Robert McCormick and Tribune Company recognized radio’s importance very early. After World War I, the Tribune Company built a radio receiving station at Halifax, Nova Scotia. It handled transatlantic radio traffic for a group of American newspapers. By 1921, Tribune Company saw the advantages of broadcasting Tribune-sponsored radio programs and began negotiating to buy a Chicago station. This led to the 1924 purchase of the 1000-watt station WDAP, later renamed WGN for the newspaper’s tagline: World’s Greatest Newspaper. Under Robert it became a clear channel 50,000-watt station with its own subsidiary operations (including WGN-TV which began operations in 1948). The new station pioneered many programs that we consider classics today.
As he was with newspaper content, Robert was very interested in programming, especially “Chicago Theatre of the Air” which featured his weekly address on current events and historical topics. Please click one of the audio links to hear Robert McCormick delivering one of his weekly speeches.