In January 1947, KTLA Channel 5, Los Angeles's first commercial television station, aired its first broadcast, and the Herald Express newspaper was there to report the milestone event. Since then, despite its phenomenal growth into one of the most successful and influential industries in the world, television continued to remain local news in Los Angeles, and local papers like the Herald and the Valley Times covered its productions & workforce on back lots, sound stages, location shoots and even sidewalks.
Camera operators, sound technicians, and even the animal trainers shared pages with the stars, accompanied by captions that detailed the process of producing a show, as well as promoting the new additions to the prime-time lineup. Reporters were granted access to rehearsals, press conferences, location shoots and newsrooms, and their readers were treated to an insider's view of their favorite programs on the set, and a glimpse into the advanced technology that became more sophisticated with each passing year.
Compiled from the archives of the Herald Examiner and the Valley Times collections, the following images provide a look at the mutually beneficial relationship between the industry that employed millions and entertained the world, and the city, with its temperate climate and proximity to mountains, beaches, suburbs and urban locations, that helped it thrive.
The Industry In Our Backyard: Television Production in Los Angeles 1940s - 1980s is currently on exhibit at Central Library's History Department through July 15. The companion catalog, with over 140 images not seen since they first ran in the newspapers, is available in The Library Store as well as on Amazon.