Did WLS Really Get the First S-Band Doppler?

By Kevin Eck 

Last week, TVSpy wrote a story that Chicago ABC-owned station WLS got the “first of its kind S-Band radar in the country.”

Spurred on by an item we saw somewhere else saying WLS’ claim may be dubious since Tribune-owned WHO already has S-Band, we checked it out.

In its press release, WLS said “ABC 7 has been granted the first dual pole, S-Band Doppler radar license in the country. Prior to ABC 7’s radar installation, the S-Band frequency was only available to the National Weather Service and the military.”

Tribune told TVSpy its Des Moines station has been using S-Band for four years. The twist is that WHO’s S-Band radar is single pole. WLS has a dual pole. But WHO was the first outside of the military and the NWS to use S-Band.

“We were referring to the Dual-Pole S-band radar that was mentioned in the headline and throughout the release,” WLS told TVSpy. “We apologize for any confusion.”

Tribune added that “dual pole is simply two separate single poles “connected.”