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April 12, 2019 8:05 am  #1


Legendary Radio Station Turns 95 On Friday

It's not a local outlet, but when one this legendary turns just shy of 100, it's worth noting. WLS Chicago officially went on the air 95 years ago Friday, powered by owner Sears (which insured the call letters stood for World's Largest Store.)

Of course it became famous to most of us when it was a Top 40 powerhouse in the 60s and 70s, when the The Big 89 was constantly in a battle for #1 in the ratings and could easily be received here at night. (In fact, John Landecker briefly wound up with a less than stellar stop in Toronto as Jim Brady's replacement in the mornings at CFTR.) 

One of the reasons I mention it here is that unlike way too many other stations (including CFRB, which did absolutely nothing when the place turned 90 in 2017) this one plans to mark the occasion on air. According to columnist Robert Feder:

"It will feature audio highlights from the station’s illustrious past (“Oh, the humanity!”) and interviews with former personalities and station bosses, including John Records Landecker  and  Roe Conn  with morning host  Mancow Muller, and John Gehron, Mick Kahler, Jeff Davis, Garry Meier, Tom Tradup, Phil Duncan, Tim Sabean and Landecker with late-afternoon host Big John Howell."

WLS Radio celebrates 95 years on the air

For those interested in listening to any of this, the station is streamed online without geoblocking and you can hear it here,

 

April 12, 2019 9:16 am  #2


Re: Legendary Radio Station Turns 95 On Friday

"One of the reasons I mention it here is that unlike way too many other stations (including CFRB, which did absolutely nothing when the place turned 90 in 2017) this one plans to mark the occasion on air."

That's because the sense of history from station management is what they scored on the golf course this morning. Let's hope the 100th is fittingly observed.

 

April 12, 2019 10:12 am  #3


Re: Legendary Radio Station Turns 95 On Friday

I find it interesting that while we often take radio for granted and it seems to have been around forever, there isn't a single radio station in the world that has hit the 100th birthday mark yet. (CFCF Montreal would have attained that milestone a year from this coming May, but they're no longer on the air.)

So by default, KDKA Pittsburgh will become the planet's first 100 year old radio station on November 2, 2020. And I expect they'll make a big deal out of it, because they have on past anniversaries. The last time in 2018:

KDKA Radio Celebrates 98 Years Of Broadcasting 

     Thread Starter
 

April 12, 2019 10:35 am  #4


Re: Legendary Radio Station Turns 95 On Friday

67GreenRambler wrote:

"One of the reasons I mention it here is that unlike way too many other stations (including CFRB, which did absolutely nothing when the place turned 90 in 2017) this one plans to mark the occasion on air."

That's because the sense of history from station management is what they scored on the golf course this morning. Let's hope the 100th is fittingly observed.

Dare I suggest that the reason may be because they're trying to appeal to a younger demo and who wants to think about anything a 90-year-old has to say? Still, they shouldn't have ignored it. It was a real milestone and should have at least been mentioned. 
 

     Thread Starter
 

April 13, 2019 1:23 am  #5


Re: Legendary Radio Station Turns 95 On Friday

WWV will turn 100 this fall. Its accepted on-air date is October 1, 1919.

I was still QSLing in the early 70s and had this crazy idea to look up -- in the Broadcasting Yearbook -- sign-on dates of heritage stations I could hear and submit reception reports on their 50th anniversaries. Not even KDKA (50th anniv Nov 2 1970) printed a QSL card for the occasion.