What is the Yule Log?

Where was the Yule Log filmed?

When did it premiere?

Was the Yule Log ever simulcast on the radio?

Was there more than one Yule Log?

Is the Yule Log available on home video?

Did the Yule Log ever run all night on Christmas Eve?

How can I watch the Yule Log if I don't get WPIX-TV?

Why doesn't WPIX run the Yule Log on Christmas Eve?


What is the Yule Log?
The Yule Log is a special holiday program that was created in 1966 by New York TV station WPIX Channel 11.
It debuted as a 3-hour program, originally consisting of a 17-second 16 millimeter filmed loop of a festively decorated roaring fireplace while traditional Christmas carols played over the video.
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Where was the Yule Log filmed?
There were actually two versions of the Yule Log: The original one was filmed in 1966 on 16 millimeter film at Gracie Mansion, the home of then Mayor of New York, John Lindsay. Four years later, in 1970, WPIX decided to re-shoot the footage on state-of-the-art 35 millimeter film, as the original 16 millimeter footage had become worn by this time. Unfortunately, when WPIX shot the original Gracie Mansion footage, to capture the conflagration in all its flaming glory, the crew decided to remove the protective screen and a stray spark damaged a valuble antique rug. Needless to say, the Mayor's office was not receptive to the idea of letting WPIX come back and re-shoot the footage. The search was then on for an identical fireplace. One was eventually found in California and a crew of technicians was then dispatched out to complete the re-shoot. This time, from the footage they shot, they were able to edit out a perfect 7-minute loop that magnificently captured the fire when it was at its roairing best. It is this iconic fireplace footage that has captured the fascination of millions in the tri-state area and across the nation since 1970.
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When did it premiere?
The Yule Log premiered on Saturday, December 24, 1966, at 9:30 PM on WPIX Channel 11 in New York City.
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Was the Yule Log ever simulcast on the radio?

Yes: From 1966 to 1989 (when the program was taken off the air) the program was simulcast in stereo on 102 WPIX-FM (Now 101.9 WRXP).
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Was there more than one Yule Log?
Yes, WPIX had two versions: The first one was filmed at Gracie Mansion in New York in 1966. And the second one was filmed in California in 1970. As far as other channels go, there have been numerous productions of video fireplaces with Christmas music. Two of them are the MSG network and the QVC shopping channel. But there is only one original WPIX Yule Log!
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Is the Yule Log available on home video?
No, the original WPIX Yule Log has never been released on home video (VHS or DVD); although we are still hoping that someday it will be. There are so many people out there who wish to purchase a copy. In fact, this is the Number 1 request I get via the emails that I receive from folks around the country. At this time, Tribune Broadcasting, parent company of WPIX, does not have any plans in the foreseeable future to release the program. Unfortunately, it is the prohibitive music licensing fees that Tribune would have to pay that probably preclude the possibility of this ever becoming a reality.
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Did the Yule Log ever run all night on Christmas Eve?
Despite widespread belief, the Yule Log never ran more than 4 1/2 hours in any one showing on WPIX-TV (Christmas Eve or Christmas Day). This is borne out by the TV Guide listings that are displayed in the Christmas Presents (Media> Print) section of the site.
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How can I watch the Yule Log if I don't get WPIX-TV?
The program is broadcast on most Tribune owned affiliates around the country. For those of you who don't have a locally owned Tribune affiliate in your area, you can still view the program via two national cable/satellite stations: Superstation WPIX and Antenna TV. As December draws near, I will post the complete Tribune affiliate TV schedule on the message board. You can find it under the category Yule Log Broadcast & Schedule Information.
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Why doesn't WPIX run the Yule Log on Christmas Eve?
Times change and the broadcasting industry is no exception. With the advent of cable and satellite TV, independent stations and networks need to generate as much revenue as possible. In 1966 it cost WPIX $4,000 to present the Yule Log. Remember, this event is broadcast without commercial interruption. This can be a tremendous hardship on a TV station. They should be commended for showing the program at all. Besides, if Yule Log ratings continue to rise every year, who knows what the future will bring!
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