Meet Judith Waller...

The First Manager of WMAQ

Right: Judith Waller in 1929

Judith C. Waller Left: Judith Waller in 1947

To get an idea of how much Judith C. Waller (1889-1972) knew about broadcasting, you should try to find a copy of her book Radio, the Fifth Estate, published by Houghton, Mifflin in 1946. Its pages will answer any questions you may have about how radio was done during its Golden Age. Ms. Waller wrote with the benefit of almost twenty-five years of experience in the medium. Many of the techniques and practices she described she had, in fact, invented. Most of the 'firsts' claimed by WMAQ during its first quarter-century were, in fact, the consequences of her ideas and deeds. (The only other woman I know of who spent more time at NBC in Chicago was Laura Skidmore who logged half a century in the Mart before she retired---but, of course, she was probably under the age of five when she first came to work there.)

Via the links below you can:

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