KCAL fires up yule log

Idea borrowed from New York's WPIX-TV

Viacom-owned KCAL-TV is bringing the Yule Log to Los Angeles, airing three hours of a flaming fireplace Christmas morning.

KCAL borrowed the idea from New York’s WPIX-TV, which made the Yule Log an annual tradition from 1966 to 1989, then took a 12-year hiatus before bringing it back in 2001.

The KCAL yule cast will air from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Saturday, along with a simulcast of Christmas music from Clear Channel’s AC outlet KOST-FM (103.5), which goes wall-to-wall with holiday tunes this time of year.

The music will be hosted by KCAL anchors Pat Harvey and David Jackson, as well as KOST morning personalities Mark Wallengren and Kim Amidon. Stater Bros. Markets is sponsoring the commercial-free three-hour fireplace coverage.

KCAL/KCBS prexy-G.M. Don Corsini said the yule log would help “bring KCAL back to its roots, quite literally, as an independent broadcaster.”

Nationally, Superstation WGN is televising portions of the WPIX Yule Log, which can also be seen via the New York station’s Web site. Although Tribune owns WPIX and WGN, the company’s L.A. outlet, KTLA, doesn’t participate in the tradition.

According to WPIX, the yule log was originally the idea of late station G.M. Fred Thrower, who realized that most of New York’s apartment dwellers didn’t have fireplaces.

The original WPIX yule log was a shot of the fireplace at New York’s Gracie Mansion.

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