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May 20, 2022 10:30 am  #1

Terrific TV Tribute To WGN Radio's 100th Anniversary Is Now Online

This special aired locally in Chicago on Thursday and I was kind of hoping it might turn up online. Thankfully, it has and as a bonus, you don't need a VPN to watch it. It runs about 46 minutes commercial free and even if you're not familiar with WGN Radio, it's a pretty terrific look back at an iconic radio station's history and what it means to the city where it broadcasts. 

Among my favourite parts: a look at the 50K clear channel station's amazing antenna array, a tour of its control room, and - here's something you don't see every day at most radio outlets - its own bomb shelter, where they can keep broadcasting in times of war or disaster. 

There are also segments saluting their two legendary morning men, Wally Phillips and Bob Collins, both of whom became sort of the Wally Crouters of the Windy City. It turns tragic at the end, with the death of one of their superstars in a plane crash, and the need to somehow fill his slot the very next day. It's a stunning segment and incredibly touching, even though I don't know any of the people involved. 

The fact the entire staff knew one of their own was dead while doing their shows but couldn't say a word on air for six long hours because his wife hadn't yet been notified is truly chilling.  

All in all, a nice tribute to a station that made it to 100 years and a subject TV almost never touches - radio. 

If you're into this kind of thing, I'll think you'll really enjoy it a lot. 

You can watch it online here.