The Demise of WMAQ Radio: a Video Chronicle

Featuring Bill Cameron, Bob Roberts, Studs Terkel
and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley

Curator's note: Infinity Broadcasting retired the WMAQ call letters (and abandoned the station's all-news format) on August 1st, 2000. Infinity moved its sports-talk station WSCR from 1160 kHz to the 670 kHz frequency formerly occupied by WMAQ. (FCC regulations required Infinity to sell one of its Chicago AM frequencies. The 1160 kHz channel was far more expendable).

July 18th, 2000: Later today WMAQ radio's 44 staffers will be told whether or not they will have jobs at WBBM-AM (Infinity's remaining all-news station in Chicago) after WMAQ goes dark.

Video segment #1: The camera strolls through the WMAQ radio newsroom and into the on-air studio where Bill Cameron and Larry Langford are broadcasting live. (Runs 1:16).

Video segment #2: Reporter Bob Roberts reflects on the passing of WMAQ, its illustrious history...and frets about his professional future. (Not to worry: Bob was one of the lucky few 'MAQ staffers asked to join the news team at WBBM-AM.) (Runs 1:20)

Video Segment #3: City Hall reporter Bill Cameron (a 30-year veteran of WMAQ) on the business of broadcasting in the 21st century. (You can now hear Bill on WLS-AM). (Runs :33)

July 31, 2000: It's mid-afternoon on WMAQ radio's last day. Bill Cameron and Larry Langford are on the air for the last time as a team. Two celebrities join them...

Video Segment #4: Studs Terkel drops by the studio and describes his first visit to the NBC Merchandise Mart studios in 1937 when Chicago was the world's soap opera capital. (Runs :56). (Click here for more on Studs and his contribution to the "Chicago School" of Television").

Video Segment #5: Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley calls in and tells listeners who's really profited from the deregulation of the broadcasting industry. (Runs 1:33)

Return to the WMAQ radio history index page

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

Comments or suggestions? click here to send them to Rich Samuels

Created by Rich Samuels (e-mail to