30 years ago tonight, on April 24, 1984, Chicago Tonight went on the air for the very first time.
The host was someone who later became my friend and mentor, the late John Callaway. The first guest was none other than Mayor Harold Washington.
Those of you who were around will remember that this was the time of “Council Wars” and the “Vrdolyak 29” when Chicago’s internal political strife made the city “Beirut-on-the-lake.” Chicago was hungry for context and analysis of what was unfolding in the city council. That’s how the idea for Chicago Tonight germinated.
Since then Chicago Tonight has aired 7,800 shows.
We have many people to thank for this record, a diverse group of people whose support has been crucial. But it’s you, the viewer, to whom we are most grateful. If you didn’t watch, care about and support this program, too, we would have no reason for being. And for that, all of us at Chicago Tonight extend to you our heartfelt thanks!