1927 and 1928 prosperity arrived in Chicago with a bang! Business
was goos and local industries were operating with a wide financial
profit. As a result, new buildings and skyscrapers were making
their appearance in the Loop
district. New office buildings and commercial structures loomed
higher and higher above the Chicago
skyline, until the WMAQ
towers that had once dominated the Loop
were no longer visible. By early fall the 1000
watt transmitter was only 50 percent effective in the coverage
of the city. It was quite evident, then, that the WMAQ transmitter
had to be moved outside of Chicago where a greater coverage efficiency
could be obtained. Since the art of radio broadcasting was also
undergoing constant change, it was also felt that newer and more
efficient equipment would greatly improve WMAQ’s broadcasting
service. Accordingly, an application was made to the Federal Radio
Commission to change the location of the transmitter, and to increase
was broken at Elmhurst, Illinois,
for a new transmitter site in February, 1928, and construction
of the buildings was begun. A new 5000 watt Western Electric type
104-B transmitter was purchased and installed at Elmhurst,
radiating towers were erected, but this work was not completed
until late in May.
passing through 1928, it might be interesting to note that on
the evening of March 19th two unknown radio characters
made their first broadcast over WMAQ---locally. They were introduced
simply as “Amos
June 2nd the new Western Electric transmitter was formally
dedicated and put into operation at Elmhurst. WMAQ continued
to use the La Salle Hotel studios, but the towers above the hotel
were removed later.
February, 1929, the transmitter was slightly revamped to incorporate
duplicate crystal control---and 100 percent low-level modulation.
WMAQ, incidentally, was the first Chicago
station to employ full crystal control and 100 percent modulation.
studios remained in the La Salle Hotel until late in August, 1929.
The need had been quite apparent for new and enlarged studios,
and arrangements were made for the construction of entirely new
studio units in the Chicago
Building, at 400 West Madison Street, just west of the
Loop. Most of the La
Salle equipment was moved to the new location, and
the studios were formally dedicated August 18th. They
consisted of three main studios and two smaller ones, and were
in constant operation from that time until May, 1932. WMAQ was
fully incorporated at this time.