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					                                                            Location                                   On Date                              Off D

          KYW                  AM                           Chicago                                  11/11/1921                            12/2/1
The first American commercial radio broadcast license was granted when Westinghouse experimental station 8MK became KDKA on November
next year, they began stations in New York (WJZ) and Sprinì¥Á 7           ø ¿                            ÿ%      bjbjU U
               "6 7| 7|       ÿ!                                                ÿÿ                 ÿÿ                 ÿÿ
 e culture) to the masses. Westinghouse provided the equipment that was installed atop of the Edison Building on at Adams & Clark Streets in D

The first broadcast featured Mary Garden and the Chicago Civic Opera pumping out of the station‟s 250 watt transmitter. The broadcast was a hu
and more listeners. At the conclusion of the season, more than 20,000 wireless sets had been sold in Chicago. Studios were built in the Edison b

The station initially operated on 485 meters (560 kHz) for its entertainment programs and then shifted to 300 and then 400 meters for news, weath
medium, in December, the station had partnered with the Chicago Evening American and began their “Town Crier” service…news headlines ever
again until the next report. The Town Crier was a regular feature of the station until 1927.

KYW was a true broadcast pioneer with its original opera format and news reports were the forerunner of later formatic radio. The station, due to
5,000 from atop the Congress Hotel in 1927. In 1924 the station drew national attention with its coverage of the Leopold and Loeb trial.

By 1926, KYW was thriving, but operated at several disadvantages. Westinghouse saw its broadcast ventures as a means to sell its radio sets an

The original broadcast licenses were issued by the Commerce Department giving stations a lot of leeway in their operations. Initially one channel
the early days this wasn‟t too much of a problem as most stations were limited on their sources of programming and would only operate for a few
the congestion on the airwaves began to become a problem. In 1923, the broadcast band was expanded to 550 to 1300 and then 1500 kHz…bu

The Commerce Commission and its head, Herbert Hoover, were limited in their authority to control the mayhem that was happening but that bega
Congress failed to act…the broadcast band became even more chaotic. Throughout 1926 and into the following year, stations would jump from o

In Chicago, there were over 40 stations operating…many with powers of 100 watts or less and all vying for the best frequencies and air time. Som
Congress created the Federal Radio Commission and gave Hoover power to begin to clean up the mess.

Westinghouse had been a supporter of giving Hoover greater powers and in 1928, the FRC issued Order 40, a re-organization of the radio dial. I
new frequency, lower power and go into limited time or time sharing arrangements with other stations. The FRC also was given the authority to re
know of today.

The good part of Order 40 was that it gave KYW the Clear Channel assignment of 1020 kHz. The bad part is this was a frequency the station had
station, WEBH, as part of Order 40). A new 10,000 watt transmitter was installed at Army Trail and Bloomingdale Road in west suburban Bloomin

By 1927, Insull and Westinghouse had parted ways with Insull going on to form the Great Lakes Broadcast Company that purchased WBCN from
William Randolph Herst. In 1926, Westinghouse along with AT&T and General Electric were partners in the formation of the Radio Corporation o
wouldn‟t be the sole NBC affiliate as the network, that had rapidly grown into two operations (The “Red” and “Blue” chains) offered programming t
more popular, this began to hurt KYW. The problems would get worse when NBC purchased both WMAQ and WENR in 1931 that gave those sta

Meanwhile, the FRC was continuing to sort out the confusing that was still congesting the airlanes. To ensure reception of the Clear Channels, th
Communications Commission, who had been granted even greater regulatory powers than the FRC, ordered KYW to re-locate. It wasn‟t all that b
on the next morning from the City of Brotherly Love…Chicago‟s first radio station was gone from the scene.

KYW‟s travels wouldn‟t end. In 1956, NBC and Westinghouse agreed to swap their Cleveland and Philadelphia Clear Channel stations…KYW m
the network could have an owned and operated station in the more lucrative Philadelphia market. Over the next decade, the FCC finally ruled in W

Source: http://www.broadcastpioneers.com/kywstory.html
http://www.richsamuels.com/nbcmm/kyw.html


  Calls             Location         On Date      Off Date       Freq.                 Owner                            Notes
  WGU AM            Chicago         4/30/1922    10/1/1922      300m
The widespread success of KYW was soon drawing the attention of other Chicago radio operators and entrepreneurs. The Daily News, like
other newspapers, saw many potentials in the new wireless medium. In April, 1922, the paper reached an agreement with the Fair
Department store to set up a radio station. Donald Weller was hired to put the station on the air. He obtained a World War I surplus
                                                                                                                               th
DeForest transmitter that was quickly adapted for broadcast use. A wire was strung atop the Department Store and on April 30 , Program
Director, Judith Waller, signed on Chicago‟s second radio station.

The new station quickly ran into major technical problems. The transmitter and antenna were very inefficient…reports are that few heard
the initial transmission. The transmitter also broke down. Weller would go back to the drawing board and procure a more reliable Western
Electric transmitter and replaced the antenna. The station would return to the air in October but with new call-letters: WMAQ.
Source: http://www.richsamuels.com/nbcmm/wmaq/history/gootee2.html



   Calls             Location        On Date      Off Date      Freq.                    Owner                           Notes
  WAAF AM            Chicago        5/31/1922     5/4/1967      300m Union Stockyards & Transit Co.
One of radio‟s earliest uses was to relay weather and market information. Initially this was done via morse code but with the evolution of
“the wireless”, many amateur and experimental stations would convert to broadcast operations and stock and commodity prices could be
sent far and wide to a growing audience.

Chicago had become a major city based, in part, to its large commodities markets. The Union Stockyards and Board Of Trade dominated
the price of grain and livestock markets. In May, 1922, the Stock Yards in partnership with the Drovesr Journal…a newspaper that
specialized in commodity reporting, set up a station inside the Administrative building and were assigned the sequential call-letters of
WAAF.

At first, the new station operated only during market hours and didn‟t conflict with the other Chicago station, KYW. The reports would soon
attract a rural audience and the station began to expand its hours and add some phonograph music between the reports. When the dial
expanded in 1923, WAAF moved to 1080 kHz and shared the channel with several churches who only operated on Sundays and evenings.

In the mayhem of 1926-27, WAAF would move to 770 kHz and share time with WBBM, the station started by Leslie and Ralph Atlass. This
would begin a unqiue association between Ralph and the Drovers Journal. The station would re-locate to the Palmer House and offer a
more diversified programming. With Order 40 in 1928, WAAF was granted sole possession of 920kHz with a daytime only designation.
The station moved its transmitter to Cermak & Throop Streets on the near South Side and increased its power to 1,000 watts. This gave
the station a strong signal into the downtown area, but also to the growing urban belts of the south and west sides. In 1941, the NARBA
reassigned the station to 950 kHz.

Throughout the 30‟s and early 40‟s, WAAF used their Palmer House location as a source for live music, however it‟s limited hours limited
the talent it could bring on. To find their niche, the station focused more on the in-home, housewife audience and featured exclusively
recorded music. This caught the ire of the powerful James Petrillo and the Amercan Musicians Union. In 1945 he called for a strike against
the station to force them to hire union music librarians. The strike and ensuing legal battle went on for 3 years, with Petrillo and WAAF
reaching a deal, but the strike took a toll on the station and soon began to move in a new direction.

Throughout the late 40‟s and into the 50‟s, WAAF began to feature Jazz programming that drew both black and white listeners. The
“Equality Station” featured a young and controversial Marty Faye…the brother of singer Alice Faye who would also become a popular TV
figure, a very young Dick Buckley, Holmes “Daddy-O” Daylie as well as Olympic legend, Jesse Owens. The station‟s signal and central dial
location helped it reach Jazz listeners all over the city. Over the years, the station would also begin to mix in some blues into their
programming as well.

By the mid 60‟s, Drovers Journal and its parent company no longer were interested in operating the station and in May, 1968, they sold to
Ralph Atlass of the famed family; a founder with his brother, Leslie of WBBM in 1923 and was a long-time manager of WAIT. In the days
following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., he re-launched the station with a new Soul format as WGRT..



Source:


      Calls                            Location                     On Date                   Off Date           Freq.       Owner        Notes
                                                                                                                          Mid West
      WDAP          AM                   Chicago                     6/30/1922                 8/31/1924           300m Radio
                                                                                                                          Central
Two Chicago radio enthusiasts, Thorne Donnelly (from the famous printing family) and Elliot Jenkins are authorized to open a new station
called WDAP. Initially, the station offered talks, weather reports and concerts featuring the large organ inside the Wrigley Building. The new
station A year later, the station‟s antenna was destroyed by heavy winds and the station relocated to the handball courts atop the Drake Hotel
where a microphone was run to the hotel‟s ballroom and WDAP had a source of steady, quality programming.

The station appeared to be thriving and in 1923 Donnelly and Thorne sold the station to the Chicago Board of Trade. The new arrangement
allowed it to get fast, direct access to commodity reports. In addition, the evening schedule was expanded with live remotes transmitting or live
performances from the handball court studio.

Two years after their not so successful entry into radio with KYW, WGN and Colonel Robert McCormick was having a second look at the new
medium. It didn‟t hurt that his biggest competitors, the Daily News and Evening American had formed their own broadcast partnerships as were
many other papers around the country. McCormick and his mother were given a special demonstration and soon the Colonel was looking to
get back on the air.

The Tribune would enter into a lease agreement with WJAZ, the station owned by Zenith Radio. That station operated from the Crystal Studio
at the very popular Edgewater Beach hotel. By March, 1924, the Tribune had taken over not just delivering news but programming as well.
                                                                                                                                   th
The Colonel would acquire new call-letters, WGN from a Great Lakes Steamer and the new station was launched on March 29 . By May this
new agreement wasn‟t working out due to WJAZ‟s limited air time and the Tribune sought another radio partner. It soon struck up a deal with
WDAP, that had just been purchased by the Drake Hotel. McCormick then purchased the station and on June 1, 1924 moved to WGN call-
letters to his new property. A year later, McCormick would purchase the powerful Villa Olivia transmitter from Charles Erbstein and the Tribune
would be set to dominate the Chicago airwaves for years and decades to come.

Source: http://wgngold.com/timeline/1920s1930s.htm
http://books.google.com/books?id=lsotYM1VZ08C&pg=PA71&lpg=PA71&dq=WDAP+Chicago+1922&source=bl&ots=8QDpPKP14q&sig=aT4T-
TOIe9mASeT7ha1XjDzZTKw&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=7&ct=result


 Calls              Location        On Date       Off Date       Freq.                Owner                                Notes
 WGAS AM            Chicago        7/31/1922                     300m     Ray-Di-Co Organization

Little is known of this station that transmitted from the Old Town area, near North & Wells Streets and was off the air by early 1923.


  Calls             Location        On Date       Off Date       Freq.                   Owner                             Notes
  WQX     AM        Chicago        8/31/1922                     140m     Walter Kuehl

Another early license granted to an apparent amateur operator. This station would vanish within a few months.


Source:


   Calls             Location        On Date        Off Date        Freq.                Owner                             Notes
   WBU AM            Chicago        9/30/1922                      420m City Of Chicago
One group that saw a lot of potential in a wireless that could reach thousands or millions of people were politicians. Several cities were
among the pioneers in operating experimental and amateur stations as a source for news, weather and official information. Chicago‟s
flamboyant Mayor, William, “Big Bill” Thompson saw a lot of value in being on the air and on February 21, 1922, the City of Chicago
launched WBU. Among the guests on the initial broadcast included Thompson and evangelist Paul Rader who would go onto to build
several religious broadcast stations, including the internationally known HCJB in Equador.

The city installed a 100-watt ship transmitter that required a lot of work and soon the expenses began to take a toll. The station also faced
competition from the established KYW and the new WMAQ for both information and air time. The coup-de-grace was Thompson‟s loss in
                                                                                                                        th
1923, the new Mayor, William Dever, saw no use to continue operating the station and it was silenced on November 7 , 1923.

Thompson would return to both the airwaves and the Mayor‟s office. He would be an owner of a station he would name for himself, WHT
and then won back City Hall in 1927…at the height of the “Capone” era.
Source: http://www.playlistresearch.com/Chicago%20Radio%20History.htm



   Calls              Location        On Date      Off Date       Freq.                Owner                             Notes
  WMAQ AM             Chicago        10/2/1922    8/14/2000                                                  Now WSCR
In its first months of operation, KYW became a literal overnight success. Thousands of wireless sets operating in homes around the city
with more being sold each week. The Chicago Daily News didn‟t need much coaxing to get into the wireless craze. In April, 1922, they
formed a partnership with the Fair Department store, hired Donald Weller and Judith Waller to run run the new station and installed an
aging DeForest transmitter atop the Fair Store. The station, WGU, didn‟t last long and few said the station even transmitted at all due to all
the signal and transmitter problems. The station was shut down and rebuilt using a better antenna and more reliable Western Electric
transmitter. The station also received new call-letters and on October 2, 1922, the rebuilt WGU came on the air as WMAQ.

The new station with its stronger signal was attracting a wide array of local and national personalities to its microphones. Under the
direction of Judith Waller, the station offered a wide variety of “talks” for women and programs developed in conjunction with the University
of Chicago. In 1923, the station shifted off the crowded 360 meters to 750 kHz and then a few months later to 670 kHz…a place they
would remain for the next 77 years and increased its power to 500 watts. The station also shared time with WQJ, owned by the Calumet
Baking Company that transmitted from the Rainbo Gardens on Chicago‟s North Side. The two would operate side-by-side with WMAQ
grabbing more of the airtime. In 1928, WMAQ purchased WQJ and as part of the deal presented promotional announcements for Calumet
for the next 7 years.

Under the direction of Waller and Daily News Radio editor, William Hedges, WMAQ continued to find the most interesting people they could
put in front of a microphone or filled the time playing Jazz records. In Spring, 1923, the relationship with the Fair Store ended and the
station re-located to the LaSalle Hotel. The station‟s antenna was installed atop one of the tallest buildings in the city at the time that
helped WMAQ‟s signal and became a downtown landmark that was seen for miles around. Locating at the LaSalle also enabled the station
to run a microphone into the posh hotel‟s ballroom. In 1924 the station joined several of the early network hook-ups and began to carry
remote broadcasts from various downtown clubs. In the summer the station originated coverage of the Republican and Democratic
conventions from Chicago that was carried via a make-shift AT&T network.

In 1926, the newly formed Radio Corporation of American formed the National Broadcasting System. The new network took control of
Westinghouse‟s New York station, WJZ as well at AT&T‟s WEAF. The initial network programs were sold to stations on a first-come, first
serve basis and WMAQ had to compete with KYW, WGN and others for exclusivity. In September, 1927, the station severed its
association with NBC and became an affiliate of the lledgeling Columbia Broadcast chain.

While WMAQ grew, chaos was going on around the dial. In 1928, the FRC issued Order 40 that would transform the radio dial. WMAQ
was granted a Clear Channel allocation and soon built a 5,000 watt transmitter in west suburban Elmhurst. The station was now the prime
CBS affiliate for the region and expanded its broadcast day and reach. In late 1929, the studios moved from the LaSalle Hotel to new and
bigger facilities inside the newly constructed Daily News Building.

In September, 1929, the station acquired the services of the team of Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll. The duo had been performing
at Chicago clubs since the early 20‟s and soon began to appear on various radio stations. They formed a team named Sam „n Henry that
appeared on the Edgewater Beach Hotel‟s station, WEBH, where they literally “sang” for their supper…they got free dinners in return for
their skits. They later moved to WGN where they drew more publicity and a larger audience. By the time the team arrived at WMAQ they
brought with them a following…the only thing they couldn‟t bring was the Sam „n Henry name. It was changed to Amos „n Andy.

Gosden and Correll would broadcast their show via the NBC Blue Network from each night from WMAQ‟s studios and soon became a
national hit. They also were the first to syndicate their show…putting episodes on record, or transcription discs, that aired on many smaller
stations around the country. Amos „n Andy would transform network radio…despite, in retrospect, the show‟s racist stereotypes appear
very out of place today, the show was a national phenomenon and attracted millions of listeners for over two decades.

By 1930, NBC was having problems with its Chicago connections. They were airing programs on WGN, WENR, WLS, WIBO, WCFL and
KYW, but company President, David Sarnoff, had bigger plans. On the heels of his building a large broadcast complex in Rockafeller
Center in New York, he wanted to add a similar operation for Chicago. The problem was he didn‟t control any stations. He solved that by
by purchasing WENR from the financially troubled Samuel Insull in March, 1931 which became the network‟s prime Chicago Blue affiliate,
then in November, NBC purchased WMAQ from the Daily News as the key Midwest affiliate for the Red Network. A year later both stations
moved into the large NBC studios built inside Merchandise Mart.

Under NBC ownership, WMAQ would enter its own golden age. Many key network shows, such as Fibber McGee and Molly, originated
from the NBC Chicago studios as well as many big band remotes from Chicago area clubs and sports broadcasts. In 1935, the station
moved their transmitter to the former KYW site in Bloomingdale and upgraded to 50,000 watts. At this time WMAQ began experimenting
with shortwave and television transmissions. The station, W9XAP, would transmit its slow-scan pictures over WMAQ‟s signal late at night
after the station signed off and was viewable around the country.

WMAQ and NBC continued to propser into the 40‟s as NBC moved aheads with adding a commercial television station after the FCC
approved the RCA developed 525 line electrical system in 1941. The station also launched W63C, an FM station in 1941, but both projects
were put on hold due to World War II. The FM station would resume operating as WMAQ-FM in 1948 and in January, 1949, WNBQ-TV
began operating on Channel 5.

The rise of television came at the detriment of WMAQ. As more shows and personalities moved over to the new medium, NBC offered less
programming to their affiliates and directed network production away from radio into TV. WMAQ Radio began to fill airtime with a mixture of
local personality and network shows. The mornings featured Norman Ross Sr. and following his untimely death, by his son, they also
brought on Henry Cooke who would become the station‟s popular monrning host and the irreverent Jack Eigen who interviewed celebrities
from the Chez Paree at night. In 1958, the station hired Holmes “Daddy O” Daylie, the first black personality to host a show on a major
Chicago radio signal.

Throughout the 60‟s, WMAQ competed with WGN and WBBM for the ears of Chicago adults but not only fell behind those stations but also
WIND and the new WLS. The station, along with its television operation, emphasized its local news operation. By the 70‟s, the rise of Top
40 and the influx of younger listeners had passed WMAQ by. In the early 70‟s, the station hired former WCFL personalities Jerry G. Bishop
and Joel Sebastian and an adult contemporary sound, but the change had little ratings impact.

In November, 1974, the station brought in programmer Burt Sherwood who installed a Country music format on the station. The results
were almost immediate as WMAQ soon became one of the top country music stations in the country and saw its ratings rise. The new
format was supported by a lot of promotion. Many Chicago TV viewers became familiar with the WMAQ Dancing Dollars and the slogan
“WMAQ‟s gonna make me rich”. The station also was unique among Country stations as it featured two females, Emmy Dylan and then
Nancy Turner. In short time the station surpassed Country rival WJJD and would push the station from the format in 1981.

By the mid 80‟s, radio was changing…more people were listening to FM than AM and the arrival of WUSN as an FM rival to WMAQ in 1982
would have a big impact on the AM operation. While the station‟s all night truckers show, hosted by Fred Sanders, drew an audience far
and wide, locally WUSN was having an impact on WMAQ‟s ratings and audience. By 1986, NBC replaced music with Talk programming.
They brought in Drew Hayes to handle the mornings and the controversial Morton Downey Junior in the afternoons. The format began to
get listeners and attention but more changes were ahead.

In 1987, General Electric, a company that helped found NBC in 1926, bought the network and decided to sell off the radio division. They
sold WKQX(FM) to Indianapolis-based Emmis broadcasting and then WMAQ to Group W, Westinghouse Broadcasting. This was a quick
re-entry for this company into the Chicago market after they sold WIND the previous year. Westinghouse had always wanted a 50,000
signal in Chicago and brought to WMAQ their signature All-News format…”you give us 20 minutes, we‟ll give you the world”. For the next
decade, WMAQ would battle with WBBM as the top news station in the city. When WMAQ introduced “Traffic on the Ones”, WBBM
countered with “Traffic on the 8s”. While WMAQ challenged it could never surpass the longer-established WBBM. In 1996, Westinghouse
would merge with CBS and WMAQ and WBBM fell under common ownership. Initially no change were planned as CBS also owned two
prospering All-News operations in LA and New York…WMAQ specialized in short-form headlines while WBBM feature more in-depth local
coverage. In 1989, the studios moved from the Merchandise Mart to the new NBC Tower on Columbus Drive & the river. Ironic that
WMAQ moved into the new NBC building, yet the network no longer owned the station. The other former NBC radio station, WKQX, would
remain in the Merchandise Mart for the next decade.

One big part of WMAQ‟s long history would lead to its demise…sports. In 1924, the station carried the first live World Series broadcast and
the next year, the station hired Hal Totten to do play-by-play of Chicago Cubs and White Sox games (depending on who was in town). The
station would continue carrying both teams until the early 40‟s. In 1967, WCFL decided to terminate its association with the White Sox to
focus on their Top 40 format and the games moved to WMAQ. The broadcasts featured an aging Bob Elson along with the feisty Red Rush
(who was best known for his years as the Loyola Ramblers basketball announcer and his famous “Good as Gonella” call, praising a local
baker who sponsored the broadcasts). The Sox failed both on the field and on the air and after they lost 106 games in 1970, WMAQ
decided not to renew the agreement forcing the Sox to find a home on a group of small suburban AM & FM stations.

Two years later the Sox, along with new announcer, Harry Carrey, returned to WMAQ and the team‟s games would be heard on the station
for the next 20 years. Carrey was teamed with Jimmy Piersall whose call-it-as-they-see-it style delighted listeners but constantly pissed off
the players and owners. In 1981, Carrey was fired and quickly picked up by the Cubs and WGN. The station also began to air Chicago
Blackhawk hockey games featuring the legendary Lloyd Petit. The team‟s owner, Arthur Wirtz feared that local broadcasts of home games
would hurt team attendance and only allowed WMAQ to begin broadcasts after the first period. This phobia would remain with the Wirtz
family in keeping home games off of local television until 2008.

In the mid 80‟s, WMAQ added a nightly sports show hosted by fomer TV sportscaster Chet Coppock and began hosting an evening talk
show and then added the Chicago Bulls right at the rise of the Michael Jordan era. In the 90‟s the station lost both the Sox and Bulls to
WMVP and the Blackhawks would skate off to WBBM.

As part of its acqusition of several Chicago stations, CBS ended up in control of WSCR, the city‟s first Sports talk station. Initially the
station operated daytimes on 820 kHz and in 1997, CBS moved it over to WJJD‟s 1160 frequency that allowed it to go full time. In 2000,
CBS decided to move The Score over to 670…not only allowing its Sports talk format to rival that of their co-owned WFAN in New York (or
that was the hope), but also to compete for the rights to Chicago Pro teams that avoided WSCR‟s poorer signals. On August 14, 2000,
WMAQ ended over 78 years of service. The WMAQ call-letters live on, NBC still uses them for their Chicago television operation.
Source: http://www.richsamuels.com/nbcmm/wmaq/contents.html
http://www.scottchilders.com/timecapsule/TCWMAQ.htm


  Calls           Location        On Date     Off Date       Freq.              Owner                             Notes
 WNAJ AM          Chicago        11/30/1922                  360m Benson Co.
By 1920, Chicago was emerging as a major hot-bed of Jazz. Clubs such as Dreamland, the Moulin Rouge, Green Mill, Midway Gardens
and Marigold Gardens had evolved from summer beer gardens into major amusement centers; even with the arrival of Prohibition in
1920…most will say that‟s when the “amusement” really began.

One of top bandleaders as the “Roaring 20‟s” got rolling was cellist Edgar Benson. He fronted a number of orchestras that bore his name
that he booked into clubs, hotels and restaurants around the city. The real musicians in his bands were pianists Roy Bargy and the Don
Bestor…and the orchestra would specialize in the “whitening” of Jazz…trying to put a tux and tails on the “black man‟s music” that was so
popular among young people. It‟s not unlike the “whitening” of R & B and Rock „n Roll of the 50‟s.

Jazz had become a major attraction in the early days of Radio. Among the many new stations that came on the air in 1922-23, many were
either owned by or based in hotels…a source of programming as well as a new promotional vehicle for both the hotel and the performers.
Benson, who had become the leading band leader in the early 20‟s saw the possibilities of setting up his own station that would spotlight
both his bands and booking venues.

Little is known about this station…Surely his airtime was limited as the 360 meter channel was getting very crowded; especially at night and
thus this station would have been hampered with both poor signal among the growing interference and very limited hours. Records indicate
the station‟s call-letters had been deleted by Summer, 1923.

Benson would thrive throughout the 20‟s…taking his bands on tour and into the recording studio. By the mid 20‟s, a young impresario, how
had once worked for Benson, Julie Styne, would become a rival and then surpass Benson as the top music promoter in the city and then
the country. In a show of Styne‟s “chutzpah”, he named his agency Music Corporation of America (yes, THAT MCA) despite having just a
couple of small time clients. Benson led the way and Styne would take him several steps higher; using radio and follow-up touring to make
himself and his clients a lot of fame and money.
Source: http://www.redhotjazz.com/benson.html
  Calls            Location         On Date       Off Date     Freq.                 Owner                             Notes
 WPAD AM            Chicago        12/31/1922                  360m W. A. Wieboldt & Co.
Wieboldts originated in 1873 with one store at Chicago Avenue & Milwaukee on the city‟s near northwest side. It grew and thrived in
staying out of downtown and catering to the growing working class and immigrant populations that were streaming into the city‟s
neighborhoods. They would open other locations, avoiding going directly against the bigger downtown retailers and their stores would
become the center of thriving neighborhoods around the city.

Department stores saw promotional value in radio‟s initial days. The Fair Store had partnered with the Daily News to start WGU/WMAQ
and other retailers, Bamberger in Newark, Gimbles, Litt Brothers and Wannamakers in Philadelphia had already gone on the air and it
appears Wieboldts wanted to follow suit. This station operated from the Weiboldt‟s store at Ogden and Ashland and would try to survive on
the crowded 360 meter band throughout 1923. It appears to have vanished from the airlanes by early 1924.


Source:


   Calls           Location          On Date       Off Date     Freq.                Owner                            Notes
   WCT AM          Chicago          1/31/1923                            RCA
This station was never built. This was an early attempt by David Sarnoff and the new Radio Corporation of America to build a radio station
in Chicago. Throughout 1922, RCA was assigned temporary licenses that they used for special event broadcasts but Sarnoff was looking
to set up permanent stations and then interconnecting them. He would be very successful in 1926 when RCA took control of the AT&T and
Westinghouse stations in New York and launching the National Broadcasting Company.

Sarnoff would continue to have designs on a Chicago station and operation; contracting to build lavish studios in the new Merchandise Mart
in 1929; before NBC owned a Chicago station and then purchasing WENR and WMAQ in 1931.

Source:


  Calls               Location         On Date       Off Date     Freq.                  Owner                            Notes
  WSAH AM             Chicago         3/31/1923 12/31/1923        360m A.J. Leonard Jr.
                                                                                          th
Yet another station authorized during the initial frenzy of 1922-23 that operated from 45 and Woodlawn on Chicago‟s South Side. The
station fought for time during the final days of the 360 meter channel and would shift to 1210kHz after the dial was expanded, but appears
to have vanished by the end of 1923 and the license was deleted in April, 1924.

Source:


  Calls             Location            On Date    Off Date     Freq.                  Owner                               Notes
 WTAS AM             Elgin, IL         3/31/1923   4/1/1928     360m George D. Carpenter
The short but exciting life of “Willie, Tommy, Annie & Sammy” began with a small transmitter set up on the west side of Elgin, 40 miles
northwest of Chicago. Shortly after original owner, George Carpenter, but the station on the air, it caught the attention and more of Charles
Erbstein…a prominent Chicago trial lawyer and local man about town.

Erbstein had been attracted to the road races that were held in Elgin during the 1910‟s. These races across the farmland west of the town
was among one of the top races of the day and drew a lot of interesting characters to the area. Erbstein was considered a brilliant defense
attorney; best known for representing Jack Johnson during his legal troubles and then developing a very lucrative practice as a divorce
attorney. While attending the races, he purchased a large estate overlooking the Fox Valley just east of town and right inside the farthest
west limits of Cook County and named it for his daughter, Villa Olivia.

World War I and rising casualties on the challenging Elgin course (it still exists today as local streets and two-lane roads) would bring to an
end Elgin‟s days as being a motor racing capital, but Prohibition provided new opportunities…especially an area so close to a big city like
Chicago yet far away from the vice squads.

Besides fast cars, Erbstein had a passion for Jazz and Radio. He had built an amateur station at Villa Olivia in the teens. When the radio
craze swept the country and Chicago, he saw an opportunity to merge two of his passions. In May, 1923, he purchased the station from
Carpenter and built a studio and transmitter across of his Villa Olivia home on the Galena Highway (better known as Route 20/Lake
Street)…the height and excellent ground conductivity of the area would help WTAS soon become a broadcast powerhouse and Erbstein a
radio star.

WTAS would soon fill the air with some of Chicago‟s hottest and most interesting music. Phone lines were run from Villa Olivia to the
largest Chicago night clubs, including the Triannon Ballroom on the South Side. His engineer, Carl Meyers, ran lines to Erbstein‟s Chicago
office as well as to Kimball Hall, a popular downtown music hall owned by the Piano company. When there wasn‟t a remote, listeners
would hear young Olivia reading bedtime stories or Erbstein playing one of his favorites…”Yes, We Have No Bananas”.
The WTAS building was designed like a ship, including portholes for windows, the station operated with 500 watts on 1090 kHz, a high
power for the time that enabled the station to be heard across the country. Erbstein erected two large 90 foot towers that contained the
station‟s hammock antenna and must have been a site…viewable for many miles around.

In addition to running phone lines from Chicago, Erbstein also bought the Motor Inn…a small motel/lounge near Villa Olivia and renamed it
the Purple Gackle. The club would develop a notorious reputation as a popular hang-out for gangsters and bootleggers…people Erbstein
appeared to be very friendly with. The Gackle was outside of Elgin city limits in unincorporated Cook County thus a raiding party would
have to come from Chicago. The club also had become a popular stop for Jazz performers and Erbstein ran a remote line from the club to
the station.

The WTAS studios became a popular attraction, and helped make Villa Olivia into a popular resort. In 1925, Erbstein and Meyers
upgraded the station installing a 10,000 watt transmitter, switched to 990 kHz well as a new antenna that stood 300 feet tall. The 500 watt
transmitter got a separate license as WCEE (Erbstein‟s initials) and operated mostly during the day, switching over to the more powerful
signal at night.

Over his broadcast carreer, Erbstein drew ire for violating the silent night on Mondays as well as his rather flamboyant personality and
“Salty language”. Nonetheless, WTAS was among the most popular and innovative stations of its time. The high living was taking a toll on
Erbstein, as well as the rising expenses for operating his stations. By late 1925, the large signal had drawn the attention of Colonel Robert
McCormick. He had purchased his own station, WDAP, that he renamed WGN in May, 1924, but the station was hampered with a limited
signal and ahared time with rival WEBH. In December, he purchased the Villa Olivia transmitting site from Erbstein and on Christmas Eve,
WGN and its sister station, WLIB (named after the Liberty Weekly magazine) began transmitting from the powerful Villa Olivia site.

WGN would retian Meyers who would stay with the company until 1960 and was instrumental in the station‟s expansion to a 50,000 clear
channel powerhouse. He also brought his extensive remote broadcast knowledge that would fill the night time airwaves via WGN for the
next 30 years. Erbstein would pass away in 1927, but WTAS lived on briefly…the licenses were purchased by the Illinois Broadcasting
Company that had studios in the Strauss Building in Downtown Chicago. The stations continued to use the Villa Olivia transmitter site until
the license was deleted during the 1927 FRC purge.

WGN continued to transmit from Villa Oliva, upgrading to 50,000 watts at the site until moving to its current Elk Grove Township location.
Villa Olivia would become a popular golf club and ski resort. For many years, the WTAS transmitter building sat quietly on Route 20;
serving as an office for the Borden Company during the 1980s. Urban sprawl caught up with the classic Italianate building, which was torn
down to make way for single family homes in 2006.

Source: http://71.57.24.170/public/zecom/museum/erbstein.htm


  Calls            Location         On Date       Off Date       Freq.                 Owner                              Notes

 WWAY AM            Chicago        3/31/1923                     360m     Marigold Gardens - (I. E. Dutton)

In 1895 Emil and Karl Eitel built a beer garden at Grace & Halsted in Chicago‟s Lakeview neighborhood. The Bismark Gardens soon
became a popular summer hang-out for the predominately German clientele in the area. By 1915 a beer hall had been opened and the
Bismarck become one of Chicago‟s top night spots featuring the young and very popular Ruth Etting. The outset of World War I and the
anti-German sentiment led to the Bismarck changing its name to the Marigold Gardens (the name of a popular bread/bakery of the era).

The Marigold survived the war as well as into the Roaring 20‟s…the home of many top bands of the day and attracting huge crowds. This
station appears to have operated from the club in during the Spring of 1923 an only transmitted on the dying 360 meter (833 kHz) spot.
The station, if it ever transmitted, had its license deleted by July. While this radio venture didn‟t succeed, others would try in the years
ahead.

The Marigold‟s days of a top club faded as the action moved to Uptown and the Rainbo Gardens, Uptown Theater and Aragon Ballroom.
The Marigold would be turned into a sports venue; hosting many professional and amateur bouts. In the 50‟s, WGN originated coverage of
the Chicago Tribune‟s Golden Gloves from the Marigold, by then long removed from its days as a top night club.

Source: http://chicago.urban-history.org/ven/pks/gardens.shtml#bismarck


    Calls                     Location               On Date              Off Date         Freq.              Owner               Notes
                                                                                                   Lake Forest College,
    WABA         AM         Lake Forest, IL           5/31/1923           5/31/1925       1130
                                                                                                   Lake Forest, IL
This radio station was built by two students at Lake Forest College and a license was granted on April 17, 1923. The station operated
intermittently, more as a class project than an actual station. A few entertainment shows were transmitted, The license would expire and
then be renewed several times. By 1925, the college decided the station had become too expensive to maintain and let the license expire.

Radio would return to Lake Forest college when WXMX(FM) began broadcasting in 1973.
Source: http://books.google.com/books?id=9Q86nal5whUC&pg=PA78&lpg=PA78&dq=Coyne+WGES+
Radio&source=bl&ots=D86J1Rp7BC&sig=npjoGfujV0NTJBMd0eo37iwF44c&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result#PPA174,M1
   Calls             Location       On Date       Off Date      Freq.                 Owner                             Notes
 WCBD AM             Zion, IL      6/30/1923      4/1/1959               Wilbur G. Voliva
            th
The late 19 century saw a rise in utopian societies and religions. In 1888, John Alexander Dowie, established the Christian Catholic
Apolostolic Church and in 1901 built his dream community half way between Chicago and Milwaukee in a town he named Zion. Dowie‟s
vision was a religious community based on the concept of the Flat Earth and many other controversial philosophies. Due to Dowie‟s fame
and personality, the community grew quickly and Zion prospered. In 1906 Dowie had built a large mansion for himself in the center of town
and he soon was criticized by church members for his extravagant style. After suffering a stroke, Dowie was forced to resign from the
church he founded and was succeded by Wilbur Glenn Voliva.

Under Voliva‟s leadership, Zion became a very religious community with strict moral codes and laws. Women were prohibited from wearing
short skirts or lipstick. Liquor and tobacco were banned as well as ham, bacon and even oysters. Local police, known as the Praetorian
Guard, patrolled with both a gun and bible on their holsters. Doctors and even Drug Stores were banned as it conflicted with the church‟s
teaching of faith healing. Despite the strict laws, the town would grow to 6,000 people.

In 1921 KDKA aired the first religious broadcast and soon preachers were finding the new medium to be an excellent new pulpit to reach
millions of souls. In June, 1923, Voliva installed a 500 watt transmitter and was granted a license for WCBD. Each night Voliva‟s voice
would reach out across the Midwest and the country preaching and predicting that the end of the earth would happen in 1923, then 1927
and then 1930 and 1935. WCBD was one of the first stations owned by a religious organization and Voliva became the first radio
preacher.

WCBD would share time on 870 kHz with WLS …the agricultural station owned by Sears Roebuck and in 1926 Voliva installed a 5,000 watt
transmitter, allowing WCBD and his preaching to reach even more people. The high power helped the station avoid the major intererence
and frequency jumping mayhem during that time…if anything, Chicago broadcasters avoided going near the two powerful Chicago signals.
When the FRC reorganized the dial, WCBD was originally slated to continue to share 870 with WLS along with Sam Insull‟s WENR, but a
bitter court battle ensued with WCBD being moved to 1080 and into a time sharing arrangement with WMBI, the station operated by the
Moody Bible Institute…and a competitor of Voliva. The two stations would have an uneasy relationship on the channel until 1941.

The new assignment put WCBD on a channel with limited, daytime hours that soon had a big affect on Voliva‟s popularity and the focus of
the station. Air time was brokered to keep the station going through the depths of the Depression, even as the community of Zion was
starting to change and Voliva‟s control over the town began to subside.

In 1935, Voliva staged the first Zion Passion Play; based on the one in Oberamergau, Germany that was performed inside Shiloh, the large
mansion built by John Dowie and was the headquarters not only for Voliva and the church, but WCBD as well. In 1937, a disgruntled
employee set fire to Shiloh; destroying the WCBD studios and transmitter. The station would go silent, temporarily moving in with WMBI
and then building a new site on the old WMAQ property in Elmhurst. The Passion Play moved to the Chicago Civic Opera house and then
back to Zion where it continues to be staged today in a rebuilt and renovated Shiloh.

The fire added to the Voliva‟s financial troubles he was forced into personal bankruptcy and in 1942, just like Dowie, he was dethroned by
his own church for being a “sinner” and died shortly thereafter. In the 1941 NARBA reshuffle, WMBI was granted sole control of the new
1110 frequency; ending its time share arrangement with WCBD; who was assigned to share time on the new 820 frequency with WAIT.
WAIT would move into the Elmhurst site and both stations shared a common transmitter. WCBD operated on Sundays, still offering flat
earth teachings, but also time was leased to other churches. The station survived into the 50‟s on a Sunday only schedule until a fire once
again swept through Shiloh in 1959 and destroyed the studios. WCBD turned in their license and Wilbur Glenn Voliva‟s voice would finally
be silenced.
Source: http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/flat/flateart.htm
http://durenberger.com/resources/documents/WLS-WENR1228.pdf
http://www.zionpassionplay.org/zpphis.htm


  Calls            Location         On Date      Off Date       Freq.                  Owner                             Notes
  WJAZ AM                          6/30/1923    11/1/1931        670
In 1912, a young Ralph Matthews began built his own amateur radio station while still a student at Chicago‟s Lane Technical High School.
Upon graduation, Matthews began to build radios to pay for his college tuition. While serving at Great Lakes Naval Station during World
War I, he met Karl Hassell, another radio amateur, and upon their release from the service in 1919, they went into business together;
forming the Chicago Radio Laboratory.

The new company began in the Matthews family living room and soon expanded to a small factory in a garage on the property of the
Edgewater Beach Hotel. In mid 1919, the company, with the consent of the Edgewater owner, built a radio station, 9ZN. The station was
soon relaying messages around the world and 9ZN radio parts were in greater demand. In 1920, Matthews and Hassell were joined by
Eugene McDonald, a wealth radio enthusiast who brought both much needed capital and marketing experience to the small, struggling
company.

McDonald began to advertise the company‟s parts and radios, using the 9ZN name that amateurs would recognize. 9ZN continued to
operate, incorporating voice transmission, including music from the ballroom of the Edgewater Beach Hotel. The 9 was dropped and in
June, 1923, McDonald took control of the newly formed Zenith Radio Corporation. The company‟s experimental station applied for a
commercial license and was granted the call-letters WJAZ (for the Jazz the station had become famous for playing). The new station
began operations sharing time with WMAQ and WQJ on 670kHz. By Fall, a 1,000 watt transmitter had been installed and WJAZ became
one of the strongest signals on an ever-crowded radio dial.

Zenith was more interested in selling radios than programming them and soon began to lease air time to the Chicago Tribune. On March
29, 1924, the Tribune took full control of the station, moved the frequency to 810 kHz and re-named the station WGN (call-letters Colonel
Robert McCormick had secured from a Great Lakes steamer). While the Tribune operated the station, Zenith still retained the license,
                                                                                              th
however the Tribune wanted full control and terminated their agreement with WJAZ on May 9 and shifted over to WDAP, the Drake Hotel
                                                      th
station, that also operated on 810 kHz. On May 30 , the Tribune would take full control of WDAP, Zenith would sell their station to the
Edgewater Beach Hotel who renamed the station WEBH.
                                          th
Zenith retained the WJAZ and on June 4 relocated the station in their downtown Chicago showroom at 312 South Michigan. This station
operated with only 100 watts on 1120 kHz. The station‟s prime purpose was, once again, to sell Zenith Radios and parts. A year later, the
company decided to take the station on the road, literally…building a 20 watt transmitter in a car that it named “WSAX” and demonstrated
the power of radio at county fairs and other exhibitions.

In 1926 interference was making it difficult for WJAZ to be heard clearly, Zenith built a new station, including a 1,500 watt transmitter, at
Central and Rand Roads in northwest suburban Mount Prospect. The station also began operating on 930 kHz…a change that caught the
attention and ire of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover. In the Fall, WJAZ increased their power to 5,000 watts and moved to 910 kHz, a
frequency that had been assigned for Canadian stations, Hoover attempted to force WJAZ to move, but Zenith would sue leading to Hoover
losing not only the case, but what little control he had over the broadcast band. A court ruled that the Commerce Department didn‟t have
authority to regulate radio stations once they issued a license. Congress would have to act to give Hoover the authority and it was reluctant
to do so. In the meantime, stations came and went , raised and lowered power and jockeyed across the dial for the clearest channel .

In Spring, 1927 many broadcasters, especially the large ones, were putting pressure on Congress to clean up the chaos on the airwaves.
                 rd
On February 23 , they passed the Radio Act of 1927 that created the Federal Radio Commission. Within the year, the commission was
issuing orders that delegated three classes of broadcast channels: Local, Regional and Clear Channel. The new commission was also
given the ability to revoke licenses based on the Public Interest and Community Need. During its lifetime, the FRC would use this clause
and redefine it to clean up the airwaves. It issued Order 40 that rearranged the radio dial, it eliminated portable station and dual transmitter
licenses and subtly pushed many small, struggling stations off the air. The Depression would finish what the FRC began.

The new laws forced WSAX to play its last tune and surrender its portable license. WJAZ spent most of 1927 moving around the dial to
760 kHz and then over to 1140kHz sharing time with WMBI. When Order 40 was put into effect on November 11, 1928, WJAZ ended up at
the far end of the dial, 1480…and had to share the channel not only with WHT in Deerfield and WORD from Batavia, but also had to clear
time for WCKY from Covington, Kentucky.

As part of the FRC‟s mandate, they attempted to give preference to Clear Channel and Regional frequencies to states that didn‟t have a
major signal, Kentucky was one such state and in 1930 the FRC began proceedings to allow WCKY to gain full-time control of the 1480
frequency. WJAZ‟s frequency was moved, once again, over to 1490…a dial position many radios had difficulty hearing, even with 5,000
watts. The FRC, using their Public Interest standards decided to revoke WJAZ‟s license and this, once again, led Zenith to go to court to
keep their station on the air. This time they lost and in November, 1931, the station would sign-off for the final time.

Zenith would re-enter radio later in the 30‟s, this time as a pioneer on the new FM band, opening W9ZXR as the first commercial FM station
in May, 1940. The station would later be renamed WEFM and is now WUSN. The huge WJAZ towers would remain a Mount Prospect
landmark until the early 1970…a remnant of radio‟s constant rover.
Source: http://www.antiqueradio.com/zenithcrl_12-97.html
http://wgngold.com/timeline/1920s1930s.htm
http://broadcasting.wikia.com/wiki/Chronology_of_call_letters_WJAZ


  Calls             Location         On Date       Off Date       Freq.                  Owner                              Notes
                                                                         Chicago Radio Laboratories
 WSAX AM                           8/31/1923     7/31/1928       1120
                                                                         (Zenith)
The radio craze reached all across the country. In small towns across the country, people couldn‟t hear enough of the news, music and
voices coming “across the ether”. With a good supply of batteries, a decent receiver and antenna, a farmer or his small town neighbors
could now hear vital weather and market information, the latest news (far faster than any newspaper could arrive) and a connection into the
growing dynamic fabric of American culture in the 1920s. Radio also brought a world of voices and entertainment into the most remote
sections of the country…soon many of these towns wanted to become broadcasters as well.

In 1923, after the broadcast dial expanded, several engineers who had created portable transmitters were granted licenses and radio was
about to go on the road. Without commercial revenue to sustain operations, early operators saw their stations as a way to promote their
business. Chicago Radio Labs, also known as Zenith Radio, had grown rapidly under the direction of Eugene McDonald based on his keen
marketing skills. The company owned a “land station”, WJAZ, from the Edgewater Beach Hotel that had become very popular, but also
expensive to operate. In May, 1924, the company parted company with the Chicago Tribune, who leased time on WJAZ but wanted to
completely own the station, the Tribune would purchase WDAP instead creating WGN. Zenith then sold their station to the owners of the
Edgewater Beach which became WEBH. Zenith then applied for a new license for WJAZ and built a new 100-watt station in the company‟s
showroom on South Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. In addition, Zenith applied for a second license, this one for a portable
station…a 20 watt transmitter that was fitted into a small truck and given the call-letters WSAX. While licensed to Chicago, WSAX would
rarely transmit from there. Over the next 5 years, WSAX would tour county fairs and special events; barnstorming around the country,
giving many people their first look at a real radio station and selling Zenith radios and radio parts along the way. The station‟s license
covered it wherever it traveled within the U.S. and was designed to reach a few miles…far enough to attract a crowd.

In 1926, Zenith rolled out a 100-watt portable station…the largest of its time, and one that drew ire out of broadcasters around the country
who had their signals interfered with when the portable station set up shop nearby. It just wasn‟t WSAX, by that year there were dozens of t
these stations, many licensed to C. L. Carrell of Chicago, that were adding to the concophony that was the night time radio dial. Many of
these stations had unreliable transmitters that drifted all over the dial or created noisy harmonics…it became a big issue when the new
Federal Radio Commission started attempting to regulate the airwaves in Spring, 1927.

When the commission issued Order 40, it specifically addressed portable stations and stated they didn‟t serve in the public interest. Station
owners were required either to park the stations and apply for a “land station” license or have their license revoked. Zenith pulled WSAX off
the road in July, 1928, consentrating their radio efforts on expanding WJAZ and then keeping the Mount Prospect station on the air. The
barnstorming days of radio were over, but the impression the portable stations would leave behind remained and would inspire many who
would take to the airwaves in the decades ahead.

Source:


      Calls                             Location                       On Date                   Off Date               Freq.                       O

     WTAY            AM               Oak Park, IL                   11/30/1923                 5/31/1925               1330       Iodar-Oak Leaves B
The rapid growth of radio created a boom for those who built and sold receivers and parts. It also was a big boost to the schools that trained elec
schools was the Coyne Electrical School that was located on Chicago‟s West Side. The school‟s president, H. C. Lewis believed that building a s
good publicity for the school. On October 10, 1923, WTAY, “The Oak Leaves” station began transmitting with 15 watts on 1330 kHz withCoyne s
transmitter was upgraded to 500 watts and moved to 1060 khz. The increase brought complaints from neighbors as the stronger signal and centr
the heavily populated area. In 1925, the station shifted over to 1200 kHz, the station also began to share time with WMBB…the radio station from
city‟s south side.

WTAY‟s initially consisted of students playing phonograph records but expanded to doing remote broadcasts from one of the many nearby clubs o
Chicago airwaves. In late 1926 Lewis decided the station needed a new image for its station and the call-letters were changed to reflect Coyne‟s
the Oak Leaves station would become WGES.
Source:
http://books.google.com/books?id=9Q86nal5whUC&pg=PA78&lpg=PA78&dq=Coyne+WGES+Radio&source=bl&ots=D86J1Rp7BC&sig=npjoGfu

  Calls              Location        On Date       Off Date       Freq.                Owner                                  Notes
 WWAE AM             Joliet, IL     12/31/1923 3/31/1941          1390    Alamo Ballroom - L.J. Crowley
The early 20‟s was a time of rapid change for many in this U.S.. New technology such as the airplane and automobile got people further
and faster than ever before and the passing of the Volstead Act, better known as Prohibition, was churning a social upheaval…especially
among young people. The music that drove their rebellion was Jazz, and the place they heard the music was in the clubs or on the radio.
While stations like KYW tried to present a classical or “respectable” sound, many smaller stations reveled in fast livin‟ of the times. A late
night scan of the radio dial would bring dozens of dance bands into homes around Chicago and the country. The music and the nightlife
was a beacon for many, including some of the more notorious. Remember, this was the “Roarin‟ 20‟s” and Chicago.

Earlier in the year, WTAS had become a very popular station thanks to the hot jazz played on the station; broadcast from the Purple
Gackle, a roadside inn that was also a speakeasy on the outskirts of west suburban Elgin. One of the regulars at the Gackle was a dapper
bootlegger known as Lawrence Crowley…or Butch to his friends. Prohibition had closed down many old breweries or forced them to
produce “near beers”, including root beer, Crowley invested in many of these breweries (with money from unknown origin) and then deliver
beverages to the local clubs. One such club was the Alamo Ballroom in Joliet, that by some strange fortune, Crowley owned. It was
modeled similar to the Purple Gackle and was a favorite hang out for gangsters and musicians alike, just outside the county line and a short
train ride from the big city.

To promote his ballroom and cash in on the wireless fad, Crowley, along with partner, Dr. George Courier applied and obtained a broadcast
license for WWAE. The station began transmitting on September 23, 1923 at 1390 kHz with a 500 watt transmitter located atop the Alamo
in Joliet‟s west side. A year later, WWAE was still going strong from the Alamo but shifted to 1240 kHz. In 1925, the Alamo apparently had
close or was closed down and Crowley moved WWAE to a place called Electric Park in nearby Plainfield. Electric Park had been built by
the Chicago, Aurora & Joliet Railroad…a small electric “inter-urban” trolley line who built the park to attact visitors to the area and riders on
the train. The park‟s opened in 1904 and featured a large bandstand and then added an auditorium so they could hold dances and
concerts all year long. The park‟s popularity peaked by the start of World War I and it suffered further with the passing of Prohibition. By
1923, the Aurora, Joliet and Elgin had gone bankrupt and the only attraction that remained was the bamdstamd. In 1925 Crowley moved
WWAE to the Park and transmitted from the site for the next two turbulent years. In 1926 the frequency moved to 780 kHz and a 1,000
watt transmitter was installed…but this station appeared to create more interference than to break through it.
When the Federal Radio Commission came along in 1927, it would lead to big changes for WWAE. The station didn‟t appear to help the
fate of Electric Park and Crowley‟s background would surely be problematic based on the Commission‟s public needs standard. Crowley
faded from the scene and the station and his partner, George Courier would take control and moved the station 30 miles east , settling in
“the region”…the industrial town of Hammond, just across the state line from Chicago…the first full-time radio station to operate in
Northwest Indiana. The station moved the 500 watt to the new location and then jumped around to 1320 and 1290 kHz to avoid the mass
interference in 1927. The station survived the Order 40 cut, but with a lot of restrictions, WWAE would have to lower power to 100 watts,
move to 1200 kHz and then share the frequency with WRAF in nearby La Porte and WCLO transmitting from Kenosha, Wisconsin. Courier
would move the station into the Calumet Bank Building and WWAE would settle into a “respectable life” and newfound popularity in
Hammond.

Throughout the 30‟s, WWAE shared its time with WRAF, WCLO would move from Kenosha to Janesville in 1930 ending that part of the
time share. During this era, WWAE broadcast “hillbilly” music, including the talents of Country Music Hall of Famer Bill Monroe. By 1935,
the station was on the air from 7 to 8:30am the from 11am til 1pm and once again from 4pm until midnight (WRAF filled the other hours).
Courier would sell the station in 1940 to a group of local businessmen who would change the call-letters to WJOB.

Source:


  Calls             Location         On Date       Off Date      Freq.                   Owner                            Notes
 WBBM AM           Lincoln,, IL     2/28/1924     11/1/2008      1330     Frank Atlass Produce
The station we know today, and for the past 40 years, as Newsradio 78 (or 780) came a long way, literally, to become the major Chicago
and national radio station. The story revolves around the creativity and ambition of two brothers, Frank and Leslie Atlass. These sons of
German immigrants operated a produce business in downstate Lincoln. Les went off to Lake Forrest College and when he returned to
Decatur in 1911, he and his younger brother began to experiment with wireless radio operating their own amateur station from the family‟s
basement. In the early 20‟s, Frank and his parents moved back to Chicago, leaving the produce business in Leslie‟s hands. After World
War I, Leslie re-opened his amateur station but soon was attracted to all the activity going on with the new broadcast band.

The radio craze was fueled by many amateurs, like Atlass, who retuned their rigs and applied for licenses on the new broadcast channels.
In 1920, the same night KDKA was making history broadcasting election results, Atlass was on the air with his amateur station relaying that
broadcast and local results as well….the results were published the next day in the local paper and Atlass had become a locally famous.

As the airwaves became popular, Atlass and other area amateurs looked at establishing their own radio stations. On January 6, 1923,
fellow Lincoln amateur, Richard Purinton opened a station, 9CXT, the transmissions were short-lived due to equipment problems and on
          th
March 10 , a second license was issued to Atlass for his own station, 9DFC. In August Atlass upgraded the station to 200 watts and was
soon heard across the country. A debate among local amateurs and wireless operators ensued as amateurs were restricted from operating
during the evenings due to interference with wireless listeners and many feared a local broadcast station would further interefere with long
distance reception that had become a major hobby among wireless owners In December, Atlass, Puriton and and other amateurs formed
the Lincoln Amateur Radio Club to better understand the changes in radio laws and moved forward with their radio work. On February 6,
1924, Puriton took to the airwaves from Atlass‟ living room announcing the opening of WBBM…”We Play Better Band Music”…offering
listeners a dozen eggs for reception reports. The next day, Atlass Produce was busy sending out eggs to listeners and a radio legend was
born.

The new broadcast station used Atlass‟ 200 watt transmitter on 1330 kHz and over the next few months WBBM would take to the air with
many local firsts…remote broadcasts, sports and news with performances still originating from Atlass‟ living room. In addition to operating
the produce business, the Atlass Brothers invested in the Mallory Battery company. No sooner had the radio station taken to the air, the
                                             rd
Atlass family sold the produce and on May 23 , Atlass announced we was closing the Lincoln station and moving, radio station and all, to
Chicago.

By June, Les had reunited with brother Frank and WBBM was now transmitting from the Les‟ home on North Sheridan Road, near the
Evanston border. WBBM remained on 1330 kHz and the 200 watt signal enabled the station to cover a large portion of the Chicago area.
The station quickly set up remote lines to various clubs in the Uptown area that had been looking for a radio station to compete with WEBH
at the high-class Edgewater Beach Hotel. The station thrived in its new location and within a year, WBBM moved into the Broadmoor
Hotel at Howard and Bosworth streets, near the Atlass home, and a 1,500 watt transmitter went into service.

The new location was at the northern terminal of the Chicago elevated and the Broadmoor provided a lot of In-house entertainment from
the hotel‟s ballroom. The Atlass‟ brothers took their remote broadcast experience and put it to good use, connecting to many clubs in the
Uptown area and featuring some of the best Chicago bands of the time. They worked with promoters like Edgar Benson and Ted FioRito
and the station was unique as they aired performances by black musicians…something even the most “progressive” felt wasn‟t
“appropriate”.

In 1927, a young promoter, Julie Styne whose newly formed Music Corporation of America (MCA) purchased 15 minutes of air time from
WBBM so it would air a performance of a band from Ontario, Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians who were performing at the nearby
Granada Grill. The broadcast was so successful that the club had to turn away people at the door who had been listening in and helped
launch Lombardo on a 40 year career, much of it entertaining audiences late night on WBMM and other radio stations. New Years would
never be the same.

While WBBM was thriving in its new north side Chicago home, it also had to share time with others. In 1925, WIBO, a station owned by
Nelson Brothers Bond & Mortgage and programmed by Ted FioRito moved onto WBBM‟s 1330 kHz frequency. A year later, WBBM would
upgrade again…building a 5,000 watt transmitter from north suburban Glenview and moved to the clearer, easier to tune frequency of 770
kHz. The new channel was also favored by other stations and WBBM ended up splitting time with WAAF, the Drovers Journal station,
WORD, a station in Batavia owned by the religious Watchtower Society and WJBT…owned by John Boyd who broadcast only on Sunday
featuring organ music from the Wrigley Building and religious services from the Chicago Tabernacle in Uptown. By the end of 1927,
WORD moved off to another channel and WBBM became the primary evening operator on a channel that now was attracting an audience
throughout the Midwest.

When Order 40 came along in Summer, 1927, WBBM was in a good position, the station not only was allowed to remain on 770 kHz but
the channel also received a coveted Clear Channel assignment. The downside was the station would have to share some time with WAAF
during the day and WJBT on Sunday (that arrangement continued through 1931) and the station would have to go off the air for several
hours at night to clear the way for KFAB from Omaha, Nebraska. The two stations would attempt to find a way to live on 770kHz until 1939.
The arrangement with WAAF ended when that station moved to a daytime only assignment on 920 kHz.

With its new high power allocation, the Glenview transmitter was increased to 10,000 watts in late 1928 and then 25,000 watts two years
later. The station also began to carry network or chain programming as an original affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System. The new
network needed had split its programming between WBBM, WMAQ and WGN, but wanted its own Chicago station. CBS President William
Paley was very impressed with Atlass and WBBM and visa versa…the company purchased controlling interest of the station for $625,000
and kept Les Atlass on as its manager…an association that would continue until Atlass‟ retirement in 1959. The brothers would sell interest
in their battery company to auto parts manufacturer Stewart-Warner (for a while WBBM became known as the Stewart-Warner station).
Frank would go off on his own, becoming the manager of the new WIND in 1934 and purchasing WAAF (which he renamed WGRT) in
1967.

Shortly after purchasing the station, CBS moved the studios to the former WHT/Radiophone facilities in the Wrigley Building and soon was
originating programming across the network from their new facility; competing with the new NBC facility in the Merchandise Mart.
Throughout the “Golden Age” of the 30‟s, WBBM was one of Chicago‟s most popular dial stops with local news and household information
in the morning, soap operas during the afternoon, a star-studded line-up during the evening and live band remotes at night. In 1935, the
station upgraded to 50,000 watts from a new site in northwest suburban Itasca…the former site would become part of Curtis Field, an early
Chicago airport and then part of the Glenview Naval Air Station.

By 1940, WBBM ended its time sharing arrangement with KFAB and moved to 780 kHz with the NARBA in May, 1941. Throughout World
War II, the station‟s news coverage became an important and valuable station asset. They carried the haunting reports of the rise of Hitler
with William L. Shrier in Berlin then Edward R. Murrow‟s riveting reports during the London blitz. At this time the CBS began a morning
newscast called the “World News Roundup” that continues to air on WBMM and CBS to this day. The station also brought in a new
morning host…Paul Gibson, whose friendly but feisty delivery made him a favorite for the next two decades. CBS and WBBM also opened
an FM station, W63C, that began transmitting in November, 1941 and still continues today as WBBM-FM. The company had plans to build
a television station, but the War put a halt to that project…something CBS would regret after the war.

In the late 40‟s networks began to focus on television; moving many of their stars to the new medium. CBS would enter the television age
splitting their network programming between Balaban & Katz WBKB-TV and the Tribune‟s WGN. The television allocation freeze of 1949
left CBS without its own Chicago station that put the operation at a disadvantage as both NBC and ABC were already on the air and getting
a big head start on the “Tiffany” network. In 1953, CBS and WBBM would fix the situation, paying 6 million dollars for WBKB-TV. The deal
gave WBBM WBKB‟s Channel 4 allocation that was then moved to Channel 2 (the channel has been used by Zenith for experimental pay
TV broadcasts) along with most of WBKB‟s union talent…the WBKB call-letters and studios at 190 North State was sold to ABC which had
debuted as WENR-TV in 1948. Also, WBBM took over Balaban & Katz‟s FM station, WBIK, and moved WBBM-FM from 97.1 to 96.3 and
broadcast, along with the new Channel 2, from atop the American National Bank Building. With the new television operation needing a
home, WBBM left the Wrigley Building and moved into a former roller rink at 630 McClurg Court…their home until Fall, 2008.

Throught the 50‟s, WBBM, like other radio network affiliates aired a patchwork of local news and music shows around the shrinking number
of network offerings. WBBM would focus on more personalities such as Jim Conway and Malcom Belairs…better known to his many
friends and listeners as just plain Mal. The big band era also had faded and was all but over when WBBM joined other CBS owned station
in producing a local version of the all-night “Music Til Dawn”, hosted by Jay Andres and featuring predominately semi-classical music. This
show would be a late night staple on the station into the early 70;s.

By the early 60‟s, WBBM was down to just a handful of daytime network soap operas, Art Linkletter‟s House Party and Arthur Godfrey, and
was competing with WGN and WIND for the ears of Chicago adults. Josh Brady and then Bud Kelly replaced Gibson in the morning, but
the station struggled in getting more ratings than rival WGN. WBBM wasn‟t alone, other CBS stations also had troubles in transitioning into
the format era. In 1963, broadcast visionary Gordon McLendon made broacast history when he built the first All News station, XETRA,
from Tijuana, Mexico…and on a signal that covered both LA and San Diego. A year later, McLendon introduced the format on Chicago on
WNUS. This new station drew a lot of a lot of attention, even on a weak signal that was barely heard on the north side of the city at night.
A year later, Westinghouse would take the All News concept to several of their owned stations, including WINS in New York, and drew very
good ratings…Paley and CBS saw a future in the format and in Spring, 1968, they flipped several of their owned stations, including WBBM
to the format, NewsRadio 78 was born.

No sooner had WBBM shifted to All News then McLendon threw in the towel at WNUS…switching it to beautiful music. The new format
took of quickly on WBBM and the station began to flourish, intermixing reports from a strong local news department with features from CBS
Radio. The station also tried to mix in personality with the delivery…announcers such as Sherman Kaplan, John Hultman and others
became regular household voices…as well as the husband and wife team of Bob and Betty Sanders. Throughout the 70‟s, 80‟s and 90‟s,
the station was constantly in the Top 5 in ratings…never quite catching WGN, but still maintaining a large audience in Chicago and around
the Midwest.. In 1988, WBBM got some real competition when Westinghouse purchased WMAQ and installed their short-form all news
format.

For most of its history, WBBM focused more on music and news than on sports, but enjoyed some highlights in that area as well. Like
other Chicago stations in the 20‟s and 30‟s, the station broadcast Cub and White Sox games (depending on who was in town). In the late
70‟s, the station scored a major coup by landing a deal to broadcast Chicago Bears games…and then a short-lived affiliation with the White
Sox. In 1985, the Bears returned to WGN and the Sox went back to WMAQ, but the station maintained a sports presence with the Chicago
Blackhawks (and yes, they carried all three periods at home) with Pat Foley doing the play-by-play. WBBM would regain its sports mojo in
the 90‟s…once again luring the Bears away from WGN where their games are still heard today.

Deregulation in the 90‟s would bring big changes to WBBM. In 1995, CBS merged with Westinghouse and then purchased Infinity
Broadcasting…WBBM was now co-owned with rival WMAQ as well as taking control of Sports Talk WSCR and FM stations WXRT, WUSN,
WCKG and WJMK. Despite the changes, WBBM continued to score well with its format…better than WMAQ and in August, 2000, the
station became the city‟s sole All News station again when CBS flipped WSCR‟s format over to 670…WMAQ was no more.
                                 th
In 2007, WBBM celebrated its 40 anniversary as the city‟s premier All News station and moved into new facilities, along with the other
CBS stations, at State & Washington (the former Block 37) in Downtown Chicago. The station had come a long way from its first programs
from Leslie Atlass‟ living room. Les would pass away in 1960, Frank followed in 1979. Today WBBM is still heard throughout the Midwest
and now around the world via Internet and entered the digital age in May, 2005 when it was granted authorization to transmit with Ibquity‟s
HD Radio format.

Source: http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:HvdetLWycKEJ:dig.lib.niu.edu/ISHS/ishs-1996autumn/ishs-
1996autumn161.pdf+WBBM+Radio+Atlass&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=15&gl=us
http://dimbeautyofchicago.blogspot.com/2008/02/we-broadcast-from-broadmoor.html
http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/browse/bioA.html



   Calls               Location        On Date       Off Date      Freq.                  Owner                             Notes
   WLS AM                             4/12/1924     11/1/2008       870     Sears, Roebuck, Inc.
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At the turn of the 20 century, the United States was a predominately rural nation. Homesteading immigrants and family farms had
subdivided the prairies and the railroads made it possible for the most remote farmer to find a market for his crops or produce. The opening
of the Union Stock yards and the Board Of Trade made Chicago the center of the nation‟s agricultural system and it‟s central location
turned it into a retailing giant. Merchant Princes like Marshall Field and Montgomery Ward had revolutionized the general store into the
modern department store and perfected delivery of those goods across the Midwest using the railroads. Ward, in particular, made his
fortune on mail order sales that would be the inspiration of Richard Sears,,,a Minneapolis railroad agent. He would sell coal and lumber on
the side to local residents. In 1886, he got a supply of watches that he sold to other railroad agents who in turn sold them to farmers
around the area…Sears turned a tidy profit and a new company was born. In 1887, Sears moved his new watch company to Chicago and
hired a salesman, Alvah Roebuck and in 1893 formed a new company. The company moved from just shipping watches to other surplus
goods…and there were many to be found around Chicago. The company advertised their inventory in a large catalogue that soon became
as popular as the bible on farms across the country.

By the 20‟s, Sears had moved into a huge fulfillment complex on Chicago‟s near west side…becoming one of the city‟s largest employers.
You could purchase anything including cars and houses from the Sears catalogue and the radio sales soon became popular. The wireless
was drawing a lot of attention in rural areas as a source of weather and market information by day and the sounds of the big city at night.
As the demand for radio sets grew, so did Sears interest in the new medium as a way to sell their mail-order goods via the airwaves.
                                                                                                 st
In March, 1924, Sears applied for a broadcast license and on did a test broadcast on March 21 using the originally assigned call-letters of
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WBBX. On April 9 , another test was conducted from the “Tower Studio” at the Sears factory on Arthington Street using the call-letters
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WES (World‟s Economy Store) and then April 12 the station was officially dedicated with the new call-letters, WLS…for the World‟s
Largest Store…a claim few at the time would deny. The new station crackled to life with 500 watts at 870 kHz..

Unlike other retailers who used their radio stations to draw attention to their downtown locations, Sears intention for WLS was rural from its
inception. They hired Edgar Bill as their first program director…a man who understood how to communicate with the farmer and develop a
station they‟d tune into. One key ingredient was country or “hillbilly” music…and Bill hired fiddle players and yodelers…including an
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announcer named George Hay. Under Hays direction, the WLS ensemble of talent was put on the stage of the 8 Street theater and the
Old Solemn Judge (Hay was only 30 years old at the time of the first broadcast) presided over the first WLS Barn Dance on November 28,
1925. A year later Hay would move on to start another barn dance…this one for WSM in Nashville that became the Grand Ole Opry.

In addition to music, WLS brought a lot of news and market information to farmers as well as a little preachin‟. The station would share its
frequency with WCBD…a powerful 5,000 watt station in Zion operated by the Christian Apostolic Church and it‟s controversial leader,
Glenn Wilbur Volia claiming the world was flat and the end of the world would come in 1925…err 1931. WLS and its growing staff soon
outgrew the Tower Studios and in 1926 the studios moved fulltime into the famous Sherman House. A new 5,000 watt transmitter also
went into use…operating from Crete, 50 miles south of Chicago and far enough from the city to deliver a strong daytime and nighttime
signal to farms for hundreds of miles.
While WLS had become a big hit for Sears, it was becoming expensive to operate and offered little in return. In early 1928, Sears
approached Burridge Butler, the publisher of the prestigious Prairie Farmer magazine about purchasing the station. Burridge did homework
                                                                                                                                 th
on the station and found farmer upon farmer who said they listened to WLS. He surely liked what he heard and on September 15 , the
station was purchased from Sears for $250,000…a large sum for a station in those early days.
                                                     st
Shortly after taking control of the station on October 1 , the Agricultural Broadcasting Company moved into studios at 1230 West
Washington and WLS now was known as “The Prairie Farmer station”. In the November,1928, Order 40 reshuffle WLS was forced to share
the 870 kHz frequency with WENR, the popular station owned by Commonwealth Edison and transit magnet, Samuel Insull. He used his
                                            th
heavy political clout that gave WENR 5/7 the air time on the new channel and cutting down WLS to daily farm reports and their Saturday
night Barn Dance. The two stations would battle over airtime for years to come…WLS eventually getting 4/5ths of the time.

Under the direction of the Prairie Farmer, WLS expanded its “down-home” rural sound…creating a real radio family with its listeners. The
WLS Family Album brought the WLS radio stars into small town Midwest homes as well as regular station sponsored concerts and personal
appearances. The station also became an affiliate of the NBC “Blue” network. In 1931, when NBC purchased WENR from Insull, they also
tried to purchase WLS but were turned down. Instead, the station agreed to carry Blue network shows during their on-air hours in return for
getting a network slot for the Barn Dance. The show was given a Saturday night time slot and called the National Barn Dance…WLS would
carry both the East and West coast performances stretching from 8pm til well past midnight.

WENR became the first 50,000 watt Chicago station when it opened a new transmitting facility in Downers Grove in Fall, 1929. WLS would
leave their Crete facility and move into Downers Grove after NBC bought WENR in 1931 and both stations would provide 50,000 service.
The large signal gave WLS a daily coverage of 300 miles and coast to coast at night…The station upheld its family standards and
maintained a strong outreach to the rural areas via remote broadcasts and personal appearances. One such broadcast on May 6, 1937
when Herb Morrsion, a WLS reporter, was on hand to record what was supposed to be the routine landing of the Hindenburg. The
broadcast was only a recording and was not heard live…but Morrison‟s report became a broadcast classic.

In 1938, WLS moved to its current transmitter site on Route 45 in southwest suburban Tinley Park and was operating daily from 5am to
Noon and from 7pm to Midnight on Saturday for the Barn Dance. Throughout the 40s and into the 50‟s, the station kept its “family” together
despite many changes in the world around. Following World War II, the FCC granted applications for small stations across the country;
many in the towns that WLS had long been a favorite, farmers began turning to local stations during the day and to their television sets at
night.

When the radio dial was shuffled on March 29, 1941, WLS and WENR were moved from 870 to 890kHz. Two years later, NBC was forced
to spin off its Blue Network, in 1945, the network along with WENR and other stations were sold to sold to Life Savers manufacturer
Edward Noble‟s new American Broadcasting Company. WLS would follow, maintaining its “Blue” network affiliation and then becoming a
secondary ABC outlet. The new network began to make offers to buy WLS, and the offers were refused until 1954 when ABC purchased
both WLS and the Prairie Farmer. On April 1, 1954, WENR closed down AM operations and WLS took full control of 890. WENR‟s calls
would remain on the ABC-owned FM station (now WLS-FM) until 1964. The new WLS maintained the farm format however ratings
continued to fall and ABC saw they could no longer rely on rural income to prosper. The National Barn Dance, which had lost its national
radio coverage, closed its doors on August 31, 1957 and soon the farm format would follow.

On May 2, 1960, Chicago radio listeners awoke to a brand new WLS…the “Station with Personality”. For the next 30 years, the Big 89
would crank out Top 40 hits and personality across the Midwest. Sam Holman, the station‟s first Top 40 program director carefully
transitioned the station into an urban-oriented sound. The station had entered a competitive market against WJJD and WIND but soon rose
to become the most popular radio station among the growing young audience in Chicago. Radio had gone from the living room to the
bedroom, kitchens, cars and offices…the new WLS exuded the youth and energy of the times, and the music as well.

The key to WLS‟s success was the personality. Holman, Stan Dale, Mort Crowley, Bernie Allen, Art Roberts, Clark Weber, Dex Card, Don
Phillips and Ron Riley became household names, but none drew as many ears and left as long an impression as Dick Biondi. He came to
WLS from WKBW in Buffalo and soon the “Wild-eyed Itralian” was making a big impression on 50,000 watts that reached 42 states. He
wisecracked, told corny knock-knock jokes, dedicated everything to everyone and played the hippest music. By 1962 over 2/3rds of all
radios in Chicago were tuned to Biondi every night…ratings that still amaze. The overwhelming popularity of WLS drove WJJD to switch to
Country music in 1963 and WLS‟s dominance of the Top 40 airwaves was total…well almost. Biondi would have a falling out with station
management and fired…he legacy in Chicago assured. He would come back to WCFL in 1969, but with a more mature sound…however,
he again ruled the nights in the throughout the 80s til 2004 on WJMK and now almost back to where it all began…on WLS-FM. After
nearly 50 years, Dick is still going strong…and still with the corny jokes.

In June, 1965, WCFL, the long suffering station owned by the Chicago Federation of Labor hired John Rook with the mission of building a
brand new radio station. Rook would meet the challenge, transforming Big 10 into a serious challenger for the young ears of Chicago…a
classic radio war was underway. For the next decade, the two 50,000 powerhouses would battle to the delight of young listeners…breaking
the newest music and highlighting local talent. In 1968, WLS hired away WCFL‟s all-night host, Larry Lujack, who used his new station to
become “Superjock”. Over the next decade he would hop from WLS to WCFL and back.

The competition between two stations soon became more as WDHF became the city‟s first Top 40 FM station in 1974 and more and more
young listeners were flipping to FM and away from AM. The years of hard competition had taken its toll on WCFL who flipped to a beautiful
music format (along with Larry Lujack) in March, 1976. WLS now reigned as the sole AM Top 40 station in Chicago, but it still had
competition on the FM band and from a changing audience. The station attempted to stay young with personalities like Bob Sirott, Yvonne
Daniels, John “Records” Landecker, Fred Winston and Tommy Edwards. Lujack returned at the end of ‟76 and the station enjoyed steady
ratings through the late 70‟s and into the 80‟s.

The radio world changed when MTV was launched in 1981. Video would indeed kill the radio star as videos and FM all but drained away
the remaining AM Top 40 audience. WLS faced more competition as AOR, Adult Contemporary and Top 40 FM stations such as WFYR,
WLUP, WMET, WEFM and WKQX battled with both WLS and its FM station, WDAI. The station attempted to lift its ratings by hiring Steve
Dahl and Garry Meier (ironically the same company that fired them in 1978) in what would become a turbulent relationship…they helped
boost stations ratings but created a lot of headaches within the station…especially for Program Director, John Gehron. In 1982 WBBM-FM
rocked the ratings when it debuted its Hot Hits format. WLS attempted to counter by moving its call-letters and format to the FM band, but it
would cut the dwindling WLS audience between the two stations.

The end of the Top 40 era began when Dahl and Meier returned to WLUP in 1986, Lujack retired a year later and the station was adding
more talk into the format. Tom Synder‟s syndicated talk show was added at night and the Top 40 era officially ended on August 23, 1989.
The next day, the station became Talk Radio 890…and a yet a new WLS was born.

The transition to talk was gradual…former mid day host Don Wade and his wife Roma were moved into the morning slot, Stacy Taylor
hosted mid days and Bob Lassiter hosted the afternoons. The station filled much of the remainder of the day with syndicated shows,
including the new Rush Limbaugh program. The format would expand throughout the 90s…following big events such as OJ Simpson‟s trial
and Bill Clinton‟s impeachment…the station offering a variety of talented hosts including Jay Marvin, Roe Conn, Ted Lauderbach,, Mike
Malloy and Nate Clay. While the station never surpassed WGN in ratings, it did maintain steady, strong ratings.

The corporate mergers and consolidations of the mid and late 90‟s had little effect on WLS. ABC had been purchased by the Walt Disney
Company and weren‟t involved in the big media moves of the decade. The company bought WMVP from Evergreen Media (teaming the
former rival WCFL with WLS) and then WDDZ in LaGrange for its Radio Disney. They also re-located WLS‟s studios from their long time
home in the Stone Container (now London Guarantee) Building at 360 North Michigan into the refurbish State-Lake Building, long time
home of WLS-TV at 190 North State.

In 2007, Disney and ABC agreed to sell their owned and operated stations, including WLS, to Citadel Broadcasting. The new owners have
hit financial difficulties as the stock market collapse of 2008 along with declining ratings and revenues are bankrupting the company. The
future for the company looks difficult at the time of this writing and it may soon signal yet another change for this long time Chicago radio
survivor.

Source: http://www.searsarchives.com/history/history1887.htm
http://www.cmshowcase.org/halloffame/WLSradio.htm
http://www.wlshistory.com/WLS80/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WLS_(AM)
http://www.richsamuels.com/nbcmm/wls/contents.html
http://www.talentondisplay.com/wlscover.html


  Calls             Location         On Date       Off Date       Freq.                  Owner                            Notes

 WCBZ     AM Chicago Heights, IL 5/31/1924         6/30/1925      1210     Coppotelli Brothers Music House

The Coppotelli family ran a small music shop in south suburban Chicago Heights. They saw owning a radio station as a great way to sell
phonograph records (which it surely became). This license for this station was issued on May 1, 1924 and the station appears to have only
operated for a year at which time it was sold to the Neutrowound Company, a radio manufacturer in nearby Homewood. This station would
be re-named WOK.

Anthony Coppotelli and partners would give radio another try in late 1926, opening WJBZ from their store in Chicago Heights operating with
100 watts. This station appears to have been on the losing end of the public needs argument, the station‟s license was deleted in
September, 1928.

Radio would return to Chicago Heights in the 1950 when another Anthony, Anthony Santucci, would launch WCHI(FM) in the early 50‟s that
would evolved into WCGO(AM) in 1959.

Source: http://www.lincolnhighwayassoc.org/iowa/newsletter/nlpdfs/FaWi2000v5i4.pdf


   Calls            Location          On Date         Off Date        Freq.                  Owner                   Notes
   WGN AM                             6/1/1924       11/1/2008         810
It‟s almost impossible to imagine Chicago radio or television without mentioning WGN. Their slogan of “WGN is Chicago” is as much a
statement of fact as a boast. It‟s history is that of the city and of the times it‟s described.

The Chicago Tribune began publishing in 1847 and under the leadership of Joseph Medill, the paper rose to prominence outlasting many
other competitors and surviving the 1871 Fire. In 1910, Medill‟s grandson, Robert McCormick (he was also the great grandson of Cyrus
McCormick, the reaper king) became editor and publisher of the family paper…a position he‟d remain in for the next 45 years.
In 1915 McCormick went off to cover “The Great War” as a correspondent and when the U.S. declared war in 1917, he volunteers, earned
the rank of Colonel and was involved in the bloody battle of Cantigy. While abroad, McCormick saw radio being used in the war and saw
it‟s value of a communications tool. When KYW opened up as Chicago‟s first radio station in November, 1921, the Chicago Tribune was an
original partner in presenting news flashes. This partnership didn‟t work to the Colonel‟s satisfaction and the relationship dissolved in early
1922. Later that year, the Tribune‟s top competitor, the Daily News, began operating WBU/WMAQ and the Evening American picked up
presenting news on KYW…McCormick watched developments closely.

The story goes that in early 1923, McCormick arranged for a wireless demonstration for his mother and this resulted in his renewed interest
in broadcasting and his desire to build a Tribune radio station. In May, the Tribune became partners in the new Zenith radio station, WJAZ,
that transmitted from the Crystal Studio at the Edgewater Beach Hotel. The Tribune not only provided the news, but also leasing more and
more of the station‟s airtime for its own sponsored broadcasts. The WJAZ broadcasts would be among some of the most popular “catches”
in the early days and the Tribune reported that by January, 1924, there were over 100,000 radio receivers in the Chicago area, and
countless more in the rural areas surrounding the city. Radio was a fad, but one that wasn‟t going away…and the Colonel saw it as an
important asset for his company to be involved in.

By March 24, 1924, the Tribune had leased enough airtime on WJAZ that it took control of the station and applied for new call-letters from a
                                     th
Great Lakes steamer. On March 29 , to much fanfare, WGN, the Worlds Greatest Newspaper was on the air. But only temporarily. The
                                          th
new association didn‟t last long, by May 9 , the two had parted company, Zenith told the station to the Edgewater Beach Hotel. The
Tribune then approached the Whitestone Company, the owners of the Drake Hotel who had just taken control of WDAP Radio. On May
   st
31 the new partnership went into affect and on June 1, 1924, WDAP officially became the new WGN.

The new WGN now was transmitting on 810 khz at 500 watts from studios in the tennis courts atop the Drake Hotel. WGN shared time with
WEBH, the successor to WJAZ (Zenith would open a new WJAZ in late 1924) and then with the new station opened by the Loyal Order of
Moose, WJJD. The station‟s program director, Quinn Ryan, led the station to a number of firsts in its early days….broadcasting a
                                             st
Cubs/White Sox exhibition game on October 1 and the first game played at the University of Illinois‟ Memorial Stadium as Red Grange ran
wild. A microphone was placed in the Drake‟s Ballroom and the station had a source of quality entertainment.

Within a year, WGN had begun to outgrow the Drake…as well as its restrictive time-sharing arrangement. In Spring, 1925, the station
increased to 1,000 watts. That summer, the station made national news as Ryan reported the Scopes Monkey Trial direct from Dayton,
Tennessee. The broadcasts were followed closely and was an early demonstration on the media‟s impact on current events and visa
versa. A microphone was placed in the court room and millions tuned in to witness history…a template of the coverage of important events
we‟re used to today…in 1925, it was quite revolutionary.

By Fall, WGN was ready to expand again, the Tribune purchased the two radio stations owned by Charles Erbstein, the flamboyant
Chicago trial attorney and bon vivant. He, along with his Chief Engineer, Carl Meyers, had built the strongest station in the area…a
powerful site at Villa Olivia near northwest suburban Elgin. The Erbstein station, WTAS, was one of the most popular in the nation and
pioneered in doing remote broadcast. The Colonel bought both WTAS and WCEE, along with hiring Carl Meyers…on Christmas Eve,
1925, the new WGN began transmitting on 990 kHz with 500 watts from Villa Oliva, and a second station, WLIB, using Erbstein‟s 10,000
began operating…the station‟s call-letters representing the Tribune‟s popular Liberty Weekly magazine. The station‟s new large signal
enabled it to reach out to the rural regions of the state…places that were more familiar with the Liberty magazine than with the Tribune.

WGN and WLIB now had fulltime control of 990 kHz and the Tribune stations would expand its programming and reach. In 1926, the
station hired a pair of skit comedians who had been performing on WEBH…performing for free dinners. Freeman Gosden and Charles
Correll began doing their sketch, Sam „ n Henry, nightly on WGN. Within two years, the program had become too popular for even WGN
and the pair would take their show national…via WMAQ and syndicate…and rename their characters Amos „n Andy.

When Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover lost control of the broadcast airwaves in 1926, it was loyal Republican, Colonel McCormick,
who led the charge in restoring his authority and allowing him to clean up the airwaves through the passage of the Radio Act of
1927…which led to the establishment of the Federal Radio Commission. This effort paid off for WGN as when the dial was re-arranged in
November, 1928, WGN was granted the Clear Channel of 720 kHz…a home they‟ve been at since. The station was also increased the
Villa Olivia transmitter‟s power to 25,000 watts…WGN was now heard at night from coast to coast.

WGN was an early affiliate of NBC…picking up shows on a first-come, first serve basis in competition with other Chicago stations. In 1931,
NBC purchased WENR and WMAQ and gave those stations exclusivity, WGN would become a CBS secondary CBS affiliate and then
become fully independent in 1933….developing its own shows and stars. In 1927, the station had moved into the just completed Tribune
Tower…and in 1935, moved into specially built studios, including a large auditorium with a large theater organ. A station orchestra was
formed and what programming they couldn‟t produce in the studio, Carl Meyers would wire in from the Palmer House. At night, WGN
hopped from ballroom to ballroom featuring the top bands of the day…and bringing the sounds of the Edgewater Beach Hotel or Aragon
Ballroom into homes across the country.

It was during this period that many WGN favorites began gracing the microphones. Quinn Ryan was joined by Pierre Andre and a young
                                                                                                               th
Bob Elson; whose man on the street and interviews with visitors arriving for the 1933 Worlds Fair aboard the 20 Century Limited Train
were very popular. Ryan and Elson also announced Chicago Cub and White Sox games as well as Bears football and Blackhawk hockey;
establishing the station‟s long time association with sports.

The station‟s independent status ended in 1934 when it joined forces with WOR in New York and WXYZ in Detroit in forming the Mutual
Broadcasting System. Soon WGN programs were heard across the country. The station jumped to 50,000 watts in 1933 and then moved
from Villa Olivia to a single tower site in Elk Grove Township in 1938. The station‟s hours were from 7am until 2:30am…loaded with a large
assortment of programs and personalities.

Throughout the 40‟s, WGN was a staple in homes in Chicago and across the Midwest. In 1941, an FM station, W51C, began operating
offering separate programming (predominately classical music) from WGN…in 1943, the station became WGNB and the Tribune invested
in the new station, but World War II restrictions hurt the station and FM in general as new radios weren‟t produced and then following the
war, the FM dial was shifted to 88-106 mHz; making all FM radios obsolete. The Tribune also had plans to enter the new world of
television, and on April 5, 1948, WGN-TV began transmitting from atop Tribune Tower. Unlike other radio stations that struggled with the
rise of television, WGN would embrace it.

The 40‟s also saw the rise of new station personality, a young, energetic announcer who was everywhere…Cubs and Sox games, boxing
matches, political conventions, night clubs….and at home in all environments. Jack Brickhouse would become synonymous with WGN for
the next 35 years leading to many honors, including induction into baseball‟s Hall of Fame.

Radio‟s transition to music, information and personality was suited to WGN‟s style and the station would emerge through the 50‟s and into
the 60‟s as the ratings leader. New personalities came aboard at this time…Eddie Hubbard, Ernie Simon and Wally Phillips spun platters
and became household favorites as the station transitioned into the more mobile world that was emerging. In 1958 the station took to the
skies with its first helicopter reports.

While WGN-AM continued to do well and the new WGN-TV was growing as well, the same couldn‟t be said about their FM station. WGNB
shifted to 98.7 in 1948 but manufacturers shied away from building new radios and FM became a novelty. The station languished until May
23, 1953 when the plug was pulled. While many other FM stations went silent during this time, it would be a move WGN and the Tribune
company would later regret.

In 1955, Colonel McCormick passed on and a new era at both the Tribune and WGN began. On the broadcast side, it was the emergence
of Ward Quaal. He‟d worked his way up the ranks of the broadcast operation (the first voice heard on the sign-on of W51C), and had taken
over as station manager in 1956; directing WGN radio into some of its finest years. In 1961, the station moved from Tribune Tower to new
facilities at 2501 Bradley Place on the city‟s north side. The large complex included color TV studios as well as lavish facilities for radio.

By the mid 60‟s, Wally Phillips moved into the morning slot and took over as the city‟s top-rated morning personality. Other familiar voices
included Roy Leonard, who joined the station in 1968, Carl Greyson, Cliff Mercer, Marty McNeely, Dick Coughlin and at night, it was
Franklyn Mac Cormick with the Meister Brau showcase. Throughout the night, Mac Cormick intermixed light music and waltzes with his
unique poetry and verse. His deep voice (a standard for WGN) would resonate across the station‟s clear channel signal forming an
intimate bond with thousands of listeners. It was sad, but in a way very fitting that Mr. Mac Cormick passed away while on the air on June
12, 1971…a testimony to his dedication to both his listeners and WGN.

As the 60‟s drew to a close, WGN and the Tribune were expanding their broadcast holdings. The Tribune purchased the New York Daily
News, and with it, it‟s radio and TV operation, then added a television station in Denver a station in Duluth…becoming WGN Continental
Broadcasting. In 1968, the company purchased WFMT from Bernie Jacobs and Gale Broadcasting. The fine arts station had moved to
WGNB‟s old frequency of 98.7, but now FM was no longer a novelty, but emerging on its own. The purchase of the station brought a lot of
controversy from dedicated WFMT listeners who feared WGN would turn the station into another “jukebox”. After two contentious years,
WGN donated WFMT to the Chicago Educational Television Association, operators of WTTW, Channel 11, the city‟s public TV station.
WFMT would gain autonomy under this new arrangement, which still continues today. In the late 70‟s and throughout the 80‟s, WGN would
attempt to purchase an FM property, but fall short in bidding.

The renewed popularity of radio in the 60‟s and 70‟s increased WGN‟s ratings…it became everyone parent‟s station. You‟d hear it
everywhere and its personalities were known to all…either heard on radio or seen on TV. Throughout the 70‟s the station transitioned
away from music and more toward talk and personality. In 1968, Norman Ross began a nightly discussion program, Extension 720, in
1973, Dr. Milt Rosenberg would assume the hosting role. The station also brought in Bill Berg and Bob Colliins in the mid days and Jay
Andres (formerly of WBBM) overnights. In 1971, the station brought on Floyd Brown and Merry Dee…the first two African-American voices
on the station…and ones that would be familiar to listeners for years to come.

A big reason for WGN‟s strong performance was its sports coverage. The station gained exclusive rights to the Chicago Cubs in the late
40s and the team of Vince Lloyd and Lou Boudreau were heard all summer popping out of transistor radios. Jack Brickhouse teamed up
with Irv Kupcinet to cover the Bears. There was college sports galore…football and basketball and even weekly discussions with “The
Sportswriters”. The Tribune‟s purchase of the Chicago Cubs in 1981 ensured the radio connection.

The station‟s ratings dominance continued throughout the 80‟s despite several changes. In 1986, Wally Phillips left mornings and Bob
Collins took over, maintaining the strong morning audience and endearing himself to millions. Eddie Schwartz, who had turned overnights
into a winner for WIND came over and soon was making new friends all over the country on the station‟s still powerful 50,000 watts. Spike
O‟Dell was brought in from the Quad Cities and soon established himself in Collins‟ former afternoon time slot. 1986 also marked WGN
Radio‟s return to the Tribune Tower; including a window-front studio facing Michigan Avenue. Under the direction of Dan Fabian, the station
would maintain the station‟s high numbers. The station would reign as the radio industry‟s top money-making station for over two decades.
The 90‟s would offer some serious challenges to WGN. FM‟s rise in popularity was starting to finally affect WGN…in essence, the station‟s
listeners were starting to die off. They also lost the Chicago Bears to WBBM and saw WLS, WLUP and WSCR going after their remaining
listeners. Eddie Schwartz departed to WLUP and the all-night show was taken over by the husband and wife team of Steve King and
Jonnie Putnam, John Williams, Ian Punnett and Al Lerner and Ed Curran came on to give the station a younger punch. While the rest of
the radio industry went wild with deregulation and consolidation, WGN and the Tribune stayed above it all. While the ratings weren‟t what
                                      st
they once were, WGN entered the 21 century as a Chicago institution.

Tragedy hit the station on February 7, 2000, when Bob Collins was killed in a small plane crash. Spike O‟Dell would take over in mornings
and John Williams and Steve Cochran in the afternoons. In the Middays, the station featured Kathy O'Malley and Judy Markey and
Gary Wright on weekends. Steve Carver would take over from Fabian. The station would lose the Chicago Bears to WBBM
but still remain strong with the Cubs all summer long.

While the Tribune Company avoided the merger-mania in the mid 90‟s, they became active players in another flurry in the
early 2000‟s. The television holdings had expanded to operations in every major market…taking on debt along the way. The
Tribune purchased the Los Angeles Times in 2000 and became a major investor in the new WB network. The expenses piled
up at the expense of both the newspapers and radio operations. In April, 2007, the Tribune was sold to Chicago media
mogul, Sam Zell, The new owner had made a fortune with the buying and selling of stations in the 90‟s and announced his
plans to sell off assets of the company, including WGN Radio. He brought in a new station manager, Randy Michaels, who
had a reputation of flamboyant operation. While WGN radio remains steady on the surface, reports of problems inside are
regularly heard and the staff have been moving in and out as the new ownership tries to prepare the station for a possible
future sale.

While it‟s future ownership status is in doubt, it‟s reputation and identification with Chicago remains strong.
Source: http://wgngold.com/timeline/index.htm
http://www.wgntv.com/station_history/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WGN_Radio


  Calls              Location          On Date        Off Date       Freq.                  Owner                            Notes
  WQJ AM                              6/30/1924       4/1/1928        670     Calumet Baking Powder Co.
Chicago has had a long and deep love affair with Jazz and dance music. At the turn of the century, the place to hear the latest music was
at the many beer gardens and dance halls that sprang up around the city. Competition was fierce and bigger and better clubs were being
opened all the time. Following World War I, Fred and Al Mann took control of the Moulin Rouge, a beer garden and dance hall on Clark
Street in Chicago‟s growing Uptown neighborhood. They renamed it the Rainbo Gardens and soon turned it into one of the most popular
night spots in the city. Despite, or in spite of the imposition of the Voldsted Act, better known as Prohibition, the Rainbo would offer Jazz
and elegance as the lure rather than alcohol…or at least that was the concept.

The Calumet Baking Powder Company was founded in 1889 and produced a popular product with its recognizable Indian-head logo. The
company aggressively promoted and saw radio as a means to reach a new and younger market. By 1924, ballroom broadcasts had
become the most popular programming on radio. Thousands tuned in nightly to hear the many stations and dance bands, and the bands
were more than happy to find radio stations who would spread their names and push sales of sheet music, phonograph records and
personal appearances. The Manns saw radio as an important asset to their club. By mid 1924, several competitors had gotten the jump on
hitting the airwaves and they not only wanted to be on the air, but have a say in controlling the broadcasts as well. They found a
backer/partner in the Calumet company who then applied for a license, WQJ radio in June, 1924. The station then went on the air nightly,
sharing time with WMAQ and operating with 500 watts on 670 kHz from a transmitter atop the Rainbo‟s dance hall.

For the next 4 years, WMAQ and WQJ shared time…WMAQ as the prime station on the channel and WQJ came on when the Rainbo
opened at night. The broadcasts were especially popular with DX‟ers or long distance listeners, who could hear the station‟s signal, even at
low power, as far away as Europe and Australia. One may have heard Three Stooge, Larry Fine, as he served as the Rainbo announcer
until he was discovered at the club by Stooges founderdi Ted Healy.

WQJ‟s demise began with the passing of the Radio Act of 1927 that set public interest standards as a major requirement in keeping a
license. The Rainbo was having some troubles as well. Despite the veneer of respectability and style, the club was regularly raided by the
vice squad for violating liquor laws. Many famous, or infamous, gangsters were regular customers and the rise of the Uptown Theater,
Aragon Ballroom, Green Mill and other clubs made it more difficult for the Manns to keep the place going.

While WQJ survived the Order 40 reshuffle and remained in its time share arrangement with WMAQ, the FRC encouraged the two station
to merge Following a late night raid, the Rainbo closed in February, 1928 and WQJ was without a home. In April, WQJ was sold to WMAQ
and as part of the deal, the baking powder company received free announcements on WMAQ over the next 8 years.

The Rainbo would re-open in many forms in the years ahead. It hosted Jai Ali in the 30‟s, wrestling in the 40‟s and was the home of the
Knetic Playground, an underground music spot in that featured greats such as Jimi Hendrix, in the late 60‟s. Many others remember the
Rainbo for its skating rink that remained in operation until the 90‟s. In 2005, the building was demolished…but the memories of the Rainbo
endure. The Calumet Baking Powder company was sold in 1929 to General Foods, but one still sees old Indian head baking powder cans.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calumet_Baking_Powder_Company
http://www.compassrose.org/uptown/DownShore.html
http://chicago.urban-history.org/sites/ballroom/rainbo.htm
  Calls             Location          On Date      Off Date     Freq.                 Owner                            Notes
  WRBC AM Valparaiso, IN             6/30/1924     1/1/1930     1080     Immanuel Lutheran Church
A 500 watt station that began operations at 1080 kHz in the Spring of 1924. The station operated primarily on Sundays to broadcast church
services to shut-ins. It had to share the channel with WJJD, WAAF and WORD. In the chaos of 1926-27, the station shifted to 1260kHz.
In November, 1928, WRBC was re-assigned to 1240kHz and the station would fade from the airwaves in early 1930,

Source:


  Calls             Location        On Date       Off Date       Freq.                  Owner                             Notes
                                                                          North Shore Congregational
  WDBY AM                            7/31/1924 11/30/1925        1160
                                                                          Church
In 1923, J. C. O‟Hair founded the North Shore Congregational Church at the corner of Wilson & Sheridan Road in the bustling Uptown area
of Chicago. As with other fundamentalist preachers of the time, O‟Hair was out to save souls…especially in the wild Jazz-age prohibition
hotbed of Uptown. A way to reach those souls was on the device many were listening to, radio. In Summer, 1924, the church installed a
500 watt transmitter, tuned it to 1160 kHz, and received a license to operate…doing so primarily on Sunday. Some joked the call-letters
stood for “We Delight In Bothering You”. The new station would share the channel with WLTS…an early student-run station at Lane
Technical Institute.

It appears the call-letters did bother Reverend O‟Hair who would change the call-letters to WPCC in Fall, 1925. The station would continue
to operate on Sundays only until it lost its license in 1930.
Source: http://www.bereanbiblesociety.org/ohair/START.pdf
http://www.lisaleland.com/llcopy/ohair_legacy_062208.htm


  Calls             Location        On Date       Off Date       Freq.                  Owner                             Notes
  WTL     AM                       7/31/1924                     1120     H.G. Sall
This radio station was licensed briefly, probably a temporary one that operated at 10 watts from this prestigious hotel that overlooked
Lincoln Park. The hotel had a very popular auditorium and appears to have had a recording studio as well.

Source:


  Calls             Location        On Date       Off Date       Freq.                  Owner                             Notes
                                                                         Supreme Lodge, Loyal Order Of
  WJJD AM Mooseheart, IL 10/13/1924 8/14/2000                     1080
                                                                         Moose
                                                                      th           th
The rapid industrialization of the U.S. and Chicago during the late 19 and early 20 century gave rose to big social changes as well.
Immigrants were streaming into the city and it was hard-pressed to meet the most basic needs; poverty and crime were the byproducts.
Many felt there were was a need to address the social conditions which gave rise to a variety of solutions.

In 1888, a group of Louisville, Kentucky businessmen formed the Loyal Order of Moose; primarily a social club that soon expanded across
the Midwest. In 1906, John J. Davis of Elwood, Indiana, a Welch immigrant who had worked as a union organizer in the turbulent coal
mines of Pennsylvania, rose to the leadership of the organization. The group soon grew to lodges around the country and membership
swelled to over 500,000, In 1912, Davis announced a plan to provide a home, schooling and vocational training for children of deceased
Moose members, a year later, his town, a planned community named Moosehart , located just north of Aurora, Illinois, began construction.

As the Moose name and political clout grew, Davis was selected as Secretary of Labor…a post he would remain in for the next 8 years,
then, in 1930 he served 14 years as Senator from Pennsylvania. It pays to have powerful friends in high places, as through Davis‟
influence, Mooseheart prospered…and in Fall, 1924, this “world of tomorrow” would enter the brand new, futuristic world of radio
broadcasting. Through Davis‟ assistance, Mooseheart was granted a license and on October 13, 1924, radio station WJJD (named in
honor of Davis) took to the airwaves with 500 watts at 1080 kHz. The new station would be totally operated by the young people of
Mooseheart and spotlight their talents as well as events in nearby Fox River Valley communities.

The new station had to fend for airtime, at first on 1080, then it went into a time-sharing agreement with Charles Erbstein‟s WTAS and
WCEE (just up the Fox River) in Elgin. When the Chicago Tribune and WGN bought Erbstein‟s operation in late 1925, WJJD then jumped
to WGN‟s former 810 kHz slot; sharing time with the new Edgewater Beach Hotel station, WEBH (actually the old WJAZ). With Davis‟
political clout and influence, WJJD expanded, upgrading to 1,000 watts. It was at this time the station began to do remote broadcasts from
local theaters and clubs and leasing airtime that helped finance the growing operation.

Having friends in high places would serve WJJD well as the Federal Radio Commission moved to clean up the radio mess in 1928. The
station would easily pass the public need standard from their base and ideals of Mooseheart, and would get a big boost, the station would
be assigned to one of the higher power regional channels, 1180 kHz, and upgrade the signal to 5,000 and then in Fall, 1928, to a super
power of 20,000 watts. Mooseheart became a major radio center, and WJJD now was heard across the Midwest…especially the rural
areas surrounding both Mooseheart and Chicago. After the November 11, 1928 frequency shift, WJJD moved again, this time to 1130kHz;.

While the Loyal Order of Moose continued to operate the station and its transmitting facilities, it soon began to bring in others to run the
station‟s expanded programming. A studio was built in the Palmer House in Downtown Chicago and this opened the door to a wide range
of entertainers and special programming. WJJD‟s studios featured all types of entertainers, and also reached out to many ethnic groups
with some of the first foreign language broadcasts on the air in Chicago.

In 1931, the station hired Gene Autry, who had been appearing with the WLS Barn Dance, to perform on the perform 12 shows a week…6
on the morning frolic and then against in the suppertime frolic…all for $50 a week. While WJJD‟s size and audience grew, so did its
expenses…well beyond that the Loyal Order of Moose could provide…especially in the Depression and it‟s promotional value for
Mooseheart had begun to fade. In 1933 the station was sold to Johnson-Kennedy broadcasting, who also owned WIND in Gary, Indiana
(the station had just recently taken over the 560 frequency) and would program both stations for the next decade.

Despite the large signal, the station was limited in what hours it could operate. The station had to sign-off each night at sunset in Salt Lake
City, Utah to clear the frequency for KSL…the station given priority to the channel at night. During the winter, WJJD was required to sign-
off at 6pm…thus it never was able to connect to a network and had to produce its own programming and talent.

During the 30‟s, WJJD shared talent and resources with WIND, filling its days with a lot of recorded music, but also shows specializing
ethnic groups and music not heard on other stations. Many performers at other stations would moonlight at WJJD; taking different on-air
names, to supplement their incomes. One such musician was a young guitarist from Milwaukee named Lester Polfuss. He arrived in
Chicago during the 1933 World‟s Fair and soon was serenading country tunes as “Rhubard Red” during the days on WJJD an then as Jazz
guitarist, Les Paul, on WIND at night. Each day the station signed on and off with a “Frolic”…some of the earliest country music heard on
the radio.

In 1941, the FCC passed laws prohibiting duopoly, or one company owning more than one station in a specific market, WIND sold WJJD to
Marshall Field III, the great grandson of the merchant king, and a growing media mogul in his own right. In 1943, Field had purchased the
Chicago Sun and Times, creating a major competitor for the Tribune and now as intent on establishing a radio and broadcast arm to
challenge WGN.

Under Field, the station moved to new studios in the Carbon-Carbide Building at 230 North Michigan and upgraded the station‟s signal to
50,000 watts; building a new directional facility in northwest suburban Des Plaines providing a powerful signal over the north side of
Chicago. In 1937 WJJD joined other Chicago radio stations in broadcasting Chicago Cub and White Sox home games…but in 1944, the
teams entered exclusive agreements with WIND and WJJD. Beginning in 1945, WJJD listeners heard Bob Elson and Jack Brickhouse
report all Sox games on WJJD during the day and on WIND at night. In 1948, Brickhouse returned to WGN and the Chicago Cubs, while
Elson continued on with games on WJJD during the daytime and the new Field-owned WFMF at night. In 1951, the night games began to
air on WCFL and then the station gained exclusive rights to the team a year later, a major blow to WJJD.

Field continued much of WJJD‟s diversified programming and expanded it. In 1948 he hired Al Benson, a black disk jockey who had built
up both an audience and advertising base through shows he was brokering via WAIT Benson moved fulltime to WGES in 1945 and then
was invited to do a show on WJJD; reaching a large, white audience…racial barriers, while still there, were beginning to crumble on
Chicago‟s airwaves…and WJJD would be one of the leaders.

Field sold the station to Plough Pharacutical Company of Memphis in Spring, 1953 but would later return to broadcasting with WFLD-TV.
The Plough era would see WJJD go through many interesting changes and to its most memorable years. The new owners went with more
personality, such as Al Parker (later the long-time voice over announcer at Channel 7 and head of the broadcasting department at
Columbia College), Sid Roberts, Eddie Hubbard (before moving onto WGN) and Cy Nelson playing contemporary hits while giving the
latest time and temp. Initially the station did well, but as other, bigger stations, WMAQ, WBBM and WGN were pushed toward similar
programming, the competition would lead to a change at WJJD.

In 1956, Westinghouse returned to Chicago when they purchased WIND from Ralph Atlass and gave the station a make-over with an
upbeat Contemporary format, the first Top 40 format in Chicago. Plough Broadcasting, that had adopted a Todd Storz format at their
station in Memphis saw a similar opportunity with WJJD. In 1957, the last few hours of the station‟s broadcast day became the home of the
station‟s Top 40 countdown…a program that soon had a lot of young ears in Chicago tuning in. More and more rock „n roll songs were
brought into the station‟s young as WJJD surpassed WIND as the most favorite station among the rising teen audience.

As 1960 approached, WJJD had become the city‟s first full-time Top 40 station and WIND moved towards softer sounds. WJJD‟s reign at
the top would be short as a new and more viable competitor, WLS, emerged in May, 1960. For the next 3 years, the stations would battle
for the ears and transistor radios of young Chicago. Air talents such as Sam Hale and Ron Riley came aboard and WJJD tried to fight the
newcomer, Riley would leave to join WLS in 1963. In 1962, the station began to plug a single from a Chicago record label, Vee Jay, which
featuring an unknown British Band, the Beatles. Their first album had already become a hit in England and the Chicago record company
was able to pick up the right to the album. A year later, Beatlemania would begin to catch on, but WJJD wouldn‟t. In Fall, 1963, Plough
decided the station needed a new image and switched to become the city‟s first full-time Country/Western music station.

While many young Chicago listeners were saddened to hear the change, WJJD and its Country Gentlemen would soon make friends with a
whole new generation. Instead of the hillbilly music of the “frolic” days, WJJD took the Top 40 approach to their new format, including a
weekly survey, giving the music and format a very professional shine. Talents in those days included Don Chapman, Jim Beedle, John
Trotter, Roy Stingley, Mark Edwards, Ted Clark and many others. For the next decade, WJJD had the Country audience in Chicago and
the Midwest to itself and prospered despite still having to sign off at sunset in Salt Lake City. To overcome the night time problem, the
format was also carried on WJJD-FM, who would continue programming after the AM signed off.

Initially many felt Country/Western wouldn‟t do well in Chicago, but year in and out, WJJD showed strong ratings and revenues as Country
enjoyed more mainstream acceptance and popularity. The success was particularly noted by NBC, who brought in noted Country
programmer, Burt Sherwood, to help create a new station and format and on November 1, 1974, WMAQ switched to Country, WJJD‟s first
real competition. Within a year, WMAQ‟s stronger signal, longer hours and heavy promotion had led it past WJJD in the ratings, but the two
stations would continue to battle. In the late 70‟s, J.D. Spangler was brought in as Program Director and the FCC would approve giving the
station full-time status, but WMAQ was pulling further ahead and now WJJD was in competition with its own FM station, WJEZ, that had
gone to a soft country format in 1977.

By 1981, WJJD, even with its new night time signal continued to struggle and the end of the Urban Cowboy fad saw a the end of the
Country days at 1160. The station contracted with Al Ham and became the Chicago home of “The Music Of Your Life”…a format featuring
big bands and popular hits of the 30‟s, 40‟s and 50‟s. In August, 1984, Plough sold WJJD, along with WJEZ, to Infinity Broadcasting. The
new owners maintained the standards format and adding former WLS and WIND personality, Clark Weber, in 1985. Once again the station
had strong ratings but its older demographic were a difficult one to sell.

The music would play out in 1993 as Infinity switched the format to talk. It was a temporary home to Howard Stern (his show was produced
by Infinity) as well as bringing over former Chicago Alderman Ed Vrydolak and Ty Wansley who had teamed together at WLS. The station
also loaded up with syndicated shows including former Watergate “star” G. Gordon Liddy and the irreverent Tom Lykais. The station once
again was competing with WLS, and not doing well.

In 1996 Infinity would be purchased by CBS Radio with Infinity President, Mel Karamzin, at the helm of the bigger radio group. WJJD now
was co-owned with WMAQ, WBBM AM & FM, WUSN, WJMK (the former WJJD-FM), WCKG, WXRT and WSCR. Stern moved back to
WCKG (where he had been heard in ‟94-‟96) and CBS was faced with having to sell one of its stations. WSCR, that operated on a daytime
only signal was sold, but the station‟s call-letters and Sports talk format were moved over to the full-time 1160 signal on April 8, 1997. The
hope was the night time hours and 50,000 watt signal would increase the station‟s audience and allow it to do sports play-by-play. In the
weeks prior to the format change, WJJD simulcasted WJMK‟s all-oldies format…one last spin of Top 40 on 1160 as a well-known, well
traveled set of call-letters became radio history.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WYLL
http://71.57.24.170/public/zecom/museum/1975FMGuide/1975FMGuide-Weekday.htm
http://71.57.24.170/public/zecom/museum/1968FMGuide/FMGuide68-Weekdays.htm
http://www.dtvnow.org/conf04/Burt%20Sherwood.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chicago_White_Sox_broadcasters
http://www.musicianguide.com/biographies/1608000936/Les-Paul.html
http://www.wjjd1160country.com/
http://www.nrcdxas.org/articles/hmr0496.txt
http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:cyEcMx7GlEIJ:www.ohiomoose.com/WeeklyUpdates/2-15-
06.pdf+WJJD+Radio+Mooseheart&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=us
http://www.trivia-library.com/b/history-of-radio-1929-to-1931.htm


   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date     Freq.                  Owner                           Notes
  WCEE AM             Elgin, IL      12/31/1924 2/28/1926          560     Charles Erbstein
This was a second transmitter owned and operated by Charles E. Erbstein who also owned WTAS. The station began operating from
Erbstein‟s Villa Olivia studios at 560kHz in Fall, 1924, jumping on the channel briefly while KYW was re-assigned to 1020 kHz. Within a
year, KYW had moved back to 560 and WCEE would shift to 990kHz, the same frequency as WTAS. Erbstein would sell his Villa Olivia
transmitter site to the Chicago Tribune on December 24, 1925. He sold the WCEE and WTAS licenses to Illinois Broadcasting, a group
that had studios in the Strauss Building on Michigan Avenue in Downtown Chicago. The stations would be moved to Wooddale and the
call-letters changed to WSWS in Spring, 1926…the last legacies of Charles Erbstein would fade from the ether.

Source:


  Calls            Location         On Date    Off Date         Freq.                Owner                           Notes
 WBCN AM                           1/31/1925   1/1/1933         1130     Foster & McDonald
As we‟ve seen with stations like KYW, WGN and WMAQ, having a newspaper as a partner gave early stations a big advantage. They
provided much needed publicity as well as connections into the local entertainment and business community. The rapid growth of
                                       th           th
Chicago‟s neighborhoods in the late 19 and early 20 century created a market for smaller papers that reached out to a particular area or
ethnic group. One such paper was founded in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago in 1906…it was named the Economist.

The paper would thrive with the growing Englewood neighborhood as well as nearby affluent white neighborhoods of Woodlawn and Hyde
                                                                               rd
Park. In the middle of this area was a thriving “bright light” district near 63 and Cottage Grove Avenue. In the area was the famous White
City amusement park (built to resemble the 1893 World‟s Fair and major competitor to Riverview) as well as several big nightclubs including
the Tivoli Gardens, the Savoy Theater and the Trianon Ballroom.
The wireless craze was hitting its peak in late 1924 and early 1925, the Commerce Commission was continuing to issue licenses and letting
broadcasters work out interference and time sharing problems. It was in this crowded field the newspaper, now named the Southtown
Economist, opened up their radio station, WBCN in January, 1925. The new station operated on the relatively clear frequency of 1130 kHz
                                                 th
with 500 watts from the Econmist‟s offices at 65 and Halsted. In March, they entered a time sharing arrangement with the WENR, the new
station owned by Eugene N. Rauland, the founder of the All-American Radio Company.

Much of WBCN‟s programming revolved around the clubs and social happenings of the Englewood community, featuring remote
broadcasts from many of the area clubs or inviting the artists to perform in their studios. The chaos on the radio dial would lead to both
WBCN and WENR moving to 1040kHz in 1926.

While the younger partner on their shared channel, WENR would rise to become one of the city‟s most popular stations and in 1927, both
stations drew the attention of Samuel Insull, the head of Commonwealth Edison Company. They had been partners with Westinghouse in
founding KYW in 1921 but had parted company with the station in 1926. Insull wanted his own broadcast operation and purchased WBCN
                                                st
along with WENR in Spring, 1927. On June 1 , the two stations were merged and moved into new studios in the Straus Building on
Michigan Avenue in Downtown Chicago.

Commonwealth Edison formed the Great Lakes Broadcasting company, who retained the WBCN call-letters, using it for special broadcasts
and test transmissions via WENR. In November, 1928, both WBCN and WENR would be granted use of the clear channel of 870…dividing
                                                                      th
5/7ths of the airtime between themselves (primarily for WENR) with 2/7 going to the WLS. In 1929, WENR-WBCN became the first
Chicago station to upgrade to 50,000 watts when they opened a new transmitter in southwest suburban Downers Grove. In the early 30‟s,
the FRC pushed to eliminate the dual station licenses and the WBCN calls were dropped in Spring, 1933.
Source: http://www.lib.umd.edu/LAB/COLLECTIONS/wenr-kyw.html
http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/358.html
http://www.otrr.org/FILES/Magz_pdf/Nostalgia%20Newsletter/NostalgiaNewsLet_V04_(02)Feb78.pdf
http://www.mainspringpress.com/radio_murray.html


  Calls              Location        On Date       Off Date     Freq.                 Owner                                Notes
 WORD AM            Batavia, IL     1/31/1925      1/1/1932     1080     People's Pulpit Association
Radio was an intoxicating new tool for religious groups. Many religions and preachers flocked to the airlane in its early days either to reach
out to shut-ins or use the new medium to spread the word. The 1920s was an era of highten religious awareness in the country. Sects
searching for a better society formed their own communities (such as Alexander Dowie and Glenn Wilbur Voliva in Zion) or prepare what
what they sure believed were the end of times. On such group to emerge in this era were the Jehovah Witnesses.

The organization was founded in 1881 and had risen set up churches and halls around the country. Under the direction of Judge Joseph
Franklin Rutherford, they created the “People‟s Pulpit Society” in 1909 to use newspapers and magazines to get out the word. Radio would
be especially attractive to Rutherford, as his group believe that radio waves could heal or ward off evil spirits (this belief was later
debuked)…thus, in late 1924, Rutherford applied for licenses to operate a new radio station, requesting the call-letters WORD from the
Commerce Commission. The new station was built in west suburban Batavia with 500 watts on 1080 kHz. It appears the station was using
the original WJJD transmitter at nearby Mooseheart…WJJD had moved to 810 Khz.

The station, just like other religious stations, would operate for a few hours a day, primarily on Sunday or with lectures, music programs and
services one or two nights a week. WORD soon expanded, setting up studios in the prestigious Hotel Webster on the city‟s near north side,
increasing its power to 5,000 watts and sharing its frequency with WAAF. During the mass radio confusion of 1926-27, WORD hopped
around the dial…retuning its big transmitter to 1090 kHz in the fall, then to 770kHz (along with WAAF and WBBM) in January…next the
station was heard at 1100 (the channel used by WRM at the University of Illinois) in late 1927 and finally on 1190kHz (sharing with
Neutrowound Radio‟s WOK and WMBB…transmitting via WOK‟s transmitter with studios in the Trianon Ballroom). The station was finally
assigned the far end dial position of 1480 kHz, sharing the channel with Zenith‟s WJAZ in Mount Prospect and Bill Bill Thompson‟s station,
WHT from Deerfield

The station and the Watchtower‟s other radio stations were criticized by other religious groups for their controversial message and some
believe this was the reason the station got it‟s poor 1480 assignment in 1928. In 1930, the station shifted to 1490 and took control of the
former WHT/WSOA and renamed the Deerfield station, WCHI, still sharing time with Zenith‟s WJAZ.

By 1931, the FRC had decided to re-assign the 1490 channel to give WCKY in Covington, Kentucky priority use of the channel and to clear
both WJAZ and WORD off the frequency. The FRC finally prevailed, WJAZ would leave the air by the end of 1931 and WCHI/WORD
would vanish a few months later. The Watch Tower station in New York, WBBR would continue until 1941, but the group has not returned
to the airwaves since.
Source: http://wcl.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Watchtower-Society
http://www.bible.ca/jw-history.htm
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,730814-2,00.html


  Calls             Location        On Date       Off Date       Freq.                  Owner                              Notes
  WEBH AM                            2/28/1925     4/1/1928        810
                                        th
Many refer to the early years of the 20 century as the “Guilded Age”…Elegant living was the American dream and many sought to build
their version of it. The development of roads and commuter rail opened up many new areas…especially the Lake Michigan shoreline. The
areas became highly desirable places to live or to visit. The Uptown, Lakeview and Edgewater neighborhoods flourished with nightlife and
a thriving resort/hotel industry. No hotel would symbolize this era of elegance than the Edgewater Beach Hotel, built by ohn Tobin
Connery and James Patrick Connery in 1916. This hotel, built directly on the Lake Shore at Foster Avenue & Sheridan Road
soon became a popular destination for the rich and famous. Its tropical motif was like a vacation in Havana for the price of an
elevated ride.

The hotel‟s ballroom became one of the top night spots in the city with the top bands of the day performing in the huge
ballroom. Shortly after constructing the hotel, the owners allowed H. G. Mathews and his Chicago Radio Laboratories to set
up a shop and experimental station on the hotel‟s ground, this station called 9ZN which would later become Zenith Radio
Corporation. In 1923, Zenith received a commercial radio license for WJAZ and based it at the Edgewater…building the
“Crystal Studio” in the ballroom. The station formed a partnership with the Chicago Tribune and featured music nightly from
the hotel…reaching out across the country. The broadcasts were a big success and by March, 1924, the Chicago Tribune
was operating the station, including using the call-letters of WGN..while Zenith continued to hold the station‟s license. In
April, the Tribune/Zenth partnership ended, the Tribune would purchase WDAP from the Drake Hotel and move their WGN
call-letters to that facility on May 1, 1924. WGN would continue to broadcast from the Crystal Studio, but also from many
other venues around the city.

In Fall, 1924, the Hotel took control of the old WJAZ facilities and renamed it WEBH. It shared time with WGN on 810kHz
with 500 watts. It was at this time the station brought on a comedy team, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, who
entertained for free meals and radio time. The introduced radio listeners to “Sam „n Henry”…the team would work next at
WGN and then become national stars as Amos „n Andy when they moved to WMAQ and the National Broadcasting company
in 1928. The station became the launching pad for many big band stars who would appear at the hotel to be heard on the
station…who even at 1,000 watts in 1925 was heard far and wide at night.

The station didn‟t broadcast exclusively from the hotel and in August, 1925, WEBH broadcast the big premeier of the Uptown
Theater. The station had studios built in this theater, billed at the time as the largest in the country. On December 24, 1925,
WGN took over Charles Erbstein‟s Villa Olivia transmitter site and moved from 810, replaced the frequency time share with
WJJD…a new station transmitting from Mooseheart and owned by the Loyal Order of Moose.

To counter the rising interference WEBH would increase its transmitter powerto 2,000 watts and then in early 1927 shifted
over to 820 kHz. It‟s not certain if the station decided to avoid going through the re-licensing due to the Radio Act of 1927 or
no longer felt the station was needed as the hotel continued to do remote broadcasts with other stations (most notably WGN).
In the end, WEBH was not allocated a new channel and broadcast its last in Spring, 1928.

Radio would return to the hotel in 1958 when air personality, Buddy Black would build a new FM station, reviving the WEBH
call-letters…the station would operate from the hotel until it was abruptly close in 1967. Today that station is WLIT.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Fio_Rito
http://www.trivia-library.com/b/history-of-radio-1922-to-1928.htm
http://www.antiqueradio.com/zenithcrl_12-97.html
http://www.wttw.com/main.taf?p=1,7,1,1,13
http://www.uv201.com/Misc_Pages/letterheads_12.htm
http://wgngold.com/timeline/1920s1930s.htm
http://www.uv201.com/Misc_Pages/letterheads_11.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgewater_Beach_Hotel
http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2008/01/14/amos-n-andy-explained/
http://www.compassrose.org/uptowntheatre/history2.html


  Calls            Location        On Date      Off Date      Freq.                 Owner                             Notes

 WENR AM                          4/30/1925     3/30/1954              All American Radio Corporation
While World War I would put a temporary end to amateur and early public broadcasting, it provided the training for a new generation of
radio operators and entrepreneurs. One such person was Eugene Norman Rauland. The son of Scandanavian immigrants, Rauland gave
up studying to be a lawyer to serve in the Army Signal Corps. Upon his discharge, he went to work for Belden Wire Company and while
there developed his own product, the Rauland-Lyric transformer coil…a device that allowed radios to be heard without earphones. He
formed the All-American Radio Company and soon began to incorporate his new coil in a radio using many patents from a fellow Signal
Corp member, Major Edwin Armstrong. All American Radios became a popular brand and with the assistance of Eugene McDonald, from
the Chicago Radio Laboratories…a company that also produced radio parts and would later become Zenith Radio. In 1923, Zenith opened
its WJAZ to promote the sales of its radio products and Rauland took note of the increase in sales and saw a similar opportunity for himself
and his company

In 1924, Rauland built a 10-watt transmitter and began to experiment with it from his company‟s factory at 2650 Coyne Street on Chicago‟s
West Side. Shortly thereafter he applied for a license which was granted on March 19, 1925…WENR Radio was on the air. Rauland
upgraded his transmitter to 100 watts and set up a time-sharing agreement with WBCN…the new station of the Southtown Economist
newspaper. With the power boost, WENR soon was heard throughout the Chicago area and gaining an audience…plus more business for
All American Radio Compnay.

The station and company moved into new facilities at 4201 W. Belmont on Chicago‟s northwest side on September 1, 1925, Rauland
installed a Western Electric transmitter and now WENR was reaching out across the country. Much of the early programming were
phonograph records, performances by employees of the company or talks by Rauland. In November, he hired Everett Mitchell, a claims
adjuster who moonlighted as a singer on several Chicago stations. He lived close to WENR and proposed expanding the programming and
focus of WENR. He soon hired a station orchestra and was producing a wide variety of general interest programs…the station became
“The Sound Of Service”…a name that would stick with the station for the remainder of its existence.

Rauland and Mitchell experimented with remote broadcasts, including a portable transmitter for live coverage of news events. By 1926, the
station had outgrown its factory studios and found a new home in Kimball Hall on Wabash Street. The studios had previously been used by
Charles Erbstein‟s WTAS. Kimball let WENR take over after studios became vacant in exchange for promotional announcements. The
move helped Mitchell get better talent to appear on the station, but the studios were too limited for the station‟s growing roster of
performers. In late 1926, WSWS, a successor to WTAS that had built lavish studios in the Straus Building on Michigan Avenue went out of
business, Mitchell learned of the studio‟s availability (along with a large studio organ) and Rauland quickly struck a deal, WENR began
broadcasting from their new, state-of-the-art studios on February 1, 1927..

From its new studios, WENR, along with WBCN moved to the clearer 1040 kHz position, sharing time with Larry Silverstein‟s WSBC and a
new and final version of WTAS; owned by the Illinois Broadcasting Company. The station was more popular than ever and caught the
attention of Samuel Insull, the head of Commonwealth Edison and transit baron. This protégé of Thomas Edison joined forces with
Westinghouse to put KYW on the air in 1921, but their partnership had dissolved and Insull needed a new radio facility. In November,
Rauland agreed to sell WENR to Insull‟s new Great Lakes Broadcasting Company for $1,000,000…a staggering price for a radio station.
The deal was agreed to upon the stipulation that Everett Mitchell would remain with the station (a smart move for Insull) and the deal was
consummated on April 25, 1928. After the sale, Rauland returned to his laboratories. Sales in All-American radios would fade and he
became interested in the emerging technology of television. The Rauland Company is still going strong today with a wide variety of
electrical services.

Insull was not a man to do things small, and that was the case with WENR. He also purchased WBCN from the Southtown and upgraded
the 500 watt transmitter to 5,000 watts. Mitchell was busy creating some of the station‟s most memorable programs…the “Weener
Minstrels”, daily organ concerts, live band remotes and the “Weener Derby”…a daily horse race that was extremely popular. The station‟s
reputation and Insull‟s political clout would benefit the station with the reallocation of the dial in November, 1928. WENR and WBCN were
given a coveted clear channel designation of 870kHz and have to share time with WLS…the agricultural station owned by Sears Roebuck.
                                     th
WENR originally was granted 5/7 of the airtime which WLS and its new owners, Agricultural Broadcasting Company would fight…the two
stations would operate in a love/hate relationship for the next 25 years.

In late 1929, WENR moved into new transmitting facilities in southwest suburban Downers Grove and became the city‟s first 50,000 watt
station. Two years later, WLS would move in and share the facility until they constructed their Tinley Park site in 1938. WENR now was
heard nightly from coast-to-coast. The station also moved to even bigger and better studios atop the brand new Civic Opera Building (Insull
was a big supporter of the Opera…and a major influence in its early broadcasts on KYW). The station also began to air programming from
the NBC “Blue” Network…one of the two NBC networks that were offering programs on a first-come first-served basis to other Chicago
stations. In early 1930, NBC announced plans to build a large studio complex in the Merchandise Mart but were doing so without owning a
station in the city. That would soon change. The stock market collapse and Depression took a big toll on Insull. His fortune vanished
overnight and he faced a lot of public disdain for the collapse of his companies. In March,1931, WENR and WBCN were sold to NBC

The one constant throughout the WENR years was Everett Mitchell. He would remain with WENR under NBC ownership and produce a
daily Town and Farm show that aired on the Blue Network and then locally on WMAQ radio on WNBQ-TV. Mitchell would retire from NBC
in 1967 and pass away in 1990.

In Fall, 1931, NBC purchased WMAQ from the Chicago Daily News and now had their “Blue” and “Red” Chicago stations. Throughout the
“Golden Age”, WENR would be heard daily from 3pm until 7pm and then again from 8pm til 1am or beyond. WLS operated the rest of the
time…except for Saturday night when WLS controlled the night hours to air the Barn Dance. The Blue network was considered the “lighter”
network; carrying the less popular NBC offerings, but WENR would contribute some popular talents and programming. When WENR
wasn‟t on the air, Blue Network shows would air on WLS and WCFL. When the AM dial was once again re-shuffled in March, 1941,
WENR, along with WLS, shifted to 890 kHz.

NBC‟s dominance of network radio became a target of the FCC in 1941 when they forced the network to divest of one of their networks and
passed new rules prohibiting one company from owning more than one AM license in a market. In 1943, the Blue network was sold to
Edward Noble…the owner of WMCA in New York, who would create the American Broadcasting Company in 1945. WENR would return to
its fomer Civic Opera Building studios and provide programming to the new network. One of the programs was a daily newscast featuring a
young announcer with a unique sound…rattling out the headlines like Walter Winchell (who was a Blue Network and ABC staple) yet able
to tell a good tale as well…his name: Paul Harvey.

In 1948, WENR opened a television station on Channel 7 and then an FM station. As with other network affiliates, more and more WENR
talent and shows were shifted to the television side while the radio was left to fill more and more hours with music and features. WENR
wasn‟t as hard-pressed as the other station due to its limited hours and was still filling the evening hours with remotes and Jazz shows.

For many years, ABC tried to purchase WLS and the Agricultural Broadcasting Company would attempt to do the same with WENR. WLS
was still prospering with its farm-oriented programming but by the early 50‟s, the farm/city divide had changed. Autos and the spread of
suburbia was turning farmland into housing developments and television was bringing the world and stars replacing radios in the living
room. A rise of small, local stations following World War II had eroded the audiences that at one time tuned exclusively to WLS and while
the station was still profitable, its value to the Prairie Farmer was no longer as important.

ABC struggled in its early years to compete against the bigger, more established networks. In 1953, they merged with Paramount Pictures
providing a valuable program source for the new television network as well as a big influx of money to enable expansion. In a complex
deal, due to Paramount being an investor in Balaban & Katz‟s WBKB-TV (Channel 4) and WBIK(FM), 96.3 mHz, ABC was required to sell
one of its properties. It struck a deal with CBS…the Channel 4 and WBIK facilities as well as WBKB‟s talent would go to work for CBS and
the new WBBM-TV…which shifted over to Channel 2, WBKB‟s management and studios at 190 North State took over Channel 7, WENR-
TV was no more.

In early 1954, ABC next turned its attentions to WLS…purchasing not just WLS, but the Prairie Farmer Magazine as well, WENR and WLS
                              st                                      th
radios would merge on April 1 under the WLS call-letters…on April 30 , Eugene Rauland‟s dream would sign-off for the final time. The
WENR call-letter would live on via ABC‟s FM station which simulcast the audio of Channel 7 until 1964 when those call-letters were
changed to WLS-FM.

Source: http://www.secureplexsystems.com/corporate/whats_new/Rauland_History-Sound_and_Communications_2007.pdf
http://www.richsamuels.com/nbcmm/wenr/wenrnbc.html
http://www.rauland.com/History.cfm
http://tomos.umd.edu/LAB/wenr.html


   Calls             Location         On Date       Off Date     Freq.                   Owner                             Notes
  WHBM AM                            4/30/1925      4/1/1928      1290     C. L. Carroll
The radio craze reached far and wide in a country quickly becoming wired and paved. Radio, along with rural electrification, had brought
the small town to the big city in more and more ways, and the people there couldn‟t get enough. In 1923, Zenith Radio outfitted a 20-watt
transmitter in a truck was granted a license and took radio on the road. It set up at radio shows and county fairs across the Midwest giving
many towns their first taste of being “on the air”.

Others would see a money making opportunity in operating portable stations. One such person was Chicago booking agent set up a fleet
of portable stations that would barnstorm across the country for from 1925 until they were shut down by the FRC in 1928. Most of these
stations would fanfare their arrivals in local papers and stage events with local stars and dignitaries…making a nice buck for Carrell.

Portable stations were a major source of interference and were outlawed as part of the Radio Act of 1927. The FRC ordered the stations to
locate permanently or lose their license. Carrell would set up the stations where they parked.

WHBM traveled to East St. Louis, Illinois in January, 1927 to see if the town could support a radio operation. Carrell relayed music
programming from Chicago‟s Civic Opera as well as staged several test broadcasts. The East St. Louis Chamber of Commerce hired
Carrell and his staff of technicians to operate the station and the station began local operations at 1390 kHz, using a 100-watt portable
                            th
transmitter on January 19 . By March 19th, the trial was over and WHBM pulled up shop and moved onto another town. Unlike other
portable stations, this one wouldn‟t become a permanent one when Order 30, the rule eliminating portable stations, went into effect in
November, 1928.

Source: http://www.articlearchives.com/entertainment-arts/broadcasting-industry-radio-broadcast/1518931-1.html


 Calls              Location        On Date       Off Date       Freq.               Owner                                 Notes
 WHBT     AM                       4/30/1925                     1450     Thomas W. Tizzard, Jr.

This station transmitted with 10 watts for 3 months from west suburban Downers Grove.

Source: http://jeff560.tripod.com/chrono1.html



 Calls              Location        On Date       Off Date       Freq.                  Owner                              Notes
 WFKB     AM                       5/31/1925      4/1/1928       1380     Francis K. Bridgeman
Little is known of this station that transmitted from Chicago‟s south side. It was licensed to Francis K. Bridgman received a license on April
                                                                        th
17,1925 and began transmitting with 100 watts on 1380 kHz from 45 and Woodlawn. The new station shared time with WCBZ, a station
that began its life at the Coppetelli Brothers Music Store in Chicago Heights and was purchased by the Neutrowound Radio Company who
re-located the transmitters and studios to its factory in south suburban Homewood. By 1926 WCBZ had become WOK using a powerful
5,000 watt transmitter. In 1926, the station was found on 1340kHz, sharing time with Clinton White‟s WCRW, “The Gold Coast Station”
from the Pine Grove Hotel and WPCC operating on Sundays from the North Shore Congregational Church at Wilson and Sheridan Road in
Chicago‟s Uptown Area.. WFKB upgraded to 500-watts but surely had a difficult time cutting through both the noise and intense competiton
(Chicago would be home to over 40 radio stations in 1927). Before the FRC would clean up the band, WFKB fell by the wayside, it‟s
license was deleted on January 25, 1927.
Source: http://home.earthlink.net/~hdtv/History/FCCdocs/52A51-1.html



 Calls              Location        On Date       Off Date       Freq.                Owner                               Notes
 WIBD     AM                       5/31/1925     9/30/1925       1500     X-L Radio Service
This station transmitted from the X-L Radio Service on Van Buren Street in downtown Joliet. It transmitted with 50-watts on the very far
end of the dial; 1500 kHz. The station shifted to 1480 kHz before its license was deleted in November, 1925.

Source:


  Calls             Location        On Date       Off Date       Freq.                 Owner                              Notes
                                                                        Nelson Bros. (Russo and Fiorito
  WIBO AM                            5/31/1925     5/1/1933      1330
                                                                        Orchestral Exchange)
Chicago has been long called a city of neighborhoods. People identify themselves and others from which area they grew up in like it was
                                                                                                 th
their nationality. The neighborhoods arose through Chicago‟s rapid expansion at the end of the 19 century. Large number of immigrants
were arriving in the city and new housing developments were going further and further from downtown. Initially many of these areas would
develop on their own business and social services; creating their own downtowns outside of downtown. The building of the Metropolitan
elevated lines at the turn of the century connected these neighborhoods opening them up to even further development.

By the 1920s, ethnic enclaves thrived across the city. The sounds of German, Italian, Polish and Yiddish were now heard regularly and all
groups lived and worked in an uneasy relationship. Churches, social societies and benevolent associations were catering to specific
groups as well as their own newspapers and clubs. While the wireless could unite a country; bringing people together, some early
operators saw it as a valuable way to reach those large ethnic enclaves.

One such operator was Alvin Nelson, president of Nelson Brothers Bond & Mortgage company in Chicago‟s Andersonville neighborhood on
the far north side. The area had attracted a large Swedish population; many who turned to Nelson in financing their homes. He wanted to
create a family radio station for his neighborhood. In Spring 1925, he received a license and built WIBO, a 10-watt station that was first
heard on 1330 kHz; sharing time with nearby WBBM that was transmitting from the Broadmoor Hotel. The station programming was being
handled, in part, by bandleader Ted FioRito. By the mid 20‟s Ted‟s bands had done several successful broadcasts via WEBH, WGN and
WJAZ from the Edgewater Beach Hotel. During the summer of 1925 he was in charge of musical entertainment at new Uptown Theater
and wanted to have greater control over his bands exposure. His partnership with Nelson and WIBO would give him and his other bands a
place to place and be heard, not at the mercy of the other stations.

By Fall, 1925, WIBO installed a 1,500 watt transmitter and the station was now heard across the city. Nelson provided programs directed
at the Swedish and German communities; some of the first ethnic and foreign language broadcasts in the city. While the broadcasts were
targeted for a certain neighborhood, the reached Swedes, Germans and many others across the city and in-turn helped bridge these and
many other groups, a service ethnic radio provides today.

By 1927, WIBO was operating from studios at Broadway and Rosemont and appeared to share a transmitter with the Radiophone
Company (owned b y Chicago Mayor William Hale “Big Bill” Thompson) in Deerfield Throughout the year it would jump to 720 kHz, trying
to share time with WCRW and Radiophone‟s WHT, by Fall they were heard on 980 kHz; switching places with WGN who would still be
heard on 720 over 80 years later.

The Radio Act of 1927 would attempt to sort out the dial hopping mess with over 40 Chicago stations and WIBO would travel across the
                                                        th
dial throughout 1928. With Order 40 on November 11 , the station was assigned, with Zenith‟s WJAZ, WHT and WORD, a religious
station owned by the People‟s Pulpit (Jehovah‟s Witnesses). While they could transmit with 5,000 watts on this channel, it was an
arrangement no one was happy with and within a month, WIBO shifted to 570 kHz, the former KYW frequency, lowered power to 1,500
watts (still plenty to cover Chicago) and share time with WPCC, the 500-watt station of the North Shore Congregational Church that
operated mostly on Sundays. The station constructed a site at Ballard Road and Milwaukee in northwest suburban Des Plaines. In late
1929, the FRC shifted both WIBO and WPCC to 560 kHz.

With its new position at the top of the dial, WIBO would prosper, producing a variety of shows from its studios. One day in 1927 a young
husband and wife vaudville team took to the airwaves. Jim and Marion Jordan first performed on the station as part of a dare (and for no
pay), but soon became regulars and would use that experience to go on to WENR and the NBC network as Fibber McGee & Molly. The
station, like many others, also began to carry play-by-play of the nearby Chicago Cubs with Jimmy Corcoran and Bob Hawk doing
the play-by-play. The station also took programming from the NBC “Blue” network before it bought WENR in 1931

The real innovative side of WIBO was one that wasn‟t heard, but seen. In 1928, Ulises Sanabria, a young Chicago engineer,
and an engineer at the Federation Of Labor‟s WCFL began an experiment of sending pictures over the air…early television.
In 1926, he had successfully demonstrated an early electrical scan system of sending pictures over the air and formed a
company to perfect his work. On June 12, 1928, Chicago‟s first television signals were broadcast…the video via WCFL and
the audio on WIBO. In 1929, Sanabria built TV studios at 6312 N. Broadway and began experimenting with W9XAO, sending
out a video signal from atop WIBO‟s studios and the audio heard by tuning in WIBO‟s main audio signal. The main studio
featured a camera that took up an entire wall…talent sat, under very hot lights, in front of the wall and performed. These
transmissions would be seen all over the country as several stations had begun similar TV experiments, including WMAQ.
Sanabria would also arrange to have a receiver placed in a store window that quickly attracted a crowd or at special events.

By Fall, 1929, Sanabria had formed the Western Television Company and introduced the “Visonette”, the first commercial
television set, and would upgrade the model over the next few years. In 1933, Sanabria gave television demonstrations at
the city‟s Century of Progress giving millions their first exposure to what would one day replace radio as the dominant
entertainment source in the American home.

While WIBO survived the re-licensing as part of Order 40 in 1928, it soon came under FRC scrutiny as the commission
continued to re-organize the radio dial. A big focus in their mission was to promote stations in the public interest. This was
interpreted in providing radio service to all areas of the country. The dial was divided into zones and regions where stations
serving a specific region were given preference and the commission attempted to clear out any interference those stations
encountered.

Even after the initial weeding out of weak and portable stations in 1928, Chicago still was home to nearly 40 radio signals;
none operated full-time in or for Northwest Indiana and Gary, the state‟s second largest city. The area first station, WJKS,
began operating from Gary in 1927, but was had to share time with WSBC and WWAE (then operating from Chicago). In
1928, WJKS was teamed with WGES, the Oak Leaves station from Chicago‟s Guyon Hotel. WWAE would re-locate to
Hammond as part of Order 40 in November, 1928, but that station shared time with WRAF in nearby La Porte. In 1932
WJKS applied for full-time use of the 560 frequency; challenging the WIBO and WPCC licenses. A temporary license for
WIBO and WPCC were issued while the case was litigated. WJKS argued that they would offer a greater diversity with a
ethnic programming in over a dozen languages (ironically WIBO had gotten away from its own ethnic roots) and that the
programming heard on both WIBO and WPCC were available on other Chicago stations. The legal battle worked its way up
to the U.S. Supreme Court, who, on May 15, 1933 ruled in favor of the FRC…WIBO and WPCC lost their licenses and WJKS
was granted full-time use of 560. The station, along with Sanabria‟s video work came to a halt and WJKS took over the
channel renaming itself WIND…W-Indiana. The radio dream of Alvin Nelson came to an end, but the Nelson Brothers name
would live on via the Chicago airwaves as the owners of a highly popular and heavily advertised Uptown furniture store. In
the 60‟s, everyone knew “Nelson Brothers Loves Me”…but unfortunately that wasn‟t the case with the Supreme Court in
1933.

Source: http://www.earlytelevision.com/yanczer_sanab.html
http://www.otr.com/comedy.shtml
http://www.hawestv.com/mtv_chicago/mtv_cgo.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Fio_Rito
http://www.chicagotelevision.com/channels1.htm
http://www.uis.edu/archives/memoirs/JORDANJ.pdf
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=289&invol=266
http://www.scripophily.net/wetecode19.html
http://bob.sabrwebs.com/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=119


  Calls            Location        On Date       Off Date      Freq.                 Owner                             Notes
                                                                           Trianon Ballroom (Woodlawn
 WMBB AM                          5/31/1925      4/1/1928      1200
                                                                           Theater)
By the mid 20‟s, radio and ballrooms had developed strong relationships. A popular band could bring many of ears to a radio station, and a
successful radio broadcast could mean packed houses on the road, records sold and national fame…plus a lot of money for the promoters.
Radio was reaching a young and restless generation that was on the move and needed entertainment that kept them away fro the
speakeasies and the nasty jazz music played there. Two brothers, Willam and Andrew Karzas had a concept…creating an elegant
ballroom where young people could mingle and dance to “safe” bands. In 1922, the raised the vast sum of $1,000,000 and opened the
                       nd
Trianon Ballroom at 62 and Cottage Grove on Chicago‟s bustling south side. The ballroom exuded opulence…with matrons walking the
floor to ensure dancers didn‟t get too carried away, and with a steady stream of the most popular dance bands around. It was a formula
that would be golden for the Karzas.
The rise of radio and the remote broadcast brought the sounds of the ballroom into homes across the city, Midwest and the nation. Every
night thousands were tuning in to radio broadcasts from the Edgewater Beach, the Rainbo Gardens, the Marigold Gardens and the
Paradise Ballroom. Promoters and ballroom owners saw the value of building and owning their own stations that would ensure they‟d have
a place on the ever-crowding airwaves.

The Trianon first took to the airwaves via Charles Erbstein‟s WTAS in 1923 reaching out across the country from his Villa Olivia station.
The flamboyant Erbstein ruffled a lot of feathers…angering some listeners by not observing the Monday “Silent Night” when all Chicago
stations didn‟t transmit so listeners could hear stations from other cities. He was a big fan of jazz and that ran in contrast to the Karzas‟
standards of “safe” music, but the arrangement had worked well for both. By 1925, Erbstein had set up his own club, the Purple Gackle
and would sever ties with the Trianon. The Karzas needed a new broadcast outlet/partner. They turned to the people who financed the
Trianon, the American Mortgage and Brokerage company. The ballroom‟s station, WMBB…the World‟s Most Beautiful Ballroom, began
operating with 500-watts on 1200 kHz in Spring, 1925.

For the next two years, listeners could tune in nightly to the Trianon broadcasts on WMBB that shared time with WGES, who had begun
broadcasting from Guyon‟s Paradise Ballroom (a competitor of the Trianon) on the city‟s west side. In late 1926, the station joined forces
with WOK…a station owned by the Neutrowound Manufacturing Company of Homewood…moving to 1190 and sharing WOK‟s powerful
5,000 watt transmitter. With this power boost, the Trianon was now heard across the country like the other Chicago ballrooms. In 1927,
the Karzas added to their ballroom empire, opening a companion hall to the Trianon, the Aragon, in Chicago‟s Uptown neighborhood. It‟s
not known if the station ever relayed broadcasts from the new facility as remotes from the Aragon would be heard nightly via WGN

The high-powered signal would be short-lived as both WMBB and WOK were deemed not serving in the public interest when the dial was
re-organized on November 11, 1928. Both WMBB and WOK would pass from the radio scene, yet Trianon broadcasts would continue on
both local stations and network hook-ups for the next 20 years. American Brokerage and Mortgage would hit hard times in the depression;
going bankrupt and the big 5,000 watt Homewood transmitter would remain vacant until WHIP began using it in 1938.

The Radio Act of 1927 would end the ability of ballrooms and promoters to own their own radio stations, From there on out, the action
moved to the large local stations and their network connections as the focus with radio would become more and more national during the
“Big Band” or “Golden Age”. The Trianon would outlast many of their competitors…following the demographic change as the area around
the ballroom became part of the city‟s expanding black belt. In its final years, the ballroom hosted Rhythm and Blues shows until it was
closed on February 7, 1964.
Source: http://chicago.urban-history.org/sites/ballroom/aragon.htm
http://books.google.com/books?id=Z5Ot7ySoAMYC&pg=PA77&lpg=PA77&dq=Karzas+Trianon+Ballroom&source=web&ots=_mP-
rtTr3p&sig=1gi4Xp6YpjlJTaSJvvD2xITZzO8&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result#PPA77,M1
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,934838,00.html
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,752902,00.html?promoid=googlep


  Calls             Location         On Date       Off Date       Freq.                  Owner                               Notes
                                                                          Radiophone Broadcasting
  WHT     AM                        6/30/1925     2/28/1929       1260
                                                                          Company
If 1920‟s Chicago had a face, it would be that of its flamboyant Mayor, William Hale Thompson…better known as “Big Bill”. His political rise
began as an Alderman at the turn of the century making a name for himself as a reformer. In 1915 he was elected mayor and re-elected in
1919. The man was larger in life in many ways…size-wise and in ambition.

Thompson claimed to be a populist; defeating a splintered Democratic party and soon amassed a powerful machine of his own. He was a
strong opponent of the U.S. entry into World War I, a very vocal supporter of Germany (earning him the nickname “Kaiser Bill) and igniting
a long-running battle with the King Of England.

Ever the promoter, Thompson was fascinated with the wireless and it‟s ability to attract people and to have them listening…an irresistible
combination for a self-promoter like Thompson. Shortly after KYW became the city‟s first commercial radio station in November, 1921,
Thompson had the city apply for their own license, WBU, that operated for a short time in 1922. Thompson officiated over the station‟s
inaugural broadcast and would be heard regularly for years thereafter.

While being elected as a reformer, Thompson turned to the business community to feed his machine and looked the other way to the rising
crime that soon would give Chicago an international reputation it still can‟t shake. Thompson had bigger ambitions than just being Mayor of
Chicago and began to amass a war chest by shaking down city drivers and inspectors for $3 a month…the modern age of machine politics
had begun.

The Thompson machine hit a bump in 1923 when his popularity had waned in the aftermath of the Race Riots of 1919 and he chose not to
run for re-election making way for for re-election by William Dever. Thompson was out of City Hall, but he wasn‟t out of the limelight. He
now claimed he was off on a “scientific mission” to the South Sea‟s (he never got beyond New Orleans), Big Bill was planning his political
comeback, and radio would play a role.

In Spring, 1925, Thompson, along with business partners, including Chicago Cubs owner and chewing gum king, William Wrigley, created
WHT Radio…named after Thompson, with studios in Wrigley Building and transmitting on 1260 kHz with 1,500 watts…plenty to be heard at
that time. Once again, Thompson would host the station‟s opening as well as featuring an invocation from Paul Rader, the famed preacher
of the Chicago Tabernacle. Rader had participated in WGU‟s first broadcast in 1922 and Thompson asked him to provide 14 hours of
programming on Sunday for the new WHT. Rader gladly took on the challenge, hooking up telephone lines to his North Clark Street
church where his Sunday broadcasts via WHT. In 1926, Rader would get his own station…WJBT that would outlast WHT and form a
partnership with WBBM, enabling Rader‟s programs to be heard in Chicago for the next decade.

Music was an important part of the new station; featuring organ concerts from the Wrigley Building. Program Director, Pat Barnes, became
a radio favorite with his “Pick-Ups”…short poems and essays. Thompson appeared regularly, still hoping to become not only a local
political power, but a national one as well…he built WHT to reach far and wide.

By 1927, William Dever had fallen out of favor. He was aggressively enforcing prohibition as well as the hated “Sunday Law” that restricted
hours of clubs and saloons. Thompson played the populist card again…appealing to labor while taking money from both big business and
Al Capone‟s syndicate. He won re-election, signaling the start of one of Chicago‟s wildest and most violent periods. In 1928, Thompson‟s
political allies won victories in what was known as the “Pineapple Primary” due to the bombing of opponent‟s offices. A year later, the
nation was shocked with the St. Valentine‟s Day massacre. Chicago‟s image of a lawless town was international and Thompson would end
up sparing with the King of England; threatening to punch him in the nose.

Thompson‟s return to power would be beneficial for WHT Radio as well. In 1926, it began operating from a 3,500-watt transmitter located
on Lake-Cook Road in north suburban Deerfield. A year later, as the radio dial got noiser, the output was increased to 5,000 watts. The
frequency was shifted to 720 kHz, but the station had to share time with WCRW and WIBO. In Fall, 1927, WHT and WIBO would trade
frequencies with the Chicago Tribune‟s WGN and WLIB…moving to 980 kHz. Thompson‟s station would survive the dial re-organization of
Order 40 in November, 1928, but was forced move to the far end of the dial, 1480 kHz and share time with Zenith‟s WJAZ, WIBO and
WORD, a station owned by the People‟s Pulpit Association. WIBO soon moved to 570 kHz and later up to 560, but WHT tried to make do
on their new assignment.

The rise in crime along with the first waves of the Depression began to take a toll on both Thompson and WHT Radio. In early 1929, the
radio station was sold to a Chicago advertising executive…the restrictive time and poor dial position had drastically reduced WHT‟s hours.
Over the years Thompson had made enemies with the Chicago papers; especially the Tribune who owned WGN/WLIB and the Daily News
and their WMAQ. By Spring, 1929, WHT had become WSOA and then would try to re-brand itself as WCHI before going silent in 1932.
The battle between Thompson and the Tribune raged in 1930 when Thompson tried to defeat Ruth Hannah McCormick‟s Senate bid.
McCormick was the aunt of Chicago Tribune publisher, Colonel Robert McCormick…who used both his paper and WGN Radio…the fight
would carry over to the 1931 Mayoral election. Despite running a spirited, and racist, campaign, Thompson was soundly beaten by Anton
Cermak. Big Bill would try to run again in 1939, but his days of being the boss were over. Thompson died in 1944, leaving behind a larger-
than-life legacy as well as a strong box filled with $1.5 million in cash. The last legacy was the WHT Tower in Deerfield that became a local
landmark for years after the station went off the air.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Hale_Thompson
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_7021/is_/ai_n28759127
https://chicagopolitics.wikidot.com/william-h-thompson
http://www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/exhibits/ohistory/oral17.htm


  Calls           Location          On Date      Off Date      Freq.                   Owner                           Notes
  WIBJ AM                          6/30/1925     4/1/1928      1390      C. L. Carrell
This was another portable radio station operated by Charles Carrell. This station barn-stormed around the country transmitting 50-watts at
1390 kHz.

Carrell, a theatrical booking agent, would arrange to demonstrate radio with small towns and chambers of commerce. He would set up a
transmitter and relay programming from Chicago‟s Civic Opera along with locally produced shows. Usually the demonstration lasted a
month to find out if building a permanent local station was fesible.

The nomadic nature of the portable stations became a big issue with broadcasters and the Commerce Department. Order 30, passed as
part of the Radio Act of 1927, outlawed them. WIBJ has upgraded to 100-watts and operated either at 1470 or 1490 kHz until it was forced
to “pull aside” by August 28, 1928. Unlike other Carrell stations that would transition to permanent status, WIBJ would fade into the ether.
Source: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m6836/is_1_45/ai_n25034004/pg_1?tag=artBody;col1



 Calls             Location         On Date       Off Date      Freq.               Owner                                Notes
 WIBL     AM                       6/30/1925     1/31/1926      1390     McDonald Radio Co.
This portable station appears to have been licensed to Eugene McDonald, the President of Zenith Radio that traveled the country
throughout the summer of 1925 with 250 watts on 1390 kHz. The station‟s license was deleted by September.

Source: http://jeff560.tripod.com/chrono1.html


  Calls            Location         On Date       Off Date      Freq.                  Owner                             Notes
  WJBI AM             Joliet, IL     6/30/1925      8/31/1925         1400    H.M. Couch
Will County‟s first taste of radio was when WWAE opened in late 1923 from the Alamo Ballroom. The station‟s notorious owner, “Butch”
Crowley In 1925, the station was located to Electric Park in nearby Plainfield and a new station would fill the void. WJBI began
broadcasting on June 9, 1925 with 100-watts from the Boston Department Store in downtown Joliet. Unlike WWAE that played jazz, this
opening was a dignified affair billed as featuring the “Artists” of the area.

WJBI would be rename itself WCLS in Fall, 1925 after the Boston Store‟s slogan…Will County‟s Largest Store. Joliet would also get a
second station in 1925 when the Sanders Brothers signed on WKBB.
Source: http://www.joliet.lib.il.us/Digitization%20Projects/The%201920s/New%20Joliet%20Radio%20Station.htm



  Calls             Location        On Date       Off Date       Freq.                 Owner                              Notes

 WEHS     AM                       7/31/1925     11/1/1936       1480     Evanston Township High School
These call-letters would live in and around Chicago in many different forms over the next 75 years. This station began as a 10-watts on
1480 kHz, the far end of the dial, in Summer, 1925. The original owners were Evanston High School, by that time one of the largest
secondary schools in not just the area, but the country. During its first years, it was operated by Robert Hughes and Oliver Fordham. By
late 1926 the station had been transferred to Victor Carlson who moved the station to his home near Dempster and Chicago Streets. The
station offered some community news as well as foreign language programming in a shared-time arrangement. During the dial hopping
madness of 1926 and 27, WEHS found itself in various places and in various time sharing arrangements. Carlson would move the station
from the far end position to 1390kHz that was also being used by WPEP in Waukegan, WHFC, then operating from Chicago‟s North Side,
as well as the Joliet pair of WKBB and WCLS. In Spring, 1927, WEHS was heard at 1240 kHz along with WWAE then back to
1390kHz…and back to sharing time along with coping with interference by portable stations that operated on the frequency.

The hopping ended when WEHS was re-assigned to the new local channel of 1310 KHz on November 11, 1928, but it was a tight fit as the
station had to split precious airtime with WHFC, WCLS, WKBB and WKBI, a station owned by Fred Shoenwolf and operating from
Chicago‟s south side. In late 1929, WEHS along with WKBI and WHFC shifted to another local channel, 1420 kHz. Shortly thereafter,
WHFC would be purchase by Triangle Broadcasters, a group headed by Judge Richard Hoffman, who moved the station into the Olympic
                                                                                                                                   nd
Theater in west suburban Cicero. In 1930, Triangle purchased WEHS and the station also moved to the Olympic Theater studios on 22
Street (later Cermak Road) near Austin Blvd. In Cicero, then one of Chicago‟s largest suburbs. The town had grown due to the large
Western Electric plant as well as a large wave of German and Bohemian immigrants. The area, and the Olympic, were also noted as a
favorite ganster hang-out not far from Capone‟s Cicero headquarters.

Like WHFC and WKBI, WEHS specialized in foreign language programs for the many ethnic communities within the station‟s 100-watt
signal. It operated in the late afternoons until the station was consolidated with WHFC on November 10, 1936. But the WEHS story
wouldn‟t end there. WHFC owner, Richard Hoffman would bring the call-letters back in 1945 when he signed on an FM station at 45.9 that
later moved to 97.9. Hoffman would claim the call-letters stood for his wife, Elizabeth. In 1963, WEHS would become WHFC-FM before
being sold to Leonard and Phil Chess who remade the station was WSDM. WEHS then showed up again as the call-letters of Chicago‟s
Home Shopping television affiliate on Channel 60 from 1987 through 2002.

Source: http://cinematreasures.org/theater/1817/
http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:hfluskqlICAJ:www.communitymediaworkshop.org/download/chicagoreport.doc
+WHFC+Radio+22nd+Cicero+IL&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=us


  Calls             Location           On Date    Off Date       Freq.                  Owner                             Notes
  WIBM AM                             7/31/1925  7/31/1928       1390     Billy Maine
This portable station hit the road in Summer, 1925 transmitting 10 watts on 1390 kHz. By year‟s end, the station had been taken over by
Charles Carrell and upgraded with 100 watts. Like other Carrell operations, this station toured towns working with local businesses and
governments to demonstrate radio and explore if the town could support a radio station. Carrell heavily promoted his arrival and new
station and relayed broadcasts from the Chicago Civic Opera.

In 1925, Carrell‟s portable station, WHBM, made a visit to Jackson, Michigan, but the station moved along. In 1927, WIBM would roll into
Jackson and set up operations on November 20, 1927. The FRC‟s Order 30 would keep it there as portable as WIBM was sold to local
owners and continues to operate today.

Source: http://blog.mlive.com/citpat_history/2008/01/wibm_radio_has_had_many_locati.html


   Calls            Location        On Date      Off Date        Freq.                 Owner                             Notes
  WLTS AM                          7/31/1925     4/1/1928        1160    Lane Technical High School
Chicago schools and educators were transforming public education. Carl Shurz would develop the modern High School, focusing on both
higher education and vocational training. Lane Technical Institute was established in 1908 to fill the growing demand for trained labor in the
city‟s expanding industries.
In 1923 a group of Lane students started a radio station as a private project, the station applied for an FCC license on June 25, 1925 to
operate with 100 watts on 1160 kHz. It held the distinction of being one of the few (WEHS being the other) radio station owned by a high
school. The station was now licensed to Lane Tech and shared the channel with WDGY and then WPCC, the station transmitting, primarily
on Sunday, from the North Shore Congregational Church. The frequency would get a bit more crowded in 1926 when WHFC, then
transmitting from the Hotel Flanders in the Lakeview area began operating. By January, 1927, WLTS had shifted to 620 kHz and moved in
with the new Chicago Federation of Labor station, WCFL

When the station‟s license was review in January, 1928 as part of the Radio Act of 1927, the FRC determined the station wasn‟t operating
in the public interest and recommended the station‟s license be deleted. Lane Tech and the Chicago Board of Education would try a couple
times to have the station‟s license reinstated, but the cost of legal representation halted those efforts. WLTS‟s license was revoked on
June 25, 1928.

WLTS faced the plight of many other educational stations of the era. Many colleges took to the airwaves during this time…many evolving
from radio clubs on homemade transmitters. The easy ability to gain a license helped these stations find their way onto the dial, but soon
they faced overcrowding and pressures from commercial broadcasters who coveted their frequencies and air time. The Radio Act of 1927
would be a disaster for many of these small stations who could neither afford the legal costs or afford the higher operating costs that came
with meeting the FRC‟s standards. Only the largest educational stations would survive.

The FRC‟s successor, the FCC, would address the need for educational radio in 1941 and then again in 1945 when it set aside a portion of
the new FM band for non-commercial use. The Chicago Board of Education would be one of the first to return to the airwaves; launching
WBEZ on 42.5 mHz on April 15, 1943.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lane_Technical_College_Prep_High_School
http://books.google.com/books?id=9Q86nal5whUC&pg=PA78&lpg=PA78&dq=Coyne+WGES+R#PPA176,M1




    Calls                Location         On Date          Off Date       Freq. Owner                                        Notes
   WSBC       AM                       7/31/1925     11/1/2008       1430 World Battery Co.              200w
The radio craze created new businesses and opportunity. Companies like Chicago Radio Laboratories (Zenith), All-American,
Neutrowound, Stewart-Warner and others were manufacturing radios as fast as they could and part suppliers were doing very
well as well. One item early radios used were batteries…and heavy, specialized ones. Joseph Silverstein, owner of the
World Storage Battery Company on Chicago‟s Automobile Row saw a great opportunity…both to sell batteries (which he was
doing for car dealers) but also to inform and entertain possible clients. He applied for a license and in August, 1925, his
station, WSBC, came on the air for the first time. The new station debuted with 200 watts on 1430 kHz from Silverstein‟s
showroom on Wabash & Roosevelt in Chicago.

The new station struggled to find a dial position and audience during its early years. In early 1926, as the dial hopping
became a problem, WSBC would shift to 1410 kHz, increasing power to 1,000 watts, then by Summer it was heard along with
WMBI on 1040 kHz with upwards of 2,000 watts. At this time the station found a special niche…reaching out to the large
ethnic enclaves that had greatly expanded the city. WSBC would be one of the first radio station‟s to specialize in foreign
language programming…a format that would serve it, and its listeners very well for many years.

As 1927 began, WSBC moved 1290 kHz frequency with 500 watts; sharing time with WJKS from Gary, Indiana and WWAE,
the Joliet station that operated briefly (on 1290 KHz) from Chicago before finding a home in Hammond, Indiana. WSBC‟s
unique format surely was a factor when the FRC allowed the station to keep its license but it was required to power down to
100-watts and move to 1210 kHz and share it with WEDC, owned by car dealer, Emil Denemark from his West side
showroom and Clinton White‟s WCRW…also known as the “Gold Coast Station” from North Side. This arrangement would
remain, virtually unchaged, for the next 70 years.

While WSBC had a smaller signal, it was growing a bigger purpose. On November 3, 1929, the station debuted, “The Negro
Hour”…a show hosted by Jack L. Cooper. Cooper‟s radio career began in Washington where he blacks could perform on
radio, but not speak. When he arrived in Chicago, he met Joseph Silverstein who was looking to reach the large African-
American audience that lived in the “Black Belt”…near the station‟s studios. Cooper would develop radio programs targeted
for black listeners, but in a dignified manner. In the 40‟s, he would pioneer black talk and public affairs, again in a very
polished manner. Cooper‟s programs became popular not only on WSBC but on other stations…and he is cited as an
influence on the upcoming generation of black disk jockeys and personalities who would lay the groundwork for Urban radio in
the 50‟s.

Another popular WSBC show was the “Jewish Radio Theater”. Besides being Jewish, Silverstein‟s station was heard clearly
in the Douglas Park area that had become a major Jewish community. The area thrived with Yiddish theater and newspapers
and WSBC would cater to this audience until the neighborhood changed in the 50‟s. For all of it‟s shared-time years, WSBC
was heard from 6am-8:30am, 10am-11am, 2pm-3:30pm, 8pm-10pm and 11pm-Midnight.
In 1933, the station was sold to Gene Dyer, who was controlling commercial airtime on Zion‟s WCBD and also owned WGES,
the Oak Leaves Station from the Guyon Hotel on the West Side. WSBC moved to Madison & Western…not far from WGES
and still putting out a strong signal on the west and near south side, and now over the north and northwest sides. The station
brokered air time for news and entertainment in many languages…Italian, Polish, Russian, German, Ukranian, Bohemian as
well as Cooper‟s programs. Throughout its history, WSBC would reflect the ethnic composition of the areas within the signal‟s
prime coverage area…and the city‟s ethnic changes as well. WSBC would increase power to 250 watts in 1937.

The NARBA shift in 1941 moved WSBC, along with WEDC and WCRW, to 1240 kHz, and the new anti-duoploy laws would
force Dyer to sell WSBC. The host of the Jewish theater, Julius Miller, bought the station in 1944 ensuring the station‟s ethnic
character would continue. In 1948, the station launch WXRT, an FM station at 101.9 that had studios and transmitter in the
Sheraton-Chicago Hotel on Michigan Avenue. The station would go dark in 1951. Miller would sell the station to appliance
store owner, Louis Lee in 1953. Lee would also be committed to maintaining the station‟s ethnic format.

Lee would return the company to FM in April, 1960 when WSBC-FM began operating at 93.1 mHz. The new FM station
featured classical music with a Jazz show late at night. Unfortunately the music programming wasn‟t providing revenue (a big
reason the original WXRT failed) and Lee began to broker air time on the FM station as well. In 1964, WSBC was allowed to
boost it‟s signal to 1,000 watts and WSBC-FM renamed itself WXRT. At this time, the station became the radio home of Bob
Lewandowski, a very popular Polish entertainer and TV host. He‟d be a central figure in Polish radio and television in the city
until his retirement in the late 80‟s.

Over the years, the neighborhood around WSBC‟s Western and Madison studios had changed. In what was termed “White
Flight”, throughout the 50‟s and 60‟s, ethnic whites had moved out to different neighborhoods or to the suburbs and blacks
had moved from the restrictive black belt to a new one that moved westward along Madison Avenue. As blacks moved further
west, racial tensions increased. Tensions would explode on April 4, 1968 when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated.
Riots soon broke out in Chicago; the worst happening around the WSBC studios. The staff barricaded itself in the building
and armed guards were called in. When calm was restored, buildings had burned and the loss continues to be felt. WSBC
quickly moved to temporary studios at North Avenue and Pulaski…and then into a permanent home at 4949 West Belmont in
1970.

The change of neighborhoods…both of the station, and the city in general, would reflect in the station‟s programming as more
and more Mexicans and other Hispanics moved into the city. Mornings would feature noted Latino newspaper man, Jose
Chapa and afternoons featured Enrique Bellagamba…better known as “Mr. Nice”. Black programming would move to other,
more powerful stations, with the exception of Sunday church remotes. Louis Lee passed away in 1971 and his son, Dan, took
over. In 1972, he began to do a time-share rock program on WXRT that would become the station‟s full-time format in
September, 1976. Many of the former WXRT brokers would find homes on WSBC. The station enjoyed being one of the few
night time signals in the city and with one of the best signals to reach almost every ethnic neighborhood.

In the 80‟s, WSBC saw a rise in competition from suburban AM stations. Spanish radio was evolving; focusing on the
Mexican audience and WSBC would shift to program toward the city‟s Puerto Rican and Caribbean Hispanic audiences. A
Korean community had evolved around Albany Park and a Hindu-Pak one in West Rogers Park…and their voices would now
be heard on WSBC.

WSBC‟s dominant role as the company‟s money maker would shift in favor of WXRT in the 80‟s and more focus went to the
growing FM operation and chain of stations. Station manager, Roy Bellavia, who had overseen the ethnic programming since
1963, maintained WSBC‟s operation despite many changes in brokers and radio in general. In 1991, Lee purchased the
dormant 820 kHz license. Initially the station was to be called WXRJ…a Jazz oriented companion for WXRT, but Lee and his
General Manager, Seth Mason, chose a sports talk format instead…signing on “The Score”, WSCR on January 2, 1992.
WSBC‟s studios at 4949 Belmont were used for the new station…WSBC, and Roy, spent the next 6 months in a trailer in the
parking lot until new WSBC studios were constructed across the street at 4900 W. Belmont.

Since the 1928 time-sharing arrangement was put in place, the three stations that shared the frequency tried to buy one
another out…always with the offer being refused. WCRW‟s Clinton White died in the late 50‟s and his widow, Josephine took
control in November, 1963. WEDC was sold to Chicago Alderman and Congressman Roman Puchinski in 1967 so his mother
could continue to do her morning Polish program. In 1995, Lee sold WXRT and WSCR to Westinghouse for $77 million
dollars…and with his new bounty would finally consolidate the 1240 frequency. In May, 1996, Lee purchased WCRW from
the White Family for $625,000; taking over the station‟s hours on June 17, 1996. Next Lee bought WEDC for $500,000 in
May, 1997. On At 10pm on June 13, 1997 WEDC signed off for the last time…WSBC now had full control of 1240.

Lee wouldn‟t control the new, full-time WSBC very long, in February, 1998, the station was sold to Fred Eichayner, owner of
Newsweb…a company that published many neighborhood and ethnic papers throughout Chicago (as well as the Reader) and
WPWR-TV, Channel 50. Newsweb, just like Lee has pledged to keep the station with its ethnic programming. WSBC was
teamed with WCFJ, a dormant southside station Newsweb also purchased in February, 1998. The south side station was
intended to cover areas outside of WSBC‟s reach but had to undergo a complete renovation. The studios moved from
Belmont Avenue into the former WCRW studios on Milwaukee and Bryn Mawr on the city‟s northwest side. A year later the
station began to use the old WEDC antenna located in their former studios, three blocks from the new WSBC Milwaukee
Avenue location.

Roy Bellavia would retire shortly after Newsweb took control but the station continued to “sell-out” as the sole operator on
1240, and as ethnic changes would bring new brokers and programs to the station. In 1998 it became the home of “Lesbigay
Radio”; the city‟s first daily radio show aimed at the LGBT community. A new wave of Russian and Polish immigrants also
sought air-time…replacing the last Spanish brokers. In 2001, the station took on a heavy edge when it became the home of
Rebel Radio (previously on WKTA, WVVX and WJKL).

Newsweb purchase several other radio properties. In March, 2001, WYPA was purchased from Douglas Broadcasting. The
station operated on 820…reuniting the 1240 and 820 frequencies under common ownership once again. In 2004, the
company purchased WNDZ(AM) and WRZA(FM) from Z-Spanish, WAIT from Next Media (a deal involving WZCH/WWYW in
Dundee) and WKIE, WKIF and WKIE from Big City Radio. Mark Pinski would be in charge of overseeing WCSN (the news
820) and WAIT (850) from the north side WSBC‟s studios on Milwaukee, while the FM stations as well as WNDZ would be
under the direction of former WXRT, WSCR and WCKG General Manager, Harvey Wells from the former WTAQ studios at
6012 So. Pulaski Road on the city‟s south side. In May, 2005, WAIT became WCPT…the city‟s Air America Progressive Talk
affiliate and shifted operations to the Pulaski studios. WCPT would shift to 820 in November, 2007 with WAIT returning to 820
and control from the WSBC studios.

Throughout the years and changes, WSBC has been the ultimate radio survivor. It made it through the interference prone
madness and then the 1927 Radio act…it endured and thrived in a three-way time share arrangement that limited it to only 8
hours a day for 70 years and now is reaching out to new listeners in whatever voice resides in or near the studios.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WCRW
http://www.chicagotelevision.com/menofuhf.htm
http://www.udel.edu/communication/web/thesisfiles/tarver.pdf
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m6836/is_1_45/ai_n25034004/pg_1?tag=artBody;col1


   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                   Notes
                                                                           Oak Leaves Broadcasting
   WGES       AM                     8/31/1925      1/1/1962               Station
This station began in Fall, 1923 as WTAY, the radio station built by the Oak Leaves newspaper in Oak Park. On April 23,
1925, the station was sold to H. C. Lewis of the Coyne Electrical Institute…one of the largest vocational schools in the city.
The radio boom had created many opportunities and Coyne saw this station as a chance to give their students some valuable
“hands-on” experience while promoting Coyne as being the “World‟s Greatest Electrical School”…thus the new call-letters,
WGES.

The Coyne Electrical School opened its doors in 1899 and was located at 1501 W. Congress on the city‟s bustling west side.
The school formed a partnership with Louis Guyon, owner of the Paradise Ballroom, one of the most popular night spots in the
city. Guyon also built a hotel at Washington and Crawford (now Pulaksi) overlooking Garfield Park and was developing the
grand Paradise Theater that Balaban & Katz would purchase and complete in 1927.

Guyon opened the Paradise Ballroom in 1916 and it had the reputation as being the most conservative in the city, a conscious
effort to cater to the values of the working class and presenting his place as safe for all…a gathering place of many different
ethnic groups and immigrants who inhabited the area. WGES would serve Guyon as a bridge to that community; promoting
his own dances and performers while providing information in their own languages. He was a patrician who oversaw a family
rather than a business, but always with an eye and ear on promotion.

WGES took over WTAY‟s 1200 kHz frequency with a 500 watt transmitter installed atop the Guyon Hotel. It shared time with
                                                           nd
WMBB, the Trianon ballroom station that transmitted from 62 and Cottage Grove. Both ballrooms promoted their
conservative dance bands…many from the Edgar Benson organization…that featured peppy two-steps but avoided “jazzier”
music, including the scandalous Charleston.

The radio dial in Chicago was getting crowded and would get worse in 1926 with dozens of new stations going on the air as
the Herbert Hoover lost any ability to regulate the airwaves and interference forced stations, like WGES, to find the cleanest
frequency to operate on and work out a time sharing arrangement with any other station operating on the channel. It surely
kept the Coyne engineers very busy. In late 1926, the frequency shifted to 950 kHz, the over to 1240 kHz; sharing time with
                                                          nd
Emil Denemark‟s WEDC transmitting from Ogden and 22 Streets. In April, WGES was briefly heard with 1,000 watts on 910
kHz, the Canadian channel that WJAZ had operated on that precipitated the Commerce Department lawsuit to control such
shifting and lost the case. It would take an act of Congress, the Radio Act of 1927, to give Hoover and the new Federal Radio
Commission the authority to regulate the airwaves…in the interim it was every station for itself. The station settled back on
1240 kHz.

In 1928, WGES‟s community appeal surely must have helped the station meet the new public interest standards to qualify for
a new license. On November 11, 1928, the station moved to 1360 kHz; dividing time on the frequency with WJKS from Gary,
Indiana. While the station was a success for Guyon, it wasn‟t doing much for Coyne Electrical school. They were losing
nearly $3,500 a month operating the station and, even worse, the station was interfering with and angering area DX‟er…long
distance listeners, who were the prospective Coyne students or clients. After failed efforts to sell, Coyne all but gave WGES
to Guyon on October 5, 1929

Despite Prohibition, the Paradise Ballroom had thrived with its conservative, whites-only, “clean” atmosphere, however Guyon
wouldn‟t be so fortune when the Depression hit. His profits were made on volume…the thousands of young people who
would flock to his ballroom or stay at his hotel, but this market vanished. In the early 30‟s, the station would transfer control to
Gene Dyer, who like Guyon, saw a different potential in the many ethnic groups in the area….brokering blocks of air time to
foreign language programs along with church services and community events.

In 1933 WJKS, the station WGES shared time with moved to 560 kHz and for a short time WGES had to limit evening
transmissions to clear the way for WSBT from South Bend, Indiana. Under Dyer, who also managed WSBC and WCBD in
Zion, the station became one of the city‟s more successful ethnic stations, using its central location to its advantage. The
daytime signal was upgraded to 1,000 watts in 1937 enabling the station to be easily heard on the city‟s south side as well.

With the NARBA radio shift on March 29, 1941, WGES moved to 1390 kHz full-time. A 5,000 watt directional antenna was
                 th
constructed at 87 and Kedzie on the city‟s far south side. WGES now was heard day and night across the southern half of
the city. By 1945 the ethnic composition of the city‟s south and west side were changing. Many children of immigrants moved
away from the area. A large wave of southern blacks during the war would see big population changes on the south then
west sides as the “black belt” extended further south, then up the west side toward Garfield Park.

One of those new arrivals was Arthur Leaner, who arrived from Jackson, Mississippi in 1941. Leaner took odd jobs and soon
found his way into promotion and became both a known salesman and personality, under the name of Al Benson. In 1945,
Dyer met Benson and offered him an time-share arrangement; splitting money made with Benson, a partnership that would
serve both well and transform Chicago radio.

Chicago‟s first black radio programs were produced by Jack L. Cooper who had begun operating with WSBC in 1928.
Cooper‟s shows were classy…an emphasis on diction and with a strong moral/religious foundation. Benson represented
many of the newer arrivals…spoke with and to them and played the music they related with, jazz and blues. Benson soon
drew a large following and other black hosts and shows would follow. By 1954, WGES was the city‟s first all black station with
a roster that included Benson, Richard Stamz, Sam Evans and Ric Ricardo.

On June 13, 1962, Dyer sold WGES to McLendon Broadcasting for $2 million. The new owner, Gordon McLendon, along with
his father, had built a chain of innovative Top 40 stations and saw the potential to go after WLS. Despite initial promises of not
                                                                                                                               st
to make any major changes, McLendon fired all the brokers that would lead to a black community boycott. On September 1 ,
the call-letters were changed to WYNR…a Top 40 format with a black airstaff. McLendon had hoped he could placate the
anger in the black community while trying to reach with the station‟s 5,000 watt signal, to grab white listeners away from WLS.
A year later, Chicago would get its first fulltime black music station, WVON…with Benson as one of the founding members.


Source: http://books.google.com/books?id=9Q86nal5whUC&pg=PA78&lpg=PA78&dq=WGES+Guyon+Chicago-
&source=bl&ots=D86K4SrbFC&sig=lvuyuk3rOxpj3gC_7_EDu4qGjmc&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=7&ct=result
http://www.thehighschoolgraduate.com/profiles/Coyne/index.htm
http://chicago.urban-history.org/ven/dhs/paradisb.shtml
http://www.communitywalk.com/chicago/il/the_buildings_of_alfred_s_alschuler/map/5716#00039n`
http://books.google.com/books?id=q0_sWHQoVG8C&pg=RA1-PA146&lpg=RA1-
PA146&dq=Paradise+Ballroom+Chicago+Radio&source=web&ots=Cs1ftvWkcM&sig=JjjBqpVXvtOr1-
WXBSEnKCrUf1Qc&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result
http://chicago.urban-history.org/ven/dhs/paradisb.shtml
http://jazzinchicago.org/educates/journal/articles/al-benson-godfather-black-radio-chicago
http://books.google.com/books?id=L-BQGij5MXgC&pg=PA161&lpg=PA161&dq=WGES+Guyon+Chicago&source=bl&ots=81-
KBuC59A&sig=AVb5zrTIa51QeGOD_ATSvH8t6eU&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result#PPA162,M1
http://books.google.com/books?id=8_KuJnyYD1YC&pg=PA249&lpg=PA249&dq=WGES+Guyon+Chicago-
&source=bl&ots=brrsFeepBs&sig=DDWh6f0-NYyI-
C0lGmqhTMN9Dr8&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA254,M1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WGRB
http://books.google.com/books?id=j06dhDdsgioC&pg=RA1-PA219&lpg=RA1-
PA219&dq=Al+Benson+WGES+Chicago&source=bl&ots=S_zFi6XCEW&sig=7oKSNrWKmN4oY39cxrXsuEijuFA-
&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result#PRA1-PA219,M1
http://books.google.com/books?id=2kkcmS0AzMEC&pg=PA14&lpg=PA14&dq=WGES+McLendon&-
source=web&ots=5hATzNIZzh&sig=g7xWhHXsFIF5Fv0prcDtR1BP8-M&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result



   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date       Freq. Owner                                  Notes
   WOK        AM                    8/31/1925      4/1/1928                                          500w
From its earliest days, Chicago music entrepreneurs were investing in radio. The live broadcasts gave valuable exposure to
many young local performers and spotlight the hotel or ballroom the broadcast originated from. In the days before spot
commercial advertising became radio‟s prime source of money, stations were a promotional tool and status symbol.

By 1925, night time listeners in Chicago and across the country could hear live dance bands from the Edgewater Beach Hotel
on WEBH and WGN, the Paradise Ballroom via WGES, the Hotel LaSalle on WMAQ, Sherman House over WLS, Broadmoor
Hotel and Marigold Gardens from WBBM and new stations and venues were applying for licenses. One such promoter were
the Karzas Brothers.
                                                                        nd
Andrew and William Karzas opened the elegant Trianon Ballroom at 62 near the bright light district of Woodlawn. The
nearby White City Amusement Park and the nearby elevated train line brought many young people to the area and the
Trianon was built to give the “every day person” a taste of the good life…that was as long as they were white. The dances
were closely supervised by matrons and the music was peppy but not too “jazzy”.

Broadcasts from the Trianon had been a feature of Charles Erbstein‟s WTAS in 1923 and in Summer, 1925 the Karzas
Brothers wanted to control their own radio programming and station. In the Spring, in conjunction with American Bond and
Mortgage Co., they opened WMBB…broadcasting from the Trianon, calling themselves the “World‟s Most Beautiful Ballroom”.
In the Summer, 1928, the Advanced Automobile Accessories Company, a radio manufacturer in south suburban Homewood
                                                                                                rd
purchased the license of WCBZ in Chicago Heights and moved the station to their factory at 183 Street and the ICRR tracks.
Advanced Automobile manufactured Neutrowound radios and would use WOK as a means to sell more of their blue boxes.
WOK debuted on WCBZ‟s 1380 kHz frequency with 500 watts, connected to studios at 1712 Prairie Street in Chicago. In the
Fall, WOK would acquire a high power, 5,000 watt license that was built at the Homewood facilities. WOK would share the
frequency with WFKB, a 100 watt station operating in the Woodlawn area and owned by Francis Bridgeman. WMBB and
WOK operated in tandem, broadcasting in and around the shared time arrangements.

On July 15, 1926, the Karzas Brothers opened a north side companion to the Trianon, the Aragon Ballroom on Lawrence
Avenue in the very popular Uptown area. WOK would now relay performances from both locations on its powerful 5,000 watt
signal. In late 1926, to get a better dial position (and with virtually no government regulation to stop them), WOK, along with
WMBB moved to 1190 kHz, WMBB would now send their programming through WOK‟s transmitter.

The passing of the Federal Radio Act of 1927 would give the new Federal Radio Commission the authority to regulate the
crowded airwaves and determined the both WOK and WMBB didn‟t meet their public interest standards. The stations would
spend the next several years suing for a new license claiming challenging the validity of the FRC and claiming “air rights” that
could only be taken from them with some form of compensation. They would lose the case and both WOK and WMBB were
ordered off the air in May, 1928.

The Trianon and Aragon would find their way onto the “airlanes” via other stations. The Trianon thrived until the early 50s
when the “black belt” had begun to move into the Woodlawn area and attendance would decrease. The ballroom closed in
May, 1954 and the building was demolished in 1967. The Aragon had a better fate…surviving the big bands into the rock era
and now hosts Hispanic concerts.
Source: http://www.archive.org/stream/educationbyradio01natirich/educationbyradio01natirich_djvu.txt
http://village.homewood.il.us/villagekey/keyoct2002.pdf
http://chicago.urban-history.org/sites/ballroom/trianon.htm
http://chicago.urban-history.org/sites/ballroom/aragon.htm
http://www.compassrose.org/uptown/Aragon1.html
http://chicago.urban-history.org/dist/woodlawn/woodlawn.shtml
http://www.indianaradios.com/1927%20Blue%20Neutrowound%20Radio.htm


   Calls              Location       On Date         Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
   WCLS       AM                       9/30/1925       1/1/1945              Harold M. Couch           150w
The first broadcasting venture in Will County originated via WWAE from the Alamo Ballroom in Fall, 1923. By Spring, 1925,
the station, operated by notorious bootlegger, Butch Crowley, had moved to Electric Park in Plainfield, but the radio bug had
been firmly planted in Joliet, and it wouldn‟t take long for a new station to emerge…actually several.

On June 9, 1925, a group of Joliet‟s elite…politicians, religious leaders and entertainers opened WJBI. This new station was
set up by M. A. Feldman, broadcasting from the Boston Store at Ottawa and Jefferson Streets. The initial WJBI broadcasts
were very successful and soon the station was operating on a regular schedule. In the Fall, Feldman would replace the
station‟s assigned sequential call-letters with the request for WCLS…standing for Will County‟s Largest Store.

WCLS would take over WJBI‟s hours; operating on 1400 kHz with 150 watts of power. The station shared time with another
new Joliet station, WKBB, owned by the Sanders Brothers and located on the city‟s west side. In the noisy year of 1927,
WCLS, along with WKBB would shift to 1390 kHz, sharing that channel with WHFC, transmitting from the Hotel Flanders on
Chicago‟s north side, WEHS from Evanston and WPEP out of far north suburban Waukegan. This move would place these
signals on a channel already messy with portable transmitters…it was a safe assumption that these early WCLS broadcasts
were not heard very far from their Boston store transmitter.

With the radio realignment due to the Radio Act of 1927, WCLS and WKBB would be assigned to the local 1310 kHz channel
with 100 watts of power. On November 1, 1928, WCLS moved to its new frequency that it would also have to share with not
only WKBB but also WHFC from Chicago‟s North Side, in Evanston and WKBI, a station licensed to Fred Schoenwolf located
at Irving Park Road and Lincoln Avenues in Chicago. In 1929, WCLO, transmitting from Kenosha was added to the share,
however this restrictive arrangement that wouldn‟t last long. By Spring 1930, WHFC, WKBI and WEHS moved to 1420 kHz
and WCLO would move from Kenosha to Janesville, Wisconsin and begin full time operations on 1200 kHz. WCLS and
WKBB would retain the 1310 kHz frequency.

Throughout the 30‟s, WCLS would grow with specializing in community programming such as organ recitals from the famed
Rialto Theater and an emphasis on local news and sports. Walter Ashe would come in to manage the station and Al Poehler
would join the station at this time, beginning a long career in Joliet radio that led to opening his own FM station, WAJP, in
1960. In Summer 1932, WKBB would be sold to Richard Hoffman, the owner of WHFC as well as WEHS and WKBI from
Cicero. He applied to move WKBB to Cicero but this application was denied. He sold WKBB‟s time to WCLS, giving the
Boston Store station full time control of the 1310 kHz frequency.

In 1941, the KMOX, St. Louis station manager received a letter critical of his station‟s broadcasts of St. Louis Cardinal
baseball game. The writer, Harry Carabina, impressed the manager who then challenged him to put his words into deeds. He
would help Harry get a job as a sportscaster at WJOL. Harry would shorten his name to Harry Carey. Listeners would hear
him recreate Cub and White Sox games and begin to develop a style that would take him to the Baseball Hall Of Fame.
Caray would move on to WKZO in Kalamazoo in 1943 and then, after failing his draft induction in 1944, returned to St. Louis
where he would become the Voice of the Cardinals in 1945. Harry would return to doing White Sox games…this time as their
announcer in 1971 and then across town to the Cubs a decade later where he remained until his passing in 1998.

Also in 1941, on March 29, WCLS would shift from 1310 kHz to 1340 kHz as part of the NARBA agreement. The station‟s
power was increased to 250 watts from studios now located on Walnut Street, across of Silver Cross Hospital on Joliet‟s east
side. Following the War, Ashe sold WCLS, no longer affiliated with the Boston store, to a group of local investors who
renamed the station WJOL. The new station would continue WCLS‟s tradition of local programming and prosper for decades
at the top radio station in Will County and one of the most successful suburban stations in the Chicago area.


Source: http://www.joliet.lib.il.us/Digitization%20Projects/The%201940s/11-4-45.htm
http://www.jths.org/jths/alumni2/class/1951/Remember/text.html
http://www.joliet.lib.il.us/Digitization%20Projects/The%201920s/New%20Joliet%20Radio%20Station.htm
http://www.uic.edu/depts/lib/specialcoll/services/rjd/findingaids/MBickhamf.html
http://www.austincc.edu/dgran/Harry%20Caray.pdf
http://www.stfrancis.edu/hi/intern/Then.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Store
http://books.google.com/books?id=5uZkYiwilSgC&pg=PA29&lpg=PA29&dq=Boston+Store+Joliet-
&source=bl&ots=ZPAfBFr32K&sig=pXq5DHaInQzQuoN6ARNRzHCEkjY&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result-
&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA30,M1
http://books.google.com/books?id=7QsOn9_NviAC&pg=PA95&lpg=PA95&dq=Haray+Caray+WCLS-
&source=bl&ots=TnJYT6W7-
_&sig=aae_jHyUnS6OexAKTxuUvgvIAwI&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result#PPA96,M1
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/legisnet90/srgroups/sr/900SR0161LV.html


   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                   Notes
                                                                            Triple Alliance Radio
   WOCG AM                              9/30/1925      1/1/1926       1460 Station                      10w
This 10 watt station operated briefly on 1460 kHz. The studios were located across of the De Kalb County Courthouse on
Main Street. Little else of this station is known other than it appeared in Fall, 1925 and was no longer listed a few months
later..

Radio would return to De Kalb County when WLBK began operations in December, 1947 and to Sycamore when WSQR
signed on in June, 1981
Source:



   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                   Notes
   WBBZ       AM                      10/31/1925      7/31/1928      1390 C. L. Carrell                50w
This portable station took to the road in Fall, 1925 operating on with a 50 watt transmitter on 1390 kHz. This station, like many
others portable stations, were licensed to Chicago music promoter Charles Carrell. He would arrange a demonstration of his
station in conjunction with a local newspaper or chamber of commerce…producing local programming as well as relaying his
own broadcasts from Chicago‟s Civic Opera.

In 1927, WBBZ was upgraded to 100-watts and the frequency moved to 1470 kHz. That summer the station rolled into Ponca
City, Oklahoma where it set up shop in the local theater and soon was being operated by the town newspaper. The FRC
would outlaw portable stations in 1928 and WBBZ would remain in Ponca City, one of the rare “W” call-letters west of the
Mississippi River…and where it can still be heard on 1230 kHz today.
Source: http://www.poncantheatre.org/history.htm
http://www.wbbz.com/


        Calls                            Location                   On Date                   Off Date              Freq.      Owner
        WKBB           AM                                        10/31/1925                  10/1/1933                1400 Sanders
This station began operations on Jefferson Street on Joliet‟s West Side in Fall, 1925. The Sanders Brothers were investors in the J
throughout the Midwest. This station would debut with 100 watts; sharing time and initially transmitting facilities with the WCLS in t
1926, WKBB relocated to 1060 kHz with their own 150 watt transmitter…moving back to a time-share with WCLS on 1400 kHz in e
1390 kHz in May, sharing a very crowded channel with WHFC from Chicago‟s North Side, WEHS broadcasting from Evanston and

WKBB would meet the public interest standards of the Radio Act of 1927, moving, along with WCLS to 1310 kHz with 100 watts on
was a very restrictive one as the channel also was occupied and shared with WHFC and WEHS as well as WKBI, originating from C
had moved from Camp Lake to Kenosha, Wisconsin also relocated on the channel before being sold to the Janesville Gazette and
WKBI would shift to 1420 kHz at the end of 1930, leaving the 1310 frequency for WCLS and WKBB.

The Sanders Brothers would move the station to East Dubuque, Illinois in June, 1932 and sell the station‟s Joliet license to Richard
attempted to relocate the license to Cicero. The application was rejected and in Fall, 1933, Hoffman would sell the former WKBB li
the 1310 kHz frequency

WKBB would continue to operate from East Dubuque, operated by the Sanders and the Telegraph-Herald. The station continues t
WDBQ.
Source:
http://books.google.com/books?id=NgEFFikEQmgC&pg=PA68&lpg=PA68&dq=WKBB+East+Dubuque+Radio&source=bl&ots=Zu2
HjB8r4&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=10&ct=result
http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1008.html
http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-11233207.html


   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
                                                                        St. John Lutheran
   WJBN     AM Sycamore, IL 11/30/1925                          1170 Evangelical Church            10w
This appears to be the WOCG 10-watt transmitter that operated briefly from the St. John Lutheran Evangelical Church on
Park Avenue in Sycamore…a small town 70 miles west of Chicago. The station‟s license vanishes from listings as soon as it
appeared in November, 1925.
Source:



   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
  WHBL       AM      Chicago, IL    1/31/1926       4/1/1928      1390 C. L. Carroll               20w
Another portable radio station owned by Chicago music promoter Charles Carrell. This station would travel this Midwest
beginning in early 1926, operating with 20 and then 50 watts on 1390 kHz. In 1927, the power was increased to 100 watts
and retuned to 1470 kHz.

One of the major targets in the Radio Act of 1927 were portable stations. Order 30 ordered those licenses to “park” or go off
the air. In anticipation of this rule, WHBL, then demonstrating radio in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He gave control of the station
to the Press Publishing Company.

WHBL continues to serve Sheboygan today…another living legacy to the entrepreneurial spirit of Charles Carrell.
Source: http://www.qsl.net/k9ez/history.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WHBL_(AM)


   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
   WJBA        AM     Joliet, IL     1/31/1926       4/1/1928      1450 D.H. Lentz                    50w
Another little known operation that began transmitting on 1450 kHz with 50 watts in January, 1926. The license was assigned
to D. H. and A. J. Lentz and transmitted from his home on Joliet‟s west side. This station would struggle to be heard among
the growing noise and competition. In the chaotic year of 1927, WJBA would shift to 930 kHz in what appears to be a long
noisy arrangement with other low power stations: WKBI transmitting from Lincoln and Irving Park Road on Chicago‟s north
side, WKDR from Kenosha, Wisconsin and WLBR out of Belvedere…near Rockford. In late 1927, the station moved again to
1210 kHz, this time sharing space with WKDR and then WLBT transmitting from Crown Point, Indiana.

This station appears not to have met the public interest standards of the new Federal Radio Commission and vanished from
the airwaves in Spring, 1928.
Source:



   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
  WKBG       AM      Chicago, IL       1/31/1926      4/1/1928      1390 C. L. Carrell               100w
This portable station began its life at 1390 kHz with 100 watts. The station, owned by Chicago music impresario Charles
Carrell gave radio demonstrations around the Midwest. WKBG would shift its operating frequency to 1490 kHz in 1927 but
would be a victim of Order 30, the ruling that outlawed portable broadcast stations. While many of Carrell‟s stations would find
permanent homes, WKBG wasn‟t as fortune and met the end of the road in Spring, 1928.
Source:



   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
   WLIB     AM     Chicago, IL     1/31/1926     1/1/1933      990 Liberty Weekly                4,000w
Liberty Weekly Magazine was a media venture between Colonel Robert McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune and his
cousin Joseph Medill Patterson who ran the New York Daily News in an attempt to compete with the new Time Magazine. In
1925, McCormick had purchased the Drake Hotel station, WDAP, and renamed it WGN. On Christmas Eve, 1925 he then
took control of the Charles Erbstein‟s Villa Olivia transmitting facilities near Elgin, Erbstein gained fame for operating W TAS
from that location and built a powerful station. McCormick purchased the 4,000 watt transmitter, renaming the station as
WLIB in honor of his Liberty Magazine. He teamed his high powered station with WGN, still using a 500 watt transmitter atop
their Drake Hotel studios. In 1927, WGN shut down the Drake transmitter and moved in with WLIB at Villa Olivia, shifting to
980 kHz and increasing power to 15,000 watts.

WLIB was re-licensed, along with WGN as part of the Radio Act of 1927 moving to 720 kHz in Fall, 1927 with the station using
the dual calls of WGN-WLIB over the next few years. Despite heavy promotion and a $12 million investment by its publishers,
Liberty Weekly was sold in June, 1931. The WLIB call-letter were retained by the Tribune despite WGN becoming the
dominant call-letters on the 720 kHz frequency. In 1933, the new Federal Communications Commission would put an end to
the use of dual call-letters, requiring the Tribune to choose between WGN and WLIB. The winner was obvious and WLIB
faded into Chicago radio history.
Source: http://www.magazines.things-and-other-stuff.com/liberty-magazine.html
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,752823,00.html
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,727986,00.html



   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date       Freq. Owner                                  Notes
                                                                          North Shore
   WPCC       AM     Chicago, IL    1/31/1926        3/1/1933      1160 Congregational Church           500w
The 20s were a decade of exciting changes and transformations. The rise of the car, motion pictures, recorded music and of
course, radio brought Jazz and Swing music into the national limelight. While wildly popular with young people, the race and
racy nature of the music was a major concern for the paragons of society; just as rock „n roll would undergo a similar scrutiny
in the 50‟s and 60‟s. There were “souls” being lost to the music and lifestyle, and thus radio would also be the place to save
them. Or at least so thought Reverend J. C. O‟Hair, pastor of the North Shore Congregational Church.

The basic nature of radio was a magnet to many preachers…using this new medium to reach a wide audience and expand
the reach of their own ministries. In Chicago, Paul Rader of the Chicago Tabernacle and Glenn Wilbur Voliva of the Christian
Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion had already taken to the airwaves and other churches and congregations were heard on
commercial stations. In 1924, O‟Hair installed a transmitter in his church at the corner of Wilson and Sheridan Road in
Chicago‟s Uptown neighborhood. The station was assigned WDBY, which congregants joked stood for “We Delight Bothering
You”. O‟Hair would take to the airwaves on Sunday to preach salvation to those who were being tempted by the evils of
modern life…including Jazz music. O‟Hair brought in his own musicians and invited listeners to grab their hymnals and join in.

In late 1925 O‟Hair was granted new call letters for his station, WPCC…”We Preach Christ Crucified” and began broadcasting
on Sundays and evenings on 1160 kHz using the former WDBY‟s 500-watt transmitter and sharing the frequency with
WLTS…a student operated station based at Lane Technical Institute at Western and Addison. By Fall, 1926, the 1160
frequency became a little busier when WHFC, the Hotel Flanders station, broadcasting from Halsted near Montrose moved to
the channel. By the end of the year, WPCC would jump to 1340 kHz in a time share with Clinton White‟s WCRW that was
broadcasting from the nearby Embassy Hotel at Diversey and Sheridan Road and WFKB, Francis Bridgeman‟s station
broadcasting from the Woodlawn neighborhood on the city‟s south side.

The passing of the Radio Act of 1927 would bring into question religious broadcasting ability to serve the public interest. This
was a tricky matter as along with the growth of radio preachers were some of questionable reputations…or faith healers who
spread a little religion between their medical cures. O‟Hair encouraged his listeners to bombard the new Federal Radio
Commission with letters, which they did…the station would be re-licensed and on November 11, 1928 was paired on 570 kHz
with nearby WIBO, owned by Arne Nelson with studios at Broadway near Devon. O‟Hair would broadcast on Sundays only
while WIBO played the heathen Jazz and promoted nearby Uptown nightlife during the week. In Fall, 1930, WPCC and WIBO
moved to 560 kHz.

While WPCC survived the 1928 broadcasting shake-out, it would soon find its existence challenged again. In 1930 WJKS in
Gary, Indiana applied for full time use of the 560 frequency. The challenge was based on the lack of a full time radio station
serving the Gary region…by then the second most populated area in the state. The Federal Radio Commission would rule in
favor of WJKS in 1931 but WIBO and WPCC took the matter to court. On May 8, 1933, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the
FRC‟s ruling and authority, giving the 560 kHz frequency to WJKS (operated by Frank Atlass) and forcing WIBO and WPCC to
go silent.

O‟Hair would continue to preach over the airwaves…broadcasting via WSBC, WCBD and WLS until the mid 50‟s. He would
retire from his Congregation in 1972. Today the North Shore Congregation Church is the Uptown Baptist Church…still trying
to save souls, but this time with the many immigrants and low income families that moved into the Uptown area. The church
where WPCC transmitted from still stands with its “Jesus Saves” sign (probably located where one of WPCC‟s hammock
antenna masts once stood) is a local landmark.
Source: http://supreme.justia.com/us/289/266/case.html
http://frank.mtsu.edu/~dryfe/SyllabusMaterials/Classreadings/vaillant.pdf
http://www.bereanbiblesociety.org/ohair/START.pdf


   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                   Notes
                                                                       Chicago Federation Of
    WCFL      AM                    7/31/1926      12/1/1983           Labor
                                                                                                               th
The Labor movement had been a major force behind economic and social change during the later half of the 19 and early
   th
20 century. Chicago, with its large working class population was on the forefront of both the battles and changes brought on
by unionization…especially its own Chicago Federation of Labor. By the 20‟s, the CFL had risen as one of the strongest
locals in the country.

The rise of radio‟s popularity didn‟t go unnoticed by labor leaders. They saw this medium as a powerful means to
communicate with workers, but also saw it being dominated by large corporations who were beginning to monopolize the
public airwaves. This was especially the case in Chicago where the CFL constantly battled the Chicago Tribune to reach the
public in a battle of ideas and free flow of information. By the mid 20‟s, three Chicago newspapers, the Herald-American,
Daily News and Tribune had put their own stations on the air and this especially caught the attention of CFL President John
Fitzpatrick and his Executive Secretary, Edward Nockles, saw the need for labor to have their voice heard, but doing so
wouldn‟t be easy.

While the American Federation had shown some interest in radio, it was the Chicago Federation and Nockles who would take
the lead…first gaining national acceptance and support and then a long battle with the federal government to get the station
on the air and keep it there.

By 1925 the airwaves, especially those in Chicago had become saturated with radio signals. Herbert Hoover and the
Commerce Department had allowed the medium to grow on its own with little regulation; issuing licenses to anyone who
wanted one. Hoover decided too many licenses had been issued and put a freeze on any new applications; creating a major
obstacle for Nockles. Undeterred, Nockles moved forward demanding a license to operate on the 610 kHz frequency that had
been reserved at night for WEAF, the powerful New York station owned by AT&T. While his initial request was denied,
Nockles pushed forward, questioning the authority of the Commerce Department to grant or deny licenses and prevent the
Federation from “the people‟s air”.

While he battled Hoover, Nockles was consolidating support for his new station…getting both financial and logistical support
from fellow unions. Initially the union was encouraged to purchase an existing station license. After negotiations with WHT
and WENR failed, Nockles turned back to building his own operation and find ways to both fund the construction and the
operation. While overall national labor support was weak, Nockles was able to get a lot of local support. This included
gaining some political clout. Nockles was able to convince a powerful Chicago Alderman who gave the Federation access to
an existing radio installation the Navy had built in the North Tower of the city‟s Municipal Pier…now known as Navy Pier.
Nockles bought the equipment, built a studio in the tower and prepared to begin operations…with government permission or
not.

Nockles didn‟t have to wait long. When Zenith‟s radio station, WJAZ, switched from 930 kHz to the Canadian reserved
channel of 910 kHz, Hoover tried to stop the move. On July 8, 1926, Zenith went to court and won, Hoover alone couldn‟t
regulate radio, it would require an act of Congress. In the meantime, he was forced to resume issuing licenses to anyone who
asked for one, including Nockles. On July 27, 1926, WCFL, the “Voice of Labor” began regular broadcasting on 610 kHz with
500 watts. Nockles hard work had paid off, but now the challenge was to keep the station on the air.

While WCFL would be a voice of the worker, Nockles also knew the message had to be mixed with entertainment. Thanks to
its musician unions connections, millions of royalty payments were waved for the station and it soon was broadcasting from
“winter headquarters”…club around the city featuring music similar to what was heard on WGN and WMAQ. Financing the
new station would be a problem for Nockles as many unions were hesitant to get involved with the new venture or feared that
it would spread “socialist propaganda”. In late 1926, WCFL received the full blessing and support of the AFL, but still would
have to figure ways to support itself. That Fall, Nockles staged the first station “Frolic”…a predecessor of today‟s telethons
featuring politicians, movie stars and lots of entertainment; selling tickets to union members across the city and raising enough
money to keep the station going…and to make it an annual event.
Within a year, WCFL would upgrade its signal, shifting to 620 kHz with 1,500 watts and sharing time with Lane Technical High
School‟s student station WLTS. Throughout 1927, WCFL would emerge from a very crowded radio dial under the strong
direction of Fitzpatrick and Nockles. They kept pushing to expand the station and its capacity to be a useful service to the
labor movement. Any union could produce their own news or entertainment show or sponsor one and shortwave facilities
were built to spread the station‟s message across the country.

On September 22, 1927, Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey faced off in a classic heavyweight championship bout at Soldier
Field. NBC had paid for rights to the broadcast, but WCFL demanded to carry the fight as well. The two would reach an
accommodation making WCFL an affiliate of the NBC Blue Network, taking a secondary affiliation. NBC would purchase
WMAQ and WENR in 1931 with a majority of the Blue network shows airing either on WENR or WLS (depending which
station was on the air). WCFL presented mostly sustaining programming…the lesser popular network fare, as well as sports
events and labor talks.

The network affiliation spotlighted the conflict growing in keeping WCFL as a growing and viable station. To cover the growing
expenses, WCFL was airing more and more sponsored programs and relying upon outside commercial revenue. It was taking
money and doing business with some of the very companies that were in conflict with labor. Meanwhile support from unions,
especially on the national level was poor at best. Nockles did whatever he could to keep the station both viable and on the air.

His next obstacle came with Order 40 in 1928. The re-organization of the radio dial due to the Radio Act of 1927 would put
WCFL on 970 kHz with 1,500 watts. The CFL was hoping to gain one of the new Clear Channels but were assigned to a
frequency where they had to sign off at sunset in Seattle…limiting their hours in prime time. WCFL attempted to gain a clear
channel by applying for WBBM‟s 770 kHz frequency, but this challenge would be denied. The station would battle to gain
access to the night time airwaves for the next 5 years.

To counter the loss of night time hours and coverage, WCFL built a new transmitting facility in west suburban Downers Grove.
WCFL would begin transmitting from that location as well as two short wave stations to interconnect with other radio operators
and as an outlet for WCFL programming. The station, W9XAA was built by Ulysis Sanabria, who would add pictures to the
sound. He was experimenting with a mechanical television system and on June 12,1928 sent a video signal through the
WCFL transmitter and an audio one via WIBO for Chicago‟s first television broadcast. His experiments would continue for the
next 5 years on various stations, including matching both video and audio on one of WCFL‟s shortwave signals in 1930 in a
much publicized demonstration. The depression and the eventual move to electronic scanning television would relegate
Sanabria‟s work obsolete, however he would go on to help develop radar technology that proved crucial in World War II and
his television legacy would be picked up by others; keeping Chicago on the cutting edge of the new visual medium.

Despite the station‟s financial and programming struggles, Fitzpatrick remained very supportive of Nockles and WCFL. Sports
would be a popular way for the station to reach out and WCFL joined other Chicago stations in doing play-by-play of White
Sox home games starting in 1929. These broadcasts would continue, with a break from 1932-34 while the station originated
from the Century of Progress, until exclusive rights were granted in 1944.

By the early 30‟s, WCFL had built studios in the new Furniture Mart building at 666 Lake Shore Drive and would resolve their
night time conflict with the FRC and FCC allowing them to expand hours to midnight and an increase in power to 5,000 watts
in the summer of 1935. The station would focus on entertainment and community service…including ethnic programs as an
alternative to the larger network stations and to continue the Federation‟s efforts to use radio as a way to counter what they
believed was an anti-union bias on other stations. Advertising revenue, network participating programs and brokered ethnic
shows would help the station survive the Depression and soon became the major source of revenue ensuring the station‟s
viability. It relied less and less on union financial support becoming a financial asset rather than a liability and with that new
role, the future focus of the station would be in compeiting in the market place. Ed Nockles would retire from WCFL in 1937,
having helped the station survive a turbulent infancy and to find its place on the dial and into radio homes, but the dreams of a
“Voice of Labor” would become more a slogan than a cause.

Thanks to Organized Labor‟s enhanced political clout during the Roosevelt years, WCFL would benefit during the 1941
NARBA reshuffle. The station would be granted its long coveted Clear Channel designation (a 1-B, but Clear nonetheless)
                        th
and shifted on May 29 to 1000 kHz. The power would increase to 10,000 watts with the frequency change, then a 50,000
watt directional array was put on the air in 1945 giving WCFL a powerful push that made it easily heard across the eastern
half of the U.S. at night.

Throughout the 40‟s WCFL presented a variety of in-studio and pre-recorded musical shows. The station continued to air
union news but the focus was on supporting the war effort and Roosevelt‟s policies. Due to WENR‟s limited hours and WLS‟s
focus to Farm programming in the morning, WCFL was the long time home to the popular Breakfast Club, hosted by Don Mc
Neil and originated from the Allerton Hotel on Michigan Avenue. In 1943 NBC was forced to sell the Blue Network to Life
Saver owner Edward Noble who formed the American Broadcasting Company. WCFL would join the new ABC network in
1945 and remain affiliated until 1959. Disk Jockey and recorded music programs began to dominate the station‟s
programming but thanks to its labor connections, WCFL would avoid the “Petrillo wars”…the battle between the Musicians
Union and the other Chicago stations that would erupt as stations would cut back on broadcasting live music and relied on
pre-recorded programming.

In 1945 William Lee became President of the Chicago Federation of Labor. He, like Nockles, was a strong supporter of the
concept of WCFL being a positive asset for the Labor movement, but in a more pragmatic way. Radio advertising had helped
WCFL grow and now was delivering profits to the Federation; WCFL‟s value would now be in the market place; attempting to
beat the corporation stations at their own game.

The post-war years saw television replace radios in the living room, but stations like WCFL were well placed to follow its
transition to the kitchens and cars. The station featured more and more pre-recorded music and local personality. Sports
would re-enter the WCFL picture as it became the radio voice of the Chicago Cardinals football team. In 1951 the station
began airing Chicago White Sox night games. The team had been heard on WJJD during the day since 1944, but WJJD‟s
restricted license made it necessary for the Sox to be heard on a different station at night. By the 50‟s the Sox were playing a
growing number of games at night and wanted a steady stronger Chicago signal as their flagship. In 1952, the team aired all
of its games on the station. The team‟s play-by-play announcer, Bob Elson would become a regular voice on WCFL for the
next 15 years.

Throughout the 50‟s WCFL added personality to their sound, including Art Hellyer, whose antics would begin a legacy of
controversial hosts on the station…as well as endear him to a generation of listeners. Also joining the station was Marty
Hogan and, in 1952 a young announcer with a unique style and wit, Dan Sorkin. While he languished in the ratings behind
Howard Miller and Eddie Hubbard, Dan influenced many listeners and future broadcasters. One such listener sent Sorkin a
tape of his comedy bit, which Sorkin took a big liking to and began to play the tape on the air. This helped launch the career
of Bob Newhart and a friendship that followed both men until this very day.

By the early 60‟s, WCFL faced not only competition from WGN, WBBM and WIND, but also a growing number of suburban
and FM stations. Sorkin would leave the station under a cloud in 1964 after testifying on behalf of Lenny Bruce in his
obscenity trial, moving onto a long and successful career at KSFO in San Francisco. He‟s still heard in the Bay area. That
                                                   th
year, the station moved into new studios on the 10 floor of the Marina City office building. Lee knew the station needed a
sound uplift as well. In the summer of 1965, he hired Top 40 programmer Ken Draper and a new and exciting era of WCFL
history was about to begin.

Draper faced a mighty challenge as WLS had driven WIND and WJJD from the Top 40 market and had become a
powerhouse across the Midwest. He would have the advantage of WCFL‟s powerful 50,000 signal as well as a staff of
talented personalities. Big 10 Radio launched in September, 1965 with a notable line-up including Jim Runyon from KYW in
Cleveland, Joel Sebastian, Jim Stagg, Ron Brittain and Barney Pip. Also joining the station was a young, creative production
director, Dick Orkin, who would make a valuable contribution to the station, and crime fighting as well, as the voice and writing
behind “Chickenman.”

The switch would make a big impact as WCFL would soon rival and surpass WLS as the favorite on transitor and car radios
all over Chicago and points east. Draper and WLS Program Director, John Rook, would battle for each listener with
promotions and exclusives…a battle that would endure for a decade and provide hours of fun and great listening to millions.
In its early days, WCFL would jolt many of its young listeners by shifting gears at 11pm…airing a nightly Jazz program hosted
by Sid McCoy and Yvonne Daniels. In 1967, the station didn‟t renew its agreement with the White Sox and expanded to full
time Top 40, replacing Sid & Yvonne with an overnight show hosted by a young Larry Lujack. Within a year, Larry would jump
to WLS, but would return to WCFL in the early 70‟s becoming “Superjock” and the station evolving into “Super CFL”.

WCFL employed technical tricks in its battle with WLS…cranking up the audio and “tweeking” the transmitter to sound louder
as well as speeding up songs from 45 to 48rpm to make them sound more upbeat and give more time for chatter.
Commercials or more music. The station enjoyed many talented personalities during the Top 40 years including Jerry G.
Bishop, Fred Winston, Bob Dearborn, Clark Weber, Ron O‟Brien and the return of Dick Biondi. The station would always rock
harder and break more new music than their rival. Ron Brittain‟s Subterannean Circus was the first free-form album program
on Chicago radio…predating even FM stations.

By the mid 70‟s, WCFL once again was feeling competition, this time from the growing number of FM rock stations. WLS
would counter by bringing in younger personalities like Bob Sirott, Yvonne Daniels and John “Records” Landecker…WCFL
soon found itself falling farther and father behind. In 1974, Metromedia‟s WDHF became the city‟s first full time Top 40 FM
station and it took solid aim at WCFL‟s audience. By early 1976 Lee saw the need for a big change, once again, at WCFL and
on March 15, 1976, Larry Lujack invited listeners to get in the tub as WCFL floated from Top 40 into a new Beautiful Music
format. Lujack still had time to go on his contract with the station and would remain for the next several months until returning
to WLS. The WCFL Top 40 years are still fondly remembered.

The format change had no effect on the station‟s failing ratings and revenues. In 1978, the Federation decided the radio
station was no longer an asset and it was sold to the Mutual Broadcasting System…the experiment in labor radio had ended.

The new owners, Mutual, was a subsidiary of the Amway Corporation from Ada, Michigan…located across Lake Michigan
from Chicago. The signal was modified to point the strongest part of the signal at that location which would hurt the station‟s
overall signal to the south and west. The beautiful music format was replaced with “Lifestyle Radio”…a mixture of adult
contemporary music, national and local news, features (from the Mutual Network) and sports talk. Overnights, WCFL became
the Midwest flagship for the Mutual‟s Larry King show that originated from Washington. The morning were hosted by the
husband and wife team of Jim and Camile Bohannon.

By 1980, the Lifestyle concept was replaced with an Adult Contemporary format…an attempt to recapture old WCFL listeners,
however the results were less than expected and faced a lot of competition from FM stations. In 1983, Mutual was sold to
Westwood One and WCFL was sold to Stateside Broadcasting, a religious broadcasting company headed by Scott Ginsburg.
By the end of the year, the station would move out of its Marina City studios to the transmitter in Downers Grove and became
“Amen 1000”…featuring mostly brokered religious programs. The station featured a Contemporary Christian music format
with a show hosted by Jim Channel…know a decade earlier at WDHF as “Captain Whammo”, but had moved into Christian
radio at WCRM(FM) in west suburban Dundee.

In Spring, 1987, Jim DeCastro, President of WLUP(FM) and Heftel Broadcasting approached Ginsburg about merging their
two companies. DeCastro wanted the WCFL 50,000 signal for a new format centered around Steve Dahl and Garry Meier,
who had just been fired from WLS and rejoined WLUP and pushed to DeCastro to get them an AM station to fight their former
WLS bosses. In early May a microwave antenna was installed at the WCFL transmitter/studio site pointed at downtown
                                                           th
Chicago. The staff wasn‟t told what was going on. On May 18 , the deal was made official, Stateside and Heftel would form a
new company, Evergreen Media…at midnight, the plug was pulled on WCFL for the final time…at midnight WLUP-AM took
over the 1000 spot on the dial.

The WCFL call-letters would return to the Chicago area in 1989 when a Columbus, Ohio company purchased WCSJ-FM in
Morris, a town 75 miles southwest of Chicago. The station‟s signal was upgraded to 50,000 watts and the format was
switched to Oldies; using not only the WCFL call-letters but the stations old jingles, adding a reverb and even mentioned
Marina City during the weather breaks. The owners also fudged with the transmitter…which was required to direct its signal
away from most of the Chicago area, putting the vast majority of its signal over ears of corn, not listeners. The directional was
removed and the station was soon heard all around the Chicago area…that was until the “boost” was reported to the FCC and
the station was shut down until the directional system was restored and given a heavy fine. Shortly afterwards, the owners
went bankrupt and the station was sold to the Illinois Bible Institute, who still operate the station with the WCFL call-letters,
relaying their Contemporary Christian station from Champaign.

Source: http://www.radiotimeline.com/am1000wcfl.htm
http://www.johnrook.com/johnrookthebig89WLS.htm
http://tenwatts.blogspot.com/2005/11/chicagos-voice-of-labor.html
http://www.mrpopculture.com/files/September%2015,%201960.pdf
http://www.americanleasing.com/entertainment/jokes/previousjokes8.html
http://www.stumps.org/
http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=wd_PDZkvS8cC&oi=fnd&pg=PR11&ots=o2crd-
MfimQ&sig=avK8s5N9yV1dh4Rm6YKHplFjWfI#PPA79,M1
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/WCFL
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chicago_White_Sox_broadcasters
http://www.hawestv.com/mtv_chicago/mtv_cgo.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulises_Armand_Sanabria
http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1331.html
http://clevelandclassicmedia.blogspot.com/2008/10/encorenbc-returns-to-cleveland-june-19.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WMVP
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,800475,00.html?iid=digg_share


   Calls              Location        On Date         Off Date      Freq. Owner                                   Notes
  WCRW       AM       Chicago        7/31/1926       1/1/1994       1240 WCRW, Inc.                                         1000
In July, 1926, Herbert Hoover and the Commerce Department lost its ability to regulate the airwaves and lifted a freeze on
authorizing new licenses. This opened a window for new stations and operators to get on the air before Hoover could get
Congress to legislation to give him regulatory power. One such operator was Clinton R. White, who quickly applied for a
license and began operating his station WCRW with his own home-brew 50 watt transmitter operating on 720 kHz from
studios at Waveland and Pine Grove in Chicago‟s north side Lakeview neighborhood.

White would entertain his friends and neighbors with one of the “hillbilly” music, one of the first country music formats on the
air. His wife Josephine also spun the tunes from White‟s “vibraphone”, making her one of radio‟s first female disc jockey. The
station also had new and music programs aimed at the German, Swedish and Italian communities, finding an early niche with
foreign language broadcasting.

By 1927, White had increased power to 500-watts and would be joined on 720 kHz by WHT, the station owned by Chicago
Mayor William Hale Thompson and William Wrigley as well as Arne Nelson‟s WIBO that operated from near Devon and
Broadway on the city‟s far north side. In April, WCRW shifted over to 760 kHz and then over to 1340 kHz in a time-share
arrangement with WPCC, Reverend J. C. Hair‟s station from the North Shore Congregational Church at Wilson and Sheridan
Road and WFKB, operated by Francis K. Bridgeman from the Woodlawn neighborhood on Chicago‟s south side.

In 1928, White moved his station into the Embassy Hotel at Pine Grove and Diversey Avenues now calling themselves the
“Gold Coast Station”, offering live music in addition to his recorded music programs. This would get the attention of Chicago
Federation of Music President James Petrillo who would lead boycotts against this and other Chicago stations in hopes of
forcing them to employ union musicians. White would still play his “vibraphone” and rely more and more on foreign language
programming that didn‟t bypassed both music royalties and the musicians union.

White‟s early commitment to community and ethnic programming would help him earn re-licensing after the Radio Act of 1927
was passed and the new Federal Radio Commission determined which stations would lose their license. WCRW would be
assigned 1210 kHz with only 100 watts of power and share the frequency with two other foreign language broadcasters,
                                                                                     nd
WEDC, owned by Emil Denemark and transmitting from his showroom at Ogden and 22 on Chicago‟s southwest side, and
WSBC, Joseph Silverstein‟s station that was broadcasting from studios at Roosevelt Road and Wabash on Chicago‟s near
south side. This time sharing arrangement would endure for the next 70 years.

Under the new time sharing agreement, WCRW would be on the air no more than five hours a day, 11pm-2pm and then from
5pm-7pm daily with WSBC and WEDC dividing the rest of the day. During World War II, WCRW, like other ethnic language
stations, would come under government scrutiny…concerned that special messages were being broadcast on the station‟s
German and Italian programming. Following the war, WCRW also began to air some black programming as well as
Spanish…a sign of things to come.

While other time sharing arrangements would dissolve in the 30‟s and 40‟s, WEDC, WCRW and WSBC continued to operate
separate transmitters and studios. Each year the station managers would meet to agree on new hours (which pretty much
would conform to the old hours) and one would try to buy the others out. Despite his weak 100 watt signal and antiquated
facilities, White would fill the airtime and resist offers to sell.

The Gold Coast area would undergo change in the 50‟s as the wealth and middle class move on to suburbia and new
immigrants from Puerto Rico and other Caribbean countries would move into the area; especially around Humboldt Park. A
record promoter, Raul Cardona, began hosting a program on WCRW that soon drew a loyal audience and making Cardona
one of the first Hispanic radio stars in Chicago. By the 60‟s he was in control of a majority of WCRW‟s air time. In the early
60‟s the station boosted its power to 250 watts and just as the station was to install a 1,000 transmitter, White suddenly died.
Josephine would take over the station assisted by WEDC consultant/engineer Ed Jacker.

Throughout the 70‟s and 80‟s, WCRW would continue to broadcast its 5 hours a day, a living legacy of Clinton White, still
operating from aging Embassy Hotel. Its antiquated antenna made reception of the station difficult, even with 1,000 watts,
outside the North and West sides of the city, but it didn‟t seem to matter as the station sold out its air schedule; most the hours
to Cardona or other Spanish brokers.

Josephine White and then Jacker would pass away in the 80‟s. Jacker‟s daughter, Lorraine Peterson, would take over the
station. In 1989 WCRW moved from its long time home in the Embassy Hotel (that would be torn down) and moved its
studios to a former architects office at Milwaukee just north of Bryn Mawr on the city‟s northwest side. The station would
install its transmitter and share the WEDC tower that was right down the street…greatly improving the signal. While they
shared the antenna, WEDC and WCRW would still maintain separate transmitters.

In 1995 WSBC owner, Danny Lee, sold WXRT(FM) and WSCR(AM) to Westinghouse for $77.5 million dollars. The windfall
would allow him to fulfill a long time goal of consolidating the 1240 frequency. In June, 1996 Lee purchased WCRW for
$500,000. At 7pm on June 17, 1996, almost 70 years to the day Clinton White first fired up his Vibraphone, WCRW said good
night for the last time. Cardona would move his show to WSBC but retire a year later. While WCRW would be no more, its
studios would become the new home of WSBC in 1998. Also in 1997, WSBC would purchase WEDC and bring to an end the
nearly 70 year time share…one of the most enduring and unique in broadcasting history.


Source: http://books.google.com/books?id=2f-PJGCNJcoC&pg=RA1-PA192&lpg=RA1-
PA192&dq=Petrillo+WCRW+Chicago&source=bl&ots=CNnRJRjN4Q&sig=h4Omq6VBzrugoIiVoaOcYR4OOWg-
&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result
http://books.google.com/books?id=4kaOT8SdfkYC&pg=PA40&lpg=PA40&dq=Petrillo+WCRW+Chicago-
&source=bl&ots=ald3i7nk7c&sig=grNB1nAU0SW3AjNlyUGjwZDle54&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result-
&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA41,M1
http://www.manfrommars.com/article.html
http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-9632294_ITM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WCRW


   Calls              Location       On Date         Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
   WJBT       AM                         7/31/1926    11/1/1931         John S. Boyd
Evangelist Paul Rader was no stranger to radio. At the request of Chicago Mayor William Hale Thompson he spoke at the
opening of the City of Chicago‟s short-lived WBU in 1922 and when Hale but WHT on the air in 1925, Rader was again invited
to participate, this time filling 14 hours of programming on Sunday…a challenge Rader took on with a flourish.

Rader had risen to fame in evangelical circles with is association with the Moody Bible Institute and as a popular guest
speaker around the country. He formed his own congregation, the Chicago Tabernacle in 1922 that he would lead for the next
11 years.

With the lift of the license freeze in July, 1926, Rader would get his own license, WJBT, which he would say stood for “Where
Jesus Blesses Thousands” that would take over the WHT transmitter and frequency for his Sunday programs. In late 1926
Rader and WJBT would form a partnership with WBBM, the station owned by Leslie Atlass and Stewart-Warner Battery
company. WJBT would be heard on WBBM‟s 770 kHz frequency every Sunday, just as it had on WHT, originating from the
Chicago Tabernacle on Clark & Berry Streets on Chicago‟s north side.

With the implementation of the Radio Act of 1927, WJBT‟s time-share with WBBM was allowed to continue his Sunday
broadcasts. Rader, like J. C. O‟Hair saw radio as a means to save souls and to present an alternative to the fast-paced dance
and jazz music that was dominating the airwaves. Listeners would hear good old fashioned preaching and hymnals…a format
that would draw a wide audience across the Midwest and the nation on WBBM‟s strong 10,000 watt transmitter.

Rader‟s popularity continued to grow. He was invited to do a program on the new CBS radio network, but soon saw his
mission to bigger and better callings. In the early 30‟s, the FRC was continuing to clean up the clutter of stations and call-
letters. While WJBT offered programming separate from WBBM, it was just like a remote broadcast, not as a separate
station, thus the Commission ordered the dropping of dual call-letters and WJBT would fade from the air in Fall, 1931. Rader
would move on from the Chicago Tabernacle in 1933 and establish the world‟s first international religious station, HCJB in
Quito, Ecuador in 1937.

Source: http://www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/GUIDES/133.htm
http://books.google.com/books?id=2SjXNHvt3AIC&pg=PA83&lpg=PA83&dq=Chicago+Tabernacle+Rader-
&source=bl&ots=SuDxVL7b5b&sig=tRXtIzplHTEIdX3CTOiawNA2MQE&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result-
&resnum=4&ct=result#PPA85,M1
http://www.higherpraise.com/preachers/rader.htm
http://www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/exhibits/ohistory/oral17.htm
http://www.villageoftowerlakes.com/history/Rader/rader.htm


   Calls              Location       On Date         Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
  WKBA       AM                     7/31/1926    12/31/1926         Arrow Battery Company
This license was issued to the Arrow Battery Company, owned by Joseph Silverstein who also operated WSBC from Wabash
and Roosevelt Roads on Chicago‟s near south side. This station appeared to work in tandum with WSBC, operating on
WSBC‟s old 1430 kHz frequency with 200 watts (WSBC had moved to 1040 kHz) It may have been used to carry
programming when WSBC was off the air. The station would operate through the end of the year before going silent.


Source:



   Calls              Location       On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
   WMBI      AM                       7/31/1926        11/1/2008            Moody Bible Institute
                                                                         th                   th
Christian fundamentalism enjoyed a revival in the later half of the 19 century and early 20 century. The rapid changes in
technology and society in general fueled this movement. One leader in this revival was Dwight Moody. In 1886 he
established the Chicago Evangelization Society that would later be renamed the Moody Bible Institute, an organization
dedicated to the teaching and training of teachers, ministers, missionaries and musicians. The Institute‟s outreach grew
quickly especially the groups recruiting efforts to visitors of the 1893 World‟s Columbian Exposition.

By the early 20‟s, Moody had over 1,000 students, including women (rare for a religious institution in those days) at their
Chicago campus on LaSalle and Chicago Streets in Chicago as well as over 10,000 who had enrolled in correspondence
courses. If there was any religious organization that could see the evangelical outreach possibilities and have the resources
to exploit it, the Moody Bible Institute was in a unique situation. Yet while other preachers and congregations took to the
airwaves in radio‟s first years, Moody would resist.

The birth of Moody Broadcasting came by accident. A sudden thunderstorm in 1925 prevented some performers from making
a scheduled appearance on WGES, the station owned by Louis Guyon and transmitting from the Paradise Ballroom in
Garfield Park. A pair of Moody students filled in and reported a positive response to the school…soon the church was
producing their own program and the radio bug had been planted.

In 1926, Moody Vice President Henry Crowell approved the building of a radio station but had to wait as the issuing of new
station licenses had been frozen. Hoover‟s loss in the WJAZ case opened the way for the new station to obtain a license and
by the end of July, 1926 WMBI was on the air, operating with 500 watts on 1040 kHz and sharing time with Joseph
Silverstein‟s WSBC. Within a year, the station was on the air 32 hours a week and would jockey for better airtime by moving
to 1140 kHz and sharing time with Zenith‟s WJAZ. Despite all the confusion, WMBI would evolve a loyal and growing
audience in the Chicago area.

While other religious stations had difficulties meeting the public interest standard of the Radio Act of 1927, WMBI would meet
the standards and was granted 1080 kHz with a power upgrade of 5,000 watts. The downside was the new channel would
have to be shared with another religious station, WCBD, operated by Wilbur Glenn Voliva from the Christian Catholic
Apostolic Church in Zion…and both station could only operate during day time hours. A new transmitter site was built in west
suburban Addison and despite the limited hours, the higher power would propel WMBI into homes within a 150 mile radius of
Chicago…growing both the station and Moody‟s reach. The station also began to syndicate its programs to commercial
stations outside the Chicago area, forming the basis of the future Moody Radio Network.

The 1941 NARBA would end the WMBI/WCBD time share as the Moody Bible station would be granted sole possession of
1110 kHz while WCBD would share time and a transmitter with WAIT on 820 kHz. On November 18, 1941, an FM station,
W75C began operations simulcasting WMBI‟s programs and some special evening concerts on 47.5 mHz. In 1944 the call-
letters were changed to WDLM; paying tribute to the Moody founder, a year later the station jumped to the new FM band at
99.7 mHz before settling on 95.5 mHz and changing the call-letters to WMBI-FM in 1948. As was the case with many early
FM operations, listener response was poor and the first WMBI-FM would fail…returning their license to the FCC in early 1953.
Moody wouldn‟t be gone from FM long, returning with a new WMBI-FM at 90.1 mHz in June, 1960.

The Moody network would begin to expand in the 60‟s and early 70‟s; adding new stations around the country. By the early
70‟s, the focus began to shift away toward WMBI-FM as more and more people were tuning to FM over AM. In the late 70‟s,
WMBI-AM would begin to reach out to the growing Hispanic community in Chicago…broadcasting in Spanish all day Saturday
and then expanding that programming to throughout the week by the early 90‟s.

Today WMBI-AM is still going strong from its Addison, Illinois site…the longest continuous use transmitter site in Chicago.
While most daytime AM stations were granted night time operation, WMBI-AM still sticks to a sunrise to sunset schedule. It
has been said that of the many religious broadcasters, Moody is the “Cadillac”…with an emphasis on professional
presentation and positive messages and music. The Moody network has grown to reach listeners on hundreds of big and low
powered stations around the country; carrying on Dwight Moody‟s message and mission into the new century.
Source: http://www.moodyministries.net/crp_PressReleaseDetail.aspx?id=200
http://www.moody.edu/edu_MainPage.aspx?id=3474
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WMBI-FM
http://books.google.com/books?id=ZSLgWIp_7-
YC&pg=PA133&lpg=PA133&dq=WMBI+Chicago+History&source=web&ots=5mVj8HomBO&sig=ecG07fx5MWa7FlV-QipIW-
Y9q4g&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result
http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1026.html

   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                   Notes
   WHFC      AM                     8/31/1926       4/1/1963             Hotel Flanders
                                                                                          th
Chicago underwent tremendous expansion and population growth in the last part of the 19 century. In 1889 the city annexed
many of the towns that surrounded it and added hundreds of square miles to its size. The northern limits were pushed to
Howard Street encompassing a lot of small towns along Lake Michigan that catered to the upper classes who wanted to
escape the congestion of the inner city. The construction of the elevated railway and extension of trolley and street car lines
would open up areas like Lakeview, Uptown and Edgewater turning them into resort destinations in the city. Hotels, night
clubs and movie theaters brought transformed these neighborhoods and enabled them to thrive in the 1920‟s.

Radio would play an important role in the popularity of these areas. Radio stations and hotels were an especially good match
as the hotel could provide both transmitter and studio space as well as a continuous source of musical entertainment. Hotels
benfitted from the widespread exposure…especially if the station was popular and your name was in the call-letters.

By the mid 20‟s several major Chicago hotels were regularly heard both locally and across the country. The Edgewater Beach
Hotel was among the most popular via their broadcasts on WJAZ, WGN and their own WEBH. WMAQ transmitted from the
Hotel LaSalle, WGN still broadcast from the Drake Hotel, KYW had built studios in the Congress Hotel and WLS was based at
the Sherman House. On the west side, the Guyon Hotel was home to WGES; which broadcast from the nearby Paradise
Ballroom.

In Summer, 1926, a group called Triangle Broadcasters built a radio station in the Hotel Flanders and would fight to be heard
above a noisy and crowded Chicago radio dial. WHFC would operate on 1160 kHz with 150 watts and share time with
WLTS…the student-operated station at Lane Technical High School and J. C. O‟Hair‟s WPCC that transmitted primarily on
Sunday from the North Shore Congregational Church at Wilson and Sheridan Road. When WJAZ retuned their transmitter to
the nearby 1140 kHz frequency at the end of 1926, WHFC, to avoid the interference, moved to 1390 kHz, where it would fight
to share time above the noise with Victor Carlson‟s WEHS from Evanston, WPEP transmitting from Waukegan and two Joliet
stations, WCLS and WKBB.

As was the case with many other small, struggling stations at this time, WHFC would find a niche catering to the ethnic
communities that were rapidly moving north and northwest. This commitment to local service would help WHFC meet the
public interest needs standard when the Federal Radio Commission asserted regulatory control over the radio dial. The
station would be assigned to the local 1310 kHz channel on November 11, 1928, but would have to share that channel not
only with WEHS, WCLS and WKBB but also WKBI, a station owned by Frank Schoenwolf and transmitting from Lincoln and
Irving Park Road. WHFC would also have to reduce its power to 100 watts. The five stations would struggle with this
arrangement and WHFC, WEHS and WKBI would shift to 1420 kHz in early 1930.

The Stock Market crash of 1929 and onset of the Depression would take a big toll on the hotels, including the Hotel Flanders,
                                                                   nd
In Fall, 1929, the station moved into the Olympic Ballroom at 22 near Austin Blvd. In west suburban Cicero…a large working
class area that didn‟t have a local station. It was also an ideal area for a foreign language station with a large German, Czech,
Bohemian, Polish, Jewish and Italian neighborhoods nearby…all within easy signal reach. The ballroom would provide
musical programming as well as visibility in the community.

In 1931, WHFC was sold to Judge Richard Hoffman, a powerful Cicero politician who would also serve in the U.S. Congress
from 1949 through 1957. Over the next several years, he would purchase the WEHS and WKBI, consolidating the three
stations into WHFC and expanding the station‟s reach into the ethnic neighborhoods. While he bought out his competitors,
Hoffman maintained the time share throughout most of the 30‟s…probably to honor existing broker contracts. WHFC had the
majority of the hours with WKBI heard from 1:30 til 4pm and WEHS in control from 4pm-6pm. WHFC would become the sole
operator on 1420 kHz in 1937 and upgrade its power to 250 watts.

The station would build studios and move its transmitter to 3350 South Kedzie around 1940 and the frequency was shifted to
1450 kHz with the March 29,1941 NARBA shift. In 1943, WHFC would launched an FM station at 48.3 mHz, using the old
WEHS call-letters; which originally stood for Evanston Township High School, but Hoffman rechristened in honor of his wife,
Elizabeth. In January, 1946, WEHS-FM moved up to 100.1 mHz and then finally settled in at 97.9 mHz in April, 1948. The
FM would specialize in “storecasting”…or feeding background music to businesses via FM. By the early 50‟s, this type of
broadcasting would be the sustaining revenues for FM and when stations lost their contracts, they would go silent or be sold.
WEHS would lose its contract in the late 50s and begin to simulcast WHFC for the minimum 6 hours a day to hold onto the
license.

The area around WHFC and Cicero began to change following World War II. While Eastern Europeans continued to be the
largest ethnic groups in Cicero, Berwyn and the surrounding area, a large influx of blacks from the south were moving west
into Garfield Park and Austin. Red-lining kept blacks out of Cicero and the time was marked with growing racial strife and
much transition. Following the war, Hoffman began to broker time to Jack L. Cooper followed by Al Benson in 1946 and then
Herb Kent and Pervis Spann in the 50‟s.

By the early 60‟s, Hoffman was in poor health and his interest in the stations had long waned. In March, 1963 Hoffman
agreed to sell the stations to Leonard and Phil Chess, owners of Chess records, a leading blues label. The Chess brothers
wanted to create Chicago‟s first full-time soul and black-oriented station, but faced a difficult time with the FCC who were leery
of the record company‟s connections to the station…especially in the wake of the Payola scandals. After providing
assurances the station would be controlled separately from the recording company, the sale was approved and on April 1,
1963, WHFC would become WVON…Chicago‟s Black Giant. WEHS and then WHFC-FM would become WSDM, a jazz
music station.


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WVON
http://books.google.com/books?id=j06dhDdsgioC&pg=RA1-PA229&lpg=RA1-
PA229&dq=WHFC+Radio+Chicago&source=web&ots=S_zFkbUBIZ&sig=UWOuzangZucAzEel7e1Dn_K_ghE&hl=en-
&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=7&ct=result
http://jazzinchicago.org/educates/journal/articles/al-benson-godfather-black-radio-chicago
http://www.benton.org/node/7184
http://www.thehistorymakers.com/programs/dvl/files/South_Wesleyf.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WLUP
http://www.radiohof.org/discjockey/herbkent.html
http://cinematreasures.org/theater/1817/
http://www.thehistorymakers.com/programs/dvl/files/Kent_Herbf.html
http://politicalgraveyard.com/geo/IL/CO5.html
http://www.searchgleaner.com/cloud/index.php?words=WLUP
http://books.google.com/books?id=H_GSnevobp4C&pg=PA214&lpg=PA214&dq=WHFC+Hoffman&source=web-
&ots=6xXp1ytxcU&sig=N6Y3W6M6-ykD-rmM6uW0yv7XAT8&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=7-
&ct=result#PPA215,M1
http://www.chicagotelevision.com/menofuhf.htm
http://books.google.com/books?id=j06dhDdsgioC&pg=RA1-PA219&lpg=RA1-PA219&dq=Daddy-
O+WHFC&source=bl&ots=S_zFkb_CKX&sig=G6YyvqnrZPziYJdHbZwKVLzYm-
g&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PRA1-PA220,M1
http://www.wvon.com/aboutus/history.php


    Calls             Location        On Date         Off Date      Freq. Owner                                   Notes
   WKBI      AM                       8/31/1926     11/1/1936              Fred L. Schoenwolf
This small station was licensed to Fred Schoenwolf and began broadcasting with 50 watts on 1360 kHz in August, 1926. The
studios were located in the Lincoln Trust & Savings Bank Building at Lincoln Avenue and Irving Park Road on Chicago‟s north
side. The station‟s weak signal would try to rise above a very noisy dial, moving to 930 kHz in early 1927 and then over to
1390 kHz late in the year, sharing time on a very crowded channel with WHFC from the Hotel Flanders at Broadway near
Montrose, WEHS transmitting from Evanston, WPEP, broadcasting with 250 watts from Waukegan and WCLS and WKBB
from Joliet. While this arrangement would cut down on interference and help WKBI be heard, it greatly restricted the stations
operating hours.

WKBI would be re-licensed by the Federal Radio Commission and move into another restrictive time share on 1310 kHz with
WHFC, WEHS, WKBB and WCLS. The crowding was eased in 1930 when WEHS, WHFC and WKBI shifted to 1420 kHz and
WKBI upgraded to a 100 watt transmitter. It appears the station featured brokered ethnic programs to the German and
Swedish enclave in the area.

In Summer, 1931, Schoenwolf would sell the station to Judge Richard Hoffman, owner of WHFC and WEHS and the station
would move into Hoffman‟s studios in the Olympic Ballroom in Cicero. WKBI would continue to broadcast from 1:30pm-4pm
each day through 1937, possible to honor a grandfathered brokerage contract when Hoffman purchased the station. Both
WEHS and WKBI‟s hours would be taken over by a full time WHFC.

Source:



   Calls              Location        On Date         Off Date      Freq. Owner                                   Notes
   WKDR         AM Kenosha, WI           8/31/1926      4/1/1928            Edward A. Dato
Very little is known of this station. It could have been a portable as it went on the air in August, 1926 on 700 kHz with only 10
watts of power. The licensee, Edward Dato gave the Drake Hotel in Chicago as his address. This station shuffled around the
noisy dial during its brief life, supposedly transmitting from the southern Wisconsin city of Kenosha. By late 1926, WKDR had
shifted to 930 kHz, then off to 610 kHz in Spring, 1927, back to 930 kHz in the Summer and finally to 1210 kHz at the
beginning of 1928.

With its low power, it appears WKDR either didn‟t re-apply or the application for a new license from the Federal Radio
Commission didn‟t meet the public interest standard…it‟s license and call-letters were deleted in March, 1928.
Source: http://home.earthlink.net/~hdtv/History/FCCdocs/52A51-4.html
http://www.qsl.net/k9ez/history.htm


   Calls              Location        On Date         Off Date      Freq. Owner                                   Notes
   WRAF     AM      LaPorte, IN      9/1/1926      4/1/1931      1340                                                 100
Radio was booming in Chicago and its many neighborhoods, however had bypassed the northwest Indiana area. That would
change in August, 1926 when Charles Middleton started up WRAF from his living room in La Porte with 100 watts on 1340
kHz. By the beginning of 1927, WRAF had moved 1440 kHz; sharing a crowded channel with WENR, still owned by E.
Norman Ruland, but soon to be sold to Samuel Insull‟s Commonwealth Edison Company, WJBZ, the second radio venture of
the Coppotelli Music Store in Chicago Heights in WNBA transmitting from west suburban Forest Park.

WRAF‟s location would help it meet community standards requirements and was assigned to 1200 kHz effective November
11, 1928. WRAF would have to share their new channel with WCLO, that had recently moved from Camp Lake to Kenosha,
Wisconsin along with WWAE that had re-located to nearby Hammond, Indiana. WCLO would be purchased by the Janesville,
Wisconsin Gazette in early 1929 and the station would move to that southern Wisconsin city and granted a full time license.
WRAF and WWAE would continue to divide the time on 1200 kHz.

In late 1931 Middleton sold WRAF to the South Bend Tribune who would rename the station WFAM and operate it in tandem
with its WSBT (that also was in a time share arrangement on 1360 kHz with WJKS in Gary and WGES in Chicago). WFAM
would move to South Bend in 1933 and then again in 1942 as WASK in Lafayette, Indiana.
Source: http://www.greatlakesobserver.com/Issues/Current%20Issue/08-14-06%20Issue.pdf



   Calls              Location        On Date         Off Date      Freq. Owner                                   Notes
                                                                        Foreign Language
  WEDC       AM      Chicago       10/31/1926     1/1/1994       1240 Broadcasters                                       1000
Before spot commercial advertising dominated broadcasting, the radio station was the advertising for station owners. It would
spread a business name far and wide, plus having a radio studio and radio antenna on the premesis was a status symbol.
The automobile would come of age in the 20s and Emil Denemark had built one of the largest car dealerships on Ogden and
  nd
22 Street on Chicago‟s southwest side. Denemark was a Jazz fan and built a radio station to spotlight both his favorite
music and his dealership. In October, 1926 he would sign on his station, WEDC, transmitting with a powerful 1,000 watts on
710 kHz.

Denemark‟s station would feature live remotes from hotels and night clubs in the Lawndale and Douglas Park areas as well as
originating a late night show from Denemark‟s showroom. The station would also reach out to the ethnic groups on the city‟s
west and southwest sides…brokering time and speaking in Italian, German, Polish, Lithuanian, Yiddish and Czech, the people
who were Denemark‟s prospective customers. By 1927, WEDC has reduced power to 500 watts and shifted to 1240 kHz;
sharing time with Louis Guyon‟s WGES from the nearby Garfield Park neighborhood as well as WEHS in north suburban
Evanston and WWAE that was then broadcasting from Chicago‟s south side.

The station‟s deep connections to its area would help it meet the public interest requirement of the Federal Radio Act of 1927
and on November 11, 1928, WEDC would be licensed to 1210 kHz but with just 100 watts of power. The station would also
share time with Joseph Silverstein‟s WSBC; broadcasting from Roosevelt Rd. & Wabash and Clinton White‟s WCRW from the
Embassy Hotel on the “Gold Coast”…Diversey and Sheridan on Chicago‟s north side. WSBC would grab the morning and
prime evening hours, WCRW operated only 5 hour a day from 11am until 2pm and from 5pm to 7pm…WEDC took the
remainder of the time…brokering the time during the day and still spinning jazz and pop music late at night from the
Denemark Cadillac showroom studios (visitors were told not to touch the new cars).

In 1940, WEDC would boost its power to 250 watts and then March 29, 1941, WEDC, along with WSBC and WCRW shifted
over to 1240 Khz as part of the North American Radio Broadcast Agreement…still sharing time. Over the years Denemark
would try to buy out his fellow 1240 occupants and visa versa…all doing well with their ethnic programming. During the War,
the station would be criticized and scrutinized by the government, along with other foreign language stations, for the possibility
of passing coded messages on its German and Italian language programs, however a vast majority of these programs were
extremely supportive of the Allied war efforts and spoke for a growing expatriate community.

Following the war, the neighborhoods surrounding Denemark‟s location began to shift. The children of the immigrants of the
20‟s were moving west and north and blacks and Hispanics were replacing them. More black and Spanish programs would fill
the air time throughout the 50s and early 60‟s.

In 1962 ethnic station WGES was sold to McLendon Broadcasting and brokerage was terminated, then WHFC from Cicero,
another foreign language station was sold to Leonard and Phil Chess in March, 1963…displacing more brokers (some who
had fled from WGES). FM would be one alternative for some brokers, but others took more another route. One such broker
was Aurelia Puchinska…the host of the “Polish Sunshine Show” on WGES, but was cancelled, with other brokers, when the
station was sold. She would find a home at WEDC, and to ensure she‟d stay there, her son, powerful Chicago Alderman and
Congressman Roman Pucinski would purchase the station from an aging Denemark in early 1967.

Pucinski‟s company, Foreign Language Broadcaters moved from the auto dealership into a former auto repair shop at
Milwaukee near Bryn Mawr on Chicago‟s far northwest side. This new location would, once gain, put it in a predominately
Eastern European area and ensure Mrs. Puchinska a place to do her morning show.

Throughout the 70‟s Spanish programming would dominate the 1240 time share. WEDC‟s late night “Buenos Dias Chicago”
was a 6-hour block…the longest…on the time share and became a popular program with a revolving door of hosts. In the
early 80‟s, Pucinski‟s wife, who was managing the station, would become disabled and his mother passed away, the station
would begin to deteriorate as caretaker manager were brought in to try to keep the station air time sold and afloat.

The 1240 time share would endure into the 90‟s…each station maintaining their own separate transmitters and studios. The
hours were WSBC from 6am-8:30am, WEDC: 8:30am-10:00am, WSBC: 10:00am-11:00am, WCRW: 11:00am-2:00pm,
WSBC: 2:00pm-3:30pm, WEDC: 3:30pm-5:00pm, WCRW: 5:00pm-7:00pm, WEDC: 7:00pm-8:00pm, WSBC: 8:00pm-
10:00pm, WEDC: 10:00pm-11:00pm, WSBC: 11:00pm-Midnight and WEDC: Midnight until 6am. Engineers at the station
worked shifts of 3:30pm – Midnight and Midnight to 10 am.

The end would begin in late 1995 when Westinghouse purchased WXRT(FM) and WSCR(AM) from Danny Lee, owner of
WSBC. Lee then used his windfall and purchased WCRW for $500,000 in June, 1996, then finally consolidated the channel a
year later when he purchased WEDC for $750,000. The longest time-share in Chicago…a remnant of the Radio Act of 1927
would conclude at 11pm on June 13, 1997 when WEDC would hit the plates for the final time…70 years after firing up for the
                                                                                                           th
first time from Emil Denemark‟s showroom. Emil Denemark Cadillac still is in business from a showroom at 46 and Western
on Chicago‟s southwest side.

A year after uniting the 1240 kHz frequency, Lee sold WSBC to Newsweb, the owners of WPWR-TV, Channel 50 for $5
million. The WSBC studios would move into the former WCRW studios and transmit from the antenna atop the old WEDC
studios.
Source: http://books.google.com/books?id=aDVquR0h-dsC&pg=PA107&lpg=PA107&dq=Emil+Denemark+Chicago-
&source=bl&ots=IBsiS82j3l&sig=S2kjlX5huR8wUYmxlTrgKUSUUKE&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WEDC
http://books.google.com/books?id=WIJ4njjvRqEC&pg=PA5&lpg=PA5&dq=WEDC+Radio+Chicago-
&source=bl&ots=_G_SqXlpcW&sig=7eWVAunCQA_tbzTFa6pRYqvMyZQ&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=9-
&ct=result#PPA5,M1
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2838/is_n2_v29/ai_17534809/pg_3
http://books.google.com/books?id=dizi4uWdyIwC&pg=PA157&lpg=PA157&dq=WEDC+Radio+Chicago&source=web-
&ots=4k0Jg4buXf&sig=-eD9zHYY3xUSOCDBBbzumC7OVzU&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result
http://www.nebraskaradio.com/links/other_places.htm
    Calls             Location        On Date         Off Date      Freq. Owner                                   Notes
                                                                        Longacre Engineering &
   WOBB       AM                     10/31/1926     12/31/1926          Construction Company
By Fall, 1926, with the Commerce Commission and Herbert Hoover prevented from regulating radio and to issue licenses to
whomever wanted one, the scramble for the best dial position and hours would result in a game of musical chairs…stations
moving to whatever channel they thought they‟d best be heard on and try to work out a time sharing arrangement if there were
other stations already using that frequency. It became very confusing and some operators chose to bend the rule to gain an
advantage. Some stations would move their frequencies in between the assigned, recognized channels, such as Dr. John
Brinkley‟s famous KFKB in Milford, Kansas, that would shift to 695 kHz (Brinkley would do this same trick again in the 1930s
when his first powerhouse station, XER would operate on 845 kHz).

One small Chicago station would avoid the broadcast band altogether, WOBB would try to claim a spot at the very top of dial,
540 kHz with a whopping 5 watts. The license was assigned to Longacre Engineering and Construction Company and could
have been operated as a portable station.

The station would only broadcast from October through December and probably still faced interference on that channel.
Operating on “split-frequencies” would greatly increase the noise at night at most stations calculated their operating frequency
by indirect methods and many early radios had poor selectivity and rejection. WOBB would be cited as a need for Congress
to grant the Commerce Department the authority to regulate the frequency, power and operating hours of radio
stations…which was granted with the passage of the Radio Act of 1927.
Source: http://jeff560.tripod.com/chrono1.html



    Calls              Location         On Date         Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
                                                                          Roland G. Palmer & A.
   WJBZ      AM Chicago Heights, IL 11/30/1926         7/1/1928           Copotelli
The Coppotelli Brothers entered broadcasting when they opened WCBZ from their Music House in Spring, 1924. The
brothers ran their station where “The Lincoln and Dixie Highways Meet”, playing records from their store several nights a
week. A year later, WCBZ was sold to the Neutrowound Company along with the Karzas brothers, the owners of the Trianon
Ballroom…the station would relocate up the Dixie Highway in Homewood and change its call-letters to WOK.

The Coppotellis would return to radio in Fall, 1926, this time their station was called WJBZ operating with 100 watts on 1440
                                th
kHz from their music store at 11 and Halsted.. The new station would have to struggle for air time with WENR, the All-
American Radio Company station that would be sold to Samuel Insull‟s Commonwealth Edison (who would consolidate this
station along with WBCN and move to 1040 kHz), WRAF transmitting from La Porte, Indiana and WNBA from west suburban
Forest Park. By early, 1928 the studios would move to the Chicago Heights National Bank.

It appears the station wasn‟t ruled as operating in the public interest and wouldn‟t be re-licensed by the Federal Radio
Commission. The station may be moved or anticipated a move to Joliet in a last effort to stay alive, but with the station‟s call-
letters would be deleted in April, 1928.

Radio would return to Chicago Heights in the early 50‟s when Anthony Santucci opens WCHI(FM)…an early FM venture that
would go silent, but Santucci wouldn‟t…getting an AM license in 1959 and setting up WCGO.
Source: http://www.lincolnhighwayassoc.org/iowa/newsletter/nlpdfs/FaWi2000v5i4.pdf



    Calls             Location        On Date         Off Date      Freq. Owner                                   Notes
   WIBW       AM      Chicago, IL      12/31/1926    4/1/1928       1390 C. L. Carrell                    100w
This Charles Carrell portable station would begin a long journey that still goes on today in the Fall of 1926. Like his other
portable stations, this one was licensed to the Chicago theatrical promoter and would take to the road doing radio
demonstrations sponsored by a local business or chamber of commerce…Carrell‟s people would operate the station as well
as promote both local programs and relay Carrell‟s broadcasts from Chicago‟s Civic Opera. In some cases, these stations
would be purchased by the sponsor and become a permanent station…or after a few months, the portable station was on the
road to its next county fair or other demonstration.

In early 1927, WIBW‟s transmitter was moved to 1470 kHz. On May 8, 1927, WIBW would set up shop in Topeka, Kansas
under the direction and subsequent ownership of Arthur Capper. The Radio Act of 1927 would target outlawing portable
stations with their Order 30 and all portable stations were ordered to either set up a permanent station or cease operating.
WIBW would continue broadcasting and growing. On November 11, 1928, it was assigned a time share with Kansas State
University‟s KKSU on 580 kHz…an arrangement that would continue until WIBW bought out its partner on December 2,
2002…ending the 1928 mandated time share.
Source: http://www.cjonline.com/stories/120302/bus_wibw.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WIBW_(AM)
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4179/is_20030222/ai_n11792853
http://morriscomm.com/divisions/mcc_radio/kansas.shtml


   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
   WLBN       AM      Chicago, IL    12/31/1926      4/30/1928      1330 William E. Eiler             5w
This portable station was licensed to William Eiler at the end of 1926 with and was on the road throughout 1927 on 1470 kHz
with 50 watts. In June, 1927, the station set up operations in Fort Smith, Arkansas, then moved on to Little Rock in
October…and there it would remain Order 30 of 1928 would force portable stations such as WLBN to find a permanent
location or go silent. That year WLBN would rename itself KLRA and enjoy a long and successful run in Little Rock.
Source: http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=2191
http://www.littlerock.org/CityManager/Divisions/CityClerksOffice/OurHistoricalCity.aspx


   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
                                                                       Alford Radio Company (W.
                                                                       A. Wallington & George H.
   WLBR      AM Belvidere, IL      12/31/1926     11/30/1928     595 Allison)                      15w
This small 15-watt station began operating on 695 kHz in December, 1926, then shifted to 930 kHz. Little is known other than
the station was owned by Alford Radio and transmitted from Belvidere, a town 75 miles northwest of Chicago near Rockford.

It appears WLBR didn‟t make the cut with the Radio Act of 1927 and its license was deleted in November, 1928.

Radio had already taken root in Rockford with KFLV that would later become WROK. Belvidere would return to the airwaves
when WKWL, now WXRX(FM) in February, 1971.
Source:



   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
   WPEP      AM Waukegan, IL 12/31/1926              9/1/1928            Maurice Meyer
Radio arrived in Lake County in 1923 when Glenn Wilbur Voliva took his teaching into the ether with WCBD, transmitting from
the Shiloh Temple in Zion. Waukegan would be heard on the local airwaves when Maurice Meyer was issued a license and
opened WPEP from the Madrid Ballroom on December 11, 1926. The new station was first heard on 1410 kHz with 500 from
watts from a transmitter located on North Street. A year later, Meyer would move the station into his home on Hazel Court
near downtown. By Spring, WPEP would shift to 1390 kHz, sharing time with WHFC from the Hotel Flanders on Chicago‟s
North Side, WEHS out of Evanston, as well as two Joliet stations: WKBB and WCLS. The time share would get even more
crowded in early 1928 with WKBI from Lincoln Avenue and Irving Park Road on Chicago‟s north side

WPEP didn‟t fare well with the implementation of the Radio Act of 1927. It apparently didn‟t meet the public interest standard
and wasn‟t issued a new license. The station would fade from the airwaves by June, 1928.

Waukegan would be the home of WCBD in 1935 when it moved into the Karcher Hotel after the Shiloh studios burned down.
The city would get its own station when the Waukegan News-Sun started up WKRS in September, 1949.

Source: http://www.waukeganhistorical.org/newsletters/2007June.pdf



   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
   KFKX      AM       Chicago        1/1/1927       3/1/1933       570 Westinghouse Electric                              2500
Westinghouse Electric transformed radio when its KDKA became the first commercially licensed station in November, 1920.
Soon the company laid out plans for stations across the country. In 1921 the built WBZ in Springfield, Massachusetts, WJZ in
New York and KYW in Chicago. In 1923, to expand radio‟s reach to the west, Westinghouse built a relay station, KFKX in
Hastings, Nebraska. By day the station relayed market information and some local programming and then re-transmitted
KDKA at night; reach across the Rockies to the West Coast. On Election Night, 1924, KFKX was part of a national relay of
results that would be one of the first cross-country relays and the fore-runner of network broadcasting.

When Congress passed the Federal Radio Act of 1927, Westinghouse advocated for strong regulation and positioned itself to
benefit from such regulation. In anticipation of the reassignment of licenses, the Hastings station was closed down and the
call-letters were moved (or “harvested”) with KYW. The station would use the dual calls as the station ID…using KFKX for
“experimental” broadcasts. In 1928, KYW and KFKX would be granted 1020 kHz, a ckear channel, but the station would have
to re-located from the Chicago region to Philadelphia…a decision Westinghouse would contest.

By 1931, the FRC began to clean up the dual-call letter confusion. They mandated that stations like KYW that also identified
with a second set of calls (KFKX) chose one or the other. As KYW was a very known commodity in Chicago, the choice was
obvious and the KFKX calls were deleted…as was the last string of Westinghouses‟ Hastings radio venture.

In 1932, the FRC would win their case and the 1020 kHz clear channel allocation was officially moved from Chicago to
Philadelphia. Shortly afterwards, Westinghouse applied to move KYW to Philadelphia which occurred on December 4, 1934.
Source: http://www.broadcastpioneers.com/kyw12-3-34.html
http://www181.pair.com/otsw/Articles/KFKX_pamphlet.pdf
http://www.pateplumaradio.com/genbroad/elec1924.html


   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                   Notes
                                                                           Johnson Kennedy Radio
   WJKS       AM       Gary, IN         1/1/1927        3/1/1933      1290 Co.                                              500
Of the early Chicago radio pioneers, the Atlass Brothers, Ralph and Leslie, would leave a substantial legacy. Their
broadcasting career had begun with an amateur station as kids and Leslie would sign on their commercial station, WBBM
from the living room of their Lincoln Illinois family home on February 6, 1924. Ralph had moved to Chicago andi n June,
Leslie would pack up WBBM and relocate the station at the family‟s home on Sheridan Road on Chicago‟s far north side. The
brothers specialized in playing all kinds of jazz (including those performed by black musicians) and would make their station
one of the most popular in a very crowded Chicago radio dial.

By the late 20‟s, Leslie was focused on expanding WBBM, which would gain a clear channel designation in 1928 and be an
original affiliate of the new Columbia Broadcasting chain. Leslie, while helping manage WBBM was interesting in other
ventures as well.

While Chicago was getting over-saturated with radio stations, the same couldn‟t be said for nearby Northwest Indiana. Gary
had become the second largest city in the state and the extension of electric rail and paved roads led to a large growth of the
surrounding communities. It was a working class area centered on the Steel mills was drowned out by the bright lights from
Chicago, but had evolved into “The Region”…with its own thriving social life. The Johnson-Kennedy Radio Company would
try to fill the radio void

While Chicago was getting over-saturated with radio signals, the same couldn‟t be said for nearby Northwest Indiana. In
September, 1926, Charles Middleton opened WRAF in La Porte, the area‟s first local station. Johnson-Kennedy would follow
shortly, putting WJKS on the air from Gary in December. Leslie Atlass was brought in as a partner and manager of the new
station that operated with 500 watts on 1290 kHz from studios located at 540 Lake Street in Gary. In its first days, WJKS
would share the channel with WSBC, originating from Roosevelt and Wabash Streets in Chicago and briefly with WWAE,
soon to re-locate to nearby Hammond.

Under Atlass‟ direction, WJKS would reach out to the nearby area, just like WBBM had to its new north side Chicago listeners.
In addition to live music from area hotels and ballrooms, as well as featuring young local talent in their studios. A young Bill
Monroe would play Hillbilly songs before heading off to Country Music fame…and Jane Jarvis entertained on the piano and
organ…something she would later do for the New York Mets. The station also spoke to the large ethnic population in a variety
of languages…and providing some brokerage revenue for the station.

The emphasis on local programming and its location would serve WJKS well with the public interest standards of the Federal
Radio Commission. It would shift to 1360 kHz on November 11, 1928 in a time-share with WGES broadcasting from the
Guyon Hotel and Paradise Ballroom at Crawford (Pulaski) and Washington in Chicago‟s Garfield Park area. WJKS would
increase its day time signal to 1,000 watts, but Atlass had bigger plans.

In 1930 WJKS would apply for a new license on 560 kHz…a frequency occupied by WIBO, owned by Nelson Brothers on
Chicago‟s far north side and WPCC, the Sunday-only station operated by J. C. O‟Hair, pastor of the North Shore
Congregational Church at Wilson and Sheridan in Chicago‟s Uptown area. Atlass would cite his station‟s location and how his
area was still under-served with radio coverage, thus they should be granted full time authority on the better 560 kHz location.
The FRC would concur with WJKS but a legal battle would ensue. On May 8, 1933, the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold
the FRC‟s ruling and WJKS was granted a full time license for 560 kHz…WIBO and WPCC were forced off the air. On June
 st
1 , upon taking over the new channel, the call-letters were changed to reflect the station‟s new regional status…and it‟s state
of origination…W-Indiana or WIND.

Within a year, WIND would open a studio along side WBBM in Chicago‟s Wrigley Building and phase out the Gary studio.
Today, WIND‟s transmitter is still based outside Gary…on Cline Road at I-80/94.

Ralph Atlass would continue to manage WIND until it was sold to Westinghouse in 1956 and then would own WGRT in the
late 60‟s. Leslie would become Vice-President of CBS and watch the radio station that began in his parents living room
emerge as one of radio‟s premier operations…expanding into the television age when he retired in 1959.
Source: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=289&invol=266
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WIND_(AM)
http://www.fyrbotlz.com/files/NRI_Vol_3_8_3_1931.pdf


   Calls              Location        On Date         Off Date      Freq. Owner                                 Notes
     WLBT      AM Crown Point, IN 1/1/1927             4/1/1928      930 Harold Wendell                                  50
Here‟s another station that began operating from Northwest Indiana at the end of 1926. This 50 watt station began was
owned by Harold Wendell with studios at 317 E. North Street in Crown Point. This new station first appeared on the crowded
930 kHz frequency along with WJBA from Joliet, owned by D. H. Lentz, WKBI transmitting from Lincoln Avenue and Irving
Park Road on the city‟s north side…as well WKDR, a low power station from Kenosha, Wisconsin and WLBR out of Belvidere,
Illinois, near Rockford. It‟s not sure these stations would share time.

In April, WLBT moved to 1310 Khz..a frequency occupied by KFLV from Rockford and increased power to 100 watts, then the
station jumped back to 930, finally heard on 1210 kHz, with WJBA and WKDR in early 1928. When stations were re-licensed
in 1928, WLBT wasn‟t among those that would continue to broadcast. The station would leave the air in April, 1928.

It would take another 45 years for radio to return to Crown Point when John Meyer would signed on WFLM(FM) in November,
1972.
Source:



   Calls              Location        On Date         Off Date      Freq. Owner                                 Notes
    WNBA      AM     Forest Park     1/1/1927         4/1/1928      1440 Michael T. Rafferty                                200
This community west of Chicago on the banks of the Des Plaines River has long been known as a town that had more souls
                                                                                             th
living beneath the town than in it…due to the large cemeteries that were built in the late 19 century. The extension of the
elevated railway would bring family and relatives to the area on the weekends to visit their dearly departed.

An afternoon at the cemetery was as much an experience for the living as it was to pay respects…for some it was a rare day
in the country; away from the congestion of the city. There were restaurants, beer gardens and dance halls that greeted the
visitors, making it a festive day for many.

In Fall, 1905 local promoter E. A. Cummings bought land adjacent to the Des Plaines Avenue elevated station and opened the
Forest City Amusement Park in 1907. The park would fill 17 acres with rides and amusements as well as a bandstand and
beer garden. It must have been quite a place in its prime as those who visited compared it more favorably than Riverview and
White City, the other major Chicago area amusement parks of the time.

Forest Park would enjoy prosperity but its life-span would be short. A fire in 1918 would destroy many of the most popular
attractions, but the Park continued to operate. The onset of the Volstead Act and Prohibition in 1920 would close down the
beer gardens. Another fire in 1922 sealed the park‟s fate…closing its doors for good. Today thousands ride through where
the Forest Park Amusement Park once stood…on their daily commute up and down the Eisenhower Expressway.
In early 1927, not far from where Forest Park stood, Michael Rafferty was granted a license for WNBA. The station joined a
very crowded dial on 1440 kHz with 200 watts from studios near Des Plaines and Roosevelt Roads. The station would have
to share its frequency with WENR, then owned by the All-American Radio Company of E. N. Rauland…just prior to Samuel
Insull‟s Commonwealth Edison purchasing the station and consolidating it with WBCN on 1040 kHz, also WJBZ from the
Coppotelli Music House in Chicago Heights and WRAF operating out of La Porte, Indiana.

Over the next few months the station would hop around to find a clear spot…to 1200 kHz in February, 1250 kHz in April until
settling back on 1440 kHz by the end of May. When the Federal Radio Commission issued new licenses in 1928, WNBA
wouldn‟t be included…having its license deleted in November, 1928….it probably had ceased operating before that date.
Source: http://fphistory.com/AmusementPark.htm
http://chicago.urban-history.org/sites/parks/forest.htm


   Calls              Location       On Date         Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
   WMBH AM                          1/31/1927                       1071 Edwin D. Aber                100w
Chicago‟s location as the gateway to the rural areas of the Midwest and Great Plains made it an ideal place to base a portable
radio station. This portable began operating with 100 watts in late 1926 and would wind up in Joplin, Missouri during the
Spring or Summer…settling in at the Keystone Hotel. That‟s where the station would remain saying it was “Where Memories
Bring Hapiness”…one of the rare “W” stations operating west of the Mississippi River due to its roots as a portable station.
Source: http://www.mssu.edu/KGCS/pioneer.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WMBH


   Calls              Location       On Date         Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
  WCLO       AM Kenosha, WI           4/1/1928      8/31/1930       1320 C. E. Whitmore                                   100
Many early radio stations were built to promote a company or product. Hotels, ball rooms, news papers, radio equipment
dealers and department stores saw both value and prestige in associating or owning a station. In 1925, real estate developer
Charles Whitmore would turn his passion for radio to try to sell homes in the new Camp Lake Oaks subdivision near Kenosha,
Wisconsin. His station, WCLO, would broadcast local news and music as well as promote Whitmore‟s development.

In 1928, in anticipation of the implementation of Order 40 of the Radio Act of 1927, Whitmore moved the station to nearby
Kenosha. On November 11, 1928, WCLO began transmitting on 1200 kHz; sharing the channel with WRAF from La Porte,
Indiana and WWAE now located in Hammond, Indiana. On February 25, 1930, Harry Bliss, publisher of the Janesville
                                                                                             st
Gazette would purchase the station from Whitmore, new facilities were built and on August 1 , WCLO would begin
broadcasting from the Gazette Building in Janesville. Since the station now was outside the Chicago region, it was able to
obtain a full time license and continue to operate with 100 watts on 1200 kHz. In 1941, WCLO would shift to 1230 kHz where
it still is heard; serving the Stateline area and still owned by the Janesville Gazette.
Source: http://freepages.books.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wirockbios/Newspapers/JGaz/JGaz198508-14-L10.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WJVL
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Lake,_Wisconsin


   Calls              Location       On Date         Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
                                                                         Westinghouse Electrical &
   KYWA       AM                   12/31/1928     5/31/1930       1020 Manufacturing Company            5,000w
When the Federal Radio Commission determined its Order 40 channel allocations, it assigned Westinghouse station, KYW
from 570 kHz to 1020…a clear channel. The new frequency would be problematic for the station as it had briefly broadcast
from that channel and experienced poor reception to areas of the city‟s north side from its transmitter site atop the Congress
Hotel on Michigan Avenue. To remedy this “hole”, Westinghouse was granted a license in December, 1928 to operate a 500
watt relay station, KYWA from atop the Edgewater Beach Hotel on Chicago‟s north side. This transmitter (probably the old
WEBH/WJAZ transmitter) was synchronized with KYW‟s…delivering a clear, stronger signal to the populous north side and
adjacent suburbs.

In early 1930, KYW moved its transmitter to west suburban Bloomingdale and increased power to 10,000 watts. The new site
along with stronger signal would relegate the Edgewater Beach repeater needless and KYWA‟s license was deleted. In 1934,
KYW would be required to move from Chicago to Philadelphia, where it‟s still heard today…including at night in Chicago.
Source: http://www.broadcastpioneers.com/kywstory.html
http://www.richsamuels.com/nbcmm/kyw.html
   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                   Notes
                                                                            Radiophone Broadcasting
   WSOA       AM     Deerfield, IL     2/28/1929       1/31/1930      1480 Company                    5,000w
With the rise of radio and the large influx of stations, there soon grew a need for programming. Most early stations were built
around music provided by ballrooms and hotels, employed their own musicians and filled time playing phonograph records.
This worked well when stations operated just a few hours a day or week, but as stations grew bigger and expanded their
broadcast hours and competition grew, a market developed for self contained programs to fill time.

In 1924 the Brunswick Record company of Chicago saw radio as an important way to promote and sell its records. It was one
of the first companies to make its recordings readily available to stations as well as develop special programs and
advertisements for radio play. Many stations would play these programs to fill time and soon Brunswick saw bigger
opportunities.

In 1927, at the prompting of promoter and salesman Ray Soat, they formed the National Radio Advertising Company…Soat,
an Omaha businessman would package 15 minute radio programs that would be sold to advertisers, then placed on radio
stations in either a barter (programming for free air time) or brokered at a low or bulk rate. The company would grow quickly
as the demand from both stations and advertisers would increase. NARC pioneered in program syndication which would grow
into a major part of broadcasting. In 1928, Charles Correll and Freeman Gosden would use transcription discs and
participating sponsorships to enable their characters Amos „n Andy heard on stations across the country.

Chicago Mayor William Hale Thompson and Chewing Gum magnate William Wrigley set up WHT Radio that would become
one of the city‟s most popular and powerful from a 5,000 watt transmitter in north suburban Deerfield. In 1928, Order 40
assigned WHT to share the 1480 kHz frequency with Zenith‟s WJAZ; also transmitting with 5,000 watts from Mount Prospect
and WORD, owned by the Watchtower Society with studios in the Webster Hotel with their broadcasts originating from a 5,000
watt transmitter in west suburban Batavia.

As radio programming and competition grew, WHT relied more and more on sustaining and brokered programs and aired
many NARC programs. Soat would open a company office in the Wrigley Building and in early 1929 took control of the
station, renaming it WSOA.

Soat‟s ownership would be short-lived. By 1930, the Federal Radio Commission began to focus on the concentration of radio
signals…trying to bring local and regional service to areas that were under-served at the expense of stations operating in
areas that they felt had too many signals. WJKS in Gary, Indiana would use this standard in applying to move to 560 kHz,
which would force two existing Chicago stations: WIBO and WPCC off the air based on the lack of a regional station serving
northwest Indiana. This standard would also be applied to the 1480 frequency WSOA was operating on. WCKY from
Covington, Kentucky, a state that had no regional radio service, would apply for full-time use of the frequency. At the time, the
station participated in a long distance time share with the Chicago 1480 stations at night, and the FRC would rule in favor of
granting the Kentucky station full time use of the channel at night.

The would squeeze the Chicago time share as those stations would have their status reduced to daytime only…removing the
valuable evening prime time hours. The reducing of hours and time would lead Soat to sell WSOA to the Watchtower Society
…owners of WORD in October, 1930. They would rename their Deerfield transmitter as WCHI and operate it in tandem with
WORD.

In Summer 1932, WCKY gained clear channel status on the 1490 kHz frequency (all stations moved to from 1480 in Fall,
1930) and WJAZ and WORD/WCHI would fade into history. NARC would go on to work with Brunswick in producing and
distributing transcription programs throughout the 30‟s and into the 40‟s. WCKY would move to Cincinatti where its 50,000
watt signal booms into the Chicago area once the sun goes down.
Source:
http://books.google.com/books?id=GAerQSlFjPgC&pg=PA33&lpg=PA33&dq=Soat+National+Radio+Advertising+Chicago-
&source=web&ots=3pyyahIS2z&sig=ykkz9wjXjU-
R1YZVzxwFsWRrzgc&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA38,M1
http://jeff560.tripod.com/call192x.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WCKY_(AM)


   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                   Notes
   WCHI      AM      Oct, 1930       2/28/1930       4/1/1932      1490
The Watchtower Society…the media arm of the Jehovah Witnesses had built their Chicago station, WORD ,in west suburban
Batavia in late 1924. It would upgrade to a powerful 5,000 watts and locate studios in the Webster Hotel in Chicago.
Throughout the 20‟s, WORD would move around the dial; sharing time and surviving with a combination of religious and
brokered music and ethnic programs.

Due to Order 40 in November, 1928, WORD was assigned to a time share with Zenith‟s WJAZ and WHT, later WSOA…all
operating with 5,000 watt signals on 1480 kHz. Shortly after the frequency change, WHT was sold by William Hale Thompson
and William Wrigley to Raymond Soat and National Radio Advertising Company…who would find it difficult going in a very
restrictive time share. In October, 1930, he sold WSOA to WORD…who would then rename the station as WCHI and operate
it in tandem with WORD from the Webster Hotel. WORD was used for programs originating from the Batavia transmitter and
WCHI from the Deerfield one.

By 1932 the FRC would give WCKY in Covington, Kentucky full time authority on the channel, forcing WJAZ and
WCHI/WORD to share the daytime hours and eliminating operating in the prime time evening hours. Zenith once again tried
question the government‟s ability to regulate the airwaves…a battle they won in 1926…but lost this time. Also by this time the
Watchtower Society was losing their interest in operating radio stations. They would sell their New York station, WBBR, but
decided, along with Zenith, to shut off their Chicago stations by April, 1932.
Source:



   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
   WFAM      AM     LaPorte, IN       1/1/1932       1/1/1933     1200 South Bend Tribune                             100
The South Bend Tribune had opened Indiana‟s first commercial radio station in 1922 as WGAZ and renamed WSBT in 1925.
In 1928, WSBT would be assigned the 1200 kHz frequency; sharing time with WWAE from Hammond, Indiana and WRAF
broadcasting from La Porte. In late 1931, Charles Middleton, who had owned the La Porte station since it signed on in
Summer, 1926, sold the station to the South Bend Tribune. It would take two years for the Tribune to have the license
relocated to South Bend, operating WSBT and WFAM in tandem. In Summer, 1932, after WJKS moved from 1360 kHz to 560
kHz and became WIND, WSBT would take over the time-share with WGES from Chicago on 1360. Both WSBT and WGES
transmitted during day light hour and shared time after the sun went down. WFAM would operate when WSBT was silent to
provide continuous broadcast coverage to the Mishiana area.

WFAM would remain in South Bend until 1941 when WSBT was granted full time hours on 960 kHz. The license was sold to
Sarkes Tarzian who would relocate the license once again…this time in Lafayette, Indiana on 1450 kHz that would become
WASK.
Source: http://www.broadcasting101.ws/indianaradio1933.htm



   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
    WBHS      AM         Chicago        1/1/1933                     1200 Hutchens Company                                    100
Little is known if this station ever operated…possibly applying to take over time share with WWAE after WFAM moved to
South Bend.

Source:



   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
   WIND       AM       Gary, IN       10/1/1933       11/1/2008       560                                                   1000
After a lengthy legal battle that ended in the U.S. Supreme Court, WJKS was granted the 560 kHz frequency in May, 1933. In
June the station moved to the “top of the dial” and renaming itself in honor of its state of origination…WIND or W-Indiana.
While it was its Hoosier roots that helped Leslie Atlass and Johnson-Kennedy Broadcasting win their upgrade, the new
frequency enabled WIND to be heard throughout the Chicago area. The station took over the old WHT/WSOA studios in the
Wrigley Building, not far from the studios of WBBM, a station Ralph was still a partner in and was being operated by his
brother, Leslie. Most of the station‟s programming would originate from the Wrigley Building and the Gary studios would
close…all but the station‟s transmitting facilities.

WIND would find a niche offering an alternative to the larger network stations, a fore-runner of full service broadcasting;
mixing recorded music, in studio performers, news, sports and some local personality. The station would carry both White
Sox and Cub home games (beginning coverage with WJKS in 1932) from 1933 through 1939 and 1941 through 1943 when
the teams would go to exclusive station affiliations. Thanks to the Atlass connection, WIND also was the back-up affiliate for
CBS in the rare instances programs couldn‟t air on WBBM. In the late 30‟s, the station introduced a late night music program
called “Nightwatch” that would become a favorite with third shifters…especially during World War II…and would introduce the
nightly 2am ritual of playing the “Wiff „n Poof” song. The station‟s facilities were also upgraded, raising power from 1,000 to
2,500 watts in 1934, then increasing daytime power to 5,000 watts in 1937.

During World War II, WIND featured more and more recorded popular music interspersed with news and weather. As
television began to replace network radio as the major source of entertainment in the living room, WIND and its popular music
format was well positioned in the transition of the medium as a foreground to background medium. The station would focus
on the younger, more mobile and active audience that was tuning in for the music and companionship. In 1942 the station
installed a directional antenna system that enabled them to direct a solid 5,000 watts toward Chicago and most of the
metropolitan area both day and night.

From 1944 through 1955, WIND was the radio home of the Chicago Cubs with Bert Wilson handling the play-by-play. From
1945 through 1947 White Sox night games with Bob Elson and Jack Brickhouse were also aired on WIND since their regular
flagship station, WJJD, was required to sign off when most night games were getting underway. WIND also was the radio
home of the Chicago Bears through the 40‟s until moving to WGN in 1953. The Cubs would also follow to the 50,000 watt
WGN and the White Sox over to WCFL, also full time 50,000 watts, in 1952. While the station could be heard throughout the
metropolitan area, it was susceptible to noise and difficult to hear in downtown buildings and on the city‟s north side.

WIND‟s focus on personality and popular music would make it one of the city‟s most popular and would grow with the addition
of Howard Miller in 1952. Miller was both personable and controversial and soon became very popular…leading WIND to the
top of the morning ratings (which he would hold until 1968) and even led to a nightly national show on the NBC network and
WMAQ during the middle 50‟s. Eddie Hubbard would be heard in the evenings before taking over the morning duties at WGN.
Also familiar voices in the 50‟s included Bernie Allen (before going on to WJJD and WLS), Milo Hamilton and Lee Rogers.

After moving KYW to Philadelphia in 1934, Westinghouse had looked to return to Chicago and purchased WIND from Atlass
in 1956. Under Group W, there would be a greater emphasis on news and weather coverage. Soft Top 40 hits were added to
the mainstream popular sound as WIND found its niche between the Top 40 WJJD and adult pop stations like WGN, WMAQ
and WBBM.

In the early 60‟s, WLS would transform Top 40 radio in Chicago, shifting WIND toward more adult popular music and
personality. Bill Berg and Chuck Benson joined the staff and at night Dave Baum hosted “Contact” one of the first talk shows
on Chicago radio. Miller would leave the station in 1968 for a short disastrous stint at WCFL and as the station would
transition to once again wedge between the young audience that were flocking to WLS and WCFL and the “adult”
stations…integrating what would be later considered an Adult Contemporary format of soft Top 40 hits. In an attempt to
regain the top spot in the morning, the legendary Robert W. Morgan was brought in to handle mornings in 1970, but, within the
year returned to LA.

Through the early and mid 70‟s, WIND played soft hits during the day featuring personalities like Jerry G. Bishop, Bob Del
Giorno, Joel Sebastian and Connie Szerisin during the day with Dave Baum‟s Contact at night. In 1970, the station brought in
Larry “the Legend” Johnson to handle the overnights…adding more talk than music to those hours. He would be replace in
1973 with his producer, Eddie Schwartz, who would burn the midnight oil at the station for the next 12 years. WIND‟news
would also be a hallmark of the station, utilizing Group W‟s national bureau along with a local staff which included Jim
Gannon, Jim Boutette, Walt Hamilton and a young Bernie Shaw.

In the late 70‟s, Clark Weber joined the station and began to focus more on talk and personality and syndicated talk shows
were brought in during the afternoons and early evening. The station would transition into news and talk throughout the 80‟s
with limited results and lagging behind WGN and WBBM in the ratings. By 1985, Westinghouse would give up on the station,
believing it couldn‟t compete with the larger Chicago signals. They sold WIND to Teichnor Media, a Spanish radio group and
owners of WOJO(FM) in Evanston. In March, 1986 WIND became “La Tremenda”…the big one…a full service Spanish
station focusing on the large and growing Mexican community.

Initially WIND would do very well with its new Spanish format; having the most powerful AM signal in a market that was still
dominated by AM stations. The station focused on news and community involvement as well as Spanish play-by-play of the
Chicago White Sox, Cubs, Bull and Sting. Just as the case with the English format, outside competition would erode the
station‟s audience. Spanish radio which had once been relegated to small, brokered stations had become a hot format in the
mid and late 90‟s and WIND would face increased competition…even from within its own company.
Teichnor would evolve into Hispanic Broadcasting in the early 90‟s and purchased WOPA in Spring, 1995…WIND would focus
on the Mexican audience while the new station, WLXX, would aim toward the Caribbean and Puerto Rican market. In 2001,
Hispanic Broadcasting would be purchased by Univision, the major Spanish television network who would buy WXXY(FM) in
Highland Park and WJTW(FM) in Joliet. Univision and Salem Media would swap WIND with WZFS(FM) in Des Plaines in
November, 2004 and English programming would return to WIND while the station‟s full service Spanish format would move to
WRTO. Salem would turn WIND into “The Patriot”; featuring syndicated right wing talk shows with hosts like Bill Bennett,
Micahel Medved, Laura Ingraham and Michael Savage. In 2005, the station added a local morning show with John Howell
(formerly of WUSN) and Cisco Cotto.

This station continues to be heard at the top of the dial, transmitting from Gary…with many still thinking the WIND stands for
“Windy City”.
Source: http://chicagoradiospotlight.blogspot.com/2007/04/ed-schwartz.html
http://dekerivers.wordpress.com/2008/07/29/update-on-chicago-eddie-schwartz/
http://440.com/favesm.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WIND_(AM)


   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
                                                                         Hammond-Calumet
    WHIP      AM Hammond, IN        11/1/1937        1/1/1942      1480 Broadcasting Co.                             5000
This was the first new Chicago area radio signal to appear Fall, 1937. The owner of this new signal was the Hammond-
Calumet Broadcasting Company; owned by George Courier who also operated WWAE in Hammond. The station operated
daytime only at 1480 kHz with 5,000 watts of power. This station could have operated from the old WOK/WMBB transmitter
           rd
site on 183 Street in Homewood.

After the enacting of Order 40 in November, 1928, this channel was shared by WJAZ, WORD and WHT/WSOA…all also
transmitting daytime only with 5,000 watts. In 1930, these stations moved to 1490 kHz and then were driven off the air in
1933.

Much of WHIP‟s programming was aimed at Northwest Indiana and South Side of Chicago, including foreign language and
church broadcasts. The station also relied on sustaining programming to fill time between brokered shows. With the NARBA
frequency shift in March, 1941, WHIP would re-locate to 1520 kHz (along with KOMA in Oklahoma City and WKBW in Buffalo,
New York), continuing to operate with 5,000 watts from sunrise to local sunset.

In 1940, the FCC passed a law prohibiting broadcast duoloply…one company owning more than one AM station in a market.
The Supreme Court would uphold this ruling in 1943 which was primarily targeted at breaking up the NBC Red and Blue
networks and would lead to the formation of ABC. To get in compliance with the new law, Courier sold WWAE in Fall, 1940
and then would sell WHIP to the Chicago Sun Newspaper in early, 1943 with the station being renamed WJWC. The Sun was
owned by Marshall Field, who would purchase WJJD in late, 1943 and then shut the WJWC transmitter off.

Source: http://www.jerrywilliams.org/files/burninguptheair/NotesAndSourcesch3.pdf
http://books.google.com/books?id=i4egPXh4OoEC&pg=PA102&lpg=PA102&dq=Duopoly+Law+1941-
&source=web&ots=VsOtCfYTzV&sig=Qieeb_8BcJdGtwTiNH2qWhcCN-
M&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA102,M1
http://www.well.com/~irw/stations/wjwc.html
http://www.well.com/~irw/stations/whip.html


   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                  Notes
   WJOL       AM         Joliet         11/1/1937   11/1/2008     1310 WCLS, Inc.                                         100
“The Voice of Joliet” traces its roots to WJBI and WCLS in June, 1925…stations operated from the Boston Store on Jefferson
Street. By 1940, WCLS had gained full time operating hours and had established itself as a popular local station. In 1941 the
station hired a young sportscaster from St. Louis. Harry Carabina would change his name to a far easier to pronounce Harry
Caray and spent the next 2 years at the station before moving on to a Kalamazoo station and then as the play-by-play voice of
the St. Louis Cardinals in 1945.

Also in 1941, the station shifted to 1340 kHz and increased its power to 250 watts. In November, 1945 the station was sold to
the Joliet Broadcasting Company. It‟s WCLS call letters, which stood for the Boston‟s store‟s slogan “Will County‟s Largest
Store” no longer was needed and the call letters were changed to WJOL.

Throughout the 50‟s, WJOL featured a full service format of popular music, local news, sports and civic affairs. As local and
suburban radio flourished, WJOL would emerge as one of the most popular and successful in Chicago and the Midwest.
Sports had always been a main focus of the station, in a town with a long and proud sports tradition. It was at this time Don
Ladas joined the station and would be a regular voice on the station for the next 50 years. In January, 1955, WJOL had new
owners…Joe Novi and Jerome Cerny (who would later own WLBK/WDEK in De Kalb).

In February, 1960, WJOL-FM began operating at 96.7 mHz as the station would continue to prosper and grow throughout the
60‟s. The daytime power was increased to 1,000 in Summer, 1963 and due to its full time hours (most Chicago suburban
stations operated with daytime only hours) it would be able to carry a lot of live evening sporting events. The station would
change hands again in June, 1964 when it was by John Harris and his Harris Publishing Company. The new station manager
was William Hansen and Frank O‟Leary was brought in as morning host and Program Director.

Through the 60‟s, 70‟s and 80‟s, WJOL would be ranked about the most listened to and profitable suburban Chicago radio
operations. The station mixed in a lot of local news and sports with popular music; dominating all other local stations and
even drawing bigger audiences in Will County than the nearby Chicago powerhouse stations. In 1973 WJOL-FM renamed
itself WLLI with a Country Music format, then flipped to album Rock in the early 80‟s.

Harris Publishing would sell WJOL in June, 1987 to Uno Broadcasting; a company that produced the popular card game and
owned by Robert Tezak. The Tezak family was well known in Joliet, Robert served as Will County cororner and added the
radio stations to his expanding business empire. Some felt Tezak purchased the station to take apart the News department
that had been very critical of him.

Under his ownership, WJOL began to decline due to poor management and the changing radio landscape which saw more
and more people listening to FM…WJOL‟s audience was getting very old, very quickly. Tezak‟s tenure would come to an end
when he was convicted in try to burn down a bowling alley he owned and was forced to distress sale the station…few were
sad to see him go.

In January, 1994, WJOL and WLLI were sold to Barden Broadcasting. This company was based in Detroit and owned by
Donald Barden…an investor in the new casinos that had opened in town. He also owned WKBM in nearby Coal City and had
just purchased cross-town WJTW. Barden was an absentee owner and the station continued to deteriorate and lose money.
Barden would sell his Joliet holdings to Pride Communications in February, 1995.

The new ownership was based in Northwest suburban Crystal Lake and headed by Jim Hooker. Under Pride WJOL began to
revive a bit…Scott Slocum, who had succeded Don Ladas as Sports Director became Program Director and the station began
to focus on a news/talk format; much of it was right wing national syndicated shows mixed in with local news and sports.
Pride would also add WCCQ(FM) to the Joliet cluster. Pride‟s tenure would end when Next Media bought the group, along
with Prides Northwest suburban stations (WAIT(AM) & WZSR) as well as WKRS(AM)/WXLC(FM) in Waukegan and WLIP and
WIIL(FM) in Kenosha. Next would close the aging Walnut Avenue studios…the building was demolished except for a
transmitter shack for WJOL and WLLI (WLLI would move to a new site in 2007).

Today The Voice of Joliet continues to spotlight the news, people and events in one of the most rapidly growing areas in the
Chicago area.
Source: http://www.wjol.com/
http://www.joliet.lib.il.us/Digitization%20Projects/The%201940s/11-4-45.htm


   Calls              Location        On Date        Off Date      Freq. Owner                                   Notes
  WMRO AM              Aurora        12/1/1938       1/1/1988      1250                                                       250
While radio stations would take root throughout the Chicago area in the 1920‟s, the boom bypassed the west suburb city of
Aurora, but that would change in 1938. Businessman Martin O‟Brien put the first full time local station in the Fox Valley when
WMRO began broadcasting on December 13, 1938. The new station was heard on 1250 kHz with 500 watts from local
sunrise to sunset. While it would take a bit for Kane County to have its first local station, it would be well served by this
operation for many years.

In its early years had studios at 34 S. River in Downtown Aurora and featured a mix of recorded programs along with local
talents. Each week listeners would tune into organ recitals from the Paramount Theater and a wide variety of musical shows.
On March 29, 1941, WMRO moved over to 1280 kHz. Following World War II, WMRO, like other suburban stations, focused
on a mixed format of local news, sports, community events and popular music. At this time a young man was hired by the
station manager‟s wife to become a station announcer and newsman. As a young boy, John Drury would visit the station that
was down the street from his father‟s office. John‟s career would go on to bigger and better, including over 40 years as a
news anchor at various Chicago TV stations…but always kept close to his Aurora roots his entire life.

O‟Brien would sell the station to his partners Vincent Coffey and Benjamin Oswalt in the Summer of 1957. The station got a
big boost in 1960 when daytime power increased to 1,000 watts and 500 night time service was granted. This now enabled
WMRO to carry live sports from area high schools not just in Aurora but throughout the western suburbs. In 1962, WMRO-FM
began transmitting from atop Stolp Tower at 107.9 mHz.

In June, 1969, Coffey sold WMRO to Dale Stevens and retained ownership of WMRO-FM, which was renamed WAUR.
Stevens would move the station‟s studios to the transmitter site on Eola Road. Stevens would buy WAUR from Coffey in
December, 1972 and relocate that station in the Eola Road facility, upgrading its power to 50,000 watts. Throughout the 70‟s
and first half of the 80‟s, WMRO would prosper with its emphasis on news and sports in the growing western suburban area..

WMRO‟s fate would change in October, 1986 when Stevens sold WMRO and WAUR to Beasley Broadcasting. Beasley‟s
interest was in the FM operation; changing WAUR into WYSY, with an upbeat Adult Contemporary format and began to
neglect the AM side. In early 1989, the WMRO air staff was let go and the station was switched to a simulcast of the
FM…renaming itself WYSY-AM. In December, 1989, WYSY-FM had moved its studios to downtown Chicago and its
transmitter to Bloomingdale no longer needing the Eola Road facility…WYSY-AM‟s transmitter was turned off….WMRO would
fade into the memory banks as well.

Beasely would sell the former WMRO license to Rick Jakle‟s Elgin Broadcasting Company that re-opened both the station and
the Eola Road studios when WBIG began operations in November, 1993.
Source: http://www.foxvalleyarts.org/drury.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WLEY-FM
http://www.auroraontheweb.com/east66/memories.html
http://cinematreasures.org/index/P15070

				
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