A prayer and the National Anthem: the age of TV sign offs

Late at night, TV stations signed off. But not without public service announcements, prayers from local church clergy, and even the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’.

A long time ago, TV sign-offs were the norm. When a television station signed off at around midnight or even as late as 2 AM, the station would have a pre-recorded message signaling the conclusion of their broadcast day.

During this process, there are public service announcements, prayers, and lastly the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’. Almost every station was unique in their sign-offs.

But the last thing you’ll see on television was Old Glory flying before the screen went dark or went into a test pattern. Either way, it was interesting to watch these things back in the day.

Recently, TV sign-offs have come back in some form. However, most of the stations don’t go dark.

Instead, they play infomercials all night long. These TV sign-offs might just bring back memories for a lot of people.