TV Newsmen




Ulmer Turner at the WBKB news desk

Ulmer Turner was WBKB-channel 4's news editor.  Known as Chicago's senior kilocycle columnist, Turner's background included stints at The Chicago Herald & Examiner, Herald American, and Chicago Sun newspapers (predecessors to today's Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times); International News Service; and The Hearst Newspapers.  With its Multiscope system and the resources of The Chicago Sun-Times, WBKB was a growing news source for Chicago television viewers

Those watching that happy face on the right and not familiar with him would certainly wonder how Len O'Connor ever made it in broadcasting.  He mumbled, so he wasn't a radio man.  He had that perpetual scowl on his face, so he wasn't exactly good for TV either.  But Len O'Connor was well respected by his peers and by many Chicago television viewers who grew to appreciate his no-nonsense style, dedication, and the fearlessness to drop names anytime he thought they were newsworthy.  It's amazing he didn't end up in a trunk.  Len O'Connor was featured on WNBQ/WMAQ-TV and WGN-TV.

                                                   Before he became one of the ABC-TV network's top newsmen, Frank Reynolds cuts his teeth at WBBM-TV and later at WBKB Channel 7

The Video Veteran website is dedicated to the pioneer men and women that made Chicago television great.  

CBS may have had Walter but Chicago had Fahey.  Fahey Flynn had been bringing Chicagoans the news since the mid 1950s.  First on WBBM-TV channel 2 teamed with the delightfully witty P.J. Hoff and then as lead anchor of Flynn-Daly News at WLS-TV channel 7 in 1968.

Chicago television in the 1920s through the 1980s

THE MEN OF UHF- Interviews with Chicago broadcast pioneers Edward Morris, Bob Lewandowski, Jerry Rose, and John Weigel.  Also a short history on Chicago broadcast mogul Fred Eychaner.

1968 would be a milestone year for channel 7 in Chicago.  First, WBKB, the city's oldest call letters are retired and replaced by WLS-TV.  Second, Flynn-Daly News premieres.  

PAY TELEVISION IN CHICAGO- We had it in 1951 with Phonevision.  Then again in the early 80s with Telefirst, Sportsvision, Spectrum, and ON-TV.  None were successful.

P.J. Hoff entertained and informed his viewers with his engaging personality and clever cartooning on WBBM-TV for years.

CHICAGO CHILDREN'S TELEVISION-  The home of Bozo, Garfield Goose, Miss Frances, Uncle Ned, Miss Beverly, Andy Starr, Uncle Johnny Coons, Mary Hartline, B.J. & Dirty Dragon, Ray Rayner, Mulqueen's Kiddie A-Go-Go,  and more!

SANDY SPEAKS!-  A candid conversation with Don Sandburg, the man who made Bozo's Circus the success it was

A respected name for many years in Chicago television.  Floyd Kalber moved to Chicago and WNBQ in 1961 to front the NBC station's 10:00 news program.  In 1981 he moved to New York reading news for three years on The Today Show.  He was brought out of retirement in 1984 to lead the 6:00 news program on WLS-TV.  He retired in 1998.  Floyd Kalber passed away on May 13, 2004.

CHICAGO'S LEGENDARY LATE NIGHT HORROR MOVIE HOSTS-  One of the sites most visited sections.  Check out  the stories behind WBKB's Shock Theatre and it's host Marvin.  Laugh again with the ghoulish hipster Svengoolie of WFLD's Screaming Yellow Theater and his "son" Son Of Svengoolie (still on the air today on WCIU channel 26!)

One half of WBBM-TV Channel 2's "Dream Team," Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobsen.  Rounding out the group was veteran weatherman John Coughlan and sports announcer Johnnie Morris.


CALL LETTERS- Government  identification or vanity plates of their day