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WMAQ-TV Chicago celebrates its 75th anniversary

Throughout the month of October, WMAQ-TV will be celebrating its 75th anniversary and viewers will be treated to a trip down memory lane

From being the first full-time color TV station in the nation, to televising the first World Series in Chicago, to being Chicago’s first TV station to broadcast in stereo, to proudly having Chicago’s first 10 p.m. Black news anchor, first 10 p.m. female co-anchor and FIRST female solo news anchor, WMAQ-TV (NBC 5 Chicago) has delivered numerous “firsts” in local television history.

Throughout the month of October, WMAQ-TV will be celebrating its 75th anniversary and viewers will be treated to a trip down memory lane as the network will look back at the historic moments that helped shape the City of Chicago and detail how WMAQ’s legendary team members covered these pivotal, life-changing stories.

“Since the advent of local broadcast television, WMAQ-TV has been at the forefront of innovation, creativity, integrity, and connectivity to the Chicago community,” said Kevin Cross, president & general manager, NBCUniversal Local Chicago. “As we celebrate WMAQ-TV’s historic 75th anniversary this month, NBC Chicago will relive numerous stories that occurred over the decades and honor the on-air and behind-the-scenes trailblazers who helped define our legacy.”

Please note NBC 5 Chicago/WMAQ-TV’s 75th Anniversary image/campaign spots and complete multiplatform content details below:



“75TH ANNIVERSARY” SEGMENTS - airing this week - NBC 5 News at 10pm

Monday, October 9 – “History of WMAQ-TV”

Segment host: Allison Rosati, featuring discussions with Ron Magers, Carol Marin, Rich Samuels, Jorie Lueloff, Art Norman, Brant Miller and Alex Maragos

Tuesday, October 10 – “Covering Chicago Politics”

Featuring discussions with Carol Marin and MaryAnn Ahern

Wednesday, October 11 – “The ’85 Chicago Bears”

Featuring discussions with Mark Giangreco and Art Norman

Thursday, October 12 – “Covering Chicago Weather”

Featuring discussions with Brant Miller, Andy Avalos, and Alicia Roman

Friday, October 13 – “Flashback Friday: Most Impactful Story from 1980’s”

Voted on by viewers (additional details in “Digital Highlights” section below)

NOTE: Forthcoming NBC 5 News “75th Anniversary” segments will include even more interviews with former WMAQ-TV standouts including Bob Sirott, Phil Rogers, Rob Stafford, Lisa Parker, Peter Karl, Charlie Wojciechowski, Paula Faris and Steve Wilkos among others.


Chicago Today: WMAQ-TV 75th Anniversary Entertainment Special (Fri, Oct. 13 - 11:30 a.m.)

Chicago Today hosts Cortney Hall & Matt Rodrigues will relive WMAQ-TV’s most memorable moments covering the entertainment industry featuring first-hand recollections via Bob Sirott, along with archived WMAQ clips featuring the late Warner Saunders and Harry Volkman, along with celebrity interviews with Maya Angelou, Chris Rock, Dana Carvey and Mike Myers among others.

Upcoming 75th Anniversary featured segments on NBC 5 News at 10 p.m. (airing Tuesdays through December):

  • News Segments: Anchor Team Stories, Covering News & How it’s Changed, Investigative & Consumer Reporting, History of the “Talk Tower,” Celebrity Sightings, The Future of News
  • Sports Segments: Covering Michael Jordan, Covering Ditka, White Sox World Series 2005, Cubs World Series 2016, Blackhawks Stanley Cup 2010, Sky WNBA Champs 2021, Sports Managers & Egos

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR VIEWERS: In addition to traditional cable/satellite viewing options, fans can also view NBC 5 News on the NBC Chicago News streaming channel on Peacock, Roku, Samsung TV Plus, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo Play, Google Play, Freevee, TCLtv+ and Local Now. Streaming info here: Fans can also watch NBC 5 News on and the NBC Chicago app.


75th Anniversary Archive

In addition to NBC 5 Chicago’s upcoming 75th Anniversary segments airing on NBC 5 News at 10pm,viewers will also be to access even more, exclusive archived videos that highlight WMAQ-TV’s vast, award-winning coverage of major news events, weather, politics, sports, along with many more moments of significance in Chicago and Illinois history. For video archive access, please visit the following link: 75th Anniversary Archive – NBC Chicago

Flashback Fridays – Viewer’s Choice Online Voting

On Fridays throughout the month of October, 75th Anniversary segments on NBC 5 News at 10pm will focus on the single most memorable story from the decades of the 1980’s, 1990’s, 2000’s and 2010’s. However, the decision to determine that chosen story will be up to the viewers to decide. Viewer voting for each week’s featured story will begin on Mondays (Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30). For the first “Flashback Fridays” segment focused on the 1980’s (to be revealed on this Friday’s edition of NBC 5 News at 10pm), viewers can cast their vote now via the following link: Vote: Most memorable Chicago-area story of the 1980s – NBC Chicago.


75th Anniversary TRIVIA

Throughout the month of October, NBC 5 News TODAY(airing Monday-Friday from 4:00-7:00 AM), will present viewers with a daily 75th Anniversary Chicago trivia question heading into commercial breaks with the answer to the multiple-choice question revealed coming out breaks. Trivia questions will challenge viewers on variety of Chicago history topics ranging from news, sports, entertainment, politics and more.

Social Media

Viewers on social media will also be treated to additional 75th Anniversary content throughout the coming weeks via NBC Chicago’s social platforms on Instagram/IG Stories (@nbcchicago), TikTok (@nbcchicago), Facebook ( and X (@nbcchicago).


The following list notes WMAQ-TV’s “firsts” in national / local television history:


  • First full-time color station in the country
  • First TV station to receive and generate network transmission via satellite
  • First TV station to broadcast a continuous 8 ½ hour newscast
  • First small mobile video tape unit
  • First college credit course on a commercial TV station
  • First daytime television serial
  • First do-it-yourself program
  • First boxing match ever staged in a TV studio
  • First broadcast of a live, remote, primetime local theatrical production


  • First televised World Series
  • First demonstration of the split-screen technique
  • First TV station in stereo
  • First electronically-generated graphics
  • First investigative unit
  • First Black 10pm news anchor
  • First female 10pm co-anchor
  • First female solo news anchor
  • First program offering to a national network (“Kukla, Fran and Ollie”)
  • First station with satellite-receive facilities
  • First live, local helicopter coverage
  • First televised signing of legislation into law by an Illinois governor
  • First live broadcast of a surgery
  • First computerized election returns
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