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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.The station first signed on the air on January 4, 1966, as an independent station.WFLD was founded by a joint venture of the parties that each competed individually for the license and construction permit to operate on UHF channel 32.As a condition, Metromedia was forced by the FCC to divest radio station WMET (95.5 FM, now WEBG), which it sold to Doubleday Broadcasting.WFLD's programming slate changed slightly, but the station's on-air graphics and branding were abruptly changed to reflect the new ownership, with the station adopting "Metromedia 32" as its on-air brand (using a similar branding scheme that was used at new sister station WNEW).
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.
Still, the old Field-era logos were used on-air by accident on some occasions through the summer of 1983.
Metromedia added several first-run syndicated programs that were not previously carried in the Chicago market—as the market had only two commercial independent stations at the time as WSNS-TV (channel 44, now a Telemundo owned-and-operated station) became a full-time affiliate of the ONTV subscription service the previous year—onto the station's schedule, particularly in prime time, like The Merv Griffin Show (which WFLD previously carried a few years prior, but subsequently moved to WSNS where it ran until that station became a full-time ONTV outlet).
When Field began selling its stations, the company sold WFLD to Metromedia again—this time in a successfully completed deal for slightly over 0 million, a record price for a UHF station at the time.
WFLD was the first of the stations that Field Communications sold when it began the liquidation process in September 1982 (with the final station to be sold—WKBD-TV in Detroit in January 1984) completing the deal for WFLD in March 1983.
In addition, most of the prospective companies were concerned that Tribune Broadcasting-owned WGN-TV could eventually overtake WFLD again in the local ratings.