WERV-FM
WERV 95.9TheRiver logo.png
Broadcast areaWest Suburban Chicago
Frequency95.9 MHz (HD Radio)
Branding95.9 The River
Programming
FormatClassic hits
Ownership
Owner
WCCQ, WIIL, WJOL, WKRS, WSSR, WXLC, WZSR
History
First air date
February 12, 1961[1]
Former call signs
WKKD-FM (1961-1981)[2]
WKKD (6/17/1981-9/22/1981)[3]
WKKD-FM (1981-2001)[3]
Call sign meaning
W E RiVer
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID73171
ClassA
ERP2,850 watts
HAAT103 meters (338 ft)
Links
Public license information
WebcastListen live
Website959theriver.com

WERV-FM, also known as 95.9 The River, is a classic hits radio station, playing familiar rock and pop songs that span from the early 1970s through the mid 1990s. The Aurora/Naperville, Illinois station serves the suburban Chicago market and is owned by Alpha Media, through licensee Alpha Media Licensee LLC.[4]

History

Early years

This station was the radio dream of WLS Radio announcer, emcee, and engineer Russ Salter, who put this station (then WKKD-FM); along with WKKD AM 1580 on the air.[5] WKKD 1580 debuted on September 21, 1960 and WKKD-FM on February 12, 1961.[5][1] The station's call sign stood for Kane, Kendall and DuPage, which were the primary counties in its coverage area.[6][7] Both stations' studios, transmitters and towers were at 1880 Plain Avenue in Aurora.[2][8][7]

The station was part of a simulcast with WKKD AM 1580.[9] Bill Blough hosted a country music program in the station's first years.[10][11][12] Chicago weathercaster Tom Skilling began his career at WKKD, c. 1966, while he attended High School in Aurora.[13]

The Golden Sounds

By 1968, the simulcast had ended.[14] WKKD-FM was branded "The Golden Sounds".[15][16] The station aired a Beautiful music format in the 1970s and into the early 1980s.[17][18][19]

Adult contemporary era

In late 1983, AM 1580's call sign was changed back to WKKD, and the two stations became part of a partial simulcast.[20][21] The station aired an adult contemporary format, branded as "classic hits", playing music from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.[21][22] Throughout the 1980s, WKKD was originally used on a local access channel in Naperville throughout its AC days on Jones Intercable until the Summer of 1988.

In the late 1980s, the station aired a soft AC format, as "Lite Mix",[23] with the branding changing to "K-Lite" in 1989.[24][25] The station continued to air this format into the early 1990s.[26][27][28]

In 1992, WKKD-FM became the flagship radio station for Kane County Cougars baseball.[28]

Oldies era

Station's logo as "Pure Gold 96"
Station's logo as "Pure Gold 96"

In 1993, the station adopted an oldies format, and was branded "Pure Gold 96".[29][30][31] WKKD-FM was again part of a simulcast with WKKD AM 1580.[29][30] In 1998 the station changed its branding to "Kool 95.9," while continuing to air an oldies format.[32][33]

In 2000, the Salter family sold WKKD AM & FM, as well as WRWC in Rockford, Illinois to RadioWorks for $6.5 million, plus $1.5 million in consulting and non-compete agreements.[34][35]

The River

In 2001 WKKD-FM & AM were sold to NextMedia Group for $3.4 million.[33][36] On January 25, 2001 the station became "95.9 The River", airing a classic hits format with the slogan "Rock 'N Roll Favorites for the 'Burbs".[37][38][39] The station's call sign was changed to WERV-FM shortly thereafter.[3]

On July 15, 2006, the station debuted an HD-2 station branded "The Rapids!", airing a hard rock gold format.[40]

NextMedia sold WERV-FM and their 32 other radio stations to Digity, LLC at a price of $84,975,200; the transaction was consummated on February 10, 2014.[41]

Effective February 25, 2016, Digity and its 124 radio stations were acquired by Alpha Media for $264 million.[42][43]

Personalities heard on The River include Scott Mackay and Danielle Tufano, Nick Jakusz, Mitch Michaels, and Samantha James.[44][45]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Broadcasting/Cablecasting Yearbook 1984, Broadcasting/Cablecasting, 1984. p. B-75. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  2. ^ a b History Cards for WERV-FM, fcc.gov. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Call Sign History, fcc.gov. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  4. ^ FM Query Results: WERV-FM, fcc.gov. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Salter Communications: Russell G. Salter". Salter Communications. Archived from the original on October 10, 1997. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  6. ^ "What those letters on the dial mean", Chicago Tribune Magazine. March 4, 1979. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Ghrist, John R. (1996). Valley Voices: A Radio History. Crossroads Communications. p. 106-107.
  8. ^ History Cards for WKKD, fcc.gov. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  9. ^ 1961-62 Broadcasting Yearbook, Broadcasting, 1961-1962. p. B-51. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  10. ^ Sachs, Bill. "Folk Talent & Tunes", Billboard. May 16, 1960. p. 47. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  11. ^ Sachs, Bill. "Folk Talent & Tunes", Billboard. July 10, 1961. p. 8. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  12. ^ Sinclair, Charles. "Vox Jox", Billboard. December 1, 1962. p. 40. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  13. ^ "Tom Skilling" Chicago Tribune. November 9, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  14. ^ 1968 Broadcasting Yearbook, Broadcasting, 1968. p. B-50. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  15. ^ "Salter Broadcasting Company Proudly Present... The Golden Sounds on WKKD-FM", The Southwest Graphic. January 28, 1970. p. 5. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  16. ^ Draves, William A. "The Beacon", Fond du Lac Reporter. May 26, 1973. p. 1. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  17. ^ "Stations, everywhere: a listeners' guide to the AM and FM bands", Chicago Tribune Magazine. March 4, 1979. p. 35. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  18. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1977, Broadcasting, 1977. p. C-59. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  19. ^ Broadcasting/Cablecasting Yearbook 1983, Broadcasting/Cablecasting, 1983. p. B-69. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  20. ^ Bornstein, Rollye. "Vox Jox", Billboard. December 10, 1983. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  21. ^ a b Chicago Radio Guide, Vol. 1, Issue 1. May 1985. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  22. ^ Broadcasting/Cablecasting Yearbook 1985, Broadcasting/Cablecasting, 1985. p. B-78. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  23. ^ Chicagoland Radio Waves, MediaTies. Summer 1988. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  24. ^ Chicagoland Radio Waves, MediaTies. Summer 1989. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  25. ^ "WKKD FM 95.9", Radio Chicago. Fall 1989. p. 35. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  26. ^ Wilhelmson, Brenda. "Radio In Du Page", Chicago Tribune. February 25, 1990. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  27. ^ "WKKD FM 95.9", Radio Chicago, Spring 1991. p. 53. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  28. ^ a b Kening, Dan. "The Home Team", Chicago Tribune. April 07, 1992. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  29. ^ a b Todorovich, Lisa. "Lettermen Bring Valentine Spirit To Norris", Chicago Tribune. February 12, 1993. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  30. ^ a b "Format Changes", The M Street Journal. Vol. 10, No. 32. August 11, 1993. p. 1. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  31. ^ "WKKD Pure Gold 96 ON-LINE". WKKD-FM. Archived from the original on December 28, 1996. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  32. ^ "Welcome to the new KOOL 95.9 web site!". WKKD-FM. Archived from the original on May 22, 1998. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  33. ^ a b "Elsewhere", The M Street Journal. Vol. 18, No. 01. January 4, 2001. p. 10. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  34. ^ Application Search Details fcc.gov. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  35. ^ Kirk, Jim. "Rockford Firm Adds To Its Reach", Chicago Tribune. July 28, 1999. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  36. ^ Application Search Details fcc.gov. Accessed January 3, 2014
  37. ^ "Chicago Media Headlines - January". DJHeadlines.com. January 24–26, 2001. Archived from the original on October 31, 2005. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  38. ^ Devine, Cathy (2002-2003). The M-Street Radio Directory, 11th Edition. p. 183. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  39. ^ "95-9 The River". 959theriver.fm. Archived from the original on January 3, 2002. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  40. ^ "WERV To Debut HD-2 Station "The Rapids" At Listener Party", All Access Music Group. July 11, 2006. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  41. ^ "NextMedia Radio Stations Now Owned And Operated By Digity", Chicagoland Radio and Media. February 10, 2014. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  42. ^ "Alpha Media Closes Purchase of Digity Radio Stations!", Alpha Media. February 25, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  43. ^ "With Digity, Alpha Is Now Fourth-Largest Radio Co.", InsideRadio. February 26, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  44. ^ "Show Schedule", 95.9 The River. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  45. ^ "Major Change/Switch At WERV-FM & WRXQ-FM", Chicagoland Radio and Media. September 8, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2018.

Coordinates: 41°46′08″N 88°16′01″W / 41.769°N 88.267°W / 41.769; -88.267