NOTE: WMAQ-TV celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in
1998 with little fanfare. Not so in 1968 (perhaps better times)
when the late John Gibbs wrote a magnificent 20th anniversary
tribute to the station. Almost impossible to find in hard copy,
I offer an HTML version here.
Those who knew John Gibbs will verify that he was one of the most
capable and empathic gentlemen ever to have worked in the newsroom
at Channel 5.
The links below are
to the ten sections of WMAQ-TV: 1948-1968.
have also included two 1967 memos (rescued from the dumpster in
1989) relating to WMAQ-TV's plans for its twentieth anniversary
the following year. They were written by Chet Campbell, WMAQ-TV's
publicist, and directed to W. C. "Bud" Prather, the
plans for its twentieth anniversary....
1948-1968: a Tribute on the Station's 20th Anniversary...
or suggestions? click
here to send them to Rich Samuels
The WNBQ transmitter is fired up for the first time. Includes a picture of the
original test pattern.
A brief history of WMAQ radio
and NBC in Chicago. Includes pictures of studio A, the original WMAQ studio in
The Fair Store, the "Three Doctors" on the air, Marian
and Jim Jordan, a WMAQ mobile radio unit from the early 1930's (using a beach
umbrella an an antenna) and WMAQ-TV's state-of-the-art "VTMU".
How Jules Herbuveaux, starting
with a staff of two (including himself) put WNBQ on the air.
up on scene one. The earliest broadcasts of WNBQ.
Channel 5 begins regularly scheduled broadcasts and initiates a video style known
as the "Chicago School" of television.
More WNBQ programming of the early 1950's. Includes photos of the casts of "Stud's
Place" and "Hawkins
Falls", Wayne King and
a boxing match in studio B.
up on the Peacock.
How WNBQ became the world's first all-color television station. Includes pictures
of the innaugural broadcast (with Robert Sarnoff, Jules Herbuveaux and Chicago
Mayor Richard J. Daley), "The New Performers", "Kukla,
Fran and Ollie", "By Gemini", "It's
Academic", the "NBC News Night Report" and "Kup's Show."
tape. How video tape revolutionized television production. Includes
pictures of the video tape room, the VTMU in action (with Jorie
Lueloff) and the state-of-the-art control room of studio D (featuring
the back of Roger Lee Miller's head).
NBC News. WMAQ-TV doubles its news staff under the direction of General Manager
Bob Lemon and News Director Bill
Corely. Three-man film crews roam the streets. The award-winning "City Desk"
debuts. Weekly half-hour documentaries air on "Dateline: Chicago." Channel
5 dominates the ratings with Floyd
Kalber and Len O'Connor.
Includes pictures of the newsroom (with the late Ron Chizever), the film processor,
the WMAQ-TV Weather Bureau, studio E control and a wall full of awards.
Preview. WMAQ-TV looks forward to the '70's and beyond and concludes,
"Whatever best serves Chicago and its people....that is what
WMAQ-TV will be doing. And doing it first."
by Rich Samuels (e-mail to email@example.com)