|City of license||Clinton, Illinois|
|Slogan||"America's Best Music"|
|First air date||December 15, 1975|
|HAAT||94 meters (308 feet)|
|Former callsigns||WHOW-FM (1979-2008)|
|Owner||Miller Media Group
(Kaskaskia Broadcasting, Inc.)
WEZC (95.9 FM) is a radio station licensed to serve Clinton, Illinois, USA. The station, established in 1975 as WHOW-FM, is currently owned the Miller Media Group and the broadcast license is held by Kaskaskia Broadcasting, Inc.
This station began broadcasting as WHOW-FM at 95.9 MHz with 3,000 watts of effective radiated power and licensed to Cornbelt Broadcasting Company. WHOW-FM and its AM sister station broadcast from an office building at their shared tower site, four miles (6 km) south of Clinton, built to resemble a "big red barn".
In 2002, both WHOW-AM and WHOW-FM shut down due to complaints from the FCC about the two stations' main signal tower.
After nearly a quarter-century of ownership by the Livesay family, Cornbelt Broadcasting Company (James R. Livesay II, president) reached an agreement in December 2003 to transfer the broadcast license for this station to WHOW Radio, LLC (William E. Brady, manager/member) along with AM sister station WHOW for a reported combined sale price of $300,000. The deal was approved by the FCC on January 26, 2004, and the transaction was consummated on February 9, 2004. At the time of the sale, both stations were "dark" for reported financial reasons. In September 2004, WHOW-FM adopted a sports radio format while the AM station focused on news and talk programming.
An ice storm, part of the Early Winter 2006 North American Storm Complex, struck the Central Illinois region on November 30, 2006. On December 1, the broadcast tower shared by WHOW-FM and its AM counterpart collapsed under the weight of the accumulated ice. The AM station was able to return to the air at reduced power a few days later using a longwire antenna while WHOW-FM resumed broadcasting from a makeshift 60-foot (18 m) tower on December 8. The station received special temporary authority from the FCC in January 2007 to operate in this manner until a new, permanent tower could be constructed.
The extensive damage and the station combo's struggling finances led the WHOW Radio, LLC, partners, led by Illinois state senator Bill Brady, to sell the station to local media group owner Randy Miller. In October 2007, WHOW Radio, LLC, announced an agreement to sell WHOW-FM to Kaskaskia Broadcasting, Inc. (Randy Miller, president) as part of a two-station deal along with AM sister station WHOW for a reported $400,000. Kaskaskia Broadcasting, Inc., is part of the Miller Media Group. The deal was approved by the FCC on December 7, 2007, and the transaction was consummated on January 4, 2008. At the time of the sale, WHOW-FM broadcast a sports radio format branded as "ESPN Radio 95.9".
WHOW-FM, still broadcasting from a temporary tower while the new tower was being erected, received an extension of its special temporary authorization on January 17, 2008. Both the AM and FM stations returned to full power operation on February 25, 2008.
The station was assigned the current WEZC call letters (which stands for the "easy hits" music the station plays, and "C" for Clinton) by the Federal Communications Commission on December 26, 2008. The new callsign was chosen to reflect the station's current "easy hits" branded adult standards music format.
WHOW-AM now simulcasts on FM at 92.3.
- "Call Sign History". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database.
- "Station Information Profile". Arbitron.
- "Directory of Radio Stations in the United States and Canada". Broadcasting Yearbook 1979. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1979. p. C-65.
- "WHOW-AM plans party to celebrate 60 years". Herald & Review. April 25, 2008. p. D7.
- "WHOW celebrates 60 years". Bloomington Pantagraph. April 24, 2008. "In 1972 they moved to what is known as the "big red barn," about four miles south of Clinton."
- "Changing Hands - 2004-01-26". Broadcasting & Cable. January 25, 2004.
- "Application Search Details (BAL-20031204AEM)". FCC Media Bureau. February 9, 2004.
- Cain, Tim (September 8, 2004). "WHOW focuses programming for each station; AM side newstalk while FM switches to sports". Herald & Review.
- Frazier, Mike (December 9, 2006). "Eight days and counting: Ameren says most power should be fixed today, but those still waiting feel frustration". Herald & Review. "WHOW radio stations at the edge of Clinton have AM programming back on the air at reduced power, and FM was expected to be restored Friday."
- "Making Moves: Friday Afternoon". Radio-Info.com. February 22, 2008. "In Clinton, Illinois, WHOW-FM (95.9) is back at full power after an ice storm toppled their 325-foot antenna 14 months ago."
- "WHOW Tower after Ice Storm - December 2, 2006". Retrieved March 22, 2009.
- Doll, Bob. "Radio Resurrection on the Prairie" (PDF). Small Market Radio Newsletter. p. 8.
- "Application Search Details (BSTA-20070110ACI)". FCC Media Bureau. January 18, 2007.
- "Deals - 2007-11-17". Broadcasting & Cable. November 18, 2007.
- "Application Search Details (BAL-20071025ABE)". FCC Media Bureau. January 4, 2008.
- "Application Search Details (BESTA-20070725AJY)". FCC Media Bureau. January 17, 2008.
- "The Buzz". Herald & Review (Decatur, IL: Lee Enterprises). December 26, 2008. p. D1. "Beginning today, after more than 30 years as WHOW-FM, Clinton’s 95.9 radio station is getting a call letter change. The station is now known as WEZC, to reflect the station’s easy hits format, and to give the station its own identity. It operates in the same building with sister station WHOW-AM 1520."