WLBK

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WLBK
WLBK-AM radio logo.png
City of license DeKalb, Illinois
Broadcast area DeKalb County, Illinois
Branding 1360 WLBK
Slogan "DeKalb County's News and Information Station"
Frequency 1360 kHz
Translator(s) 98.9 W255BN (DeKalb)
First air date December 7, 1947
Format Full service News/Talk
Language(s) English
Power 1,000 watts (day)
24 watts (night)
Class D
Facility ID 16410
Transmitter coordinates 41°56′18″N 88°56′03″W / 41.93833°N 88.93417°W / 41.93833; -88.93417
Affiliations CNN Radio, Yahoo! Sports Radio
Owner DeKalb County Broadcasters, Inc.
Webcast Listen Live
Website 1360wlbk.com

WLBK (1360 FM) is an American radio station licensed to serve the community of DeKalb, Illinois. The station, established in 1947, is owned and operated by DeKalb County Broadcasters, Inc.

The station was assigned the call sign "WLBK" by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).[1]

Programming[edit]

WLBK broadcasts a news/talk radio format to DeKalb County, Illinois, and surrounding communities.[2] Weekday broadcasts as of January 5, 2012, include local news, weather forecasts, and community information, plus agribusiness updates, business news from CNBC, and hourly news reports from CNN Radio. WLBK also airs a tradio program titled Trading Post. Weekday syndicated shows include Dr. Joy Browne, The Dave Ramsey Show, and Yahoo! Sports Radio.[3] Weekend programming as of January 5, 2012, includes repeats of Dr. Joy Browne, Animal Planet, Yahoo! Sports Radio, religious services, plus talk shows about politics, antiques, home improvement, and suicide prevention.[4]

In season, WLBK broadcasts local high school football, the Chicago White Sox (MLB), Chicago Bulls (NBA), and Chicago Bears (NFL). WLBK is the flagship station for Northern Illinois University Huskies football, men's basketball, and women's basketball.

History[edit]

Early days[edit]

In 1946, DeKalb Radio Studios, Inc., applied to the FCC for a construction permit for a new broadcast radio station to operate with 500 watts of power on a frequency of 1360 kilohertz. The new station was assigned call sign "WLBK".[1] After construction and testing were completed, the station was granted its broadcast license on December 7, 1947.[5]

WLBK was originally co-owned by Roland Wallem and T.A. "Ted" Lanes. Wallem served as the new station's business manager and Lanes was both commercial manager and program director. Charles Green was WLBK's original chief engineer.[5] By 1950, Robert C. Brown was both station manager and program director with Donald Whitman as sales manager and Clayton DeWitt as chief engineer.[6]

1950s[edit]

In 1951, George Spitz became president of DeKalb Radio Studios, Inc. Robert C. Brown continued as general manager and added both sports director and farm director duties. Zenophon Beake was the chief engineer, Don Ulery the news director, and Lois Montgomery as women's director.[7] In 1952, Ted Beauchamp took over the program director duties with Robert Senne as chief engineer, Don Ulery as sports director, and Lois Montgomery Still, women's director.[8]

In 1953, George C. Biggar took over as president of DeKalb Radio Studios, Inc. Biggar also took the general manager and farm director roles. Richard Meier moved up to commercial manager, Robert C. Brown remained as program director and added promotions manager duties, with Robert Zirk as chief engineer and Herb Carroll as both news director and sports director.[9] This lineup would remain stable through the 1950s with the additions of Russell Pigott of news director and W. Dean Clayton as chief engineer.[10]

1960s[edit]

Seeking to expand its coverage area and to be able to deliver programming outside its legally mandated daylight-only operation, WLBK applied to the FCC to create an FM sister station to be known as "WLBK-FM". The new station received its broadcast license on December 17, 1961, and simulcast the AM station's programming during the day while originating its own programming at night.[11][12] As the FM band grew more popular, WLBK-FM began originating more of its own programming. By 1970 only 30% of its content was a WLBK simulcast and by 1976 the total was down to 15%.[13][14] The FM station was spun-off with fully independent programming and a new call sign ("WDEK-FM") in 1977. As of 2012, the former WLBK-FM is licensed as WCPY.

Concurrent with the launch of the FM station, WLBK received authorization from the FCC to double its own power output from 500 to 1,000 watts.[15] The 1960s saw other changes for the station. In 1963, Richard M. Hubbell became WLBK's commercial manager and Roger L. Belke took over the chief engineer role.[11]

The biggest change came on August 30, 1965, when Jerome F. Cerny acquired DeKalb Radio Studios, Inc. He also took on the titles of president and general manager. Ralph Sherman became the new station manager while Russell Pigott remained as news director and Robert C. Brown kept his job as program director.[12] This lineup of key players remained steady through the rest of the 1960s.[13]

1970s-1980s[edit]

The station maintained its long-time beautiful music/middle of the road format through the 1970s and 1980s. As a full service station, WLBK also broadcast local news, up to a dozen hours of farm reports each week, plus national news from United Press International.[14] The 1970s also saw Bill Cerny take the reins as station manager while Jerome F. Cerny remained company president and Robert C. Brown shifted to farm director duties.[14]

In 1980, Jerome F. Cerny added chief engineer to his list of duties and resumed his role as the station's general manager. Bill Cerny became both program director and music director while Dick Kliesch was named news director.[16] By 1985, Dianne Leifheit assumed the role of general manager with Jay Burt as news director and Jeff Glass as chief engineer.[17]

1990s-2000s[edit]

1990 saw the end of music programming on WLBK as it shifted to a full service all-news radio format full-time. Mark Charvat joined the station as program director with Geoff Gillette as news director and Jim Casey as chief engineer[18] The news/talk format would persist through the rest of the 1990s.

After more than five decades of continuous ownership, DeKalb Radio Studios, Inc., agreed to sell WLBK to Big City Radio-Chi, LLC, in April 1998. The FCC approved the sale on June 18, 1998, and the transaction was formally consummated on February 25, 1999.[19] This would prove short-lived as in December 1999 Big City Radio-Chi, LLC, (Charles M. Fernandez, president and CEO) applied to transfer WLBK and its broadcast license to WPW Broadcasting, Inc., (David T. Madison, president and CEO). The deal gained FCC approval on February 8, 2000, and formal consummation occurred on April 12, 2000.[20]

2010s[edit]

In September 2010, WPW Broadcasting, Inc., (Don Davis, president) contracted to sell WLBK to DeKalb County Broadcasters, Inc., (Larry Nelson, president) for $575,000. The deal was approved by the FCC on November 10, 2010, and the transaction was formally consummated on December 24, 2010.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access Database. Federal Communications Commission Media Bureau. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Program Guide - Weekdays". WLBK 1360 AM. January 5, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Program Guide - Weekends". WLBK 1360 AM. January 5, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Directory of Standard Broadcasting Stations of the United States". 1948 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1948. p. 120. 
  6. ^ "Directory of AM, FM, and TV Stations of the United States". 1951 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1951. p. 132. 
  7. ^ "Directory of AM and FM Stations of the United States". 1952 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1952. p. 128. 
  8. ^ "Directory of AM and FM Stations of the United States". 1953 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1953. p. 129. 
  9. ^ "Directory of AM and FM Stations and Market Data for the United States". 1954 Broadcasting Yearbook-Marketbook. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1954. p. 127. 
  10. ^ "The Facilities of Broadcasting". 1960 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1960. p. A-146. 
  11. ^ a b "Directory of AM and FM Radio Stations in the U.S.". 1964 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1964. p. B-48. 
  12. ^ a b "Directory of AM and FM Radio Stations in the U.S.". 1966 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1966. p. B-47. 
  13. ^ a b "Directory of AM and FM Radio Stations in the U.S.". 1970 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1970. p. B-62. 
  14. ^ a b c "Directory of Radio Stations in the United States and Canada". Broadcasting Yearbook 1976. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1976. p. C-58. 
  15. ^ "Directory of AM and FM Radio Stations in the U.S.". 1963 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1963. p. B-57. 
  16. ^ "Directory of Radio Stations in the United States and Canada". Broadcasting/Cable Yearbook 1981. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1981. p. C-69. 
  17. ^ "Directory of Radio Stations in the United States and Canada". Broadcasting/Cablecasting Yearbook 1986. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1986. p. B-86. 
  18. ^ "Directory of Radio Stations in the United States and Canada". The Broadcasting Yearbook 1991. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1990. p. B=99. 
  19. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-19980424GG)". FCC Media Bureau. February 25, 1999. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-19991216ABS)". FCC Media Bureau. April 12, 2000. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-20100928AAY)". FCC Media Bureau. December 24, 2010. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 

External links[edit]