So Long, Sydney: How Seven Brought Down The Curtain On Analogue TV

TV viewers old enough to remember a time when media wars meant choosing between VHS and Betamax videotape would have felt a touch nostalgic watching Channel 7 when analogue TV ended in Sydney on Tuesday morning.

Sydney is the second last Australian capital to turn off its analogue network – Melbourne is the last on December 10 – ending 57-years of broadcasting and chunky valve TVs in cheap hotels.

While other stations left viewers in the dark, literally, as regular shows flicked to snow at 9am, Seven was classy enough to revive the days when TV stations shut down for the evening, resurrecting its nightly lullaby, Tommy Leonetti’s My City of Sydney.

Leonetti lived out here in the ’60s and ’70s and co-wrote the song, which was the station’s evening sign off. It ended a cartoon kangaroo putting her joey to sleep in a bed made from the ATN 7 letters, then pulling down a curtain saying “Goodbye”.

The tradition lasted through the ’70s and ’80s.

The American actor and crooner had a short-lived talk show on Seven in the late 1960s, and was said to be the inspiration for Garry McDonald’s Norman Gunston character.

Leonetti died of cancer, aged 50, in 1979.

Here’s Seven’s tribute to its station’s history and analogue. Look carefully at the clip and you’ll see construction cranes still around the Sydney Opera House.

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