WCGO (1600 AM)

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WCGO
CityChicago Heights, Illinois
Broadcast areaSouth suburban Chicago
Northwest Indiana
Frequency1600 kHz
First air dateAugust 27, 1959[1]
Last air dateApril 10, 2009
FormatFull service (1959-1997)
Adult standards (1997-2009)
Power1,000 watts day[2]
23 watts night[3][2]
ClassD
Facility ID39386
Callsign meaningW ChicaGO

WCGO (1600 AM) was a radio station licensed to Chicago Heights, Illinois, United States. The station ran 1,000 watts during the day and 23 watts at night.[2][3]

Coverage area[edit]

WCGO served southern Cook County, Illinois, most of central and eastern Will County, Illinois, and northern Lake County, Indiana during daytime hours, while its nighttime coverage was more limited.[4] The station had a two tower directional array in northern Ford Heights, Illinois, and had a directional pattern to the northeast and southwest to protect WMCW in Harvard, Illinois and WARU in Peru, Indiana, which were on the same frequency.[3][4]

History[edit]

WCGO began broadcasting August 27, 1959 and was owned by South Cook Broadcasting, Inc.; Anthony Santucci, president; Anthony DiCarlo, vice president; Gustav Hahn, secretary; Tony D'Amico, treasurer.[5][6][7] The station originally broadcast 1,000 watts during daytime hours only.[5]

Full service years[edit]

WCGO had long aired a full service format, airing a variety of local programming and playing Middle of the road (MOR) music, which in early years included pop standards and later on adult contemporary.[8][9][10][11] Much of the station's local news, talk and community programming was simulcast on its sister station 102.3 WTAS in Crete, Illinois, until 1992.[9][10][12][13] In 1985, the station began airing the Warren Freiberg - Libby Collins Show, which had been heard on 106.3 WLNR in Lansing, Illinois since 1973.[12] In 1992, the station shifted to an all talk format.[13][14]

In the summer of 1994, Anthony Santucci sold WCGO to M&M Broadcasting, a firm led by former Hammond, Indiana mayor Thomas McDermott, Sr. for $230,000.[15][16][17] In August 1994, WCGO began nighttime operations, with light adult contemporary music airing from 7 pm to 5:59 am, while talk programming continued to air during the day.[18] In 1997, M&M Broadcasting sold the station to Q Broadcasting for $400,000.[19][20]

Unforgettable 1600[edit]

In 1997, the station adopted an adult standards format, featuring programming from Stardust, and later its successors; Timeless Favorites, Timeless Classics and Timeless.[21][22][23][17][24] During this period the station was known as "Unforgettable 1600".[7][24][25] WCGO continued to air this format until the station was taken off the air in 2009.[17][24]

End of operations[edit]

In 2002, the station was purchased by Kovas Communications for $750,000, who intended to take it, along with 1580 WKKD and 1600 WMCW, off the air in order to enable co-owned station 1590 WONX in Evanston, Illinois to increase its daytime power.[26][27][25] WCGO went silent on April 10, 2009,[28] and its license was surrendered to the FCC, enabling 1590 WONX to increase its daytime power from 3,500 watts to 7,000 watts.[29][25] On April 13, 2009, 1590 WONX took on the WCGO call sign.[30] Kovas Communications had held a construction permit, which would have moved the station to Jenison, Michigan (near Grand Rapids), broadcasting on 1020 kHz at 10,000 watts during daytime hours only, though this move never occurred.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1960 Broadcasting Yearbook, Broadcasting, 1960. p. A-146. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Devine, Cathy (2008). The Radio Book 2008-2009. p. 200. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "WCGO Chicago Heights, IL Plan-- 1600 kHz", fcc.gov. September 13, 2007. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Coverage Map". WCGO. Archived from the original on August 25, 2001. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  5. ^ a b History Cards for WCGO, fcc.gov. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  6. ^ Ghrist, John R. (1996). Valley Voices: A Radio History. Crossroads Communications. p. 272-275.
  7. ^ a b "WCGO Home Page". WCGO. Archived from the original on May 2, 1999. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  8. ^ "Stations By Format", Billboard. October 16, 1965. p. 61-62. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Stations, everywhere: a listeners' guide to the AM and FM bands", Chicago Tribune Magazine. March 4, 1979. p. 37. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Chicago Radio Guide, Vol. 1, Issue 1. May 1985. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  11. ^ "WCGO AM 1600", Radio Chicago. Winter 1990. p. 38. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Osinchak, Sue. "The Morning Mom and Pop Talk Show", Radio Chicago. p. 20-21. Winter 1990. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Format Changes", The M Street Journal. Vol. 9, No. 32. August 12, 1992. p. 1. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  14. ^ "Station Formats", Chicago Airwaves. August 1993. p. 13. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  15. ^ "Transactions", Radio & Records. June 17, 1994. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  16. ^ Nidetz, Steve. "Channel 7 Zooms Ahead Of The Pack In 10 P.M. News Sweeps", Chicago Tribune. August 03, 1994. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  17. ^ a b c Holecek, Andrea. "WCGO shuts off signal this weekend for Northwest Indiana", Times of Northwest Indiana. April 10, 2009. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  18. ^ "Radio station now on air 24 hours", Times of Northwest Indiana. August 18, 1994. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  19. ^ Public Notice Comment - BAL-19970127EH, fcc.gov. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  20. ^ "Proposed Station Transfers", The M Street Journal. Vol. 14, No. 5. February 5, 1997. p. 8. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  21. ^ "Format Changes & Updates", The M Street Journal. Vol. 14, No. 32. August 13, 1997. p. 1. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  22. ^ Pecora, Jim. "WCGO radio is tuning back into area with 'adult standards' format", Orland Park Star. November 9, 1997. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  23. ^ "WCGO Community Calendar for the Date Of:". WCGO. Archived from the original on May 2, 1999. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  24. ^ a b c "Today on WCGO Unforgettable 1600 AM". WCGO. Archived from the original on April 9, 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  25. ^ a b c d "WCGO Goes Dark, WONX -- Now WCGO -- Ups Power", All Access Music Group. April 13, 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  26. ^ "Kovas claims third AM in Chicago", Radio Business Report. July 15, 2002. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  27. ^ "Changing Hands", Broadcasting & Cable. July 22, 2002. p. 29. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  28. ^ "WCGO Being Purchased By William Pollack", Chicagoland Radio and Media. May 11, 2017. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  29. ^ "Call Letter Changes", Medium Wave News. May/June 2009. p. 11. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  30. ^ Call Sign History, fcc.gov. Retrieved December 19, 2018.