|Broadcast area||Chicago metropolitan area|
|WNVR, WKTA, WEEF|
First air date
|October 11, 1950|
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
|We're Radio DiZney|
(Former owner and affiliation)
|Power||4,500 watts day|
4,000 watts night
|Translator(s)||W276BM (103.1 MHz, Park Forest)|
W284DA (104.7 MHz, Chicago)
Public license information
WRDZ (1300 AM) is a Polish language broadcast radio station licensed to La Grange, Illinois, serving the Chicago metropolitan area. The station, which began broadcasting in 1950, is owned and operated by Walter Kotaba's Polnet Communications.
The station's original call sign was WTAQ, with the letters meaning "Western Towns Along the Q." The "Q" referred to the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, which ran through the center of the station's coverage area. WTAQ first went on the air on October 11, 1950. The station was originally owned by La Grange Broadcasting Co. The station initially ran 500 watts and operated during daytime hours only.
WTAQ was a brokered time station and was branded "Chicago's Personality Station". The heart of this format was weekend ethnic polka programs, serving the large Eastern European population around Chicago. "Lil Wally" Jagiello, Uncle Henry Cukierka, Chet Schafer, Chet Gulinski, Eddie Blazonczyk, Johnny Hyzny, Eddie Korosa, Eddie Arenz, Art Schlaman, Jim Marwood, John Psczola, and many other polka shows made their home there.
In June 1984, William Wardle and Ralph Faucher purchased the station for $1,640,000.
In 1985, Lotus Communications Corporation purchased the station for $3,000,000, and it became a full-time Spanish language station. The station adopted a Spanish language adult contemporary format as "Radio Fiesta". In the late 1980s, the station's branding was changed to "La Mexicana", and the station broadcast a música norteña format. The station's "La Mexicana" format was simulcast with several other stations Lotus Communications owned. During the station's period as a Spanish language station, it carried the Spanish-language broadcasts of the Chicago White Sox.
Radio Disney era
In January 2000, WDDZ went off the air and remained silent until early 2001. In the spring of 2002, the station returned to the air, once again simulcasting WRDZ with Radio Disney. The simulcast ended after the station was sold to Multicultural Broadcasting of Chicago in the summer of 2002.
On August 13, 2014, Disney put WRDZ and twenty-two other Radio Disney stations up for sale, with the exception of KDIS (now KRDC) in Los Angeles, in order to focus more on digital distribution of the Radio Disney network. Disney originally planned to temporarily shut down the station on September 26, 2014. However, the station remained on the air and continued carrying Radio Disney until it was sold.
On July 30, 2015, Radio Disney Chicago filed an application to sell WRDZ to Polnet Communications. The agreed purchase price for the station is $3,450,000. Polnet is the owner of WEEF, WKTA, WNVR and WPJX (former Radio Disney O&O and former satellite of WRDZ). The station went silent on October 30, 2015. The sale was completed on December 2, 2015. The station returned to the air with a Polish language format branded "Polskie Radio", simulcasting WNVR 1030.
WRDZ is also heard on FM translators at 104.7 MHz in Chicago, and 103.1 in Park Forest. In a complaint filed with the Federal Communications Commission in 2017, 104.7 WCFL claims that its signal has been subjected to co-channel interference from translator W284DA, which relays WRDZ.
|City of license||Facility
|W284DA||104.7||Chicago, Illinois||155174||50||363 m (1,191 ft)||D||FCC LMS|
|W276BM||103.1||Park Forest, Illinois||140663||100||128 m (420 ft)||D||FCC LMS|
- "WRDZ Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- "Chicago Radio: Some facts, figures, and things you might not know", Chicago Tribune Magazine, March 4, 1979. p. 16. Accessed August 12, 2015
- "WTAQ Takes Air", Broadcasting – Telecasting, October 16, 1950. p. 27. Accessed August 11, 2015
- "Open La Grange Station WTAQ After June 1", Chicago Tribune, February 23, 1985. Accessed August 10, 2015
- Eric Zorn, "Los Angeles Firm Gets A Toe Into Spanish-language Market", Chicago Tribune, May 09, 1985. Accessed August 10, 2015
- The 1964 International Polka Convention 1964. Accessed August 10, 2015
- "Unity Savings plans 'UniFest' celebrations", The Bugle, January 4, 1979. p. 24. Accessed August 10, 2015
- "Radio and TV Directory of Polka Programs for Chicago and Vicinity", Polka Guide, Vol. 7 – No. 4, July 1965. Accessed August 10, 2015
- "Eddie Korosa, `Prince Of Polka'", Chicago Tribune, July 10, 1998. Accessed August 10, 2015
- Don Terry and Cheryl Devall, "La Grange Radio Station Provides Link To Mexico", Chicago Tribune, September 22, 1985. Accessed August 10, 2015
- Ana Veciana-Suárez, "Hispanic media, USA: a narrative guide to the print and electronic Hispanic news media in the United States", Media Institute, (1987) p. 106
- Janice Perrone, "Chi Lives: a radio shrink for Spanish speakers", Chicago Reader, September 01, 1988. Accessed August 10, 2015
- Costanza Montaña, "Staying in tune with Hispanics", Chicago Tribune, July 17, 1989. p. 4-1&4. Accessed August 10, 2015
- Nicolás Kanellos, "The Hispanic Almanac: From Columbus to Corporate America", (1994) p. 280
- Joseph Tybor, "Sweetness At Short: Chico, Little Looie And Ozzie Carrasquel Helped Fuel Sox`s 3-part Venezuelan Pipeline", Chicago Tribune, July 08, 1990. Accessed August 11, 2015
- "Getting Kids To Listen", Chicago Tribune, August 21, 1998. Accessed August 10, 2015
- Lafayette, Jon (August 13, 2014). "Exclusive: Radio Disney Moving Off Air to Digital". Retrieved August 13, 2014.
- "Radio Disney to Sell the Majority of Its Stations". Billboard. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
- Venta, Lance (August 13, 2014). "Radio Disney To Sell All But One Station". Radio Insight. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
- "NERW Extra: No Signoffs for Disney AMs". Northeast Radio Watch. Retrieved October 5, 2014. (subscription required)
- "Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. July 30, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
- "Asset Purchase and Sales Agreement", fcc.gov, July 13, 2015. Accessed August 10, 2015
- Multiple Ownership – Federal Communications Commission
- "Notification of Suspension of Operations / Request for Silent STA", fcc.gov. November 6, 2015. Accessed November 17, 2015
- "Consummation Notice", fcc.gov, December 4, 2015.
- Vernon, Tom (June 8, 2017). "WCFL Asks FCC to Shut Down Chicago Translator". Radio World. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
- WRDZ's official website
- WRDZ in the FCC AM station database
- WRDZ on Radio-Locator
- WRDZ in Nielsen Audio's AM station database