Ward Quaal was a broadcasting pioneer who transitioned from radio to television at the advent of the medium and became president of WGN, Chicago. He died on September 24, at the age of 91.
Ward Quaal was interviewed for three hours in Chicago, IL. Quaal described his lifelong association with Chicago television station WGN, where he began as an announcer and worked his way up to station manager and later president of the WGN Continental Broadcasting Company. Quaal described the programming on WGN through the years as well as the evolution of television technology. He outlined WGN’s conversion to a “superstation” and the station’s subsequent financial success. He spoke about working closely with government agencies in matters regarding the broadcast industry (allocation of stations, the Fairness Doctrine, etc.) as well as the government’s role in regulating the industry. Quaal passionately advocated the need for local stations to provide their communities with relevant programming. He also talked about writing the textbook Broadcast Management, and its usefulness to aspiring station managers. The interview was conducted by Karen Herman on October 12, 2004.