In 1924...WGN-AM, Chicago, Illinois, went on-the-air.
The predecessor to the current WGN was WDAP, which signed on the air on May 19, 1922, and was founded by Thorne Donnelley and Elliott Jenkins. Originally based in the Wrigley Building, the station moved its operations to the Drake Hotel in July.
|WGN's main studio in Tribune Tower, circa '30s-'40s|
|Scopes Trial 1925|
Over many decades, WGN was a "full service" radio station.
Music programming was phased out during the 1980s, and by 1990, the station's lineup mainly consisted of talk shows. In 1961, the WGN radio and television stations moved to a studio facility on West Bradley Place in the North Center neighborhood, a move undertaken for civil defense concerns in order to provide the station a safe base to broadcast in case of a hostile attack targeting downtown Chicago.
WGN radio moved back to North Michigan Avenue in 1986, relocating its operations to a studio in the Pioneer Court extension (WGN-TV remained at the Bradley Place facility, where that station operates to this day).
Some former well-known personalities on WGN include longtime morning hosts Wally Phillips, Bob Collins, Spike O'Dell, Paul Harvey and Roy Leonard. Orion Samuelson has been the station's farm reporter since 1960. Late-night hosts over the years have included Franklyn MacCormack, Chicago Ed Schwartz, Don Vogel and the husband-and-wife team of Steve King and Johnnie Putman.
In 1941...gossip columnist Louella Parsons hosted Hollywood Premiere for the first time on CBS radio. Parsons introduced famous guests who appeared in dramatized stories.
In 1944...radio station WQXR radio in New York City, owned by The New York Times newspaper, banned singing commercials from its airwaves as of this day. Understandable, since the station has always been the classical music voice of Manhattan and there aren’t many classical singing commercials.
In 1986...over 6,000 radio stations across America played "We are the World" at exactly 10:15 a.m. EST.