WMAQ-TV 1964 to 1996

by Roger Lee Miller

Curator's Note: Veteran NBC-Chicago director Roger Lee Miller (the back of whose head you see to the right) was on hand to witness both the renaissance of Channel 5 in the late 1960's and its post-modern transformation thereafter.

Click on the links below to learn about the evolution of the broadcasting business from the mid 1960's to the mid 1990's.

The curator thanks Roger for sharing his memories and apologizes for taking so long to present them here.

Roger meets Jack Benny---and offers direction to the beloved comic in a moment of need.

Studio A---the personalities (including the legendary Ron Hunter) and the productions of the Merchandise Mart's largest studio.

Studio E and Floyd Kalber---the home of news broadcasts at channel 5.

Studio D---the Merchandise Mart's newest television studio.

Studio A-1---managers hoped this studio attract lucrative commercial production. But studio A-1 (originally studio B and later designated studio Q) was most often dark. (Perhaps appropriately, given the fact that, in the early days of network radio, it was the home to the thriller Light Out.

Master control---where the illuminated map continued to glow.

The field shop and camera room---and the ingenuity of the denizens thereof.

The staff announcers---before they were replaced by tape cartridge machines.

Len O'Connor---and the night his out-takes were aired.

Bob Lemon---the general manager behind the renaissance of channel 5

Father John Banahan---and channel 5's continuing public service committment.

Lee Schulman---the general manager known as "Bullet Dome".

The move to the NBC Tower---did things get better in the new building?

Introduction and main index to this site
WMAQ radio history | "Amos 'n' Andy" | "Fibber McGee and Mollie" | "The Breakfast Club"
Dick Kay | Television at the Merchandise Mart | 1970 television facilities tour | Channel 5 turns 20
The "Chicago School" of television | "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" | Dave Garroway | Mary Hartline
"Lights Out" | Sound effects | 1930 studio tour | WLS | "Empire Builders" | Barry Bernson
Floyd Kalber | The Queen of Love and Beauty | "Today's Children" | Staff announcers | Carol Marin
Ron Magers | Studs Terkel l "Chicago Tonight" | Channel 5 News scrapbooks |Roger Miller recalls
Zoo Parade | Clifton and Frayne Utley | Val Press | Len O'Connor | Johnny Erp | Bill Ray | Daddy-O
Experimental Television: 1930-1933 | Bob Deservi | Kermit Slobb | Ding Dong School | Quiz Kids
Bob Lemon | The Korshak Chronicles | KYW: The Chicago Years | WENR | O.B. Hanson | Renzo
Jack Eigen | Ed Grennan | The World's Best Cup of Coffee | Glenn Webster | Mr. Piano | Hawkins Falls
Chicago Television for Kids |
Radio Hall of Fame |The NBC News Night Report: 23 February, 1967
Audio and video downloads
About the Curator

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Created by Rich Samuels (e-mail to