|Headquarters||Wausau, Wisconsin, United States|
|Owner||Duke Wright, President and CEO|
Midwest Communications is a Wausau, Wisconsin-based radio broadcasting company. It owns 82 radio stations located primarily within the Midwest United States, in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Illinois and Wisconsin. The company is a family-owned business and is headed by Duke Wright.
Midwest Communications began in Wausau, Wisconsin, with WRIG, Inc. and the acquisition by the Duey E. Wright family of a 1400 kHz, 250 watt AM facility from the Wisconsin Valley Television Corporation. The call letters WRIG (for Wright) were assigned and on August 1, 1958, top forty-formatted WRIG signed on the air. Power was increased to 1,000 watts in 1961 and WRIG-FM (now WDEZ) signed on in 1964.
Midwest started station WROE in Appleton/Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1971. Founder Duey E. Wright died at 75 on November 24, 1971, with Duey E. Wright Jr. taking over the company his father founded. In 1975 Midwest purchased WBAY-AM and FM, Green Bay, Wisconsin. Due to FCC rules at that time, WROE was sold. The Green Bay call letters were changed to WGEE-AM (now WTAQ-AM) and WIXX-FM. The 1980s saw the acquisition by Midwest of KIOA/KMGK, Des Moines, Iowa, WKKQ/WTBX, Hibbing, Minnesota and KLMS/KFMQ, Lincoln, Nebraska. In addition WRIG moved to 1390 kHz and increased power to 5000 watts day and night.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 allowed Midwest to consolidate the Green Bay-Appleton/Oshkosh and Wausau-Stevens Point markets. The consolidation brought about the sale of the Des Moines, Lincoln and Hibbing stations and the acquisitions of WROE, WOZZ, WLTM (now WZBY), WNCY and WNFL in Green Bay-Appleton/Oshkosh and WSAU, WIFC, WOFM and WIZD in Wausau-Stevens Point. In addition four stations WTVB, WNWN AM/FM and WFAT were acquired in the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Michigan market.
In the beginning of the 2000s, Midwest acquired WHBL, WWJR (now WHBZ) and WBFM IN Sheboygan, Wisconsin and WHTC and WEVS (now WYVN) in Holland, Michigan as well as the Duluth Minnesota/Superior Wisconsin market stations KDAL AM/FM, KRBR, WDSM, KTCO and KXTP (now WGEE).
On June 30, 2004, Midwest Communications, Inc. acquired an additional six stations in the Hibbing Minnesota market, WNMT, WMFG AM/FM, KMFG, WTBX and WUSZ.
On June 14, 2005 Midwest Communications, Inc. acquired WMGI and WWSY in Terre Haute, Indiana and on December 16, 2005 added WACF and WPRS licensed to Paris, IL to the Terre Haute Indiana market.
On January 6, 2006 Midwest Communications, Inc. expanded in the Sheboygan Wisconsin market with the addition of WXER.
On May 1, 2006 Midwest Communications, Inc. acquired three additional properties in the Kalamazoo, Michigan market, WKZO, WQLR (now WVFM) and WQSN (now WQLR).
The company continued to grow when Midwest Communications added stations in the Lansing market. 94.1 FM WVIC, 106.1 FM WJXQ, 92.1 FM WQTX and 92.9 FM WLMI joined the Midwest Communications family in July 2010.
On November 1, 2012, Midwest Communications acquired six additional radio stations in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Those stations included 103.7 FM KRRO, 95.7 FM KQSF, 92.5 FM KTWB, 101.9 FM KELO-FM, 1320 AM KELO-AM and 1230 AM KWSN.
May 1, 2013 saw the acquisition of six more radio properties in Fargo, North Dakota. 101.9 FM KRWK, 104.7 FM KMJO, 93.7 FM WDAY, 740 AM KVOX, 99.9 FM KVOX and 790 AM KFGO “The Mighty 790”.
On September 1, 2014, Midwest Communications expanded to three new markets with the acquisition of stations in the Nashville, Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee and Evansville, Indiana markets. In this acquisition Midwest added nine more radio properties. In Nashville, Tennessee, Midwest acquired 96.3 FM WCJK and 92.9 FM WJXA. In Knoxville, Tennessee, 103.5 FM WIMZ, 97.5 FM WJXB and 95.7 FM WVRX. The Evansville, Indiana stations include 93.5 FM WLFW, 107.5 FM WABX, 96.1 FM WSTO and 104.1 FM WIKY.
On December 30, 2016, Midwest sold Hibbing, Minnesota-based KMFG to Refuge Media Group. On December 31, 2016, Midwest acquired KAOD, KGPZ, KQDS-FM, WEVE-FM, and WXXZ in the Duluth and Hibbing markets from Red Rock Broadcasting.
Effective September 22, 2017, Midwest sold WXXZ and KAOD to Aurora Broadcasting, L.L.C.