Tag Archives: Chicago

WGN Collects 5 Million Airline Miles For Sick Kids

Five million miles. That’s enough miles to fly around the planet 200 times. Or more importantly, fly more than 400 families of five  round-trip from Chicago to Orlando. Fla.

My math may not be exact, but it all adds up to supporting the wishes of critically ill children and their families for Make-A-Wish Illinois.

A week ago, Tribune’s independent WGN Chicago teamed up with Make-A-Wish Illinois, and spent an entire broadcast day devoted to collecting airline miles that can used by critically ill children and their families to have their wishes granted.

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WGN Brands Tuesday’s Cubs/White Sox Games

WGN, Tribune’s Chicago independent, is introducing Tuesday Night Baseball, as a way to brand the 22 Cubs and White Sox games the station airs this season.

Tom Vodick

Here’s Tom Vodick, WGN’s co-creative director explaining the concept.

“It all started with our programming manager looking at the possibility of scheduling several Tuesday night games during the season, which led to a final broadcast schedule worked out with the Cubs and White Sox of almost 22 straight weeks of Tuesday night baseball on WGN.

Ryan Johnson

“This being a unique hook for one of our baseball seasons, we in Creative Services then set out to sell it, and try to give it a little different vibe than our other baseball game promotion.

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NBC/Telemundo Stations Give Millions To Nonprofits

The NBCUniversal Foundation and NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, a division of NBCUniversal,announced a total of $2.475 million in Project Innovation grants for 62 nonprofits located across the country.

Valari Staab

“Our 2018 Project Innovation winners all have a profound dedication for their communities,” said Valari Staab, President, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations.

“We’re excited to celebrate the outstanding groups that are standing at the front lines every day, working hard to spur real change in their communities and foster our next generation of innovators. We look forward to working with all the local groups to help move our communities forward.”

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WGN Celebrates 70 Year As ‘Chicago’s Very Own’

WGN, an independent TV station in Chicago owned by Tribune, is celebrating 70 years as “Chicago’s Very Own” with a one-hour special Thursday night at 8.

Hosted by Tom Skilling and other WGN News anchors/reporters, the special will examine the station’s long-running sports history, major events and stories the station has covered over the years, its children’s programming and community involvement.

Monday, April 16, marks the 70th anniversary of the first baseball telecast on WGN.

Here’s an excerpt from a sports blog about that game. Click here to read the entire blog about the game and the history of broadcasting baseball games on television.

In February 1948, WGN-TV (run by Jake Israel) began running text broadcasts before its first regular broadcast on April 5 with the WGN-TV Salute to Chicago two-hour special.

Originally, WGN-TV operated from the Tribune Tower in downtown Chicago before moving to North Bradley Place in the North Center neighborhood of the city in 1961.

After seeing the success of the 1947 World Series and the station launching just in time for baseball season, WGN-TV decided to air an exhibition game between the city’s two teams. On April 16, 1948, the Chicago Cubs hosted their crosstown rival Chicago White Sox in an exhibition game at Wrigley Field.

That first game was called by the legendary Jack Brickhouse, who would announce baseball games for the station for the next 33 years.

The Cubs’ starting pitcher was Hank Borowy against White Sox starter Joe Haynes. A little over 9,200 fans withstood chilly 45-degree temperatures to watch the game. This was the fourth exhibition game between them that year and the Cubs won two of the first three.

It was the White Sox who would get the better of the “North Siders” at Wrigley Field on this day to even the series between them that year.

In the top half of the first inning, Borowy could hardly throw a strike and walked four White Sox batters. An error by Cubs second baseman Henry Schenz also contributed to the White Sox taking advantage by scoring three runs in the opening inning.

Those three runs were all that Haynes needed for the White Sox as he pitched six innings for the “South Siders”. He along with reliever Earl Harrist allowed five Cub hits and one run in the game.

Borowy would pitch seven innings and allowed four of the five White Sox hits in the game. But it was his wildness in the first inning that allowed the White Sox an early lead and eventual 4-1 win over the Cubs.

The Cubs would finish the 1948 season in last place with a 64-90 record. The White Sox were even worse finishing dead last with a 51-101 record that year.

Beginning in 1948, WGN-TV would broadcast all Cubs and White Sox home games.

WRTV Names Justin Welnack Creative Services Director

Justin Welnack

WRTV, the Scripps ABC affiliate in Indianapolis, has named Justin Welnack as its new creative services director. He starts in April.

Welnack comes to WRTV from WAPT, Hearst’s ABC affiliate in Jackson, Miss., where Melnack was CSD for four years and during which the station’s ratings reached an all-time high, according to Welnack.

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WLS Names David Lee VP Of Creative Services

David Lee

WLS, the ABC O&O in Chicago, has named David Lee vice president of audience development and creative services effective March 26.

John Idler

“David has been a creative force in the ABC station group and it’s exciting to have someone with his diverse experience and vision join WLS,” said John Idler, WLS’ general manager.

“David’s creative instincts combined with his expertise mining the digital space make him the ideal person to lead our station’s talented Creative Services Department.”

Lee comes to WLS from KTRK, the ABC O&O in Houston, where he held the same title.

Prior to joining KTRK, Lee worked as the creative services director at KFSN, the ABC-owned affiliate in Fresno, Calif., and at KXLY, the ABC affiliate in Spokane, Wash.

Lee was born and raised in Great Falls, Mont., and graduated from Montana State University with a degree in film and television production.

After college and a brief stint working in Hollywood, Lee began his TV career in Great Falls producing commercials, promotions and directing newscasts.

He also worked at WMAZ in Macon, Ga., and for 10 years at KMSP in Minneapolis.

Lee has been a part of many Emmy-award winning productions, and is a graduate of NAB’s 2012 Broadcast Leadership Training Program.

He currently serves on ABC’s affiliate marketing advisory board.

After 42 Years At WLS, Jerry Taft Hangs Up His Weather Hat

Jerry Taft

When Jerry Taft wakes up next Monday morning, I wouldn’t be surprised if he jumps in his car and drives to the WLS studios in Chicago.

After all, he’s been doing that for the past 42 years and old habits are sometimes hard to break.

Taft is retiring as the ABC O&O’s chief meteorologist. Today is his last day.

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WCIU’s New Year’s Eve Special Is Chicago Funny

WCIU, known as The U, an independent station in Chicago owned by Weigel Broadcasting, kicks off New Year’s Eve with Pat McGann’s Pre-Taped New Year’s Special on Sunday night, Dec. 31, at 9.

Local comedian Pat McGann hosts the one-hour comedy special that features a slate of Chicago comedians and was taped in front of a studio audience.

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WGN Collects 37,000 Toys For Charity


The WGN Morning News Drive-Thru Toy Drive celebrated its 15th year, the first year benefiting SocialWorks Chicago, a youth empowerment charity.

WGN is Tribune’s Chicago independent.

This five-hour event featured Santa, holiday fun and an appearance by Chance the Rapper. Viewers and companies drove through to drop off a record 37,000 toys for needy kids.

All toys will be donated to Chance The Rapper’s nonprofit SocialWorks, a 501c3 charity, and will be dispersed to Chicagoland children and families in need.

SocialWorks aims to empower youth through the arts, education, and civic engagement while fostering leadership, accessibility, and positivity within the youth throughout Chicago.

As you can see below, Chance the Rapper is also pretty good at weather forecasting.

Chance the Rapper tries his hand as a WGN weatherman

HE'S HIRED! Chance The Rapper tries his hand as a WGN weatherman — and he's preeeeetty good.

Posted by WGN Morning News on Friday, December 8, 2017

Check Out WGN’s 11 Emmy Award Winning Examples

WGN, Chicago’s independent station owned by Tribune, earned 11 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards last week.

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