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There were two versions of the showcase: the original incarnation of the series began on the station on September 18, 1970, under the title Screaming Yellow Theatre, with local disc jockey Jerry G.Bishop doing scary voices and later wearing a long blond wig while portraying the character.
In May 1985, Metromedia reached an agreement to sell WFLD-TV and its five sister independent stations—WNEW-TV (now WNYW) in New York City, KTTV in Los Angeles, WTTG in Washington, D.
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.
Incidentally, the year prior in 1981, the Field brothers sought a prospective buyer for WFLD in the event that the company would be put up for sale.
While WFLD was the leading independent station in Chicago at the time, most of the companies that were interested in buying WFLD were only willing to pay about half the amount that Field wanted for the station (at least 0 million, compared to the approximately million that the most expensive UHF stations went for).
At the time, the Field interests were concerned about running afoul of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s recent scrutiny of commonly owned multiple media outlets within the same market.