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In the early 1970s, WOR-TV had shows such as The Beverly Hillbillies, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gilligan's Island and The Avengers.

But channel 9 was behind the other two independents in the local ratings.

During the early years of RKO General ownership, WOR-TV moved back to Times Square, and closer to its radio station sisters.

Channel 9's studios were co-located with WOR radio at 1440 Broadway (near West 40th Street) for several years.

In 1962, nostalgia maven Joe Franklin moved his daily talk program to WOR-TV, after a 12-year run on WABC-TV.

The Joe Franklin Show ended on August 6, 1993, making it one of the longest-running programs in television history, local or national.

For much of the 1960s, WOR-TV was a standard independent station with a schedule composed of some local public affairs shows, off-network programs, children's shows such as Friendly Giant (which later moved to WNDT) and Romper Room (which moved to the station from WNEW-TV in 1966), sporting events, and a large catalog of movies, some of which came from the RKO Radio Pictures film library.

Until 1990, the station had a tradition of showing King Kong, Son of Kong and Mighty Joe Young on Thanksgiving and Godzilla films the day after Thanksgiving.

For the cable Superstation feed available nationwide from 1965 to 1996, see WWOR EMI Service.

During the 1950s and early 1960s, all three of New York's independents struggled to find competitive and acceptable programming.

The field would increase by one in 1956 when former Du Mont flagship station WABD (channel 5, later WNEW-TV and now WNYW) became an independent.

WOR-TV entered the New York market as the last of the city's VHF stations to sign on, and one of three independents—the others being WPIX (channel 11) and Newark, New Jersey-based WATV (channel 13, later WNTA-TV).

On WOR-TV's opening night, a welcome address was read by WOR radio's morning host, John B. However, the audio portion of the speech was not heard because of a technical glitch.

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