Maybe Scott can unravel this FCC move from long ago
Sun Feb 3 12:28:59 EST 2008
One fallout from this remains to this day and it concerns the
popularity of the Chicagoland baseball teams.
Unlike New York where the teams were on separate channels the Cubs and
White Sox shared WGN until 1966. Then the Cubs decided to air road
games which knocked the White Sox off channel 9. The White Sox were
forced in 1967 to move to WFLD channel 32 which was a disaster.
Channel 32 built their transmitter on top of Marina City and at first
had a decent signal. However by 1967 a mile away to the northeast from
Marina City rose the steelwork for the John Hancock Center. This
caused the Channel 32 picture to be unwatchable to the southwest
because of ghosting and that is where the White Sox fans lived. The
White Sox continued on UHF moving to channel 44 but the Cubs took over
the market being on channel 9. The White Sox compounded the problem by
going to a pay service on UHF in 1982 which was a total flop and
caused beloved White Sox announcer Harry Caray to move 8 miles north.
The White Sox lost a generation of fans and even winning the World
Series in 2005 still has not helped them regain market share.
To make things worse the Tribune who owned Channel 9 bought the Cubs
in 1981 for the sole reason to provide programming for WGN and channel
9. The newspaper does not cover the teams equally.
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