|City of license||Joliet, Illinois|
|Broadcast area||Chicago market|
|Slogan||"Your Music Variety"|
|Frequency||96.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||February 6, 1960 (as WJOL-FM)|
|Format||Hot Adult Contemporary|
|Callsign meaning||W Star Station on the Radio|
|Former callsigns||WJOL-FM (1960-1979)
(NextMedia Licensing LLC)
|Sister stations||WJOL(AM), WCCQ(FM), WRXQ(FM), WERV (FM)|
WSSR (96.7 FM, "Star 96.7") is a radio station broadcasting a hot adult contemporary format. Licensed to Joliet, Illinois, USA, it serves South and West Suburban Chicago. The station is currently owned by NextMedia Group LLC. Using the slogan Star 96-7, the station features a playlist of new pop and pop-rock artists and 1980s and 1990s music.
The station first signed on the air on February 6, 1960 as WJOL-FM, sister station to WJOL-AM. Early on it duplicated the AM station's programming to further the reach. Initially WJOL-FM would simulcast programming from WJOL-AM but would devote a couple hours each evening to its own programming; mostly beautiful and semi-classical music. In 1963 the station was one of the first suburban broadcasters to install stereo. A year later, under new owners, Harris Enterprises, the power was increased to 3,000 watts and the antenna height doubled to 300 feet; expanding the stations reach into the southwest suburban area of Chicago. WJOL-FM would offer a beautiful music format along with its own schedule of local sports. In the late 1970s the call-letters were changed to WLLI, an anagram for Will County, the area for which the station covers. By the mid-1980s, the station referred to itself as "96.7 I-Rock," a format which straddled top 40 music with a rock-edged slant.
In the 1990s the station made an attempt to take on local suburban country powerhouse 98.3 WCCQ. Most observers felt this was a futile move as "Willie 96.7" never even made a dent in WCCQ's establed audience.
After the failed country format, the station was then known as 96.7 Will Rock and played a mixture of classic and modern rock. During this time the station carried the Motor Racing Network broadcasts of what was then known as the Winston Cup Series. In 2004 the WLLI calls and rock format were scrapped for WSSR and the Star AC format. The Star format had previously aired on WJTW, but the station was sold to Univision and flipped to Spanish language WVIX.
For a time, WLLI and WJOL were owned by former Will County coroner Robert Tezak. Tezak became a millionaire after purchasing the rights to a then unknown card game, "Uno" for $50,000. Uno Broadcasting was a part of Tezak's "International Games" empire. According to published reports, Tezak pleaded guilty October 25, 1993 to charges he arranged a 1987 fire that damaged a bowling alley he owned in Crest Hill, Illinois. He also pleaded guilty to trying to arrange the killings of his former daughter-in-law and a co-defendant to prevent them from providing information against him.
WLLI & WJOL were sold off to Barden Broadcasting in 1993. Barden (who also acquired WJTW-FM) later sold the stations to Northwest suburban Pride Communications. Pride left the broadcast business when it sold off its suburban Chicago stations to NextMedia Group.
In 2008, WSSR moved its transmitting antenna from Joliet (where it was co-located on WJOL's tower) to a 300 foot tower located at 159th & Cedar Road in Homer Glen. The move solidified the stations signal coverage in the I-88 and I-355 corridor as well as the south-west suburbs. WSSR transmits in HD Radio but does not provide a multicast channel. WSSR was also switched from adult contemporary to their current hot adult contemporary format in 2007. To this date, WSSR does not seem to have a grasp on whether they are a hot adult contemporary or an adult contemporary station, featuring rhythmic hip-hop tracks as well as soft 1980s classics.
- Star 96.7 WSSR official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WSSR
- Radio-Locator information on WSSR
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WSSR