WLS Radio and Sears Roebuck
What is the connection between the famed Chicago radio station - WLS - and Sears Roebuck?
In 1924, WLS began life as a promotional tool for Sears. In fact, WLS stands for “World’s Largest Store.”
On April 9, 1924, Sears own radio station signed on with 500 watts, with offices on the 11th floor of the Sears 14-story “skyscraper” at Homan and Arthington Street in downtown Chicago.
In 1925, the front pages of the Sears Roebuck catalog promised that, “WLS was conceived in your interests, is operated in your behalf and is dedicated to your service.”
It was a short-lived experiment for Sears. Four years after its creation, WLS was sold to the Prairie Farmer Magazine. The studios were moved to the Prairie Farmer Building (also in downtown Chicago). In 1960, WLS was sold to the American Broadcasting Company (ABC).
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