As WGN TV celebrates 75 years, we’re looking back with a series of stories on the history and the memories.
CHICAGO, January 26, 2023 — The dawn of a new era began on April 5, 1948, when WGN-TV officially went on the air for the first time. Colonel Robert R. McCormick, former head of the Tribune Company, commented, “In television we have embarked upon another of America’s adventures. Come along with us! Let us share the adventure together.” Throughout 2023, WGN-TV will celebrate the many adventures undertaken over its 75 years on the air as “Chicago’s Very Own.” The station kicked off its milestone celebration with this promotional spot.
Every Thursday on WGN News at Nine, reporter Mike Lowe looks back at a particular person or facet of WGN-TV history. Thus far, Lowe has profiled the station’s early days, its groundbreaking partnership with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the legendary Jack Brickhouse. Future topics include Harry Caray, Superstation WGN, the legacy of WGN-TV children’s programming, the station’s talk show history and the origin of our slogan “Chicago’s Very Own.”
Daytime Chicago and GN Sports are also offering weekly features, including interviews with former key WGN-TV personalities, and first-person interviews about some of the great sports moments and seasons broadcast live on WGN-TV. Daytime Chicago has featured reminiscences by past anchors Mark Suppelsa, Steve Sanders, Robert Jordan and producer Pam Grimes. GN Sports has covered Joe Maddon and the 2016 Cubs, Chris Zorich and the 1988 Notre Dame football national champions, Joey Meyer and the DePaul basketball glory years, and Eddie Olczyk and the Blackhawks dynasty.
WGN-TV is also featuring stories from current WGN-TV staff across all dayparts, including Robin Baumgarten’s childhood visits to “Bozo’s Circus” and “Garfield Goose and Friends,” what Harry Caray thought of Tom Skilling, Demetrius Ivory’s memorable job interview, and many more. These special moments will live at WGNTV.com/Stories for viewers to partake in.
On Wednesday April 5th, WGN-TV will air a two-hour special WGN-TV at 75 from 7-9pm CT. This original WGN-TV production will look back at the station’s rich 75-year history. The broadcast will also be seen on the WGN+ TV streaming app on Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV; online at WGNTV.com/Live and the WGN News mobile app.
Viewers can follow along on social media via the hashtag #WGN75. WGNTV.com/75 will house a detailed timeline on the station’s 75-year history, archival content, several aforementioned pieces and much more.
WGN-TV is Chicago’s Very Own source for news and entertainment and is owned and operated by Nexstar Media Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nexstar Media Group, Inc. WGN News programs more local news than any other Chicago TV station and can be seen on WGN-TV; the WGN+ TV streaming app on Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV; online at WGNTV.com/Live and the WGN News mobile app. In-depth local weather coverage is available on all newscasts, WGNTV.com/Weather and the WGN Weather mobile app. WGN Films, part of WGN-TV, presents compelling and in-depth cinematic journalism that goes beyond the headlines to explore the stories and issues that affect Chicago area communities. WGN 9.2 is the Chicago affiliate for Nexstar Media Inc.’s 1950s – 1970s classic TV network Antenna TV, WGN 9.3 is the Chicago affiliate for Grit, WGN 9.4 is the Chicago affiliate for Nexstar Media Inc.’s 1980s – 2000s retro TV network Rewind TV, and WGN 9.5 is the Chicago affiliate for TBD. For more information on Chicago’s Very Own WGN-TV, go to WGNTV.com