in November of 1931, WMAQ was taken over by the National Broadcasting
Company, under whose management it still operated. And in May
of 1932 the entire WMAQ studios were moved from the Daily News
Building to the Merchandise Mart, where
they have since remained.
September of 1935, the last important change was made at WMAQ.
With new, modern studios operating downtown the need was felt
for a more powerful radiating transmitter. Application dor a fifty
kilowatt license was approved, and a new transmitter site was
selected at Bloomingdale, Illinois, A Westinghouse 50B transmitter
was installed at that location, housed in a large new building
on a twenty-seven acre tract about twenty-eight miles from the
city of Chicago. The transmitter and related quipment was formally
dedicated and put into service on September 15th, 1935,
and has been in continuous operation ever since, feeding a 490
foot vertical radiator. Mr. Walter H. Lindsay is still in charge
of the station.
has been on the air from Chicago for well over 100,000
hours---in seventeen years of operation---approaching, if not
equaling, any record for continuous coverage of any region by
a broadcast station. And much of the credit for the long operation
of WMAQ must go to Engineer Lindsay. But there were many other
operators---a few that have gone to other work, a few that still
remain at NBC, and a few unknown or forgotten---all of whom had
a hand in guiding the technical destiny of WMAQ.
oldest in point of service at the transmitter is A.J. Schroder,
who came to WMAQ in January, 1929. Byron Speirs, now in the NBC
Chicago studios, came to WMAQ in 1928.
a few old-timers have gone on to other work. Donald Weller, the
first WMAQ operator, is now Chief Engineer at WISN in Milwaukee,
Charlie Pease is in New York, Don Johnson and Bill Leverett are
both doing recording work in Hollywood and there are, of course,
many other deserving of mention.
writer wishes to gratefully acknowledge assistance given him
by Miss Judith Waller and Walter R. Lindsay of NBC, and by Donald
A, Weller of WISN, in the preparation of this history of WMAQ.
Research in this neglected field would not have been possible
without their help in chronicling the history of WMAQ, Chicago’s
oldest radio station!