WBBM Newsradio: From The Beginning - 1968 To Now

Jim Gudas
May 07, 2018 - 8:23 am

WBBM Newsradio

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- WBBM Newsradio is celebrating its 50th anniversary of becoming an all news station.  WBBM Newsradio's Jim Gudas takes a look back at the history of the station and the history of news since 1968.

In 1968, WBBM Newsradio was born, becoming an all news station. In that same year, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. were assassinated; the Vietnam War was happening; the Democratic National Convention in Chicago...

The stories have changed over the years, so does the way WBBM Newsradio delivers them - FM, the web, social media - but one thing remains as true in 1968, as it does today, WBBM Newsradio is an all news station.


A lot has changed over the past 50 years at the station. WBBM Newsradio's Political Editor Bob Crawford talks about the early struggles.

"We did not have all the sophisticated resources that we have now," he said.

Today we get news from around the world in seconds, and news across the area of Chicago from a team of reporters armed with the latest digital technology. And today that means delivering the news "anytime, anywhere" on the web, social media and smart speakers.

But from day one, WBBM Newsradio's mission of "All News. All Day. All Night." has never changed. 

Though Crawford remembers how in 1968, "All News, All the Time" was not all that easy.

"The format was so new and we did not have all of the staff yet that we needed," he said.

And as for the news, "in those days, the challenge was to fill the time."

Today there is no shortage of news or people.

A web desk was unimaginable in 1968, but is now a way WBBM Newsradio delivers the news "anytime, anywhere."

It is how WBBM Newsradio has changed over 50 years...and has become so much more.

From the very beginning of WBBM Newsradio, it has covered the world.

CBS is in WBBM Newsradio's DNA and it is what started WBBM Newsradio.

WBBM Newsradio

In addition to hourly newscasts, frequent updates, and special reports, every weekday at 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., there is a CBS World News Roundup, with a legendary list of anchors. And just as it did in 1968, WBBM Newsradio starts every hour giving you the world. 

In 1968, WBBM Newsradio revolutionized how people got information. You did not have to wait for the next edition of a newspaper or occasional newscasts on other stations to get the latest breaking news as it happened. 

WBBM Newsradio

Today WBBM Newsradio makes it even easier to get the news "anytime, anywhere." In 1968, it was the radio. Today, you can sign up for news updates and breaking news alerts through email, plus reach WBBM Newsradio on the web, social media, cell phones and smart speakers.

WBBM Newsradio has always been, and now more than ever, "in touch with Chicago."

WBBM Newsradio 50th Anniversary: 50 Newsmakers Making A DifferenceWBBM Newsradio: From The Beginning | 5 Decades of Sports | 50 Years Of WBBM Sports Reporters | 50 Years of Photos