City of license Chicago, Illinois
Broadcast Greater Chicago
Branding Newsradio 780 and 105.9 FM
Slogan All news. All day. All night.
Frequency 780 kHz (also on HD Radio)
105.9-2 FM (WCFS-2)
First air date 1911 (amateur station)
1923 (licensed)
Format All News
Power 50,000 Watts
Class A (clear channel)
Callsign meaning World's Best Battery Maker (referring to Mallory Battery Company)
We Broadcast Better Music (from a past slogan)
World's Best Broadcast Medium
Owner CBS Radio
(CBS Radio East, Inc.)
Webcast Listen Live to Newsradio 780
Website WBBM 780's Website

WBBM, also known on-air as "Newsradio 780", is an all-news CBS radio station in Chicago, Illinois broadcasting on the AM dial @ 780 kHz. It's owned by CBS along with WBBM-TV.

The station traces it's history to 1911, when Leslie & Ralph Atlass, owners of the Mallory Battery Company of Lincoln, Illinois began an amateur spark station. In 1923, it received a commercial license & was assigned the frequency of 1300 kHz. It also received it's current call letters, which stand for World's Best Battery Maker. In later years, an alternate meaning, "We Broadcast Better Music", was created.

The Atlasses sold their battery company in 1924 to devote their full attention to WBBM & moved to Chicago that same year. It became a charter CBS affiliate in 1928. The new network liked what it saw in the station & bought a controlling interest in 1929. Leslie Atlass remained station manager with a 33% interest. CBS bought the remaining stock in 1933. As part of the deal, Atlass became vice president of CBS' Central Division while remaining station manager of WBBM - positions he continued to hold until his retirement in 1959. A series of power increases over the years culminated in it's current power of 50,000 watts in 1935, allowing the station to cover much of North America after dark. It had studios @ various locations in Chicago until 1956. In 1956-2006, it operated from a converted arena on North McClurg Court & in 2006 it moved to Two Prudential Plaza.

The station has been all-news since 1968. Prior to it's current incarnation, the station had a MOR/Personality-based format. The station has been the flagship station of the Chicago Bears since 2000 & in it's history has also aired Chicago White Sox & Chicago Blackhawks games.

780 is also known for a couple of trademarks. Typically before a commercial break the current on-air personality will claim, “WBBM news time…(current time of day)" (as is standard procedure with every other all-news stations, O&O by CBS). Also after any sort of sports update the on-air personality will also proudly claim, “you're listening to the home of the Bears.”

Programming Edit

As all other CBS-owned all-news stations (except 1010 WINS and KNX 1070), WBBM updates traffic and weather together on the 8's, sports at :15 and :45, business at :25 and :55. However, it also carries all the games of Chicago bears, and when it is broadcasting so, the station will runs recorded message to overseas listeners something like "We are carrying a Bears game... Check back soon for news, traffic, weather."

Anchors Edit

Timeslot News Traffic Sports
Morning Drive Felicia Middlebrooks and Pat Cassidy Bart Shore Josh Liss
Midday John Hultman
Afternoon Drive Keith Johnson and Kris Kridel Mike Pries
Evening Jackie Swike and Dave Marshett Paula Fagan
Overnight Steven Haas
Weekend Overnight Jeanette Hudson

Former Edit

  • Dave Juday - Sunday night/fill-in sports reporter (3/2015 - 5/2015)
  • Sherman Kaplan - midday news anchor (2/1969 - 22/9/2015)

External linksEdit

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