From the archives: The Christmas Newscast

WGN Archives

A nativity scene is displayed in Daley Plaza next to the Christkindlmarket German Christmas festival November 28, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

What if modern newsgathering techniques were available over 2000 years ago? This classic recording offers one possibility of how radio coverage of the first Christmas might have sounded. It has become one of WGN Radio’s holiday traditions, played on the air or online for decades.

The Christmas Newscast was originally produced in 1969, the creation of newswriter Jim Disch and host Dick Lashbrook. Disch was just beginning what would be a 30-plus year career with Tribune Company. The recording heard here is a slightly revised version produced in 1976. Among the voices on the segment are Carl Greyson, Jim Loughman, Orion Samuelson, Max Armstrong, and Floyd Brown. According to Disch, “I wrote and produced it because I thought it would be a meaningful Christmas message which would work best on radio, a medium that can capitalize on the listener’s imagination. The response from listeners (calls and letters) the first time it aired was more than I ever expected.”

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