold the entries, and drawings were done in each break.
The evening started at 7 PM, and at 7:45 the Portland Fire Department sent an engine over to the station, requesting that we stop taking calls because we had shut down the phone systems in most of Portland and Western Oregon, and emergency calls could not be made.
So, in the next break in the movie, all 24 phones were taken off the hook, operators were sent home and a camera panned across the phones to show they were not being answered, while an announcement was made that no more calls would be taken. By this time the plastic barrel was full of entries, and winners continued to be drawn until the movie ended at 10 PM. Even with the phone problems, the sponsor was ecstatic.
I went out to a late dinner with clients and crew, and returned to the station with the show’s Director at about 12:30 to pick up our cars and head home. Just for the heck of it, he hung up one of the phones in the studio…line #24….and it rang almost instantly with a caller who still wanted to register.
Shortly after this promotion the phone company initiated the “high impact” phone exchange in Portland, which was mandated for use by Radio stations and anyone else doing high volume phone work.