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WPBG logo.png
CityPeoria, Illinois
Broadcast areaBloomington, Peoria, LaSalle-Peru[citation needed]
Branding93.3 The Drive
SloganNo. 1 for Classic Hits
Frequency93.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air dateApril 1947 (1947-04)[1]
FormatAnalog/HD1: Classic Hits
HD2: Oldies (WIRL simulcast)
ERP41,000 watts
HAAT168 meters
Facility ID42114
Transmitter coordinates40°38′7.00″N 89°32′19.00″W / 40.6352778°N 89.5386111°W / 40.6352778; -89.5386111
Callsign meaningPeoria's Big Oldies[2]
Former callsignsWMBD-FM (1947–1977)
WKZW (1977–1994)
WMXP (1994–1996)
Former frequencies92.5 MHz (1947–1960s)
OwnerDuke Wright
(Midwest Communications)
Sister stationsWMBD (AM) (traditional and current)
WMBD-TV (former traditional)
WebcastListen Live

WPBG (93.3 FM) is an FM broadcasting station with a Classic Hits format. Licensed for Peoria, Illinois, United States, the station serves the Bloomington, Peoria, LaSalle-Peru area. The station was formerly known as 93.3 WMBD-FM, as well as KZ-93 (WKZW) through 1994 and briefly was known as “Mix 93.3 WMXP” prior to its conversion to Oldies/Classic Hits[citation needed] The station is currently owned by Midwest Communications.[3][4]

WPBG broadcasts in the HD Radio digital (hybrid) format:

  • HD1 is a digital simulcast of the (traditional) analog format of Classic Hits.
  • HD2 is a simulcast of station WIRL's oldies format.[5]


WMBD-FM was established in April 1947 with 17,000 watts on 92.5 MHz as a sister station to 1470 WMBD (AM), the only other station in Peoria;[1] the nearest other FM station was 101.5 WJBC-FM (now WBNQ) in Bloomington, established the same month as a sister station of 1230 WJBC (AM).[1][6] By 1950, WMBD-FM was licensed for 20,000 watts.[7] WMBD-FM duplicated WMBD (AM) during its early years.[8] It was sold (with AM and TV) to Fetzer Stations on February 1, 1953.[8]

The station signed-on as with a beautiful music format and utilized the slogan "Music Only For a Woman".[citation needed] The station was originally on 92.5 MHz but moved to 93.3 MHz in the early 1960s.

For several years, WMBD-FM went by the slogan of Rock 93. Then, in late 1977 the station adopted a Rock 40 a.k.a. CHR format as WKZW, calling itself "The All New KZ93 FM". The station was successful immediately and rapidly overtook Top 40 AM WIRL in the ratings. In late-1983 KZ-93 started a transition from being a rock based CHR format to a mainstream CHR format. KZ93 ZJs included Tommy Wood, Mark Maloney, Gary Olson, Jeffrey Moore, Cristy Ryan, Keith Edwards, Scott Wheeler, Gene Stern, Derek Johnson, Lee Malcolm, Kenneth "Ken Cook" Hackney, Troy Hamilton, Jeff Kingsley, Glen Thomas, Kenny Blum, with Andy Masur, Ray Price, Charlie Quinn, Steve Rodeo and Danny Baker. "KZ-93" was at or near the top of the ratings in the Peoria radio market throughout its reign as the premiere Top 40/CHR outlet in all of Central Illinois. Then all of a sudden, in the early part of 1994 Peoria's 93.3 FM flipped to a hot adult contemporary format as WMXP and the slogan "Mix 93.3". The station ran most of its music off of analog broadcast carts during this era (when many stations were converting to CD and/or computer audio playback). During the MIX years, The morning show was hosted by Dave Kallaway and Beck Ryan. Other jocks included Gene Stern, Scott Wheeler (now[when?] afternoons on WCIC Pekin as Steve Brown), Mary Lynn, Chris McIntyre (now program director and mornings on WKAY-FM in Galesburg, Illinois), Keith Kelly and Joe Crain (now meteorologist at WICS-TV in Springfield, IL). Also, for a portion of its time as "Mix 93.3" the morning radio show was simulcast with the television show on sister station WMBD-TV. This simulcast show was known as "The Morning Mix". The simulcast ended in late-1996 when the station regretfully flipped to an oldies format as "Big Oldies 93.3" and adopted the current call sign. At that time "The Morning Mix" continued on WMBD-TV for quite some time. The station used the "Big Oldies 93.3" slogan before the current format of classic hits was adopted in late summer 2006.

The station was recently owned by Triad Broadcasting. Sister stations include WIRL, WMBD (AM), WDQX (now WNGY), WXCL and WSWT. Effective May 1, 2013, Triad sold WPBG and 29 other stations to L&L Broadcasting for $21 million.

On February 4, 2019, Alpha Media announced that it will sell its Peoria cluster to Midwest Communications for $21.6 million.[9]. The sale closed on May 1, 2019.


  1. ^ a b c Broadcasting Yearbook Number. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications. 1948. Retrieved 2010-08-30. Illinois AM stations on pages 94 & 98; Illinois FM stations on page 294. Page 326 shows 4 additional FM construction permits already in progress for Peoria.
  2. ^ "Call Letter Origins". Radio History on the Web.
  3. ^ "WPBG Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
  4. ^ "WPBG Station Information Profile". Arbitron.
  5. ^ http://www.pjstar.com/news/20160317/peoria-radio-group-makes-move-to-hd
  6. ^ "U. S. FM Stations as of 1948". History of American Broadcasting. Jeff Miller. Using information from Radio Craft. June 1948. Missing or empty |title= (help) ISSN variously reported as 0033-7862, 1067-9278, or 1067-9286.
  7. ^ "U. S. FM Stations as of 1950". History of American Broadcasting. Jeff Miller. Using information from 1950 Broadcasting Yearbook.
  8. ^ a b See, for example, 1959 Broadcasting Yearbook, page B-145
  9. ^ "Midwest Communications Acquires Alpha Media's Peoria Stations". RadioInsight. 6 February 2019.

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