WBEZ | Chicago Radio http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-radio Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en November 11, 1921: The day Chicago radio was born http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2011-11-11/november-11-1921-day-chicago-radio-was-born-93771 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-11/old radio_Flickr_Terry Cheah.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In a sense, today is the birthday of WBEZ.</p><p>Ninety years ago on this date, Chicago was introduced to the latest method of instantaneous communication. They called it radio-telephony--or just plain radio.</p><p>The city was a late starter in this particular technology. In the summer of 1920 the first American broadcast went out over the air from Detroit. A few months later Pittsburgh launched a regular radio station.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-05/11-11--Mary Garden portrait.jpg" title="Mary Garden" width="249" height="350"></p><p>Westinghouse Electric, owner of the Pittsburgh station, was eager to have an outpost in Chicago. The Department of Commerce granted the company a license for a Chicago station on November 9, 1921. Two days later, station KYW was ready to make a test broadcast.</p><p>The site of the test was the Auditorium Theater, with the Chicago Grand Opera Company performing. A single microphone was hung over the stage. From there, telephone wires would carry the sound to the KYW transmitter on the roof of the Commonwealth Edison Building, three blocks away.</p><p>Opera director Mary Garden made the opening address. Newspaper reports said she began with the introduction, "This is station KYW, Chicago." But the very first words that went out over the air were her slightly-earlier adlib--"My God, it's dark here!"</p><p>Garden's speech was followed by an orchestra piece, and then an aria from "Madame Butterfly." That was all. In a little over ten minutes, Chicago's first radio broadcast was over.</p><p>An estimated 50,000 people had listened in on their primitive crystal receivers. Transmission was received over a wide area, from upstate New York to Kansas, and from southern Kentucky to northern Minnesota. The signal was reported to be "loud and clear."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-05/11-11--opera program.jpg" title="" width="233" height="350"></p><p>The <em>Tribune</em> applauded radio as an agent for democracy. High culture was now available to everyone, everywhere. "No longer will it be necessary to dress up in evening togs to hear grand opera," the paper said. "No longer will grand opera consist solely of [recordings] in towns 500 or 1000 miles from Chicago. All that is necessary is to acquire a radio telephone outfit."</p><p>Today metro Chicago hosts over 100 radio stations--but no KYW. Since 1934 those call letters have been assigned to a Philadelphia station.</p></p> Fri, 11 Nov 2011 12:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2011-11-11/november-11-1921-day-chicago-radio-was-born-93771 Randy Michaels snatches up Q101, The Loop in radio buyout deal http://www.wbez.org/story/randy-michales-snatches-q101-loop-radio-buyout-deal-88135 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2010-October/2010-10-26/randy michaels.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Two well-known Chicago radio stations are being sold to a controversial media tycoon.</p><p>Classic rock station WLUP-FM (97.9), known as the Loop, and the long-time alternative staple WKQX-FM (101.1), known as Q101, will&nbsp; be sold for more than $110 million in cash. Their former owner, Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications, will also take a&nbsp;minority stake in a new parent company called Merlin Media LLC, run by former Tribune Company CEO Randy Michaels.</p><p>Michaels left Tribune last fall following reports that he ran it like a frat house, complete with parties and profanity and sexually-charged behavior. But veteran Chicago media columnist Robert Feder said, despite that, Michaels does know radio.</p><p>"It's in his blood, it's always been his life, and people are not surprised that he couldn't wait to get back into the business," Feder said.</p><p>Rumors are churning that Michaels may turn Q101 into an all-news station to go up against WBBM-AM, one of the top stations in Chicago.</p><p>If that happens, "we are likely to see the outbreak of a new kind of radio war in Chicago," Feder said.</p><p>A spokesman for Michaels says he won't comment on any format changes for a few weeks.</p></p> Tue, 21 Jun 2011 18:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/randy-michales-snatches-q101-loop-radio-buyout-deal-88135 Chicago comeback for Dave Fogel on oldies station http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/02/chicago-comeback-for-dave-fogel-on-oldies-station/13680 <p><div style="margin-right: 15px; float: left; text-align: center;"><img alt="Dave Fogel " src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//dave.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 1px 5px; width: 170px; height: 230px;" class="size-full wp-image-13684" /><p>Dave Fogel</p></div><p>Dave Fogel, who hosted afternoons in Chicago for more than seven years, is returning to become morning personality at &quot;True Oldies&quot; WLS-FM (94.7). Starting March 1, he'll replace Brant Miller, who <a href="http://www.radio-info.com/sections/2-breaking-news/news_items/8053-chicagos-true-oldies-wls-fm-cuts-brant-miller-from-mornings">signed off</a> from the Citadel Broadcasting station Jan. 5. </p><p>Handling news, traffic and weather duties on Fogel's show (airing from 6 to 10 a.m. weekdays) will be Maura Myles, who'll segue from <a href="http://wlsam.com/Article.asp?id=340901&amp;spid=6789">news/talk sister station</a> WLS-AM (890). Myles is currently on maternity leave. </p><p>Fogel, who most recently has been <a href="http://www.star102.com/Dave-Fogel/4693125">hosting mornings</a> at KCKC-FM in Kansas City, was a mainstay of Bonneville International hot adult-contemporary WTMX-FM (101.9) from 1997 to 2004. Before that, he briefly worked at classic rock WLUP-FM (97.9), then under Bonneville ownership. </p><p>In confirming Fogel's appointment Monday, Michael LaCrosse, operations director of WLS-FM, said:<!--break--></p><blockquote>&quot;I think he's the right guy for this. He's got a great personality, he's a solid air talent, and I think he's really going to be able to make a connection with the listeners.&quot;</blockquote><p>At WLS-FM, Fogel joins a lineup that includes Scott Shannon in middays, Greg Brown in afternoons, and Dick Biondi in evenings. &quot;I'm looking forward to returning home to help Chicago wake up with lots of music each and every morning,&quot; Fogel said in a statement. &quot;It's going to be a lot of fun, and I can't wait to get started.&quot; </p><p>The latest Arbitron survey shows WLS-FM tied for 11th&sbquo;&nbsp;place in mornings with a 2.8 percent audience share.</p></p> Mon, 01 Feb 2010 14:58:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/02/chicago-comeback-for-dave-fogel-on-oldies-station/13680