How to sum up a 43-year partnership? Max Armstrong took to the airwaves this fall to toast his friend and partner, Orion Samuelson. Orion will retire from 60 years at WGN Radio at the end of this month, marking 68 years as a farm broadcaster.
It all started in the autumn of 1960, on the same day as the presidential debate between Richard Nixon and John Kennedy. His first remote was from the M&W Power Show in central Illinois, “the first of many remote broadcasts in the sterling career of Orion Samuelson,” Armstrong describes.
Samuelson reached across the country from WGN Radio and later TV, on a station that was one of the most listened-to radio stations in the entire country.
“It provided a superb place for Orion to talk about agriculture,” Armstrong reflects.
“All along the way, he has been a champion for the American farmer,” he says, adding of Orion’s 50,000-watt broadcasts to the Chicago area and beyond: “He was an agvocate before it became fashionable.”