In 1973, WLS had experienced a slight
decline in the ratings. Program director Mike McCormick, who had overseen
WLS through the Rock of Chicago period, had left for Indianapolis and Tommy
Edwards, WLS production director, was made the interim WLS program director
in May 1973, and was promoted to program director on June 12, 1973.
During the summer of 1973,
on a visit to New York, Tommy was in a meeting with WABC program director
Rick Sklar. During the discussion Tommy Edwards told Sklar how mush he
liked the name Musicradio. As they talked about it, Rick Sklar said the
name says what the radio station. is. While the Rock of Chicago was a great
name, it wasn't all that WLS was. WLS was a pop station that played rock
and a lot of other music as well. It was decided then and there that WLS
would become Musicradio WLS.
Tommy Edwards called Charlie Van Dyke, who
was the morning host at WLS at the time and told him, starting tomorrow,
every time you say WLS, say Musicradio WLS. He was also instructed not
to play any of the Rock of Chicago jingles. A couple of PAMS WLS 1971 custom
cuts were put back on the air temporarily.
Shortly thereafter, Tommy flew to Dallas
and cut the first Musicradio WLS jingles.
The on-air lineup at Musicradio WLS was...
Charlie Van Dyke
6 - 10 am
10 - 2 pm
2 - 6 pm
6 - 10 pm
10 - 2 am
2 - 6 am
Shortly thereafter Charlie Van Dyke would
leave WLS, Fred Winston moved to mornings, Bob Sirott to afternoons, and
Steve King would join for late evening.
Jim Smith also joined WLS as music director.
During this period, WLS started the long
running promotion... "What's Your Favorite Radio Station - - say WLS and
The WLS touchtones sounds were first created
by Tommy Edwards in 1973, using the electronic telephone beeps of hitting
the numbers 8-5-2-0-5
In January, 1974, Tommy stepped down as
program director in order to return to the air. He was replaced as
pd by John Gehron. Tommy spent many years in middays and afternoons.