WGN-TV maintains studio facilities and offices at 2501 West Bradley Place in Chicago's North Center community area (as such, it is the only major commercial television station in Chicago with studio facilities located outside the downtown business district), and its transmitter is located atop the Willis Tower on South Wacker Drive in the Chicago Loop.WGN-TV is also a pioneering superstation, and formerly programmed an alternate feed for cable and satellite subscribers throughout the United States and select areas of Canada.
A historic moment in Chicago television occurred when Sheldon Cooper launched The All-Time Hits, a musical variety show that ran for 13 weeks and featured The Buckinghams; the program was broadcast in color.
During the late 1950s, the station was briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.
Channel 9 then spent much of the next two decades as the top-rated independent in Chicago, offering a variety of general entertainment programs including movies, sports, off-network reruns and children's programs.
For much of its existence, WGN-TV produced a large number of its own programs at its studios.
In 1957, WGN-TV became one of the first television stations in the Chicago market to broadcast live programming in color.
Notable WGN-TV productions during the 1960s through the 1980s included several incarnations of the immensely popular Bozo's Circus, Ray Rayner and His Friends, Garfield Goose and Friends (which was hosted by Frazier Thomas, who also hosted a popular family movie showcase on the station titled Family Classics), The Mulqueens, and the popular children's educational series The Space Explorers.
the television station, however, remains at the Bradley Place facility to this day.
In 1968, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) barred companies from owning newspapers and broadcast outlets in the same market; the FCC granted the Tribune Company permission to grandfather its combination of the Chicago Tribune, WGN-TV and WGN radio through a cross-ownership waiver.
WGN-TV continued with its programming format, competing with WFLD and another UHF independent station, WSNS-TV (channel 44, now a Telemundo owned-and-operated station).