A Chicago broadcast pioneer, Gene Cartwright was one of the first television engineers hired in 1948 by NBC in Chicago. In fact, his entire technical career is a string of “firsts.” After the war years as a radio announcer in the military, Cartwright helped build the Chicago television studios for NBC Station WNBQ. He was a crewmember at the very birth of the “Chicago School” working on live network shows originating from Channel 5 in Chicago. These shows included Kukla, Fran, and Ollie and Hawkins Falls.
In the 1956, Gene helped originate the first color broadcast from Channel 5 when it became the first all-color television station in the country. Additionally, he was also involved in a number of firsts for network coverage, including the 1969 launch of the Apollo 16 mission when men first walked on the moon.
At a time when many still doubted the effectiveness and quality of mobile video tape production, Gene helped blaze the trail. Video production greatly altered film coverage of the news and programming with the advent of the VITMU (Video Tape Mobile Unit) and Gene was involved. In 1975, he was recognized for Listen to the Land – Channel 5’s first all video, prime time special-for which he won a rarely awarded Chicago Emmy® Award for technical excellence. He moved into broadcast management at WMAQ, rising to Director of Engineering and Technical Operations, and eventually transferred to NBC in Burbank, where he oversaw all technical aspects of one of the largest news operations in the country. After more than four decades with NBC, Gene retired in 1990. His attitude and achievements are summed up best by his favorite quote, “I never woke up dreading to go to work. It was a joy and a privilege.”
Bio from Induction Year Program Book
Walter David Jacobson (born July 28, 1937) is a former Chicago television news personality and a current Chicago radio news personality. He currently provides opinion segments for WGN Radio AM 720. From 2010 until 2013, he was an anchor of the 6 p.m. news on WBBM-TV in Chicago, where he also had worked from 1973 until 1993. From 1993 until 2006, he was principal anchor on WFLD-TV's FOX News at 9 and the host of FOX Chicago Perspective, a one-hour news and political show that aired Sunday mornings on WFLD.
When Jorie Lueloff joined WMAQ-TV in 1966, as Chicago’s first female news anchor, she didn’t receive a warm welcome from everyone in the community.
Former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Dailey would giggle when she asked him questions during press conferences.
“No one wanted women to do anything more than type, and it was discouraging,” Lueloff says.
In 1964, the Milwaukee native had landed her first news job writing for the Associated Press in New York.
She remained with the Associated Press for little more than a year, then went to work for NBC in Chicago. Lueloff describes her job there as a “noble experiment” to determine whether the public would accept a woman reporting hard news.
“Young women these days don’t know how far we have come in such a short time,” Lueloff says. “It is important to know how medieval it was.” Lueloff went on to win a Chicago/Midwest Emmy® for her investigative reporting series on a thyroid treatment that caused cancer in patients.
She also had her own column in the Chicago Sun-Times and testified in Congress about credit card rights for women.
Harry William Porterfield was born on August 29, 1928 in Saginaw, Michigan to Viola and Harry, Sr. After moving to Chicago, Illinois in 1964, he has gone on to become one of Chicago's best-loved media personalities, known for his series, Someone You Should Know.
Porterfield graduated from Saginaw's Arthur Hill High School in 1946 and then received an A.S. from Bay City Junior College in Bay City, Michigan. Although he enrolled in the University of Michigan, his studies were interrupted after just one year. In 1951, Porterfield was drafted by the Army. He served less than two years in Germany and attained the rank of Sergeant. In 1954, he earned a B.S. in chemistry from Eastern Michigan University at Ypsilanti.
Porterfield began his broadcasting career in 1955 when he joined Saginaw's radio station WKNX as a jazz disc jockey. He worked as a continuity editor, as well as a cameraman and stagehand at WKNX-TV. In 1964, Porterfield became a news writer at Chicago CBS affiliate WBBM-TV Channel 2. Eventually, he co-anchored the WBBM-TV news and created the Emmy® Award-winning shows Channel Two: The People and Two on Two. Someone You Should Know, his most popular series, aired in 1977 for the first time.
In 1985, Porterfield left WBBM and became a reporter for WLS-TV Channel 7, an ABC affiliate station in Chicago. He continues to produce the profile series Someone You Should Know. Porterfield has won numerous awards over the course of his television career, including 10 Chicago/Midwest Emmy® Awards, the Columbia DuPont Journalism Award, the Studs Terkel Award and the Operation PUSH Media Fairness Award. He is a member of the Jazz Institute of Chicago and plays violin in the Chicago Bar Association Orchestra-he earned a J.D. in 1993 from DePaul University School of Law.
From Historymakers.com: https://www.thehistorymakers.org/biography/harry-porterfield-39
Harry Volkman, veteran Chicago meteorologist and former Glenview resident, died on Aug. 20, 2015. Volkman was known to generations of Chicagoans as the weatherman with a kind heart, sweet smile, soft voice and a gifted boutonniere.
During his 55 years of reporting the weather, the Medford, MA, native worked 45 years in Chicago for WBBM, WMAQ and WGN.
Born Apr. 18, 1926, near Boston, Harry served in World War II as an artillery specialist. At Tufts University in Medford, he focused on math and physics and transferred to Tulsa University in Tulsa, OK, to continue his education in meteorology. He was employed at KOTV-TV in Tulsa then moved on to WKY-TV in Oklahoma City.
After learning about the movement of a tornado in the area from military sources, he informed his boss about the approaching danger. Volkman, in 1952, was the first TV weatherman to issue a live tornado alert.
Working for Chicago TV stations, he became a well-loved celebrity, visiting more than 9,000 area schools teaching children about weather. In 2004, Volkman retired and moved to Itasca.
He was involved in Glenview American Legion Joseph M. Sesterhenn Post 166, Kiwanis Club and had for years sang in the Glenview United Methodist Church choir.
William Crawford Eddy, an engineer who developed television transmission and helped to establish Chicago's first television station, died on September 15, 1989.
Mr. Eddy met Philo Farnsworth in 1936 in Philadelphia while Mr. Farnsworth, the electronics pioneer, was beginning experiments in the transmission of television pictures.
In a two-year period, the Farnsworth team, including Mr. Eddy, developed what is known as the sawtooth scanning television transmission.
Mr. Eddy later went to work for RCA, creating special effects and lighting for early telecasting. In 1941 he helped set up the Chicago station WBKB-TV, handling all aspects of the business.
A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Mr. Eddy returned to duty in World War II. A captain, he commanded a radio and radar school in Chicago.
From the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/1989/09/20/obituaries/william-eddy-87-a-developer-of-tv-dies.html