Today’s featured photo of the day! The feature is: Radio

Here it is . . . The final segment. For the month of November, I have been featuring radio transmitters and antennae. Here is today’s final featured photos commemorating the industry of radio’s 100th anniversary of invention. Here is a past and present photo of the Sears (Willis) Tower taken in 1981 then in 2019. What a difference time made. The Sears Tower was built starting in 1969. It went through a series of changes and plans for a new 3-D sky-deck started in the year 2000. The Sears Tower implemented a complete overhaul of the television transmission phase conducted as per new 2008 mandate by the FCC to go completely digital and upgrades to at least Standard Definition (SD) by every television station in the Chicago metro area as mandated in the phase of those days, and in the process made certain lucrative changes to radio, making the Sears Tower a great asset to most broadcasters in the area. The Sears Tower changed its name in 2010 by its holding corporation the Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company, a British-American global multinational risk management and insurance brokerage and advisory company. The Willis Tower was sold again to the The Blackstone Group in 2015, but held the “Willis” name. The Willis Tower has current scenic information on their antennae online. To this day, the Willis Tower has the best location and equipment to transmit multiple VHF signals in the whole Chicago marketplace. I like to support not for profit ventures, so I recommend reading the following great website for tips on great radio reception: North Country Public Radio: ARTICLE = Good FM reception tips from Radio Bob, and if you can, please leave a donation. In the exact present, the Willis Tower’s Sky-deck is closed until further notice pending Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigations as per Illinois Governor Pritzker’s executive orders.

Radio is taking a serious blow from COVID-19 restrictions. Right before the crisis landed, this year already started off with two radio station closures in the Chicago area. When a station turns in the license to the FCC, it means that the station is worthless, which is a growing trend these days, especially for lower powered AM stations. The radio industry is suffering the largest change in the history of it’s existence. Sirius-XM still continues to offer so many stations that, despite monthly price increases, still has a major pull of ratings. And to make matters worse, internet companies like Google’s YouTube, Spotify and other apps are able to be streamed into a lot of newer cars right in a USB port, which powers the phone enough to have it not lose too much power, while a stream, yet needing a subscription to port into without using too much cellular memory up from a monthly plan. Also, stay-at-home orders from the government and work-at-home orders from jobs have made commuting an all time low, and the place where radio has been known to be for everyone is at the workplace and while commuting. Even while people work at home, people opt to keep television on over the radio counterpart. Radio contests are not new, and I have seen movie skits, television shows and writings all over featuring radio contests and the like. I have been contesting for years (since the late 80’s) and I won a contest in the summer of 2020 from a major radio station and the prize was to have my name read on the air, so I know this present environment that radio is experiencing is very seriously troubled.. Therefore competition isn’t always another station, which makes the Nielsen ratings way more worthless, as they don’t measure the anti-radio competition. The Neilsens have for years measured the capacity and popularity of radio and help assist the radio marketplace with a means and way to measure the capability of a station to market and advertise, and a way to formulate advertising rates for stations. The National Nielsen ratings have a city-by-city list and the Chicago Nielsen ratings are just one link away from showing the latest ratings of all stations. The area’s latest number ones have been WVON FM and the longest running AM & FM number one being WBBM. Every Christmastime, WLIT FM changes it’s format and goes number one for several years with an all-Christmas format.

This is the biggest and most trying time for radio. It costs a lot to broadcast with a vast array of expenses for a station to make it. If you want to keep radio on the air, I really suggest going to the following website to connect with fellow radio buffs like myself: We Are Broadcasters. They are on radio and television’s side to keep Congress informed that there are a following of constituents who want radio to stay on the air at no cost to the consumer. I really loved bringing you facts in respect of honoring radio’s 100th anniversary of invention. I am hoping that radio can continue for the next generation and beyond . . .

Photo # 1 – Photo of Sears Tower and Downtown from the Observatory at John Hancock Center taken with a Nikon FE camera through a Nikon 26 mm lens, filter=Polarizer, Aperture=16 f/stop, shutter-speed 1/500 second, loaded with Konica Color Slide Film ISO (ASA) 100 (fine grain) processed with E-6 using Kodak Ektachrome Chemicals. Enlargement processed Type R color positive paper and R-3000 chemistry onto 3½x5″ glossy negative color image enlargement paper. Date – July 1981.

Photo # 2 – A more recent photo of the Willis Tower and Downtown from the park accross from the UIC Campus off Roosevelt Road west of Interstate 90-94. Photo taken with a Samsung Galaxy A20 with the factory Dual Pixel 12MP OIS F1.7 lens and 1.4µm pixels with vDIS=ON. Date – November 2019.

I am featuring a Christmas theme for Featured Photo in the month of December! See you very soon!!

Anniversary of Radio Post: Celebrating The 100th Anniversary of Radio


© 2020 Versatileer

8 thoughts on “Featured Photo: Celebrating Radio’s 100th Anniversary: The Present Days – The Sears Tower in 1981 & Willis Tower in 2019

  1. I’ve always wanted to see Chicago. The photos are beautiful. I am so sad to learn that radio has taken a big hit from the virus. The lower powered Am stations….the equivalent of Mom & Pop stores…how awful!

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