In 1960, between the Cubs and White Sox, WGN televised 120 baseball games with 8 RCA TK41s. For attendance reasons, I’m sure both teams tried not to be home at the same time, but when it happened, 4 cameras went to Cominskey Park and 4 went to Wrigley Field.
WGN Television, whose call letters are derived from the Chicago Tribune’s first slogan, “World’s Greatest Newspaper”, hit the airwaves on April 5, 1948 on Channel 9 in Chicago from its studios at Tribune Tower. Colonel Robert McCormick led the Tribune Company into the TV era, believing that “in television, we have embarked upon another of America’s adventures.”
In addition to carrying Chicago Cubs and White Sox baseball games in the 1950s, WGN-TV made its first attempts at producing entertainment series to air on the station while also distributing them to TV stations across the country. Although initially an affiliate of the DuMont and CBS television networks, WGN-TV realized it could better serve the Chicago area audience as an independent station. By 1957, WGN became one of the first local television stations to offer a full schedule of live programs in color. One year later, the station had scored many firsts, including the first televised appearance of President Truman in Chicago as well as mobile coverage of General MacArthur’s visit to the city.
In 1961, WGN-TV began broadcasting from new facilities at 2501 West Bradley Place on Chicago’s northwest side and premiered its own version of “Bozo’s Circus”, which became the most popular and successful locally produced children’s series in the history of television. Also in the 1960s, WGN expanded its “10th Hour News” newscast to a half-hour (the first Chicago TV station to do so), produced programs such as “Garfield Goose and Friends” and “Ray Rayner and His Friends,” sports telecasts that included Chicago Blackhawks hockey and Chicago Bulls basketball, and developed a vast movie library that was featured on a number of showcases such as “Family Classics.” In 1966, the Chicago Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Board of Directors awarded Ward Quaal, then President of WGN Continental Broadcasting Company, the Governors’ Award “for developing the finest independent TV station in the U.S.”