The Last Days at the Merchandise Mart

Streaming Video of "Mart Memories"

Above: The curator, Ron Magers and Carol Marin on the news set in WMAQ-TV's studio E in September, 1989 several days before Channel 5 moved to its new quarters in the NBC Tower.

Curator's note: For the last five days of WMAQ-TV's presence in the Merchandise Mart, I produced a series of short historical pieces that aired on our early news casts. You can access streaming video of these pieces below. (The Queen, when she viewed these clips, noted that I wore the same jacket and tie for five successive nights. Hopefully I changed my shirt).

Monday, 9/25/1989: Snippets from a 1961 plane crash featuring Charles "Chick" McCuen in the studio and Floyd Kalber in the field.

Tuesday, 9/26/1989: Vocalist Nancy Wright featured with the Art Van Damme Quintet. The appeared on a show Ransom Sherman hosted in 1950 as a summer replacement for "Kukla, Fran and Ollie".

Wednesday, 9/27/1989: A look at Studio E in 1934 when Madame Ernestine Schumann-Heink appeared on weekly broadcasts on NBC's Blue Network. Gerber, the baby food manufacturer, sponsored the show. (Madame Schumann-Heink was the mother of seven). Bill Hay is the announcer and Charles Previn is the conductor.

Thursday, 9/28/1989:While the Georgia Frances Orchestra plays, the curator presents a brief quiz regarding the history of NBC's presence at the Merchandise Mart.

Friday, 9/29/1989: Former NBC-Chicago staff announcer John Conrad returns to the Merchandise Mart studios a day before the move to the NBC Tower. Here he chats with WMA!-TV staff announcer Jim Hill. (Jim passed away in 2005; John Conrad passed away in February, 2006).

Return to the 1930 Studio Tour Guide

Introduction and main index to this site
WMAQ radio history | "Amos 'n' Andy" | "Fibber McGee and Mollie" | "The Breakfast Club"
Dick Kay | Television at the Merchandise Mart | 1970 television facilities tour | Channel 5 turns 20
The "Chicago School" of television | "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" | Dave Garroway | Mary Hartline
"Lights Out" | Sound effects | 1930 studio tour | WLS | "Empire Builders" | Barry Bernson
Floyd Kalber | The Queen of Love and Beauty | "Today's Children" | Staff announcers | Carol Marin
Ron Magers | Studs Terkel l "Chicago Tonight" | Channel 5 News scrapbooks |Roger Miller recalls
Zoo Parade | Clifton and Frayne Utley | Val Press | Len O'Connor | Johnny Erp | Bill Ray | Daddy-O
Experimental Television: 1930-1933 | Bob Deservi | Kermit Slobb | Ding Dong School | Quiz Kids
Bob Lemon | The Korshak Chronicles | KYW: The Chicago Years | WENR | O.B. Hanson | Renzo
Jack Eigen | Ed Grennan | The World's Best Cup of Coffee | Glenn Webster | Mr. Piano | Hawkins Falls
Chicago Television for Kids |
Radio Hall of Fame |The NBC News Night Report: 23 February, 1967
Audio and video downloads
About the Curator

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Created by Rich Samuels (e-mail to