WASHINGTON - WTTG is marking its 70th anniversary as the first commercial TV station in D.C.
We began the celebration with a trip down memory lane on Tuesday - but we couldn’t stop there! So many amazing people have passed through the news room that we thought we would catch up with one of the most famous - Maury Povich!
Povich was a news anchor at WTTG back in the 1960's and again in the 1980's. He was also the host of the afternoon talk show, Panorama.
"What a joy - 70 years!" he said when he joined us live over the phone Wednesday. "And I can remember about 50 of them!"
Povich called Panorama a "truly remarkable program." He said the idea came from former station general manager Robert Bennett who saw the need for a news-talk show that followed the national morning shows in New York.
"We started in January of 1967 and for three hours a day, live - in the most important town in the country - had this news oriented talk-show," Povich recalled. He said viewership was high during the show's run.
Povich said he first met his future-wife, Connie Chung, at WTTG while he was working on Panorama and anchoring the weekend news. Povich said Chung was ambitious and jumped at an opening to move from being a news room assistant to a weekend writer.
"So, the job opened up and Connie went to Mike Buchannan, her boss, and said, 'I want the job.'" Povich said Buchannan, the station's news director, wouldn't let Chung take the new position unless she was able to find a replacement for herself. "She went out of the news room, up the stairs, out of Channel 5, across the street, in to the then-American Security Bank - looked at the first woman teller there and said, 'Do you want to be in TV?' The teller said yes - and she dragged her back down the stairs - and she said to Mike Buchannan, 'Here’s my replacement – now give me the job!'"
Povich said he and Chung crossed paths again years later in Los Angeles when the two worked together on-air at the same station. Povich said it wasn’t until he was fired from his job during a personnel change that he and Connie hit it off. "I've always said - in order to get to Connie Chung's heart, first she must pity you…and then she will fall in love with you...and that's what happened!"
BUYING A BAR IN DC
"It's just another stupid investment," Povich said about his involvement in a business deal that has made him part owner of Chad's - a restaurant and bar in D.C.’s Friendship Heights neighborhood. "My kids' inheritance will go down some."
Despite saying investing in restaurants is never a good thing - he confirmed that he, along with sports-talk personality,Tony Kornheiser, former Maryland basketball coach, Gary Williams, and D.C. business man Alan Bubes, have purchased what he calls the "best watering-hole in the neighborhood."
Povich says he used to spend a lot of time at Chad's during his time working at WTTG in the 80s. "I figured now - if I'm going to pay for drinks - I might as well be paying into a partnership of my own."
YOU ARE NOT THE FATHER!
Povich said that his transition into a television newsmagazine host came in 1986 with a call from Rupert Murdoch. "We started this crazy show called A Current Affair and it became a huge hit!" he said, adding he never expected the show to work. Not only did the idea work - he moved on to host, The Maury Povich Show, a job he's held fo the last 20 years.
Maury told the GoodDayDC crew that he and Connie send their best wishes to the station during its 70th anniversary. "You have no idea, for us, what Channel 5 means to us. We wouldn't have a career if it wasn't for Channel 5." He even said he can't wait for the GoodDayDC gang to meet him at his new bar down the street!