|Headquarters||Wausau, Wisconsin, U.S.|
|Key people||Duke Wright, CEO & President|
||This article may contain promotional material and other spam. (December 2013)|
Midwest Communications, Inc. consists of Midwest Communications, Inc. and WRIG, Inc., which collectively own seventy-two (72) radio stations. The Company got its start in Wausau, Wisconsin, with WRIG, Inc. and the acquisition by the D.E. Wright family of a 1400 kHz, 250 watt AM facility from the Wisconsin Valley Television Corporation. The call letters WRIG (for Wright) were assigned and on August 1, 1958, top forty-formatted WRIG signed on the air. Power was increased to 1,000 watts in 1961 and WRIG-FM (now WDEZ) signed on in 1964. Midwest built WROE in Appleton/Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1971. In 1975 Midwest purchased WBAY-AM and WBAY-FM, Green Bay, Wisconsin. Due to FCC rules at that time, WROE was sold. The Green Bay call letters were changed to WGEE-AM (now WTAQ-AM) and WIXX-FM. The 1980s saw the acquisition by Midwest of KIOA & KMGK, Des Moines, Iowa, WKKQ (now WNMT) & WTBX, Hibbing, Minnesota and KLMS & KFMQ, Lincoln, Nebraska. In addition WRIG moved to 1390 kHz and increased power to 5000 watts day and night.
The 1990s brought radical changes in FCC ownership rules, and Midwest took advantage of the changes by consolidating in the Green Bay-Appleton/Oshkosh and Wausau-Stevens Point markets. The consolidation brought about the sale of the Des Moines, Lincoln and Hibbing stations and the acquisitions of WROE, WOZZ, WLTM (now WGEE-FM), WNCY and WNFL in Green Bay-Appleton/Oshkosh and WSAU, WSAU-FM, WIFC, WOFM and WIZD in Wausau-Stevens Point. In addition four stations WTVB, WNWN AM, WNWN-FM and WFAT were acquired in the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Michigan market.
With the beginning of the new millennium, Midwest continued its expansion program with the acquisition of WHBL, WWJR (now WHBZ) and WBFM IN Sheboygan, Wisconsin and WHTC & WYVN in Holland, Michigan. It also bought the Duluth, Minnesota/Superior, Wisconsin market stations; KDAL, KDAL-FM, KHQG, WDSM, KTCO and WGEE.
On June 30, 2004, Midwest Communications, Inc. acquired an additional six (6) stations in the Hibbing Minnesota market, WNMT, WMFG (AM), WMFG-FM, KMFG, WTBX and WUSZ, which operate in concert with the six (6) stations already owned in the Duluth, Minnesota market.
On June 14, 2005 Midwest Communications, Inc. acquired WMGI and WWSY (now WDKE) in Terre Haute, Indiana and on December 16, 2005 added WACF and WPRS licensed to Paris, IL to the Terre Haute Indiana market.
On January 6, 2006 Midwest Communications, Inc. expanded in the Sheboygan Wisconsin market with the addition of WXER.
On July 1, 2010 Duke Wright's Midwest Communications closed on its acquisition of a four-station cluster in the Lansing-East Lansing MI market, serving the capital city of the state of Michigan. The seller was Rubber City Radio Group. The stations include WJXQ, WVIC, WQTX, and WJZL. The price was $4.1M.
On September 18, 2012, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reported that Radio Fargo-Moorhead, Inc. had announced on its website, a deal to sell all the stations in the cluster to Midwest Communications. Purchase price amounts were not given at first but later disclosed to be 25 million dollars. The FCC approved the sale on 1 May, 2013. This station group consists of: KVOX (AM) "The Fan", KFGO (AM) "790 KFGO", WDAY-FM "Y94", KVOX "Froggy 99.9", KRWK-FM "Rock 102", and KMJO-FM "Mix 104.7". All are in Fargo, North Dakota.
On November 1, 2012, Midwest Communications also closed on the purchase of seven Backyard Broadcasting stations in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota market, at a price of $13.35 million. Those stations were KELO, KELO-FM, KRRO, KSQB-FM, KTWB, KWSN, and KXQL.
Midwest Communications, Inc. and its affiliate WRIG, Inc. continue to be owned by the D.E. Wright family and today employ over 500 people throughout the forty-six (46) station group.
It was announced on May 28th, 2014, that Midwest Communications will purchase 9 of the 10 Stations owned by South Central Communications. With this purchase, Midwest Communications will expand its portfolio of stations to Evansville, Knoxville and Nashville. The sale of these stations was finalized on September 1st, 2014.
New Green Bay Offices & Studios
On July 18, 2006, Midwest Communications broke ground on their new, $4.725 Million facility in the Green Bay, Wisconsin suburb of Bellevue. The facility is located on the WNFL tower site on Bellevue Street. The five Green Bay-based stations and two Appleton-based Midwest Communications stations moved into the new facility in the Summer of 2007.
Midwest Communications should not be confused with the these similarly named companies:
- Midwest Radio and Television, former owners of WCCO-AM and WCCO-FM radio and WCCO television in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota, plus WFRV-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin and WJMN-TV in Escanaba, Michigan; all stations were later sold to CBS
- Mid-West Family Broadcasting, an independently owned broadcasting company based in Madison, Wisconsin