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Field Enterprises—owned by heirs of the Marshall Field's department store chain, and publishers of the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Daily News—was the station's majority partner (with a 50% interest) and was responsible for managing WFLD's day-to-day operations; they were led by veteran broadcasting executive Sterling C. Channel 32 was christened the "Station of Tomorrow" by an April 1966 Sun-Times article because of its innovative technical developments in broadcasting its signal.It also broadcast news programming from the Sun-Times/Daily News newsroom.Channel 32 strengthened its syndicated programming slate in 1979, when it acquired the local syndication rights to M*A*S*H, All in the Family, Happy Days and What's Happening!! The station also acquired the rights to I Love Lucy that year, and later added Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, The Six Million Dollar Man, Wonder Woman and Star Trek in 1982.WFLD began to beat WGN-TV in ratings as a result of its stronger programming acquisitions, and the two stations continued to go head-to-head throughout the 1980s.WFLD scored no big ticket program acquisitions in 1980 or 1981; however, in 1982, the station won the local syndication rights to popular series such as Three's Company, Taxi and Mork and Mindy.In 1982, Field Enterprises began a gradual sale of its five television stations on an individual basis—a process which continued into the following year—due to disagreements between brothers Marshall Field V and Frederick "Ted" Field on how to operate the company, which strained their working relationship.

The second version premiered on June 16, 1979, with Rich Koz as "Son of Svengoolie", and ran on channel 32 until January 25, 1986.To counterprogram against its more established VHF rivals, channel 32 offered older cartoons, older off-network sitcoms, documentaries, drama series, westerns and live sporting events; although, it easily trailed its biggest competitor, WGN-TV (channel 9, formerly a CW affiliate, now again as an independent station), in the ratings among Chicago's independent stations. Beginning in 1978, WFLD signed on daily before a.m.In 1975, WFLD acquired the local syndication rights to The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family; two years later in 1977, the station won the rights to a stronger slate of cartoons such as Woody Woodpecker and Tom and Jerry.Metromedia was ripe to compete against WGN, based on the group's success in competing against WPIX in the New York City market.In Chicago, Metromedia was given the right of first refusal to purchase WFLD.

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