So.....ever seen this before? What is this thing, and why is it commanding you to "WATCH TV"?

Believe it or not, it's actually the logo for a local TV channel that has been broadcasting over UHF in the Portland area since 1991. Yes, the station's official name is "WATCHTV," no matter how odd that sounds. Originally, it was an affiliate of NET. What is NET, you ask? I have no idea. (The Internet's sure informative, isn't it?)

"National Empowerment Television"? I don't know what attempted network this is or where it came from, but SOMEBODY spent money on it! Fool! NET ran nothing but talk shows--and not of the Springer variety; it ran the kind where several people just sat in a room and said things to each other. There were blank spots in NET's lineup where the affiliate was expected to provide its own material. Easier said than done for WatchTV....this led to one of the saddest morning shows ever produced: "TALK TO ME WITH GREG HERMAN LIVE"!

Every weekday morning at 9, Mr. Herman would appear on a plain set with nothing but a couch, coffee table, coffee MUG, and issue of that day's newspaper. Mr. Herman was also the president of WatchTV, and still is--so when I say this show had no budget, I mean it.

A telephone number was constantly displayed as Herman sat there and droned on about whatever he could think to talk about. Every so often, he would get more direct: "C'mon, people, TALK to me!!" But no one ever did. Through this show's entire history, no one ever called Greg.

Greg had to settle for his technician in the mixing booth, possibly the only other person in the building. The show never got heated or controversial, or the slightest bit interesting in any way.

"So apparently, you not only watched this, you TAPED it?" Er........well.........I can't really explain the things I record.

Another locally-produced WatchTV program was Electric Surf, where the guy shown above would bring local rock bands to the station and interview them. There were also several other programs with Greg in them, but I've discussed enough about him. WatchTV's ace in the hole was that, somehow, it actually grabbed the rights to broadcast Mariners games. It soon lost those rights to KWBP, however.

In 1995, NET vanished. For one month WatchTV was "Catalog 1," a shopping channel....then for a year and a half it was "N1," a teen-oriented network that played music videos, anime, and stuff at night we can't talk about. Don't ask me what anime N1 had the rights to, but considering how small and obscure it was, I doubt they could own anything good.
WatchTV then became Telemundo until 2003, and nowadays it's the Home Shopping Network. The channel is still technically called WatchTV, but the only reference to that is on the weather screens the channel shows in between HSN programs.